Ransomware once stormed with the icon ;) officially “washed hands and left swords”

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2021-06-14 22:05:53

The hacker group behind the Avaddon ransomware has officially “shut down” all system activities and sent the decryption key to the victims. The news site BleepingComputer also received the decryption key from an anonymous source.

After testing, security experts Fabian Wosar of Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie of Coveware confirmed that the decryption key received by BleepingComputer was real. BleepingComputer’s own testing also shows that the decryption key can open files previously encrypted by the Avaddon ransomware.

In total, Avaddon released up to 2,934 decryption keys, corresponding to each victim.

Ransomware once raged with emails containing only smileys and malicious files

Avaddon started operating in June 2020 with a global campaign. At that time, hundreds of thousands of people received emails containing only the wink symbol (;)). The number of victims of Avaddon ransomware grows rapidly with RaaS-style deployments.

RaaS stands for Ransomware as a sevices, deploying ransomware as a service. Not only spreading ransoware themselves, the people behind Avaddon also hire other hackers and hacker groups to spread along. This form helps Avaddon quickly be distributed on a large scale globally.

Avaddon’s expansion has made the FBI and many functional units of countries around the globe “hot eyes”. Recently, the FBI and Australian law enforcement have issued warnings regarding the Avaddon hacker group.

Faced with the risk of being caught, these cybercriminals have moved to escape since the beginning of last week. They start by reducing the data ransom. Typically, Avaddon demands up to $600,000 in ransom to pay for data. However, earlier in the week, they accepted any ransom, not retorting the victim any further.

By the end of last week, all of Avaddon’s Tor sites were inaccessible. It shows that the Avaddon ransomware has likely stopped working completely.

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