On the Cryptolocker Takedown #fail

Bitdefender researchers have identified a number of domains which are still hosting Cryptolocker malware command and control servers, after the takedown attempt by a group of cyber-vigilantes earlier this week.

All of the still active domain names are algorithmically generated, but somehow the cyber-vigilantes failed to take them into account, so the Cryptolocker network is still under full control of its creators. Some domains which were hard-coded into the Cryptolocker virus itself were not included in the takedown, but there seem to be no active command and control servers there at this time.

In any event, successfully sinkholing the entire Cryptolocker network and leaving it at that would create about as many problems as it solves. A takedown attempt must be combined with with some way to retrieve the private keys already present on command and control servers. Otherwise, many victims would be left with absolutely no way to decrypt files already encrypted by Cryptolocker.

About the author


Razvan Stoica is a journalist turned teacher turned publicist and technology evangelist. When Bitdefender isn't paying him to bring complex subjects to wide audiences, he enjoys writing fiction, skiing and biking. Razvan Stoica started off writing for a science monthly and was the chief editor of a science fiction magazine for a short while before moving on to the University of Medicine in Bucharest where he lectured on the English language. Recruited by Bitdefender in 2004 to add zest to the company's online presence, he has fulfilled a bevy of roles within the company since. In his current position, he is primarily responsible for the communications and community-building efforts of the Bitdefender research and technology development arm.


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  • I don’t think a complete take down is legal :)), Even if someone can take all private/public key from “control center servers”, will need approval from any infected bot to decrypt his files
    if 1 pc will crash during the decrypting process, guess who will get blamed:)) facerea de bine…

  • and… is back

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    … .u.n.i.q.u.e. .p.u.b.l.i.c. .k.e.y. .R.S.A.-. .g.e.n.e.r.a.t.e.d. .f.o.r. .t.h.i.s. .c.o.m.p.u.t.e.r
    … n.e.e.d. .t.o. .p.a.y. .3.0.0. .U.S.D. ./. .E.U.R. … W.e. .o.n.l.y. .a.c.c.e.p.t. .B.i.t.c.o.i.n. .a.s. .p.a.y.m.e.n.t
    … y.o.u. .h.a.v.e. .t.o. .p.a.y. .2. .B.T.C

  • I have to agree with Liubomir, A takedown of those servers might guarantee no more computers will be infected. For those that were infected, sad to say but i think it would be better to just cut loses and prevent this from happening again. If congress can pass the SOPA bill which allowed them to block ISP access to certain sites then I believe they should be able to do the same with this so called “RansomWare”… Unless the government doesn’t care for anything other than big businesses.