EncryptServer2018 Ransomware Removal – Restore .2018 Files

EncryptServer2018 Ransomware Removal – Restore .2018 Files

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This article will help you remove EncryptServer2018 ransomware efficiently. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

The EncryptServer2018 ransomware is a newly discovered virus threat that follows the behavior patterns of the famous malware families. It aims to cause dangerous system changes and encrypt sensitive files. All affected data is renamed with the .2018 extension. Continue reading our in-depth guide to learn more about the threat and how to restore your computer from active infections.

Threat Summary

TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer machine and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files with the AES encryption algorithm. All locked files will have the .2018 extension.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by EncryptServer2018


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss EncryptServer2018.
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.

EncryptServer2018 Ransomware – Ways of Distribution

The EncryptServer2018 ransomware can be delivered using a multitude of ways. Depending on the hacker collective and the target users the tactics can shift from small email-based campaigns to large-scale botnet intrusion attempts.

Email messages are among the most popular methods for distributing viruses of all kinds, including ransomware. The hackers behind the threat usually consider using social engineering tricks in order to coerce the potential victims into opening them up. The ransomware samples can be masked as files of user interest hosted on other sites. Hyperlinks are used to redirect the victims to the virus instances. In other cases the malware can be bundled directly as attachments. In recent years the use of infected documents has risen in popularity. They are masked as data of interest and can take many forms — rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. As soon as they are opened a notification prompt appears which asks the victims to run the built-in macros (scripts). As soon as this is done the virus file is downloaded from a remote location executed on the target host.

Hacker-controlled sites can lead to infections with the EncryptServer2018 virus through web scripts, redirects and pop-ups. They may be redirected to them by the use of browser hijackers. They represent malware plugins that are usually made compatible with the most popular applications. The list includes: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once they are installed on the victim machines they can change important settings, lead to additional virus infections and such.

During the security investigation the majority of intrusions were found to have occurred through vulnerability exploits. This means that automated exploit kits can be configured to carry this payload. Such infections can be avoided by keeping machines updated with all the latest security patches.

Infected software installers constitute another type of malware source. They are usually hacker-modified copies of legitimate setup files found on the respective software vendors. They are then distributed on hacker-controlled portals, file sharing networks (like BitTorrent) and email messages. In certain cases such infections can be avoided by unchecking certain options during the setup.

Some of the reports indicate that the last attack wave consisted of password-protected archives that are distributed on the Internet using varied tactics. The hackers behind the virus post the password masking the file as a legitimate data of user interest.

EncryptServer2018 Ransomware – In-Depth Description

The EncryptServer2018 ransomware is a newly discovered threat that has just been reported by analysts. At the moment no information is available about the identity of the individual or group behind it. Furthermore the code analysis does not reveal a correlation between it and any of the famous malware families. This means that there are several possible sources:

  • Customized Strain — The hackers behind the EncryptServer2018 ransomware may have created a heavily customized version of a known malware family. The behavior patterns may match any of them however the code changes can be so many that the initial analysis may not be able to discover from which family this threat is derived from.
  • Acquired From The Hackers Markets — It is likely that this threat has been bought from any of the underground hacker markets.
  • Custom Made — It is very possible that the EncryptServer2018 virus has been made from scratch by the same individual or group that are responsible for its distribution.

According to the released reports many of the intrusions have been caused by software vulnerabilities. This means that an expanded behavior pattern can be executed.

The virus may start with the information gathering module which can generate a detailed profile of the victim computers. Such processes usually result in the data collection of two main categories of data:

  • Anonymous Metrics — Such data constitutes of information that is related to the machine itself and certain operating system variables. Example data includes a list of the installed hardware components, certain operating system configuration options and the geo-location of the victim users.
  • Personally-Identifiable Information — This type of data can be used to directly identify the victims through strings such as usernames, passwords, phone numbers, addresses, preferences and etc.

If the EncryptServer2018 ransomware infections are caused through web browsers the criminal operators can also retrieve all manners of information stored in them as well. The list includes the following: form data, bookmarks, history, cookies, passwords and account credentials. It can be used in conjunction with browser hijacker code to cause an even more dangerous infection.

