The Contact cryptovirus has been spotted to circle around the web in active attack campaigns. The moment the Contact virus runs on a computer system, it becomes able to perform lots of malicious operations including security disruption, data encryption, and ransom extortion. All changes applied to personal files prevent victims from freely using them. That’s why after encryption, Contact ransomware drops its ransom note named CONTACT-README-WARNING.html and loads it on the screen to extort a ransom fee.
To pay or not to pay the demanded ransom is a hard decision to make. But what we could advise you is to refrain from contacting cybercriminals and try to recover .contact files with the help of alternative methods.
Кeep up with our Contact ransomware removal guide to find how to get rid of malicious entries and how to attempt to restore encrypted .contact files.
Contact Ransomware Summary
|Name||Contact also known as Generic.Ransom.Snatch.8D8F0645, W32.AIDetect.malware1, A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.NVZ|
|Short Description||Severe malware that is designed to encrypt valualbe files stored on the systems it infects. It extorts a ransom fee from victims.|
|Symptoms||Files are encrypted and renamed with the .contact malicious extension. A ransom message insists that victims should pay for the decryption of their encrypted files.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Hacked Websites|
|Ransom Demanding Note||CONTACT-README-WARNING.html|
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Several popular propagation techniques may be used for the activation of malicious Contact virus files on target operating systems. Among these techniques are malspam, apps with corrupted installers, torrent files, fake software updates, hacked websites, and links to hacked websites posted on social media platforms and other shady sites.
The main distribution technique used by Contact ransomware’s operators is unknown to the cybersecurity community. Still, like a ransomware threat, Contact is likely to be included primarily in malicious spam emails.
Malspam technique or spam emails that deliver malicious code tries to trick people into believing that they see emails sent by legitimate institutions, businesses, or well-known websites in their inboxes. However, the emails contain the nasty ransomware payload and present it like an attached file (.rar, .docx, .xls, .jpg, .PDF, etc.) or a clickable link address or both. The moment the ransomware payload loads on the system, the Contact ransomware infection starts.
To prevent falling victim to malicious emails, we recommend the following:
- Look for spell errors.
- Check the grammar.
- Pay attention to the email address – shoul it be considered as a legitimate or as a suspicious?
- Upload attached files to an online virus scanner like VirusTotal before opening them on your computer.
- Do the same with all links you see.
- Do not rush into following presented requirements.
Contact virus will perform a long sequence of malicious modifications once started on a computer system. It will modify registries, install malicious files and hijack legitimate processes to misuse their functionalities. When it reaches the phase that enables it to activate its built-in cipher module, it scans predefined system drives for commonly used types of files and encrypts all these files with a strong cipher algorithm. Among the files corrupted by Contact virus may be:
→ .sql, .mp4, .7z, .rar, .m4a, .wma, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .t13, .t12, .qdf, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .bc7, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvpl, .hplg, .hkdb, .mdbackup, .syncdb, .gho, .cas, .svg, .map, .wmo, .itm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqge, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .hkx, .bar, .upk, .das, .iwi, .litemod, .asset, .forge, .ltx, .bsa, .apk, .re4, .sav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .dbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt
Unfortunately, the encryption process totally corrupts valuable files. This issue, in turn, limits access to their data. Corrupted files could be recognized by the [random_string].email@example.com sequence of extensions added to their names.
When the ransomware finishes the data corruption process, it drops a ransom message on the system. Then the message may pop up on the screen automatically.
The Contact’s ransom message has the name CONTACT-README-WARNING.html. The goal of this nasty message is to convince you to pay a ransom fee for .contact files to hackers.
The text displayed by Contact’s ransom demanding note reads:
MESSAGE FROM CONTACT RANSOMWARE SERVICE
Q: Whats Happen?
A: ALL Your files (docs,databases,musics,videos,…etc) have been encrypted and now have the “.firstname.lastname@example.org” extension. The file structure was not damaged, we did everything possible so that this could not happen.
Q: How to recover files?
A: If you wish to decrypt your files you will need to pay in bitcoins.3
! ! Q: What about guarantees?
A: Its just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities – nobody will cooperate with us. Its not in our interests.
To check the ability of returning files, you can send to us not more than 2 files with low sizes(max 1 mb), we will decrypt them and send back to you. That is our guarantee.
Q: How to contact with you?
A: You can write us to our mailbox: email@example.com
Send Your ID to us.
Q: How will the decryption process proceed after payment?
A: After payment we will send to you our special decryption program and detailed instructions for use. With this program you will be able to decrypt all your encrypted files safely.
Q: If I don’t want to pay bad people like you?
A: If you will not cooperate with our service – for us, its does not matter. But you will lose your time and data, cause only we have the private key. In practice – time is much more valuable than money.
DON’T try to change encrypted files by yourself!
If you will try to use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus solutions – please make a backup for all encrypted files! Any changes in encrypted files may entail damage of the private key and, as result, the loss all data.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET YOUR FILES BACK WITHOUT OUR SPECIAL DECRYPTION TOOL
We know that .contact files should be restored as soon as possible. However, we advise all victims to refrain from transferring money to cybercriminals. For the sake of your online security, we recommend that you clean your computer from malicious files and consider the help of alternative data recovery methods.
Contact Ransomware Removal and Recovery Guide
Contact ransomware is a threat with a highly complex code. It heavily damages essential system settings and valuable files. The only way to use securely your infected computer system again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For this purpose, you should complete several removal steps. The illustrated ransomware removal guide below enables you to follow these steps and clean your system manually or automatically. If you don’t feel quite comfortable with the manual steps, it will be better to download the presented advanced anti-malware tool as it will do the job for you.
In the event that you want to attempt to restore .contact files check step five – Try to Restore files encrypted by Contact ransomware. It reveals reliable alternative data recovery methods. We remind you that copies of all encrypted files should be kept on an external drive. This measure will prevent their inevitable loss.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Contact Ransomware
Step 2: Uninstall Contact Ransomware and related malware 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Contact Ransomware on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Contact Ransomware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for Contact Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Contact Ransomware.
Ransomware infections and Contact Ransomware 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.
Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.
Contact Ransomware FAQ
What is Contact Ransomware Ransomware?
Contact Ransomware 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 Contact Ransomware Ransomware Damage My Computer?
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. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Ransomware, like Contact Ransomware?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware 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. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.
How Does Contact Ransomware Ransomware Infect My Computer?
Via several ways.Contact Ransomware 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 Contact Ransomware 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 .Contact Ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the .Contact Ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Contact Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by Contact Ransomware ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be 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.
Can I Restore ".Contact Ransomware" Files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Contact Ransomware 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 Do I Get Rid of Contact Ransomware Ransomware 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 Contact Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Contact Ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Contact Ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with 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 I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?
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.
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 Prevent Contact Ransomware 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. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.
Can Contact Ransomware 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. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.
Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can affect 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 to 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 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, 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 Contact Ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Contact Ransomware 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.
1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware
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.