After being fooled into a bitcoin ransomware scheme, the German programmer Tobias Frömel plans on getting revenge on his assailants by hacking them for their decryption database.
After being fooled into the scheme and giving the criminals bitcoin in order to unlock access to his computer files, Frömel has decided he wants payback.
Frömel was able to hack the database of his assailants and therefore freeing up the decryption keys to assist others affected by the scheme.
Now technically, the counter hack was actually illegal…
In a forum post published on BleepingComputer, Frömel admits that it wasn’t technically legal what he did but because of the circumstances, put it down to ‘good faith’.
“i hacked back this criminal and get the whole database with keys, here it is...and yeah, i know it was not legal from me too but he used already hacked servers with several webshells on it... and im not the bad guy here :D.”
This puts a whole new meaning on taking the law into your own hands, doesn’t it?
The German programmer posted the database of decryption keys as well as steps for users who were affected by the ransomware. Tobias claimed to have lost just shy of 700 euros in paying the ransom to gain access to his computer files. However, he posted his BTC address for philanthropic forum-goers to support his anti-hacking efforts.
Earlier this year, the county of Indiana decided to pay ransomware extortionists an overall total of $130k in bitcoin so its systems can be decrypted.
Eric Tamashasky, a local cyber crimes expert, warned that paying ransoms is a risk. He was quoted as saying:
“You are taking an incredible risk by paying it because there is no guarantee that the person who committed the crime is going to honor the deal when you transfer them bitcoin to an untraceable deep web account.”
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. For more news on this and other crypto updates, keep it with CryptoDaily!