_INTERESTING_INFORMACION_FOR_DECRYPT.TXT is the ransom note file seen by victims of the latest CryptoMix variant, called Azer. The virus encrypts the files on the computers that have been infected by it, adding the .AZER file extension afterwards. The ransomware then asks it’s victims to contact [email protected] or [email protected] e-mail addresses for payment(extortion) details. If your computer has been infected by this virus, we suggest you to read this article and learn how to get rid of it and try to restore .AZER files without paying the ransom.
|Short Description||CryptoMix variant. Encrypts the files via the AES and RSA ciphers and then asks to contact the cyber-crooks via e-mail to pay a ransom.|
|Symptoms||The files are encrypted with the .AZER file extension added to them. The virus drops a ransom note, named _INTERESTING_INFORMACION_FOR_DECRYPT.TXT.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Azer |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Azer.|
|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.|
How Does .AZER File Virus Distribute
In order to be widely spread, the .AZER infection uses multiple different types of methods. Among those are primarily spam e-mail messages that pretend to be legitimate companies, such as:
The e-mail messages may usually contain notifications that there is a security problem or something else of such importance that may convince the victim into opening a malicious e-mail attachment. The attachments are usually direct infection files or documents that infect the victim after being opened and their macros are enable. The ransomware infection may also reside in web links that pretend to be fake login buttons in those e-mails or other types of URLs that may cause a drive-by download of the payload.
AZER Ransomware – More Information
The AZER ransomware virus is actually yet another variant belonging to the CryptoMix ransomware family. Such variants are particularly interesting to ransomware developers as there have been many new ones deriving from them that have been released in the past month.
Once it has been activated on your computer, the ransomware may begin it’s malicious activity. The virus may gain administrative privileges in order to allow it to perform changes in the files’ names and to encrypt the files while remaining undetected. The virus may also perform a set of other activities on the infected computer:
- Modify the Windows Registry Editor by adding value strings in multiple registry sub-keys.
- Delete backups and disable system recovery mode.
- Disable security software.
Among the activity of .AZER file virus is to create a ransom note, named _INTERESTING_INFORMACION_FOR_DECRYPT.TXT with the following content:
Azer Ransomware – Encryption Process
The encryption process of the .AZER file virus is conducted in multiple different stages. The first stage is for the virus to obtain permissions to scan for and encrypt files. Then, the malware begins looking for file types. Azer is preconfigured to encrypt files that are important, if it detects them, while in the same time carefully avoiding important Windows system files to not break the operating system. The virus encrypted by it are of the following character:
- Audio files.
- File types associated with often used programs, like Adobe Reader, Photoshop.
- Virtual Drives.
After having detected the files, the Azer virus begins to apply encryption mode that encodes the files via the AES encryption algorithm. This then generates a unique symmetric key for decryption. The files and the key are then further encrypted with the aid of the RSA-1024 encryption algorithm. These files then have their names changed with the e-mail of the virus, a random name and the .AZER file extension as a suffix. They end up looking like the following:
Remove Azer Ransomware and Restore .AZER Encrypted Files
For the removal process of Azer ransomware virus it is advisable to first backup the encrypted files for when malware researchers release a decryptor.
Then, we recommend removing the ransomware virus by following the removal instructions below. They are divided in either manual or automatic removal instructions. Since manual removal may be risky for your computer as Azer tampers with system files, security experts advise victims to use the automatic removal instructions for the removal process. They include the installation of a ransomware-specific tool which will ensure the safe removal of Azer and future protection.
If you want to restore files encrypted by this virus, immediately, be advised that it is possible if you try out the alternative methods which we have suggested below in step “2. Restore
files encrypted by Azer” below.