Bitdefender anti-malware researchers have released a new vaccine tool that offers protection against the likes of CTB-Locker, Locky and TeslaCrypt. The new tool is available as a free download on the Bitdefender website.

Cătălin Coșoi, Chief Security Strategist, explains:

‘“The new tool is an outgrowth of the Cryptowall vaccine program, in a way. We had been looking at ways to prevent this ransomware from encrypting files even on computers that were not protected by Bitdefender antivirus and we realized we could extend the idea.”

CryptoWall Immunizer as a free download

File-encrypting ransomware has become one of the industry’s biggest challenges, and the cases of ransomware attacks have been consistently growing. That’s how it works: ransomware encrypts files, and you can no longer access your data. Then it demands payment for decrypting your files. The payment is often accepted in bitcoin.

CryptoWall is a family of popular file-encrypting viruses, that has been around for less than 5 months and has already extorted more than $1 million and inflicted inestimable damage on users who refuse to pay ransom. Bitdefender has come up with “CryptoWall Immunizer” and offers it as a free download from the Bitdefender Labs product page.

Cătălin Coșoi says:

“Ransomware is not only technologically challenging for both users and antimalware companies, but its success in extorting money is inspiring other cybercriminal groups to enter the ransomware business,” said Bitdefender Chief Security Strategist Cătălin Coșoi.”The tool we are releasing today blocks the encryption process even if the computer becomes infected.”

An alternative solution

The internet security company, Malwarebytes, also offers a solution to the problem of ransomware. The company acquired EasySync Solutions, and hired its owner, Nathan Scott, after Scott’s company created an application called CryptoMonitor, which Malwarebytes said “was doing an excellent job of stopping ransomware at that time.”

Scott has been leading the anti-ransomware technology development at Malwarebytes for the last few months, and on 25th January, Malwarebytes Labs announced that the Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware application was ready for beta testing.


Nathan Scott says:

“Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware uses advanced proactive technology that monitors what ransomware is doing and stops it cold before it even touches your files. It has no shot at encrypting. And it does not rely on signatures or heuristics, so it’s light and completely compatible with antivirus. This means when running Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, you do not have to worry about getting infected by CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, or CTBLocker. Better yet, it can defeat new ransomware the moment it is released, proactively protecting you from ransomware that’s never even been seen before.”

The battle against ransomware, that many feared could not be won, may end with the security experts victorious, as it would seem from these recent developments that the malware will be all but dead in the water when these vaccines see widespread usage.