A stealth protection mechanism can be implemented that safeguards the malware strain from discovery by the installed security software. By using the gathered data from the previous component the main EncryptServer2018 virus module can discover any installed sandboxes, virtual machines, debugging environments and anti-virus software and attempt to disable or delete them. If it is unable to do so them it can delete itself to avoid detection. Such measures are implemented when the targets are enterprise and high-profile networks.

Once infiltrated a certain machine the virus can spread to other hosts on the same network. When the initial delivery mechanism has completed dangerous system changes can follow that may render the computer unusable. They can interact with the Windows Registry or the operating system configuration files themselves. As a result the computer users may experience performance issues and application or services failure. A direct result of such malware actions can lead to a persistent state of execution. Such steps effectively prevent the users from using manual removal methods. Persistent threats can only be removed using quality anti-spyware products as they can overcome the virus alterations.

The analysts note that the EncryptServer2018 virus does connect to a hacker-controlled server, also known as a C&C server. The malware automatically reports the succesful infection. Every host is assigned an unique victim ID which is generated from variables gathered during the initial information harvesting phase. Using such measures the criminals can also install a Trojan component. It gives the criminal operators the ability to spy on the victims in real time. They can view their desktop, mouse movement and keystrokes in real time and take over control of the machines at any given time. Advanced versions can automatically record the user’s input in databases that can be shared with other hacker groups.

The code analysis reveals that during the malware execution the virus automatically deletes all found shadow volume copies of the victims data. Such steps prevent data recovery using ordinary restore software. Refer to our instructions below in order to recover the processed files. This should be done after the virus has been removed with the anti-spyware program.

The hacker operators can utilize the EncryptServer2018 virus to deliver additional threats to the victim computers. In such cases the attacks are labeled as multi-stage ones — the EncryptServer2018 ransomware is the first payload which alters the target system. As the first malware manipulates the target host’s configuration the second payload can be inserted silently and withot any warning.

EncryptServer2018 Ransomware – Encryption Process

As soon as all modules have completed their actions successfully the EncryptServer2018 ransomware component is launched. It uses a built-in list of target file type extension that represents the most widely used user data. Examples include the following:

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

The used cipher is military-grade and cannot be decrypted using ordinary password recovery software. The complex virus engine can only be removed by using a quality anti-spyware solution. Refer to our removal instructions below.

Instead of simply renaming the files the EncryptServer2018 ransomware generates an unique victim ID. It is made up of strings that are harvested from the victim machines made up of two pieces — one is 32-characters long and the second one is 8-characters. The .2018 extension is used as the final file type extensions that overwrites the processed data.

A ransomware note is crafted in a file called Attention!!!!.txt which reads the following:

‘Attention !!!
All your files on this server have been encrypted.
Write this ID in the title of your message
To restore the files need to write to us on e-mail: tornado_777@aol.com or BM-2cXXgKAo8HzUmijt8KMywZYHm8xDHhxwZg@bitmessage.ch
The price for restoration depends on how quickly you write tous.
After payment we will send you a decryption tool that willdecrypt all your files.

You can send us up to 3 files for free decryption.
-files should not contain important information
-and their total size should be less than 1 MB

The easiest way to buy bitcoins is the LocalBitcoins website.
You need to register, click “Buy bitcoyne” and select theseller
by method of payment and price

Do not rename encrypted files
Do not try to decrypt your data with third-party software,this can lead to permanent data loss!

Your ID [redacted]’

The criminals blackmail the victims into paying the ransom fee in Bitcoins. In order to get the estimated price they need to contcat them through the quoted e-mail address. The hackers use a free email hosted on AOL.

They also provide the opportunity to decrypt 3 files for free in order to win the users trust. In all cases we recommend that contact with them should be avoided at all costs. They can manipulate the victims into paying a huge sum of money without actually restoring their data. As a result additional threats can be deployed to the infected hosts. Refer to our in-depth removal instructions below.

Remove EncryptServer2018 Ransomware and Restore .2018 Files

If your computer got infected with the EncryptServer2018 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.


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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