What Is Azazel Virus?
Azazel virus infection infects PCs with the goal to encode valuable files. It corrupts essential system settings to run the built-in cypher module and restrict access to valuable data. The Azazel virus is misused by hackers who aim to blackmail victims into paying a ransom fee. That ransom may be hundreds of dollars which is far from a reasonable amount of money to be given to cybercriminals who will misuse the money for their next malicious campaigns. So, please don’t follow the instructions presented by the ransom message read_it.txt and consider the use of security tools to deal with the problem.
This article will provide more details about Azazel and help you to get rid of all malicious files created by this ransomware. In the end, you can find a few alternative data recovery approaches that may eventually recover some of your .Azazel files.
Azazel Virus Summary
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The Azazel Virus ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .MRAC extension to them.|
|Ransom Demanding Note||read_it.txt|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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Azazel Virus – How Does It Infect?
Azazel ransomware virus is a crypto infection that may be circling around the web by pretending to be:
- File, app, update or torrent file available for free download.
- Redirects to questionable landing pages may try to execute the ransomware infection on computer systems.
- Email attachments and links presented in legitimate-like email messages. A click on the link or view of the attached file runs the malicious payload of the threat and then it becomes able to plague the system.
If Azazel Ransomware has infected your PC via an email attachment, the attachment might have been a document packed with malicious macros. Here is an example of how such an infected document works:
Azazel Virus – What Does It Do?
Before the virus reaches the data encryption stage, it drops a bunch of malicious files that support the completion of its complex attack. The attack consists of a few stages first of which is the infection of essential Windows system directories like:
Corruption of the registry editor of the Windows OS occurs as well. The Azazel virus could misuse the functionalities of specific registry values that will run its files automatically on every system boot. The following registry sub-keys may be infected by the ransomware:
As we mentioned, the last thing Azazel cryptovirus does is to show a ransom message. That message tries to convince victims to contact hackers for more information about the recovery of their encrypted .Azazel files. The file read_it.tx reads the following:
—-> Chaos is multi language ransomware. Translate your note to any language <---- All of your files have been encrypted Your computer was infected with a ransomware virus. Your files have been encrypted and you won't be able to decrypt them without our help.What can I do to get my files back?You can buy our special decryption software, this software will allow you to recover all of your data and remove the ransomware from your computer.The price for the software is $1,500. Payment can be made in Bitcoin only. How do I pay, where do I get Bitcoin? Purchasing Bitcoin varies from country to country, you are best advised to do a quick google search yourself to find out how to buy Bitcoin. Many of our customers have reported these sites to be fast and reliable: Coinmama - hxxps://www.coinmama.com Bitpanda - hxxps://www.bitpanda.com Payment informationAmount: 0.1473766 BTC Bitcoin Address: bc1qlnzcep4l4ac0ttdrq7awxev9ehu465f2vpt9x0
The extension .Azazel appended to the original name of a file indicates that the file has been encoded by the threat and left inaccessible for an unspecified period of time. The encryption module of Azazel virus scans all directories, besides the system directories of Windows and encodes files that may be of the following kinds:
- Audio file formats (.mp3, .wav, etc.).
- Pictures (.jpg, .png, .etc).
- Video file types (.mp4, .avi, etc.).
- Archives (.zip, .rar, etc).
- Document file kinds (.docx, .pptx, etc.).
- Other types of often used data.
After the encryption procedure, the virus attempts to force victims to pay a ransom for the recovery of their .Azazel files. We at SensorsTechForum do not recommend such steps. They are neither secure not reliable.
How to Remove Azazel Virus?
Azazel virus get rid of your computer system by following the removal instructions, posted underneath this article. The main idea of those steps is to help you neutralize the threat either manually or automatically. For the most effective removal, security professionals strongly recommend that you run a scan of your computer system using anti-malware software. Such a security program will effectively help to automatically delete any of the files belonging to this malware.
What is Azazel Ransomware?
Azazel 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 Azazel 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 Azazel?
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 Azazel Infect?
Via several ways.Azazel 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 Azazel 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 .Azazel files?
You can't. At this point, the .Azazel 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 .Azazel files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Azazel" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Azazel 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 Azazel 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 Azazel ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Azazel files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Azazel 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 Azazel 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 Azazel Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Azazel 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.
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.