A cyber-security firm released a free decryptor for the popular and sophisticated “DarkSide” ransomware, enabling victims to recover encrypted files without having to pay. The following day, DarkSide’s operators posted a press release on their data leak website, stating that they had corrected the flaw that had enabled decryption, and that only three companies may have used the decryptor successfully. They also claimed that threat actors using DarkSide would be compensated USD 600,000 to cover any loss of potential profit. Press releases and ensuring “customer” satisfaction have become commonplace as threat groups adopt a business-like approach to ransomware management. Professionalizing operations is likely to remain a focus for ransomware operators in 2021, to attract new customers and more profits.
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