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Authors of CoinVault Ransomware Arrested by Dutch Police

Softpedia.com reported on 7th September, 2015 stating that Dutch Police have arrested two young individuals suspecting them to be the writers of the infamous CoinVault ransomware that managed to lock tens of thousands of Internauts out of their crucial files.

The CoinVault campaign began in May 2014 and targeted tens of thousands of computers mainly in Europe and US but only managed to infect around 1500. CoinVault used to infect computers running different versions of Windows and then it would encrypt all files of victims until the victim paid a hefty amount in Bitcoin (BTC) like other traditional ransomware style.

Above all, the BTC ransom amount would steadily increase if a target did not pay the amount. Strangely, the CoinVault malware would decrypt one file free of cost just to prove that the scam was real and legitimate.

Security firm Kaspersky while helping Dutch Police in their investigation discovered that CoinVault went through many evolutions during the following months and the likely language used by the authors in the code of the malware.

Threatpost.com published news on 17th September, 2015 quoting Jornt van der Wiel, a Security Researcher of Kaspersky, as saying "A new sample was found in the wild in April 2015 and interestingly it had faultless Dutch phrases all through the binary. Dutch is a relatively complicated language to write without any errors and hence we supposed from the very start of our investigation that there was a Dutch link to the suspected authors of the malware."

The Dutch Police took control of the command-and-control server being used by attackers of CoinVault and after few months, a new version of the ransomware, namely BitCrypt emerged. Researchers say that it may be a direct successor of CoinVault because it contains almost same code.

The good news is that if really the CoinVault busts kill the ransomware, then at least one family will be the past. But CoinVault is not the only ransomware out there as problem regarding ransomware is rising. Researchers said that this is not the end of it but it shows cooperation among private industry and law enforcement can help besides informing the cybercriminals that this is a crime and they will be prosecuted.

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