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Kaspersky to try to crack encryption in ‘blackmailer’ virus

Antivirus software vendor Kaspersky is launching an international effort to try to crack the encryption used in a “blackmailer” virus that locks up data on a victim’s computer. The company announced the “Stop the Gpcode Virus” initiative Monday and extended a public invitation to all cryptography experts and other researchers, saying it has sufficient information about the virus to enable experts to begin working on factoring the RSA key. Kaspersky also created a special forum for the effort.

Kaspersky Lab said last week that it detected a new version of the ransomware type of Gpcode Virus that essentially holds your data hostage until you pay up. It encrypts files on the hard drive using an RSA algorithm with a 1024-bit key and leaves a message that advises the victim to buy a decryptor and provides an e-mail address to contact. Kaspersky detects the new variant but is unable to crack the encryption key and has analysts working on that. The virus is rated a “moderate risk.”

Source:→ C|Net News

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