The Blank ransomware is a newly discovered virus that appears to be an original threat created by an unknown individual or group. It appends the .blank extension to the affected files and can modify essential system settings.
|Short Description||The main goal of the Blank Ransomware is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.|
|Symptoms||The LockMe ransomware component processes target files and renames them with the .blank extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Blank |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Blank.|
|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.|
Blank Ransomware – Infection Process
The Blank ransomware can be distributed using different strategies. Depending on the specific attack campaign the hackers can utilize various mechanisms that can be customized in order to maximize the infection ratio. Usually the most popular way is to coordinate email spam messages that include social engineering elements. The hackers distribute these messages in order to convince the users into interacting with a malicious element that leads to the virus Blank ransomware infection.
The emails themselves can be contain file attachments that lead to the infections once they are executed. In certain situations they can be placed in archives protected by passwords, the required strings can be placed in the body contents. The hackers can also combine this with hyperlinks that link to offsite hosted instances. In the last few years two specific delivery mechanisms have become popular.
The first one involves the distribution of malware software installers that represent hacker-modified instances of popular software. They can be trial or free versions that are familiar to most computer users. The criminals download the legitimate files from the official vendor sites which are then modified to include the malware code. They are then attached or linked in the email messages. Another virus distribution mechanism relies on infected documents that can made in various types: rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. As soon as they are opened a notification prompt appears which asks the users to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the malware infection is launched.
Browser hijackers can deliver the Blank ransomware as part of their behavior patterns. They represent malware browser plugins that seek to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled site. This is done by changing important settings of the most popular web browsers. Usually such threats are made compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. Malware payloads can also be distributed on hacker-controlled sites and file sharing networks such as BitTorrent.
Blank Ransomware – Analysis and Activity
A security analysis was made on the captured Blank ransomware samples. According to the results this is an original threat that does not correspond to any of the famous malware families. No information is available about the hackers behind it as well — it may be a single criminal or a hacker collective.
As soon as the infection have been deployed the Blank ransomware malware engine is started. The analysts discovered that an information gathering module is started which starts to extract sensitive data about the computer users and the compromised system. The security experts usually classify the data into two main categories:
- Personally-Identifiable Data — The computer criminals can use the harvested data to directly expose the victims identity. This includes data such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, preferences, account credentials and passwords.
- Anonymous Data — This information consists mainly of data related to the operating system: version information, available hardware components and etc.
The Blank ransomware has been found to be particularly interested in the regional settings defined by the victims. This is used in order to select an appropriate version of the ransomware note. Advanced ransomware strains have been found to contain notes in different languages. By reviewing the selected language and region the virus can automatiaclly select the most approprite one.
Once the module has executed succesfully the Blank ransomware proceeds with system changes. They can modify the Windows Registry in order to cauese a persistent state of execution. As a consequence the users will find it impossible to remove the virus infection as the engine will automatically revert their changes. Registry modifications can cause certain applications to fail, as well as system services. The operating system boot loader configuration files can be changed in order to disable the recovery options.
In order to make data recovery difficult the code can remove the found Shadow Volume Copies. In such cases only the use of a professional data recovery utility can restore the affected data.
The virus has been found to use a modular framework that can be updated with additional components. A popular examle is the addition of a Trojan module which can allow the hacker operators to spy on the victims activities in real time as well as take over control of their machines.
Blank Ransomware – Encryption Process
