As a twist of fate of sorts, the people behind TeslaCrypt ceased operations and gave away the decryption key after a little over a year since they spread it, and to show that they regretted their actions, they apologized for the inconvenience they have caused.
The ransomware in this case targets video game files, locking them up and rendering them unusable. To free them up, the victim typically has to pay the hacker a certain fee for the master key.
Surprisingly enough, the cybercriminals announced that they intend to close up shop, and according to the security company ESET, one of its analysts "anonymously contacted the group" via the support channel the hackers provided in light of the event, asking for the decryption key. Needless to say, they handed it over by making it public.
With the key at hand, the fine folks over at ESET were able to create a counteragent against the TeslaCrypt program that can unlock the affected files, and it's called the TeslaDecoder.
"With the release of the master decryption key for TeslaCrypt, victims can now download TeslaDecoder to decrypt files encrypted by TeslaCrypt," Lawrence Abrams, creator of BleepingComputer.com, says.
The ESET researchers explain that the tool works on files with the extensions .xxx, .ttt, .micro, .mp3 and others without one, providing instructions on how to use it properly as well.
Of course, this kind of thing doesn't happen most of the time, so it's advised to exercise caution and keep an eye out for ransomware online.
"[Users] should keep operating system and software updated, use a reliable security solution with multiple layers of protection and regularly backup all important and valuable data at an offline location (such as external storage)," ESET says.
Are you one of the victims of the infamous ransomware TeslaCrypt? If so, let us know in the comments below whether or not the TeslaDecoder worked things out for you.