Decryption keys for the Cryakl ransomware have been released to the No More Ransom website following an operation led by Belgian police, assisted by security software firm Kaspersky Lab.
It comes after an investigation by the Belgian Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU), which investigated the Cryakl ransomware following a report by a Belgian national who had become a victim of the malware.
The FCCU investigation discovered that the command and control server was in one a neighbouring country and was able, therefore, to get a warrant, seize the server and call in forensic analysts to retrieve the decryption keys, with Kaspersky providing technical expertise.
"Our regular advice in the case of ransomware attacks is: please don't pay the ransom," said Jornt van der Wiel, security researcher in the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab.
He continued: "A number of cyber security experts work worldwide to help the victims, creating new, previously non-existent tools for decryption. Free decryption keys for Cryakl ransomware can be considered as proof of this policy and yet another reminder that there is always a chance of winning in the fight with criminals."
Cryakl encodes personal files use AES and RSA encryption algorithms, and demands that users email one of a number of different addresses in order to arrange payment and the delivery of a decryption key (assuming that the criminals behind the ransomware are feeling generous - many simply just take the money).
Cryakl was one of a plethora of ransomware released during 2017. Certain variants of Cryakl could already be removed with Kaspersky's RannoDecyptor application.
Alternatively, it's possible to simply reboot in "Safe Mode with Networking", download a legitimate anti-malware application, such as Malwarebytes and use that to identify the malicious files and delete them.
Cryakl is one of 52 ransomware packages now decryptable via the No More Ransom website, and 35,000 people have downloaded decryption keys.
The No More Ransom initiative is supported by Europol, the European Cybercrime Centre, as well as anti-virus software companies Kaspersky and McAfee. The Dutch National Police are also associate partners, as is the Belgian Federal Police.
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Malware has been in circulation for more than a year