THREAT REMOVAL

DataKeeper Virus – How to Remove It & Restore Encrypted Files

This article has been created in order to help you by explaining how to remove DataKeeper Virus virus from your computer system and how to restore encrypted files.

The DataKeeper virus is a malware threat that can be customized into different strains. The hackers behind it are spreading it using the Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) tactic. Read our in-depth analysis to learn more about it.

Threat Summary

Name DataKeeper
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus, Trojan
Short Description The main goal of the DataKeeper Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment along with the introduction of system changes.
Symptoms The DataKeeper Virus component processes target files and renames them with a extension.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss DataKeeper.
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.

DataKeeper Virus – Infection Process

The DataKeeper Virus is a malware threat that can be distributed using different mechanisms. As the virus itself can be customized using various configuration files the hackers can choose several mechanisms at once or concentrate on one particular attack campaign.

One of the primary methods employed by the hackers is the distribution of email messages. They can carry the DataKeeper Virus samples by file attachments that made part of the message. The files pose as legitimate data of user interest. Another technique involves the use of hyperlinks that lead the victims to a offsite hosted instance of the DataKeeper virus.

Two other strategies that are related to the above scenarios rely on the infecting files and sending them to the victims. The first group relies on software installers — the hackers download the legitimate installers from the official software vendors and modify them to include the dangerous component. They are then distributed by posing as the real software. Usually victims are popular free or trial versions of popular applications. The other tactic relies on documents. They are infected with the malware scripts and can target different file types: presentations, rich text documents and spreadsheets. Once they are opened a notification prompt appears which asks them to enable the built-in scripts (macros). Once this is done the virus is downloaded from a remote location and executed on the local computer.

The computer criminals can also create malware download sites that can infect victims with the viruses. The criminals can also employ web scripts that can produce redirects to the samples.

The DataKeeper virus may be bundled in browser hijackers that represent malware browser plugins. Mass infections occur by uploading the dangerous components to the relevant software plugin repositories. They are usually made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge.

DataKeeper Virus – Analysis and Activity

The initial security search shows that the captured malware samples do not show any correlation with any of the famous malware families. This means that its code is entirely original and made by an experienced hacker or criminal collective. We have received reports that it is being distributed as a RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) which means that it is being offered on the underground hacker forums in return for a subscription payment or lum sum fee. The most common mechanism is the subscription purchase which gives the hacker buyers access to the dashboard and strain customization options. The main DataKeeper virus includes basic options that can be customized in order to create their own samples.

The DataKeeper virus can be configured with different components and updated automatically as the developers release new version of it. We suspect that the standard features attributed to advanced malware will be added. Such infections begin with a stealth protection plugin that is able to counter any system or security applications that might interfere with its execution. This is done by scanning the victim computer’s memory for such running instances: anti-virus products, sandbox and debugging environments and virtual machine hosts. They can be bypassed or removed depending on the instructions. In certain situations the operators can instruct the DataKeeper virus samples to delete themselves if they are unable to do so thereby avoiding detection.

The next step would be to call an information gathering module that would allow the criminals to hijack sensitive data. The security experts usually classify the data into two main categories:

  • Anonymous Data — The component can be programmed into harvesting information that is primarily related to the operating system and the installed hardware components.
  • Personal Information — Data of this type usually consists of information that can directly expose the victim’s identity: their name, address, location, interests, passwords and account credentials.

If configured properly any follow-up actions can be modeled in a several stage infection pattern. A next step would be the coordination of a network connection to a hacker-controlled server. It may be used by the hackers to receive reports of the infected servers as well as institute other malware infections. In certain cases it can also be used to send arbitrary commands at any time.

Advanced ransomware like the DataKeeper virus can lead to a Trojan horse infection. It allows the hackers to spy on the victims in real time, as well as take over control of the ir machines at any given moment. Such malware can also give them the ability to hijack any file before the encryption module is started.

Usually viruses like the DataKeeper ransomware also modify important operating system settings in order to make the virus removal more difficult. As a consequence this includes any of the following modifications:

  • Boot Options — The virus engine can disable the boot recovery menu option.
  • Windows Registry — The malware can automatically disable certain applications or Microsoft Windows features and assign itself to start every time the computer boots.
  • Data Modification — The DataKeeper virus may remove all found Shadow volume copies which can prevent data recovery. In addition it can interact with the Microsoft Windows volume manager which makes it able to access network shares and removable devices as well.
  • Cryptocurrency Miner Installation — The malware is able to install a dangerous miner script that can take advantage of the available hardware resources in order to generate income for the operators.
  • Browser Hijacker Functionality — The DataaKeeper virus can modify the browser settings using a mechanism similar to standalone hijackers. This includes the modification of default settings (home page, search engine and new tabs page) to redirect the victims to a malware page.

DataKeeper Virus — Encryption Process

The most important component of the DataKeeper virus is the ransomware component. It allows the hackers to fully customize the encryption operations. The basic parameters include the target file type extensions. They can be of various types:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Documents
  • Backups
  • Archives
  • Databases

An unique token and key pair (using the RSA-4096 cipher) is generated to ensure that the strongest possible protection is enforced. The criminal developers note that ransomware engine is highly optimized for performance and fast results. It can run itself in a multithreaded operation which utilizes all available hardware resources.

The ransom note used to blackmail the victims into paying is made using parameters defined by the controllers — the requested ransomware fee (in Bitcoins) and the template text.

Remove DataKeeper Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

If your computer got infected with the DataKeeper ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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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.


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REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove DataKeeper from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove DataKeeper

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall DataKeeper and related software 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by DataKeeper on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by DataKeeper there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for DataKeeper with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by DataKeeper.

Ransomware infections and DataKeeper 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.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of DataKeeper from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall DataKeeper and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to DataKeeper:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to DataKeeper. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to DataKeeper. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove DataKeeper via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as DataKeeper. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for DataKeeper:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by DataKeeper.

Ransomware infections and DataKeeper 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.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


DataKeeper FAQ

What is DataKeeper ransomware and how does it work?

DataKeeper 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 algorithm how 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.

How does DataKeeper ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.DataKeeper Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 DataKeeper 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 .DataKeeper files?

You can't. At this point the .DataKeeper files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .DataKeeper files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by DataKeeper ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, 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.

How Do I restore ".DataKeeper" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .DataKeeper files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee 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 DataKeeper ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate DataKeeper ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .DataKeeper files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like DataKeeper ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an 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 nothing works?

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.

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