.CORE Files Virus - How to Remove It and Restore Data

.CORE Files Virus – How to Remove It and Restore Data

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.CORE Files Virus Matrix ransomwareHow to Remove It and Restore Data sensorstechforum guide

This is an article that provides specific details on .CORE files virus infection as well as a step-by-step removal followed by alternative data recovery approaches.

As identified by security researchers the so-called .CORE files virus is a strain of Matrix ransomware. Once started on a target host it plagues various system settings in order to encrypt valuable files stored on it. The encryption is realized with the help of highly sophisticated encryption technique that combines AES-128 + RSA-2048 cipher algorithms. Upon encryption, all corrupted files remain inaccessible until an efficient recovery solution is employed. The long string of specific extensions [BatHelp@protonmail.com].{random letters and numbers}-{again random letters and numbers}.CORE appears after the original names of encrypted files. According to hackers victims should pay a ransom within 7 days in order to decrypt their .CORE files.

Threat Summary

Name.CORE files virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA data locker ransomware that utilizes combination of AES-128 + RSA-2048 cipher algorithms to encrypt valuable files stored on an infected computer. A ransom for specific decryption solution is demanded.
SymptomsImportant files are locked and renamed with a long string of extensions that is enging with .CORE extension. Files remain unusable until an efficient recovery solution is used to revert back their original code.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .CORE files virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .CORE files virus.
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.

.CORE Files Virus – Distribution

The infection code of .CORE files virus is most likely being spread with the help of malspam e-mail campaigns. E-mails used for malicious purposes usually contain one or more of the following components:

  • A link that lands on compromised web page set to download and execute the infection file directly on the PC.
  • A malicious file attachment masked as a legitimate document and uploaded in a .rar or .zip archive. Such a file could be set to evade detection and this way tricks you into allowing the ransomware to start on your PC.

Along with this spread technique, other methods like malicious exploit kits, fake updates notifications and infected installers of third-party programs may be also used to scam you to allow the infection to plague your computer system.

.CORE Files Virus – Overview

As identified by security researchers the so-called .CORE files virus is a strain of Matrix ransomware which was initially detected in December 2016. As a typical data locker ransomware .CORE primarily aims to corrupt predefined types of files stored on infected PCs. This way hackers become able to blackmail victims into paying a ransom which is not specified at this point.

Before encryption, however, the threat needs to establish all malicious files necessary for the smooth infection process. Once all malicious files are dropped or directly created on the system the ransomware initiates a sequence of system modifications. Mostly the changes are likely to affect some particular registry keys like Run and RunOnce. This could be explained by the fact that these keys manage the automatic execution of all files and objects that are essential for the normal system load each time it is started.

By manipulating their functionalities .CORE files virus files start automatically on each system start which in turn results in the corruption of all newly created files before the last system shut down.

Аt the end of the infection process the ransomware drops a ransom message crafted by hackers who aim to inform victims about the presence of their threat on the system and its devastating impact over valuable data. The message further instructs how the ransom could be paid. The ransom message associated with .CORE ransomware is contained in a rich text format file called #CORE_README#.rtf. Below you could see an image of an opened #CORE_README#.rtf file as well as all the text depicted on it:

#CORE_README#.rtf .CORE ransomare virus ransom message

We are realy sorry to inform you that ALL YOUR FILES ENCRYPTED by our automatic software. It became possible because of bad server security.
Please don’t worry, we can help you to RESTORE your server to original state and decrypt all your quickly and safely
Files are not broken!!!
Files were encrypted with AES-128+RSA-2048 crypto algorithms.
There is no way to decrypt your files without unique decryption key and special software. Your unique decryption key is secretly stored on our server. For our safety, all information about your server and your decryption key will be automatically DELETED AFTER 7 DAYS! You will irrevocably lose all your data!
*Please note that all the attempts to recover your files by yourself or using third-party tools will resul only in irrevocable loss of your data!
*Please note that you can recover files only with your unique decryption key, which started on our side. If you will use the help of third parties, you will only add a middleman.
Please write us to the e-mail (write on English or use professional translator).
You have to send your message on each of our 3 emails:

In subject like write your personal ID:
We recommend you to attach 3 encrypted files to your message. We will demonstrate that we can recover your files.
*Please note that files must not contain any valuable information and their total size must be less than 5Mb.
Please be sure that we will find common language. We will restore all the data and give you recommendations how to configure the protection of your server.
We will definitely reach an agreement ;) !!!
If you did not receive the answer from the aforecited emails for more then 24 hours please send us Bitmessages from a web browser through the webpage https//bitmsg.me. Below is a tutorial on how to send bitmessage via web browser:
1. Open in your browser the link https//bitmsg.me/users/sign_up and make the registration by entering name email and password.
2. You must confirm the registration, return to your email and follow the instructions that were sent to you.
3. Return to site ad click “Login” label or use link ****, enter your email and password and click the “Sign in” button.
4. Click the “Create Random address” button.
5. Click the “New message” button.
6. Sending message:
TO: Enter address: BM-2Cxrwrw5jv5hxbhgu2HUSJrtPf92iKshhm
Subject: Enter your ID: 0D1C44DB09247B05
Message: Describe what you think necessary.
Click the “Send message” button.

.CORE Files Virus – Data Encryption Process

This new strain of Martix ransomware is stated to use a combination of two cipher algorithms – AES-128 + RSA-2048 to corrupt target files. So once the encryption phase occurs the ransomware triggers its built-in sophisticated ciphering module to modify parts of the original files’ code and this way restricts the access to the information they store. It is likely that all of the following types of files will be corrupted by .CORE crypto virus after it gains access to a computer system:

  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • Document files
  • Image files
  • Backup files
  • Banking credentials, etc

Following encryption corrupted files remain inaccessible until an efficient data recovery solution is put into use. They could be all recognized by the distinctive string of extensions appended to their original names:

  • [BatHelp@protonmail.com].{random letters and numbers}-{again random letters and numbers}.CORE

The unique decryption key is generated during the encryption process but soon after it transferred to hackers’ controlled server so that you cannot access it without contacting them.

Remove .CORE Files Virus and Restore Data

Below you could find how to remove .CORE files virus step by step. To remove the ransomware manually you need to have a bit of technical experience and ability to recognize traits of malware files. Beware that ransomware is a threat with highly complex code that plagues not only your files but your whole system. So as recommended by security researchers you need to utilize an advanced anti-malware tool for its complete removal. Such a tool will keep your system protected against devastating threats like the discussed ransomware and other kinds of malware that endanger your online security.

After you remove the ransomware make sure to check the “Restore Files” step listed in the guide below. But before you take any further actions, don’t forget to back up all encrypted files to an external drive in order to prevent their irreversible loss.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for three years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

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