The AutoWannaCryV2 Virus is a test release ransomware targeting English-speaking users on a global scale. The currently released samples of it are early versions that may be updated in further iterations. Refer to our in-depth article for a technical analysis and full removal instructions.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .wannacryv2 extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss AutoWannaCryV2.|
|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.|
AutoWannaCryV2 Virus – Distribution Ways
The AutoWannaCryV2 virus is a new ransomware threat that has been detected in the end of July this year. According to the available reports it seeks to primarily target English-speaking users from around the world.
At this point the number of captured samples is low and this does not give out the main delivery method. The hackers behind the AutoWannaCryV2 virus can use all available methods in order to spread the danger.
One of the common tactics is the creation and coordination of email phishing campaigns. They send bulk messages in a SPAM like manner containing web elements taken from various well-known companies or services. The criminals seek to confuse the users into thinking that they have received a legitimate message. The AutoWannaCryV2 virus is usually embedded somewhere in the body contents or directly attached to these fake notification messages.
Another mechanism is the distribution of fake download sites, they attempt to mimic real-world services and portals that are frequently visited by computer users. Along with the emails they are the most popular choice for spreading infected payloads:
- Infected Documents — The criminals can leverage documents of various types (presentations, rich text files, spreadsheets) with the virus code. Once the files are downloaded and run by the victim users a notification pop-up message will be presented which prompts them to enable the built-in scripts. As soon as this is done the infection will follow.
- Installers — The same strategy can be applied to application setup packages. The hackers take the installers of famous software from the vendor official sites and bundle them with the ransomware dropper code. The users will have no clue that they are installing the virus as the application guides them through the usual setup steps.
Another dangerous scenario is the inclusion of the virus code in browser hijackers — they represent malicious browser extensions that are usually spread on the associated plugin repositories. They are advertised as useful plugin additions and makes use of fake developer credentials and user reviews.
AutoWannaCryV2 Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The AutoWannaCryV2 virus has undergone a basic security scan that shows that it is descendant from the AutoIt ransomware family. This is a common threat type that uses scripting languages and builders in order to program the virus’s operations.
The fact that the virus is written using this technology makes it very easy for the hackers to customize the behavior patterns.
An example customized version of the AutoWannaCryV2 virus can begin with a data harvesting module. It is configured to extract sensitive data about the users and their computers. This includes personally identifiable information that can be used to directly expose the victim’s identity. This includes their name, address, phone number, location, interests and passwords. Another type of data that can be acquired is information related to the campaign optimization metrics. This is a collection of information that is used to optimize the attacks and consists of information about the installed hardware components and certain operating system values.
This data can then be used by the stealth protection module which can protect the virus engine from security software. This is done by scanning the local system for signatures of anti-virus programs, debuggers and other applications that can intefere with the ransomware’s correct execution. This can result in the blocking of the real-time engines or the deletion of the program altogether.
As soon as this is done the threat may continue with further system changes. A list of some of the possible actions can include any of the following:
- Windows Registry Changes — The malicious engine can proceed with modifications to the Windows Registry. If they target the entries belonging to the operating system then the overall performance may drop. If individual applications are affected then certain functions may stop working properly.
- Persistent Installation — The AutoWannaCryV2 virus can be installed in a persistent way. This means that it will modify the boot options by disabling the ability to enter into the recovery boot menu. The threat will be automatically started once the computer is booted.
- Trojan Component — In certain cases a Trojan component can be installed and started. The most common type is the use of a hacker-controlled server which is used by the controllers. By connecting to it the criminal operator will have access to the victim system’s files. In addition this option allows the hackers to spy on the victims in real time.
- Additional Virus Installaton — The AutoWannaCryV2 virus infection can be used to deploy additional threats to the infected computers.
Other modifications can be addded at any given time by the hackers. Advanced ransomware can contact the hacker-controlled server in order to acquire newer modules.
AutoWannaCryV2 Virus — Encryption
Once all prior tasks have complete the AutoWannaCryV2 virus will launch the ransomware module. Like other similar AutoIt-based it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. Typically they include the most popular file types:
All affected files are renamed with the .wannacryv2 extension. Instead of a ransomware note it launches a pop-up message reading the:
All your files encrypted! By wannacryV2
Spent time on encryption: 318 seconds
The ransomware engine drops an executable program called wanna cry v2 decryptor.exe that servers as the decryption tool. The sample versions distributed by the hackers can be made into unlocking the victim files with the “123qe” string.
Remove AutoWannaCryV2 Ransomware Virus and Restore .wannacryv2 Files
If your computer got infected with the AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 Ransomware?
AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2?
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 AutoWannaCryV2 Infect?
Via several ways.AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 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 .AutoWannaCryV2 files?
You can't. At this point, the .AutoWannaCryV2 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 .AutoWannaCryV2 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".AutoWannaCryV2" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .AutoWannaCryV2 files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 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 AutoWannaCryV2 Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this AutoWannaCryV2 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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