.aes128ctr Ransomware — Update August 2019
A new version of the .aes128ctr ransomware, otherwise known as MegaCortex has been discovered in a worldwide attack release. The new release is designated as Megacortex v2 in the security reports and at the moment it appears to target enterprise targets both in Europe and across the United States.
In the moment instead of sending out the common phishing strategies the infection is distributed via other threats, examples include Emotet and Qbot.
As soon as the payload is dropped into the target systems the main engine will be automatically started. This particular threat includes the possibility to infect other hosts available on the local network. This is made possible by first running an security bypass function — the ransomware will identify if there are any installed and running software that may block the proper functioning of the .aes128ctr files virus:
- Anti-Virus Engines
- Intrusion Detection Software
- Virtual Machine Hosts and Debug/Programmer Environments
The main MegaCortex ransomware is delivered in an encrypted form and decrypted in real-time, this is made in order to make it harder to notice the infection. What’s more dangerous is that this updated veresion of the .aes128ctr ransomware (MegaCortex v2 Ransomware) can be programmed to execute a variety of other threats, especially in this case when it is directed against enterprise users.
The .aes128ctr ransomware is a new virus which is also known as the MegaCortex ransomware. At this moment there is no information available about the origins of the attacks and the criminal collective behind it. We anticipate that the most popular mechanisms will be used. They include the creation of email SPAM campaigns which are used to pose as legitimate and well-known companies and services that coerce the victims into thinking that they need to interact with a given script or file.
A similar mechanism is the creation of malware sites that impersonate search engines, portals, landing pages and etc. They are hosted on similar sounding domain names that may seem safe to the victims. To make them appear as more legitimate the hackers can host the sites with security certificates that can be either stolen or self-signed.
The relevant .aes128ctr ransomware code can also be bundled with payload carriers such as setup files and malware documents. Popular applications which are targeted include the most popular software which are used by end users. When it comes to documents all of the most popular formats can be affected: presentations, text documents, databases and spreadsheets. In other cases the necessary virus code can be placed in browser hijackers which are dangerous plugins made for the most popular web browsers. The malware samples are uploaded to the repositories of the web browsers with fake credentials and reviews.
The available information about the virus is that it will launch a complex file encryption process which appear to be run as soon as the infection is made. It is very possible that other modules will be launched as well:
- Information Gathering — The .aes128ctr ransomware like other popular threats can be configured to hijack sensitive data that can reveal information about the infected machines and can reveal private information about the victim users. Some of the samples have been confirmed to be harvest the following data: cryptographic strings, CPU information, active computer name, processes and Windows Registry values.
- Security Bypass — Any programs that can block the normal virus infections can be bypassed by advanced ransomware: anti-virus engines, firewalls, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts.
- System Changes — All kinds of modifications can be done to the system. They can include boot changes which will automatically start the threat as soon as the computer is powered on. If Windows Registry changes are made then unexpected errors and data loss can occur.
- Additional Malware Delivery — In certain situations active .aes128ctr ransomware infections can be used to deploy other threats such as Trojans, miners and hijackers.
What’s dangerous about the MegaCortex ransowmare is that it has the ability to manipulate a wide range of system services and options:
- Software Policy Settings — This means that the ransomware engine will reconfigure the options used by individual applications and services. A common reason for doing so is the lowering of the security options which can trigger easier infections for other types of malware: hijackers and miners for example.
- Proxy Settings — Such changes will redirect the victim’s Internet traffic via a proxy server thus enabling the hackers to spy on all of their activity.
- Running Applications Monitoring — At any time the virus engine can scan the running processes and hook up to them which means that the criminals will be able to spy on the activities of the users.
As soon as all modules have finished running the actual encryption will start. A very strong cipher will be applied to sensitive user data, usually a built-in list of target file type extensions will be used. When processed the associate .aes128 ctr extension will be applied to them. In order to blackmail the victims into paying the hackers a decryption fee a ransomware note called !!!_READ_ME_!!!.tx will be made.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly restore them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will blackmail the victims to pay them a decryption fee. Sensitive user data may be encrypted by the ransomware code.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .aes128ctr Ransomware.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows 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.|
.aes128ctr Ransomware – What Does It Do?
.aes128ctr Ransomware could spread its infection in various ways. A payload dropper which initiates the malicious script for this ransomware is being spread around the Internet. .aes128ctr Ransomware might also distribute its payload file on social media and file-sharing services. Freeware which is found on the Web can be presented as helpful also be hiding the malicious script for the cryptovirus. Read the tips for ransomware prevention from our forum.
.aes128ctr Ransomware is a cryptovirus that encrypts your files and shows a window with instructions on your computer screen. The extortionists want you to pay a ransom for the alleged restoration of your files. The main engine could make entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence, and interfere with processes in Windows.
The .aes128ctr Ransomware is a crypto virus programmed to encrypt user data. As soon as all modules have finished running in their prescribed order the lockscreen will launch an application frame which will prevent the users from interacting with their computers. It will display the ransomware note to the victims.
You should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom sum. Your files may not get recovered, and nobody could give you a guarantee for that.
The .aes128ctr Ransomware cryptovirus could be set to erase all the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system with the help of the following command:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
If your computer device was infected with this ransomware and your files are locked, read on through to find out how you could potentially restore your files back to normal.
Remove .aes128ctr Ransomware
If your computer system got infected with the .aes128ctr Files ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
What is .aes128ctr Ransomware Ransomware?
.aes128ctr Ransomware is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.
Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.
Can .aes128ctr Ransomware Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like .aes128ctr Ransomware?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does .aes128ctr Ransomware Infect?
Via several ways..aes128ctr Ransomware Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment.
This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way you may become a victim of .aes128ctr Ransomware is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.
How to Open ..aes128ctr Ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the ..aes128ctr Ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your ..aes128ctr Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore "..aes128ctr Ransomware" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..aes128ctr Ransomware files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of .aes128ctr Ransomware Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate .aes128ctr Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..aes128ctr Ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like .aes128ctr Ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can .aes128ctr Ransomware Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the .aes128ctr Ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .aes128ctr Ransomware how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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