.CRAB Files Virus - How to Remove GandCrab v2 and Restore Data

.CRAB Files Virus – How to Remove GandCrab v2 and Restore Data

This article has been created to help you by explaining what is the GandCrab v2 ransomware and how to restore .CRAB files encrypted by it without having to pay $500 ransom to cyber-crooks.

A new version of the notorious GandCrab ransomware infection has been detected by malware researchers. The ransomware, dubbed v2 uses the .CRAB file extension which it adds as a suffix to the encrypted files and in addition to this, the ransomware drops a ransom note, named CRAB-DECRYPT.txt in which it demands a ransom payment in the form of the DASH cryptocurrency. This has been reported to be the first case of the DASH cryptocurrency being used by the cyber-criminals and it is only present with the GandCrab ransomware variants at the time of writing this. If your computer has been infected by this ransomware infection, reccomendations are to focus on reading the following article and removing the GandCrab ransomware infection plus trying to restore the files encrypted with the .CRAB file extension without having to pay the ransom.

Threat Summary

Name.CRAB Files Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA variant of the GandCrab ransomware family, which encrypts the files on the infected computers by it and asks victims to pay $500 in the cryptocurrency DASH as a ransom.
SymptomsThe files on the infected computer can no longer be opened and have the .CRAB file suffix added to them. In addition to this, the ransomware drops a ransom note, file named CRAB-DECRYPT.txt.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .CRAB Files Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .CRAB 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.

.CRAB Files Virus – How Does It Infect

In order to infect the maximum amount of victims, the .CRAB files virus aims to spread it’s malicious infection file via a variety of methods, the main of which is via e-mail spam messages, carefully disguised as legitimate e-mails. The main strategy of the cyber-crooks is to convince the victim to open an attachment or click on a malicious web link which triggers the infection automatically.

Such e-mails often pretend to come from big companies from the likes of DHL, eBay and others and the e-mails often pretend that the attachment is an Invoice or an Order receipt which may not even exist. When the user clicks on it, he or she immediately falls victim to this ransomware infection. The main method of infecting victims which was detected so far by researcher Marcelo Rivero has been reported to be an e-mail carrying a malicious PDF file, which when opened leads to a Microsoft Word Document. The document in it’s turn leads to a file-less infection, via malicious macros after the victim has clicked on the “Enable Content” button to enable reading on the document. The infection activities are conducted in the following manner:

In addition to via e-mail, the .CRAB ransomware virus may also infect victims via other methods, like upload it’s malicious file online and mask it so that it appears to be a legitimate file you may be deceived into downloading. Such seemingly legitimate types of files seem to most often be:

  • Fake setups of software.
  • Fake key generators.
  • Patches, cracks or other software license activators.

.CRAB Ransomware – Analysis

.CRAB Ransomware is the type of ransomware infection which encrypts files. The malware slithers it’s malicious files after infecting your computer and they may reside in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %Roaming%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Temp%

After .CRAB Ransomware has infected your computer, the malware begins it’s malicious activity on it, starting with modifying the Windows Registry Editor of your computer. The GandCrab v2 may modify the following Windows registry sub-keys, by adding entries in them which may contain values to run automatically on system boot:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

In addition to this, the .CRAB files virus may also delete the shadow volume copies of the infected computer by executing the following commands as an administrator in Windows Command Prompt:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet & bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no & bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures”

After doing so, the ransomware virus may also drop it’s ransom note, which leads victims to the TOR website of the virus, demanding $500 in the DASH cryptocurrency. The web page gives a deadline to complete and appears like the following:

In addition to this, there has been another version of the malware which was reported to lead to a payment web page which demands the sum of $1000 as a ransom. It appears to look like the following:

.CRAB Ransomware – Encryption

For the encryption process, .CRAB files virus uses various different types of techniques, including the utilization of advanced encryption modes in order to render the files on the victim’s computer no longer able to be opened. In addition to this, the .CRAB files virus is also the type of infection that scans for the file types of files which are often used, like:

  • Documents.
  • Audio Files.
  • Videos.
  • Pictures.
  • Archives.

After encryption the files assume the .CRAB file extension and they start to appear like the following:

Remove GandCrab v2 Ransomware and Restore .CRAB Files

In order to remove this ransomware infection completely from your computer system, recommendations are to focus on following the removal instructions down below. They are carefully separated on manual and automatic removal manuals in order to best help you based on your experience in malware removal. If you lack such experience, security experts strongly advise to download an advanced anti-malware software, which aims to help you by automatically scanning and removing all malicious objects, related to GandCrab v2 from your computer.

In order to restore files, encrypted by the GandCrab v2 Ransomware, you can try and use the alternative file recover methods in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .CRAB Files Virus” below. They may not be 100% effective to recover all of your encrypted files but may help you in recovering most of your encoded files.

Manually delete .CRAB Files Virus from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the .CRAB Files Virus threat: Manual removal of .CRAB Files Virus requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .CRAB Files Virus files and objects
2.Find malicious files created by .CRAB Files Virus on your PC
3.Fix registry entries created by .CRAB Files Virus on your PC

Automatically remove .CRAB Files Virus by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove .CRAB Files Virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by .CRAB Files Virus in the future
3. Restore files encrypted by .CRAB Files Virus
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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    Estamos infectados con CRAB y es terrible porque no tenemos una cultura de respaldo ni políticas que eviten que el personal descargue software, que desactive antivirus, etc…no sabemos qué hacer 🙁

    1. alberto

      jajaja a mi me paso el 25 de febrero y fue una pesadilla porque infecto un servidor. Pero cuando llegue. Me di cuenta que solo afecto a un servidor y es el que no tiene la base de datos… por lo qu eel danio fue minimo. Pero tambien tenemos respaldos… cada sabado hacemos respaldo. Porque tambien nos paso en junio con otro servidor y ahi si no teniamos respaldo… es una pesadilla. Me temo que ya perdiste todo, mejor haste a esa idea.

  2. Hugo

    lo pudieron resolver?

  3. Alan

    mi memoria fue infectada por esa madre y pude recuperar todos los archivos borrando en el nombre el subfijo .CRAB pero me tarde un chingo, un día completo en cambiar todo el contenido lo de las carpetas :S

    1. Jorge Palaver

      Estimado, no alcanza con renombrar los archivos y quitar la extensión, ya que encripta el contenido.
      Cordial saludo.

  4. Cristian Rodriguez

    Buenas, estamos en la misma situacion, encontramos todo para la V1 , pero nosotros fuimos infectados con la V2… alguien tiene algo??… GRACIAS!


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