New ransomware decryptor recovers data from partially encrypted files

MuzzMelbourne

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Mar 13, 2022
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A new 'White Phoenix' ransomware decryptor allows victims to partially recover files encrypted by ransomware strains that use intermittent encryption.

Intermittent encryption is a strategy employed by several ransomware groups that alternates between encrypting and not encrypting chunks of data. This method allows a file to be encrypted much faster while still leaving the data unusable by the victim.

In September 2022, Sentinel Labs reported that intermittent encryption is gaining traction in the ransomware space, with all big RaaS offering it at least as an option to affiliates and BlackCat/ALPHV having seemingly the most sophisticated implementation.
However, according to CyberArk, which developed and published 'White Phoenix,' this tactic introduces weaknesses to the encryption, as leaving parts of the original files unencrypted creates the potential for free data recovery.

Ransomware operations that use intermittent encryption include BlackCat, Play, ESXiArgs, Qilin/Agenda, and BianLian.
 

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