.CRAB Virus (GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Files

.CRAB Virus (GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware) – Remove and Restore Files

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This article aims to explain what exactly is the GANDCRAB V2.1 ransomware virus and show how to remove and restore .CRAB encrypted files on your computer.

A newer version of GandCrab v2 ransomware has been detected in the wild, calling itself GANDCRAB V2.1. The ransomware virus uses the .CRAB file extension which it gladly ads as soon as it make sure that they are no longer able to be opened and seem corrupt. The GANDCRAB V2.1 malware can cause you quite the headaches after it infects your PC, because it wants you to pay ransom in the first ever use of the DASH cryptocurrency in conjunction with ransomware infection. So if your computer has been infected by GANDCRAB V2.1 ransomware, stay tuned and read this article to see how to make sure this threat does not exist anymore on your computer and how you can try and restore as many encrypted files as possible without paying an actual ransom.

Threat Summary

NameGANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionVersion of GandCrab ransom virus family. Encrypts your files and asks you to pay in ransom “fee” in the DASH cryptocurrency.
SymptomsEncrypted files carry the .CRAB suffix and cannot be opened. A ransom note, named CRAB-DECRYPT.txt is dropped on your PC.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware.
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 Ransomware – Update July 2018 (New Version 4 Released)

A new version of the GandCrab ransomware virus has been detected in the wild, going by the name GANDCRAB V4. You can learn more about it from the following research, removal and file recovery article:

Related: GANDCRAB V4 Ransomware – Remove and Restore .KRAB Encrypted Files

Recent information about the .KRAB v4 ransomware has come to our attention. The malware researcher, known as Brad from Malware-Traffic-Analysis has detected newer and newer e-mails to be used to spread the infection file of the latest GandCrab ransomware virus variants. This time, the cyber-criminals were detected to use a JavaScript file, posing as an actual PDF type of file. The file, is contained in a 7z archive and was reported by Brad on his block malware-traffic-analysis.net, to be spread via the following e-mail addresses:

E-mails spreading GandCrab 2.0:


The ransomware infection e-mails were also reported by Brad to contain the following topics (Subjects):

Document #{number}
Invoice #{number}
Order #{number}
Payment #{number}
Payment Invoice #{number}
Payment Invoice #{number}
Ticket #{number}
Your Document #{number}
Your Order #{number}
Your Ticket #{number}

The e-mails are reported to contain files which are 7zip archives (.7z) and have name, like the following:

→ DOC249127923-PDF.7z

When the victims opens and extracts the file, it has the absolutely same name, however is a .js (JavaScript) type of file. This is the file which actually infects your computer. Even extracting this file from the 7z archive may risk the health of your files:

→ DOC249127923-PDF.js

If you have an e-mail service which contains a blacklist function, it is important that you add those e-mails to your blacklist and if you see such e-mails, beginning with a name, a number and then something like “@12412312.com”, do not even open them. If you want to check whether or not they are malicious you can just go ahead and forward them to free services, like ZipeZip, which will perform a check for you without you having to open the e-mails.

GANDCRAB V2.1 How Does It Infect

The malware researcher Brad at Malware-Traffic-Analysis has detected the GANDCRAB ransomware infection to be spread via malicious e-mails used to carry JavaScript files. The files pretend as if they are legitimate PDF files, and they are archived within .7z types of files. The e-mails contain the following information:

From: {Fake name and e-mail address}
Subject: Payment Invoice #(number)

Dear Customer,
To read your document please open the attachment and reply as soon as possible.
Kind regards
TCR Customer Support

The attachment carries an archive which appears like the following:

The subjects of the e-mail are also reported to possibly be according to the following templates:

Document #{number}
Invoice #{number}
Order #{number}
Payment #{number}
Payment Invoice #{number}
Payment Invoice #{number}
Ticket #{number}
Your Document #{number}
Your Order #{number}
Your Ticket #{number}

When the victim opens the .7z archive, he or she finds a file with the same name as the archive, only in .js file type, for instance:

→ DOC249127923-PDF.7z – the archive.
DOC249127923-PDF.js – the file within it.

If you work with e-mails on a daily basis, security researchers advise to be careful and always check what you download before actually downloading and opening it. One way to do this is to simply forward the e-mail to an online service that will check whether it’s malicious or not. One such free service is ZipeZip.

GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware – Analysis

Once the GANDCRAB V2.1 ransomware’s .js file is clicked on, it immediately triggers a malicious JavaScript that results in dropping a malicious executable, located in the %AppData% directory. This executable is reported by security researchers to have the following parameters:

SHA256 hash: 9282ffd0f7aef39febc84f33a3090898e2fae6236cae7465a21ca58978d81b86
Size: 265,224 bytes
Location: %AppData%\RoamingiqB44.Exe

Besides this name, the .exe file has also been detected under other names as well, but generally has the same location. It can also be detected by creating a Windows Registry entry in the following Windows sub-key:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

In this sub-key, you may encounter a randomly named value string, for example “rzdsiabfbie”. It contains the actual name and location of the malicious executable file.

