THREAT REMOVAL

Black Feather Virus – Remove and Restore .blackfeather Files

stf-black-feather-virus-ransomware-hiddentear-hidden-tear-logo

A ransomware crypto-virus that calls itself Black Feather was recently found by the malware researcher Michael Gillespie. The virus is based on the popular HiddenTear open-source project and uses the AES encryption algorithm to lock files on a compromised computer. Files get locked with a new extension, namely .blackfeather. To see how to remove this ransomware and a possible solution to decrypt your files, carefully read this article.

Threat Summary

NameBlack Feather
TypeRansomware, Crypto-Virus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware will encrypt your files and demand payment of 0.3 Bitcoins, which is nearly 200 US dollars.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt files with different extensions while appending the .blackfeather extension to them. A ransom note with instructions will be shown adterward.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Black Feather.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

Black Feather Virus – Infection Tactics

The new variant of the Black Feather ransomware is probably spread in more than one way. Spam emails are the most common way to be used in the delivery of this virus. The spam email has a very brief description that tries to sound urgent. At the end of the message, it prompts people to read the full message from an attached file or open that attachment for whatever reason. For this ransomware, its malicious payload is inside an Adobe PDF file that is attached to the e-mail. Opening it infects your computer system and later encrypts your data.

That file is coded in a clever way to hide its true file type, by displaying and error message:

→There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired.

Social media sites or file-sharing networks could be used to spread Black Feather, as well. A good tip to avoid infection is to avoid suspicious e-mails, files or links. Always check a file you have downloaded for its signatures and size, plus perform a scan of it with security software. You should read other ransomware prevention tips from our forum.

Black Feather Virus – Closer Inspection

The Black Feather crypto-virus is based on the open-source, HiddenTear project. This ransomware was first discovered by the malware researcher Michael Gillespie.

After the Black Feather ransomware has released its payload file, it possibly creates entries in the Windows Registry, for persistence. Such entries provide an automatic start of the ransomware files with every launch of the Windows operating system. Then it goes to encrypt your files. When all of your data is encrypted, the virus creates the file BLACK_FEATHER.txt. That is the ransom note containing the payment instructions.

The BLACK_FEATHER.txt ransom note file reads the following:

This is a backup of the deposit address.
Send 0.3 BTC to decrypt your files
Validate payment in the program.
1C25YQEAMFJAj2TaUkxGhgvwicKzWhXDQy

Those instructions are left in a file as a backup, but the true instructions show up as a text after the encryption ends. That text is the following:

Welcome to Black Feather.

Thank you for downloading our software.
All of your files have been encrypted with a secure 256-bit HASH.
This means you can no longer access your files without the decryption key.

You can decrypt your files by paying us 0.3 BTC, this will remove the encryption
and give you full access to your files again.

The price that Black Feather ransomware sets is 0,3 Bitcoins which equals to around 185 US dollars from the point of writing this article. You should NOT even think of paying these cybercriminals. They haven’t left any contact, but just an address to the payment system. There is no guarantee that you will receive anything by paying to decrypt your files.

Besides, Michael Gillespie has written that the private key is not sent to any Command and Control servers, so the criminals do not have a way to provide you with it. In other words – you cannot decrypt your data, even if you pay. There might be a decryption method that could work, although your chances might seem slim. Continue to read to see if you can somehow decrypt your files.

Currently, there is no information about what file extension get encrypted by this ransomware, but it is probably the most important files. Those can include pictures, documents, databases, videos, music, etc.

The encrypted files will have a new extension appended to each one of them, which is .blackfeather. The ransomware utilizes the strong AES encryption algorithm. Fear not, as there is a possible solution for decryption available below.

The Black Feather ransomware is very likely to delete the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system. Continue reading to find out how you can try to decrypt all of your files and bring them back to normal.

Remove Black Feather Virus and Restore .blackfeather Files

If your computer got infected with the Black Feather ransomware virus, you should have some experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as fast as possible before it can have the chance of spreading further and infect more PCs. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide given below. To see ways that you can try to recover your data, see the step titled 2. Restore files encrypted by Black Feather.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Black Feather from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Black Feather

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Black Feather and related software 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Black Feather on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Black Feather there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Black Feather with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Black Feather.

Ransomware infections and Black Feather 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.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Black Feather from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Black Feather and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Black Feather:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Black Feather. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Black Feather. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Black Feather via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Black Feather. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Black Feather:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Black Feather.

Ransomware infections and Black Feather 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.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Black Feather FAQ

What is Black Feather ransomware and how does it work?

Black Feather 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Black Feather ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Black Feather Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 Black Feather 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 .Black Feather files?

You can't. At this point the .Black Feather files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Black Feather files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Black Feather ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, 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.

How Do I restore ".Black Feather" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Black Feather files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee 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 Black Feather ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Black Feather ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Black Feather files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Black Feather ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an 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 nothing works?

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.

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