Is it possible to reverse ransomware encryption?

Richard from Oceanside, CA

Episode 1363 (2:04:32)

Cryptolocker ransomware

Richard got bit by ransomware. He got an email from FedEx saying they couldn't deliver a package and then when he clicked a link, 10 minutes later he got a message saying all his files had been encrypted. They wanted Bitcoin or his data would be lost.

Leo says it's not unusual to either get no key or the key doesn't work if he were to pay up. Richard's son was able to reverse the encryption, though. Leo says if the ransomware bug is poorly written, it's possible to go online and back engineer the encryption key. But that's only for a few cases and Richard got lucky. So just in case, backup that data, format the hard drive, and reinstall windows.

Image by Christiaan Colen [CC BY-SA 2.0]