After infection, GANDCRAB V2.1 malware may attempt to establish connection with one of it’s servers and hosts. Some of those in relation to it’s other variants have been reported to be the following:


The ransomware also goes through great efforts to make sure that the victim opens it’s ransom note file, called CRAB-DECRYPT.txt. The ransom note has the following contents:

All your files documents. photos databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .CRAB
The only method of recovering files is to purchase a private key. It is on our server and only we can recover your files.
The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:
0. Download Tor browser – https://www.torproject.org/
1. Install Tor browser
2. Open Tor Browser
3. Open link in TOR browser: http://gandcrab2pie73et.onion/f6e46a9cb4dae302
4. Follow the instructions on this page
If Tor/Tor browser is locked in your country or you can not install it. open one of the following links in your regular browser:

{tor links here}

ATTENTION! Use regular browser only to contact us. Buy decrypt or only through TOR browser link or Jabber Bot!
On our page you will see instructions on payment and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.
The alternative way to contact us is to use Jabber messenger. Read how to:
0. Download Psi-Plus Jabber client: https://psi-im.org/download/
1. Register new account: http://sgams/register.php
0? Enter “username”: {crooks’ provided ID}
1) Enter “password”: your password
2. Add new account in Psi
3. Add and write Jabber ID: ransomwareesj.ms any message
4. Follow instruction bot
It is a bot! It’s fully automated artificial system without human control!
TO contact us use TOR inks. we can provide you all required proofs of decryption available anytime. we are open to conversations.
You can read instructions how to install and use jabber here ttp://www.sfu.ca/jabber/Psi_Jab er_Pc.pdf
Do not try to modify files or use your own private key – this will result in the loss of your data forever!

The malicious web links to which the virus aims to lead the victim lead to a website which is pretty well designed, I have to admit. The site welcomes you with the following ransom note:

The web page even has some advanced features, such as a feature to help you test the decryption software:

GANDCRAB V2.1 also has 24/7 support in order to establish communications with the cyber-criminals behind this ransomware.

GANDCRAB V2.1 Ransomware – Encryption

The encryption process of this ransomware infection is rather the standard one, involving a sophisticated encryption algorithm which alters portions of the original file’s data, enough to make it no longer able to be opened. The files which may be attached by this version of GANDCRAB V2.1 ransomware are often used types of files, like documents, images, videos, archives and other types of files. The encryption mode is reported to be the RSA encryption algorithm, also known as Rivest-Shamir-Adleman. It aims to generate a unique decryption key for each file or set of files, making them significantly harder to decrypt. Some of the files which are attacked by GANDCRAB V2.1 are reported by malware researchers to be among the following file list:


After the encryption process has completed, the victim finds his/her files looking like the following:

Remove GANDCRAB V2.1 and Try Getting Back Your Files

To remove GANDCRAB V2.1 safely, you can help yourself by following the removal instructions underneath. If manual removal is not something you feel confidence in doing with 100% effectiveness, experts do advise to go to the automatic approach and use an advanced anti-malware software for the removal. Such will ensure that you remove GANDCRAB V2.1 completely and that your PC is fully secure against any threats or intrusive software.

Let’s be frank – decryption that is valid for the RSA encryption algorithm is only available in two cases – if malware researchers crack GANDCRAB V2.1 or if the cyber-criminals behind the infection leak the decryption keys. But this should not despair you because there are still ways to recover most of your encrypted files. We have published some of those alternative methods underneath in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by GANDCRAB V2.1”. They can help you to restore some of those encrypted files, but keep in mind that it depends a lot on the post-infection condition of your PC.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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  1. AvatarMeghit Boumediene Khaled


    Thank you for all useful information provided. However i am asking if there is a program that can perform decryption of infected files.

    Thank you

  2. AvatarBernier Jackie

    Bonjour, après lecture de ces commentaires, je crois que nous ne sommes pas plus avancés pour effectuer un décryptage de de nos fichiers infectés par ce ransomware.En effet dès que mon PC a été infecté, j’ai acheté une version officielle de SpyHunter4; Après installation et une recherche dans les fichiers, ce soit disant programme miracle n’a rien pu faire de plus.Après plusieurs prises de contact avec les créateurs du logiciel, ceux ci m’ont tout simplement dit qu’il ne pouvaient pas faire plus et m’ont dirigé vers un autre site soit disant capable de le faire. Or ce nouveau site me re demandait de payer dans les 60 € afin de ma’aider. Cela pu l’arnaque, je me suis demander si ces développeurs n’étaient pas à l’origine de certains virus????? Je déconseille fortement à ceux qui sont dans le même cas que moi d’acheter ce logiciel envahissant qui plus est difficile à désinstaller.Cordialement à tous et toutes.

    1. AvatarMilena Dimitrova

      Hi there, SpyHunter is not a ransomware decrypter but an anti-malware program that removes the malware from the infected host. It is not a scam. Unfortunately, there is no universal decrypter for each and every ransomware. It takes time for security experts to develop decryption tools, and what is worse is that even after a decrypter is released, ransomware authors quickly go around it by releasing a new version of their ransomware.

      Make sure to invest in data back up and follow the rules of online hygiene to avoid falling victim to ransomware.

  3. AvatarNcygcdb

    How can i decrypt crab files
    I did all these steps but decryption of files not soccessful also by bitefender
    What i do

    1. AvatarMilena Dimitrova

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately, since there is no official decrypter for the .crab ransomware, there’s also no guarantee you can decrypt your files using alternative methods. Did you try data recovery software as explained in the article above?


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