EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware is the newer version of the notorious EXOTIC Squad Virus, which has caused substantial damage in the past. Although there are several notable differences between these two parasites, their ultimate goal is the same – to make the victim unable to access his important personal files. EXOTIC 3.0 uses strong cryptography to modify the structure of your files in such a way that makes it impossible for you to open them. Whenever you attempt to do so, you are about to notice various errors messages such as “Windows cannot open this file”. In order to regain access to your valuable data, you will have to obtain a decryption key. The hacker standing behind EXOTIC 3.0, who introduces himself as ‘EVILTWIN’, is only willing to release this key if the victim pays a ransom. Since nothing can verify that the cyber criminal will honor his end of the agreement, it is not advisable to pay him the desired sum.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” prompting to pay 50$ in BitCoins as the picture above shows if you click on it.Appends the .exotic file extension to the encrypted files.|
|Detection Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by EXOTIC 3.0.|
|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.|
How Is EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware Traveling Across the Cyberspace?
The security researchers are still investigating the exact distribution paths of this aggressive malware. Up to now, there is no evidence that EXOTIC 3.0 relies on some unique delivery tactics. The ransomware may affect your computer in case you agree to download software from random sites. It is a good idea to install all applications from their official webpages because otherwise you may provide some advanced malware like EXOTIC 3.0 with access to your system. The security researchers advise strongly against opening email attachments from unknown senders. Even if the file seems to be an innocent picture or MS Word document, it is better to ignore it unless you are 100% certain it is safe. Keep in mind that similar to previous Exotic versions the hackers may use social engineering tactics to trick the recipient into opening such files. For example, they may describe it as an urgent letter from your bank regarding unauthorized transactions or a message about an unexpected shipment.
What Makes EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware Such a Dangerous Cyber Threat?
EXOTIC 3.0 is harmful software that may cause irreparable damage to your whole PC. It attacks all of the personal files of the victim, some of which he may need for his education or work. In addition to this data, you may also lose access to all photos and videos with great sentimental value. You will easily find which files have been hit by EXOTIC 3.0 when you take a look at their extensions. This ransomware appends “.exotic” towards the default file extension. The complex Trojan covers the whole desktop with an image, containing details about the attack. The hacker demands a payment of $50 in Bitcoins in exchange for the decryption key, which is supposed to fix your PC. The victim has limited time to act. Unless the payment is received within 72 hours, EVILTWIN threatens to destroy the valuable decryption key permanently.
Is There a Way to Break the Cryptography of EXOTIC 3.0 Manually?
EXOTIC 3.0 uses AES-128 to change the structure of your files and make them unopenable. While this isn’t the most advanced cryptography known to man, it is still very hard to break the cipher manually. Moreover, the decryption key is stored on Command and Control (C&C) servers and not your PC, which means it will be equally difficult to find it without paying the ransom. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix your PC without sponsoring cyber criminals. The first option is to attempt а system recovery with the built-in Windows function or special software. You may also wait for the security researchers to create a free decryption tool. If you are lucky enough to have a backup on some external device, you can easily import your files back to the PC.
No matter which option you choose, you should first eliminate all traces of EXOTIC 3.0. This malware affects various areas of the Operating System (OS), including the Windows registries, so the manual removal is not recommended for all users. If you delete the wrong files, you may make your OS unable to launch at all. The specialists suggest you use advanced security software to delete EXOTIC 3.0 permanently, after which you can attempt to restore the lost data.
To restore your files, unfortunately there is no direct decryptor released by malware researchers at this point. However, we have created alternative file restoration methods which you are welcome to try in step “2. Restore files encrypted by EXOTIC 3.0” below. Bear in mind that they are not 100% effective and this is why you should backup your files before attempting any of those alternatives.