Feeds

Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

Scary malware so ... er ... simple even an undergrad can crack it

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A university student claims he is set to release a Java application to decrypt the first ransomware to hit Android devices.

The Simplelocker ransomware was revealed 7 June by malware analysts at Eset targeting devices in Eastern Europe.

It encrypted via AES large swathes of files on Android device SD cards demanding users pay a paltry 260 Ukrainian hryvnias (£13) for the data to be decrypted.

True to name, Simplocker was built on rudimentary code, which allowed University of Sussex undergraduate student Simon Bell to pry it apart.

In a technical blog Bell detailed how he reversed Simplocker and would develop an app to pluck the decryption keys stored within.

"This dissection shows how the app encrypts user's files and that information about the phone is sent to a C&C (command and control) server on the TOR network," Bell writes.

"But one important question remains unanswered: would it be possible to decrypt files that have been encrypted by the app without connecting to the C&C server? In other words: can we reverse the damage done by this app?"

His next blog will publish the crypto-cracking app allowing besieged Europeans to free their devices without shelling out to the crims.

Simplelocker was likely a proof of concept malware published by developers who may plan more robust versions that could pull decryption keys from remote servers.

Such a feat would foil whitehat tools such as Bell's app provided the encryption implementation was tight and could not be bypassed with side channel attacks.

Adverts for the seemingly dangerous ransomware trojan dubbed PrisonLocker were discovered in January sparking breathless media reports that the 'unbreakable' and cheap malware could flood underground markets.

More sober analysis by anti-virus firms warned the malware had not yet threatened to displace ransomware kingpin Cryptolocker and remained an over-hyped ad. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.