A free decryption tool is now available for all Bart ransomware versions

Antivirus vendor Bitdefender obtained the Bart decryption keys from the Romanian police

Users who have had their files encrypted by any version of the Bart ransomware program are in luck: Antivirus vendor Bitdefender has just released a free decryption tool.

The Bart ransomware appeared back in June and stood out because it locked victims' files inside ZIP archives encrypted with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). Unlike other ransomware programs that used RSA public-key cryptography and relied on a command-and-control server to generate key pairs, Bart was able to encrypt files even in the absence of an internet connection.

The original implementation of Bart did have some weaknesses and security researchers from antivirus firm AVG, which is now part of Avast, created a tool that could guess the password for the ransomware's archives using brute-force methods. The decryptor required the user to have at least one unaffected copy of a file that had been encrypted.

In later versions, the Bart developers changed their crypto implementation, rendering the AVG decryptor ineffective. According to Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender, the encryption used by the latest Bart variants is strong and has no obvious flaws.

Despite that, Bitdefender was able to create a decryption tool after the Romanian police provided them with the necessary keys, which were probably obtained during an investigation. The company credits collaboration with the Romanian Police and Europol for its success in creating the tool.

The tool was published on NoMoreRansom.org, a support website for ransomware victims that's maintained by a coalition of security vendors and law enforcement agencies. The website has prevention advice as well as a set of decryption tools that work for various strains of ransomware.

Some researchers believe Bart to be related to another widespread ransomware program, called Locky, that has affected many organizations in 2016. Files affected by this program have the .bart.zip, .bart and .perl extensions.

As always, having a backup plan in place is the best approach to deal with potential ransomware infections, rather than hoping for a free decryption tool that might or might not work for the particular variant that ends up affecting your files.

In the absence of backups, security experts advise against paying ransom because it encourages cybercriminals and doesn't always result in file recovery. The affected files should be saved though in case a solution to recover them is found at a later date.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?