Usually, being infected with ransomware means that you cannot access your files anymore unless you pay a ransom or find another way to release them. Nevertheless, a new tool has been just released letting users move infected files to a new location.
The tool is called CryptoSearch and it is still a beta release, powered by ID Ransomware service. The application comes from the security researcher Michael Gillespie and it was first launched last year.
CryptoSearch was developed for Windows computers and its main purpose is detecting encrypted files and allowing PC users to move them to a new location for future decryption operations.
The tool was also created to connect to ID Ransomware in order to retrieve malware definitions at least once, which means that it cannot function without an Internet connection. Besides, the application will always be updated with the latest available definitions on newly found ransomware families.
Michael Gillespie claims that CryptoSearch was designed this way to deliver increased flexibility when it comes to the detection of encrypted files.
“It will identify files by known filename pattern or extension, or for some variants, the hex pattern in the encrypted file,” Gillespie states.
Once installed, CryptoSearch will connect to the website to fetch the latest available information, and this is the only network activity which can be associated with the application. The tool doesn’t collect or upload data pertaining to the system it is used on, its creator says.
CryptoSearch was developed to save the used definitions to a local file located in the same folder as the application itself. This is what allows the tool to work in offline mode in case the Internet connectivity isn’t available or the ID Ransomware isn’t reachable.
The victims of ransomware can also use this program to manually search for a particular extension or byte pattern. The search options include List Files (lists the encrypted files), List Clean folders (will list folders that are clean and do not have encrypted files), Search Directory (search a specified directory), Search Computer (search the whole computer, all drive letters found, including mapped drives).
When performing the computer scan, users can either use the Export List option to save a list of the encrypted files to a text file, or the Archive Files option to copy or move the encrypted files to another location for archiving. The archived files retain the full folder structure, including the drive letter.
“Please note that this program does not decrypt data. It is simply a tool for users to find exactly what files were encrypted, and optionally move them to another location before cleaning or formatting a system,” the expert explains.