Once all components have exexcuted correctly the ransomware component is launched. It uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. The captured samples are effective against the following:
.cfr .ytd .sngw .tst .skudef .clem .sims3pack .hbr .hkx .rgt .ggpk .ttarch2 .hogg .spv .bm2 .lua
.dff .save .rgssad .scm .aud .rxdata .mcmeta .bin .mpqe .rez .xbe .grle .bf .iwd .vpp_pc .scb .naz
.m2 .xpk .sabs .nfs13save .gro .emi .wad .15 .vfs .drs .taf .m4s .player .umv .sgm .ntl .esm .qvm
.arch00 .tir .bk .sabl .bin .opk .vfs0 .xp3 .tobj .rcf .sga .esf .rpack .DayD,rofile .qsv .gam .bndl
.u2car .psk .gob .1rf .1t, .iqm .i3c1 .acm .SC2Replay .xfbin .db0 .fsh .dsb .cry .osr .gcv .blk .4
.1zc .umod .w3x .mwm .crf .tad .pbn .14 .pp e .ydc .fmf .swe .nfsllsave .tgx .trf .atlas .20 .game
.rw .rvproj2 .sc1 .1sd .pkz .rim .bff .gct .9 .fpk .pk3 .osf .bns .cas .1f1 .rbz .sex .mrm .mca .hsv
.vpt .pff .i3chr .tor .01 .utx .kf .dzip .fxcb .modpak .ydr .frd .bmd .vpp .gcm .frw .baf .edf .w3g
.mtf .tf c .1pr .pk2 .cs2 .fps .osz .1nc .jpz .tinyid .ebm .i3exec .ert .sv4 .cbf .oppc .enc .rmv
.mta .otd .pk7 .gm .cdp .cmg .ubi .hpk .plr . mis .ids .replay_last_battle .z2f .map .ut4mod .dm_l
.p3d .tre .package .streamed .12r .xbf .wep .evd .dxt .bba, .profile .vmt .rpf .0 cs .lab .cow .ibf
.tew .bix .uhtm .txd .jam .ugd .13 .dc6 .vdk .bar .cvm .wso .xxx .zar .anm .6 .ant .ctp .sv5 .dnf
.he0 .mve .emz .e4 mod .gxt .bag .arz .tbi .itp .i3animpack .vtf .afl .ncs .gaf .ccw .tsr .bank .lec
.pk4 .psv .los .civ5save .r1v .nh .sco .ims .epc .rg m .res .wld .sve .db1 .dazip .vcm .rvm .eur
.me2headmorph .azp .ags .12 .slh .cha .wowsreplay .dor .ibi .bnd .zse .ddsx .mcworld .intr .vdf .mtr
.addr .blp .mlx .d2i .21 .tlk .gml .n2pk .ekx .tas .rav .ttg .spawn .osu .oac .bod .dcz .mgx .wowpreplay
.fuk .kto .fda .vo b .ahc .rrs .ala .mao .udk .jit .25 .swar .nav .bot .jdf .32 .mul .sz.s .gax .xmg .udm
.zdk .dcc .blb .wxd .isb .pt2 .utc .card .lug .3 Q3SaveGame .osk .nut .unity .cme .elu .db7 .hlk .ds1 .wx
.bsm .13z .itm .clz .zfs .3do .pac .dbi .alo .gla .yrm .fomod .ees .erp .d1 . bmd .pud, .ibt .24 .wai .slaw
.opq, .gtf .bnt .ngn .tit .wf .bnk .ttz .nif .ghb .1a0 .bun .11 .icd .z3 .djs .mog .2da .imc .sgh .db9 .4 2
.vis .whd .pcc .43 .1dw .age3yrec .pcpack .ddt .cok .xcr .bsp .yaf .swd .tfil .1sd .blorb .unr .mob .fos
.cem .material .1fd .hmi .m d4 .dog .256 .eix .00b .cpx .cdata .hak .phz .stormreplay .1rn .spidersolitairesave-ms
.anm .til .1ta .sims2pack .md2 .pkx .sns .pat .tcif .cm .mine .rbn .uc .asg .raf .myp .mys .tex .cpn .model .sfar .fbrb
.sav2 .1mg .tbc .xpd .bundledmesh .bmg .18, .gsc .shader_bundle .dr1 .world .rwd .rwv .rda .3g2 .3gp .asf .asx .avi .flv
.ai .m2ts .mkv .mo v .mp4 .mpg .mpeg .mpeg4 .rm .swf .vob .wmv .doc .docx .pdf .rar .jpg .jpeg .png .tiff .zip .7z .dif.z
.tar.gz .tar .mp3 .sh .c .cpp . h .mov .gif .txt .py .pyc .jar .csv .psd, .wav .ogg .wma .aif .mpa .wp1 .arj .deb .pkg .db
.dbf .sav .xml .html .aiml .apk .bat .bin . cgi .pl .com .wsf .bmp .bmp .gif .tif .tiff .htm .js .jsp, .php .xhtml .cfm .rss
.key .odp .pps .ppt .pptx .class .cd .java .swift .vb .ods .x1r .xls .xlsx .dot .docm .dotx .dotm .wpd .wps .rtf .sdw .sgl
.vor .uot .uof .jtd .jtt .hwp .602 .pdb .psw .xlw .xlt .xlsm .xl tx .xltm .xlsb .wk1 .wks .123 .sdc .slk .px1 .wb2 .pot .pptm
.potx .potm .sda .sdd .sdp .cgm .wotreplay .rofl .pak .big .bik .xtbl .un ity3d .capx .ttarch .iwi .rgss3a .gblorb .xwm .j2e .mpk
.xex .tiger .1bf .cab .rx3 .epk .vol .asset .forge .1ng .sii .litemod .vef .da t .papa .psark .ydk .mpq .wtf .bsa .re4 Ads .ff
.yrp .pck .t3 .1tx .uasset .bikey .patch .upk .uax .mdl .1v1 .qst .ddv .pta
All processed files are renamed with the .blank extension. A ransomware note is created in an image file that reads the following:
YOU HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH BLANK RANSOMWARE
Your important files, documents, videos, pictures etc. have been encrypted. In order to decrypt them click a magic button. This ransomware was made for fun and it won’t want you to pay for files.
Have fun decrypting your files!
How to Remove Blank Ransomware and Restore .blank Encrypted Files
In order to make sure that this malware is permanently gone from your computer, you should follow the manual or automatic removal instructions down below. If you have the experience in removing ransomware manually, we advise you to focus on the first 2 steps from the manual removal and to look for the registry files which we have explained in the analysis part above. Otherwise, if you want a more automatic and faster solution and lack the expertise in malware removal, we urge you to download an advanced anti-malware program, which aims to automatically perform the removal operation of Blank ransomware and secures your computer against future infections in real-time.
If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection, we advise you to try out the alternative tools for file recovery down below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .blank Files Virus”. They may not guarantee fully that you will recover all of the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your OS already, there is a good chance that you might just restore them.