AstraLocker operator has announced plans to shut down the ransomware operation. The ransomware developer has also submitted a ZIP archive with AstraLocker decryptors to the VirusTotal malware analysis platform.
“It was fun, and fun things always end sometime. I’m closing the operation, decryptors are in zip files, clean. I will come back. I’m done with ransomware for now. I’m going in cryptojacking lol,” AstraLocker’s developer said.
Cryptojacking is also known as malicious cryptomining. In this attack, cyber criminals hack both business and personal computers, laptops and mobile devices to install software that harnesses the power and resources of the computer to mine for cryptocurrencies or steal crypto wallets owned by unsuspecting victims.
While the developer did not reveal the reason for the shutdown, experts believe it is likely to be due to the sudden publicity from recent reports that would land operators behind bars.
To carry out a ransomware attack, AstraLocker’s operator directly deploy the payloads from email attachments using malicious Microsoft Word documents. Before encrypting files, the ransomware will check if it is running in a virtual machine, kill processes and stop backup and AV services, which would hinder the encryption process.
The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.