German Programmer ‘Hacks Back’ After Bitcoin Ransomware Attack
German programmer Tobias Frömel (aka “battleck”) has “hacked back” the perpetrators of the Muhstik ransomware who forced him to pay 0.09 Bitcoin (BTC) to recover access to his files.
In a Bleeping Computer forum post on Oct. 7, Frömel revealed that he had hacked the attackers’ database, sharing almost 3,000 decryption keys and a free decryptor with fellow victims.
Having succeeded in his task, Frömel conceded that his action was illegal, but argued that it was well-intentioned. He also provided a Bitcoin wallet address for fellow victims to tip him for his labor.
Since Frömel’s work, anti-virus firm Emsisoft has released decryption software for victims running ARM-based QNAP devices, which reportedly were not supported in Frömel’s release.