A wallpaper with the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org has started appearing randomly on the computers of victims on different locations. The wallpaper is associated with a ransomware virus, known as Explorer v1.58 and this virus uses the AES encryption algorithm to encode the files on the computers that have been infected by it. The ransomware then drops a ransom note, named READ_IT.txt and just like the wallpaper it demands for victims to make a hefty ransom payoff in order to get their files decrypted.
|The ransomware encrypts files on your computer and changes the wallpaper with instructions to contact an e-mail to make a payment in order to get the files back.td>
|Explorer ransomware encrypts the files and ads the .explorer file extension to them. Also changes the wallpaper with the image above and drops a ransom note file, named READ_IT.txt.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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|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 Does Explorer v1.58 Spread
In order to be widespread and infect the maximum amount of victims, the virus spreads a loader file associated with it’s primary executable, named “explerer.exe” with the following parameters:
The malicious executable of the ransomware virus can enter your computer primarily via spam e-mails. Such messages may advertise a loader that may drop the executable after it was opened. The malicious file may pose as legitimate document, such as Invoice, a receipt or a banking statement of suspicious activity in the banking account. In addition to this a message may come together with the attachment to convince victims in order to open the attachment. Most sophisticated spam mails may even use your name in the e-mail body.
Other methods besides this primary one include the usage of several different types of fake setups, key generators, software activators or other fake software uploaded on shady websites.
Explorer v1.58 Ransomware Analysis
When an infection takes place by the .explorer file virus, the victim may notice a brief slowdown on his computer. At this moment, the explorer virus aims to perform multiple different activities on the computer. One of them may be to begin modifying the primary system processes by injecting malicious code in them. It may attack the user UAC (User Account Control) and via it and other Windows modules obtain administrative permissions. These permissions allow the virus to read and write everything on your infected computer.
After obtaining permissions, the Explorer v1.58 threat may begin to modify the Windows Registry Editor, more specifically attack the following Windows Registry Entries:
Among the activity of Explorer v1.58 is to likely delete the backups on your computer including the shadow volume copies. This is achievable by the following administrative Windows Commands:
Among the activity of Explorer v1.58 is to change the wallpaper of the computer infected by it is to drop it’s ransom note and change the wallpaper o the victim’s computer. The ransom note is named READ_IT.txt and has the same message to the message in the wallpaper it changes:
Explorer v1.58 – Encryption Process
After the Explorer v1.58 ransomware has infected your computer, it will use the AES encryption algorithm to render the files on it, non-usable. The algorithm aims to replicate key data from the original file. Explorer v1.58 does not encrypt the whole file, since if it does this to each file, it will take a lot of time for the virus to complete the process. Instead, it only encrypts enough of the files to render them no longer openable. The Explorer virus targets primarily the following file types for the encryption process:
- Music and other audio file types.
- Image files.
- Photoshop documents.
- Microsoft Office documents.
- Adobe Reader .PDF files.
- Virtual Drives.
After the encryption process has completed the Explorer v1.58 ransomware virus aims to add the .explorer file extension as a suffix to the encrypted files:
Remove Explorer v1.58 and Restore .explorer Files
For the removal process of Explorer ransomware, it is strongly advisable to first back up your encrypted files and then focus on the removal. We advise you to follow the removal instructions below, since they are divided in manual as well as automatic removal instructions. Since manual removal may be a risky process, because Explorer v1.58 may tamper with system files, experts often advise to use a ransomware-specific malware removal tool for safe deletion of all files associated with Explorer v1.58.
Furthermore, if you want to restore files that have been encrypted by the Explorer v1.58 virus, we advise you to follow the alternative instructions in step “2” under “Automatic Removal” below. They are not a direct solution, but are a good temporary choice to recover as many files as you can, while a decrypter for the virus is released, which we will update and link here as soon as it is out.
What is Explorer v1.58 Ransomware?
Explorer v1.58 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 algorithms 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.
What Does Explorer v1.58 Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does Explorer v1.58 Infect?
Via several ways.Explorer v1.58 Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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.
Another way you may become a victim of Explorer v1.58 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 .Explorer v1.58 files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Explorer v1.58 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Explorer v1.58 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Explorer v1.58" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Explorer v1.58 files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Explorer v1.58 Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Explorer v1.58 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Explorer v1.58 files.
Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Explorer v1.58 Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Explorer v1.58 Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Explorer v1.58 how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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.
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