Developers create tool to erase crypto-stealing Syrk malware

The Fortnite video game cheat pack that could wreak havoc for some players and put their cryptocurrency holdings at risk has an easy fix. The cheat pack is actually malware in disguise, hijacking machines and holding files for ransom and compromising crypto wallets. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Emsisoft, a leading antivirus company, has developed a tool that makes removing the infection simple without compromising the integrity of the user’s data. 

Emsisoft announced the free tool through a blog post, explaining, “Syrk masquerades as a free game hack tool for Fortnite. It claims to help users aim more accurately (aimbot) and know the in-game locations of other players (ESP). However, Syrk does much more than help players cheat their way to victory. It also disables your antivirus software and attempts to encrypt and delete files in the Pictures, Desktop and Documents folders. Syrk may be uploaded to file sharing sites and distributed via Fortnite forums.”

The tool works extremely well for Syrk and they have plenty of other tools for other strains of attacks. Emsisoft includes a step-by-step guide to identify the ransomware and clean the infected system, allowing Fortnite players to get back to their favorite game as quickly as possible – hopefully without returning to the use of cheats.

Curiously, Syrk comes with its own decryptor, which can be found in the ransomware’s resource files; however, this doesn’t mean that future versions would include the code, as well. Additionally, if something were to go wrong during that decryption process, the computer files could be permanently lost. Stating the obvious, it isn’t a good idea to trust a decryptor created by the same people that created the hack. Having access to a separate software cleaner is an invaluable resource for users. 

Emsisoft has a lot of experience in the antivirus world and is a major contributor to different cybersecurity endeavors. It is also an associate partner of the No More Ransom Project, an organization that was founded with the assistance of National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol, Kaspersky Lab and more. The goal of the project, according to the group’s website is to “help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.”

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