Ransomware, named VenusLocker, using AES-256 and RSA-2048 ciphers to encrypt files of infected computers has appeared in the wild, leaving the encoded objects with a .Venusf extension added to them. To purchase back their files, the users are given instructions and a deadline to pay the hefty sum of 0.15 BitCoins. The ransomware also uses a lock-screen mechanism to block the user from using the computer. Users who have become victims of this cyber-threat are advised not to pay the ransom money, remove VenusLocker from their computers and try alternative methods like the ones in this article to restore their files.
|Short Description||The ransomware uses 256-bit AES and RSA ciphers to encrypt files with an asymmetric algorithm to generate a decryption key different than the encryption one.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will lock all your files with .Venusf extension appended to them and put a ransom note in your PC. The note states that you have to pay the equivalent of 0.5 Bitcoins for decryption.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Suspicious Sites|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss VenusLocker Ransomware|
VenusLocker Ransomware – How Does It Spread
To replicate successfully and infect user PCs, the creators of VenusLocker may have undertaken a massive e-mail spam campaign. The messages of the e-mails sent to users may contain false names of people or companies that may be familiar to the user, such as the following examples of topics:
- “Your PayPal Receipt.”
- “Your account confirmation.”
- “Your bank account details.”
- “Your account has been discontinued.”
The e-mails may contain malicious attachments which are obfuscated and disguised as if they are legitimate documents. Another form of infection via those mails is to use malicious URL web links.
VenusLocker Ransomware – More Information
Once entered the computer, VenusLocker may situate its malicious files under different names in the following Windows locations:
After this, it modifies heavily the Windows Registry Editor. VenusLocker may attack and compromise the following registry keys:
To encrypt files, VenusLocker uses an AES-256 encryption algorithm – one of the strongest in the world, which is military grade and also used by the NSA. After encryption it generates a unique AES unlock key which is also encrypted with another military grade cipher – RSA-2048 bit. VenusLocker ransomware may attack the following types of files:
After encryption, VenusLocker locks the screen and drops a ReadMe.txt file, displaying the following ransom instructions on how to contact the cyber-criminals and pay the ransom money:
→“—————————————- Venus Locker ————————————
Unfortunately, you are hacked.
1. What happened to my files?
Your personal files, including your photos, documents, videos and other important files on this computer, have been encrypted
with RSA-4096, a strong encryption algorithm. RSA algorithm generates a public key and a private key for your computer. The
public key was used to encrypt your files a moment ago. The private key is necessary for you to decrypt and recover your files.
Now, your private key is stored on our secret Internet server. And there is no doubt that no one can recover your files without
your private key.
For further information about RSA algorithm, please refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
2. How to decrypt my files?
To decrypt and recover your files, you have to pay 100 US Dollars for the private key and decryption service. Please note that
you have ONLY 72 HOURS to complete your payment. If your peyment do not be completed within time limit, your private key will be
deleted automatically by our server. All your files will be permanently encrypted, and nobody can recover them. Therefore, it is advised that you’d better not waste your time because there is no other way to recover your files except making a payment.
3. How to pay for my private key?
There are three steps to make a payment and recover your files:
1). For the security of transactions, all the payments must be completed via Bitcoin network. Thus, you need to exchange 100 US dollars
(or equivalent local currencies) to Bitcoins, and then send these Bitcoins (about 0.15 BTC) to the following address.
2). Send your personal ID to our official email: VenusLocker@mail2tor.com
Your personal ID is cc673bcfcf644d2c1a88893cb0ff8fa7
3). You will receive a decryptor and your private key to recover all your files within one working day.
4. What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. It is based on an open-source cryptographic protocol that is independent of any central authority. Bitcoins can be transferred through a computer or a smartphone without an intermediate
5. How to make a payment with Bitcoin?
You can make a payment with Bitcoin based on Bitcoin Wallet or Based on Perfect Money. You can choose the way that is more convenient for you.
About Based on Bitcoin Wallet
1) Create a Bitcoin Wallet. We recommend Blockchain.info (https://blockchain.info/)
2) Buy the necessary amount of Bitcoins. Our recommendations are as follows.
LocalBitcoins.com — the fastest and easiest way to buy and sell Bitcoins.
CoinCafe.com — the simplest and fastest way to buy, sell and use Bitcoins.
BTCDirect.eu — the best for Europe.
CEX.IO — Visa / MasterCard
CoinMama.com — Visa / MasterCard
HowToBuyBitcoins.info — discover quickly how to buy and sell Bitcoins in your local currency.
3) As mentioned above, send about 0.15 BTC (equivalent to 100 USD) to our Bitcoin receiving address.
4) As mentioned above, and then, send us your personal ID via email, you will receive your private key soon.
About Based on Perfect Money
1) Create a Perfect Money account. (https://perfectmoney.is)
2) Visit to PMBitcoin.com. (https://pmbitcoin.com/btc)
Input our Bitcoin receiving an address in the “Bitcoin Wallet” textbox.
input 100 in the “Amount” textbox, the amount of Bitcoin will be calculated automatically.
click “PAY” button; then you can complete your payment with your Perfect Money account and local debit card.
6. If you have any problem, please feel free to contact us via official email.
VenusLocker Team” Source: Infected Users
VenusLocker ransomware also changes the wallpaper to the following image:
Remove VenusLocker and Try to Get Back The Files
To remove VenusLocker ransomware, we strongly advise you to follow the instructions below. They are methodologically arranged to assist deleting this virus. However, since VenusLocker ransomware may create different files on your computer, it is strongly advisable to use an advanced anti-malware program which will take care swiftly of all associated objects with VenusLocker on your computer.
VenusLocker ransomware has been created for one purpose – profit via online extortion. The cyber-criminals use advanced mechanisms and directly decrypting files is next to impossible, unless researchers discover holes in the code which can help decrypt files. We are currently monitoring the situation and will provide a download link for a free decryptor on this web page once it is released. In the meantime, we strongly advise you to make copies of the encrypted files and try using the file restoration methods in step “3. Restore files encrypted by VenusLocker” below.
Manually delete VenusLocker from your computer
Note! Substantial notification about the VenusLocker threat: Manual removal of VenusLocker requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.