German Programmer ‘Hacks Back’ After Bitcoin Ransomware Attack

Updated : 2019-10-10T00:22:21

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.