acute Files Virus (Phobos Ransomware) – Remove It
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acute Files Virus (Phobos Ransomware) – Remove It

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.acute files virus ransomware note

Update August 2019. What is .acute files virus .acute files virus is also known as .acute ransomware and encrypts users’ files while asking for a ransom.

The .acute file virus is a new malware that originates from the well-known Phobos ransomware family. It is a modified version of the original threat and is probably being operated by a yet unknown criminal collective or individual hacker. By taking the familiar behavior patterns it can launch a series of malicious actions that can extract data, steal user data and cause many system issues. The end goal of this threat is to encrypt user data and blackmail the victims. Signs of infection include the generation of a ransomware note and the renaming of files with the .acute extension.

Threat Summary

Name.acute files virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA data locker ransomware designed to damage computer systems and encrypt valuable personal files.
SymptomsImportant files are locked and renamed with the .acute extension. Ransom message insists on payment for a files decryption tool.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .acute files virus

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .acute files virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

.acute Files Virus — Update August 2019

The acute ransomware which processes data wit the .acute file extension has recently been observed in several attack campaigns.

This particular threat is known to enforce a complex ransomware infection which can commit various system changes. It doesn’t require an active Internet connection in order to make the necessary file processing that will encrypt the target user data. This is done according to a built-in list of target user data. The acute ransomware will also run in the background without raising awareness. What’s particularly dangerous about this infection is that it will also process the data found in the available network shares. Several persistent mechanisms are used in order to make the acute virus very difficult to remove. Some of the ransomware code is obfuscated and encrypted making it very hard to detect. When these modules are requested they will be decrypted in real time and called.

.acute Files Virus – Distribution and Impact

The .acute files virus is a new release of the Phobos ransomware which is being spread against victims worldwide. It is very probable that the hackers behind it have customized the main engine by themselves in order to create this custom release. The alternative is for them is to pay other hackers to make the .acute derivative.

The infection data can be distributed using a variety of methods, the most popular of them are the following:

  • Documents and Installers — The hackers can embed the necessary installation scripts via macros in documents and also in setup packages of programs.
  • Scam Emails and Sites — This is one of the most widely used strategies that take advantage of the fact that most computer users can be easily deceived into thinking that they are accessing legitimate contents. The hackers coordinate email campaigns and can craft sites that are hosted on domains that sound legitimate and safe.
  • Malicious Web Browser Extensions — A widely used mechanism for the creation of viruses is the inserting of the relevant code into plugins for the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded to the relevant repositories using fake or stolen developer credentials.

When the .acute files virus is delivered onto a given computer it will immediately start to execute its built-in behavior pattern. Common modules that are run are also part of previous Phobos ransomware strains. An example is information gathering module which can hijack data that can be used to identify both the users and their machines. This is particularly useful for generating unique signatures for every infected host. Furthermore the hard disk and memory scan can reveal if there are any security programs and services available on the computers. The security bypass module can be used to remove or block the execution of applications such as: anti-virus programs, firewalls, sandbox environments, virtual machine hosts.

Usually this is followed by system changes that include modifications to the boot options thereby starting the virus engine when the computer is powered on. In some cases this also disable access to certain recovery menus and options. If any changes are made to the Windows Registry then existing values can be modified or new ones specific to the virus can be added.

One of the most dangerous aspects of having an active .acute files virus infection is the fact that it can be used to deploy other threats including Trojans depending on local conditions or by a trigger made by the hackers. The actual file encryption will follow — target user data will be processed by a powerful cipher according to a built-in list of file type extensions. Like previous Phobos ransomware it will act against data such as the following: archives, backups, databases, multimedia files and etc. All processed files will receive the .acute extension and a ransomware note will be generated in order to blackmail the victims into paying the hackers.

Remove .acute Files Virus and Attempt to Restore Data

The so-called .acute files virus is a threat with highly complex code that heavily damages both essential system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system securely again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could follow our step-by-step removal guide.

In the event that you want to attempt to restore .acute files with the help of alternative data recovery methods, do check step four – Try to Restore files encrypted by .acute Files Virus. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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