This article provides a detailed removal guide to the new variant of GlobeImposter ransomware virus and recovery alternatives for corrupted .astra files.
The .astra file virus is a malware of ransomware type that corrupts target data stored on the infected machines and extorts ransom from victims. The threat appears to be a new iteration of the GlobeImposter ransomware that employs massive attack campaigns generally against European and American users. After two versions that have been released last week – .725 and ..726, security researchers reported another one that renames encrypted files with the malicious file extension .astra and drops a ransom note file called here_your_files!.html
|Name||.astra File Virus|
|Short Description||Globeimposter ransomware encrypts files on your computer, appends the extension .astra to them and displays a ransom message afterward.|
|Symptoms||Your valuable files become inaccessible and are renamed with the extension .astra. For their decryption a ransom note appears on the PC screen and demands a ransom payment.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .astra File Virus.|
|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.|
.astra File Virus – Spread Techniques
The authors of .astra file virus are using spam email campaigns as a preferred spread technique of the ransomware payloads. The emails usually pose as legitimate sources and provide file attachments that need to be downloaded and started on the PC. It is known that GlobeImposter ransomware code may be hidden in one of the following file types:
→.docx, .exe, .js, .wsf, .hta, .vbs, .htm
The files can be zipped in an archive file and once you double click them after the unzipping they cause the ransomware infection. Exceptions are the .docx files that mainly contain the ransomware payload as an embedded content that should be enabled to trigger the infection.
.astra File Virus – More Information
Once the malicious file is executed it connects a hacked domain controlled by hackers, downloads .astra file virus and runs it. Additionally, the threat drops more malicious files and creates processes to support its effective system infection. Some of the processes set the Windows system to avoid sleep mode so the ransomware can encrypt the target files. Others are used for adding the malicious payload in the start group of Windows apps through the registry editor. For the purpose .astra file virus may add new registry value strings in the following keys:
This allows its payloads to be executed automatically whenever the system starts.
To prevent file restore from the Shadow Volume copies, it runs the command line “vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet” and removes all shadows.
Finally, the ransomware generates and drops an HTML file in all folders that contain encrypted files. The file is called here_your_files!.html. It informs that particular files have been encrypted and provides instructions on how to pay to get them back. Below you can see the beginning of the .astra file virus ransom message:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. lf you want to restore them, write us in TOR Browser, hxxp://cr7icbfqm64hixta.onion, Install the TOR Browser from this link http.//torproject.org ,in body of your message write your ID
You have to pay for decryption Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1 Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bicoins and beginners guide here:
• Do not rename encrypted files.
• Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss…
It is not clear what the demanded ransom amount is, however it should be transferred in Bitcoins. To prevent further malware attacks it is NOT recommended contacting criminals and under no circumstances paying the ransom. There is no guarantee that cyber criminals will be strict enough to send back the decryption key even after the ransom payment.
.astra File Virus – Encryption Process
The ransomware first scans files in all of the partitions on the infected machine. It then encrypts almost each file that potentially contains valuable information – documents, images, videos, music, text files, databases, archives, projects, etc. It reads the file and if it is not part of its exclusion list then encrypts the file content using the RSA algorithm overwriting the original content with encrypted content. Afterward, it appends .astra to each encrypted file name to identify that the file has been encrypted. Since GlobeImposter uses an RSA-2048 cipher algorithm to encrypt files, it’s very hard to be cracked. The good news is that alternative data recovery solutions are available and may help to get back some .astra files. Check step “Restore files encrypted by .astra File Virus” from the ransomware removal instructions below.
Remove .astra File Virus and Restore Data
The .astra file virus should be removed as soon as possible from the infected computer because its presence endangers your new files and the security of the whole system. Beware that it has a complex code that has modified various system settings, values, and processes in order to ensure its stable attendance on the PC. For the best removal results, security experts recommend the assistance of professional anti-malware tool.
After the removal process, it is good to back up all encrypted .astra files and then try to recover some of them as it is pointed at step “Restore files encrypted by .astra File Virus” below.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .astra File Virus
Step 2: Uninstall .astra File Virus and related malware from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .astra File Virus on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by .astra File Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for .astra File Virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .astra File Virus.
Ransomware infections and .astra File Virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.
Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.
.astra File Virus FAQ
What is .astra File Virus Ransomware?
.astra File Virus 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 .astra File Virus Ransomware Damage My Computer?
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. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Ransomware, like .astra File Virus?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware 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. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.
How Does .astra File Virus Ransomware Infect My Computer?
Via several ways..astra File Virus 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 .astra File Virus 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 ..astra File Virus files?
You can't. At this point, the ..astra File Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your ..astra File Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by .astra File Virus ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.
Can I Restore "..astra File Virus" Files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..astra File Virus 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 Do I Get Rid of .astra File Virus 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 .astra File Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..astra File Virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like .astra File Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.
What to Do If I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?
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 it can be re-downloaded from the web.
-Another clever way to get back some of your files 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 Prevent .astra File Virus 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. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.
Can .astra File Virus 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. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.
Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can affect 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 to 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 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, 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 .astra File Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .astra File Virus 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.
1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware
Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
How to recognize trustworthy sources:
- Always check "About Us" web page.
- Profile of the content creator.
- Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
- Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.