The massive wave of GandCrab ransomware has sprung in series of versions that feature minor improvements. The virus cannot be stoped and it is become more and more widespread. But recent similarities with the versions of the virus raise one significant question we are yet to understand – are these two virus families made by the same people?
GandCrab ransomware has recently evolved into a new GandCrab v5.0 version, which has started to re-evolve in sub-versions (GandCrab 5.0.1, GandCrab 5.0.2…) and this has led us to examine the logical (not technical) similarities between the two viruses only to start seeing some pretty alarming stuff. Keep reading to see the scary similarities between the two virus entities.
The Similarities Between GandCrab and Cerber Ransomware
Don’t you believe that it is a pure coincidence that Cerber ransomware being a large ransomware virus that is non-decryptable suddenly came to an end and several months later GandCrab emerged? Well, you might consider this to be something normal as it would be with any other ransomware virus coming and going, but we have noticed several similarities between the viruses that illustrate somewhat of the same pattern or signature between the two. Here are some of the most interesting details we have noticed.
Similarity #1: The 1st Variants Were both Decrypted by Researchers + Their Extensions Were Similar
GandCrab and Cerber ransomware have both came out in a version that was initially decryptable. Let us start with Cerber ransomware, whose first variant came out with the .cerber file extension. This very variant was later deemed decryptable by Trend Micro researchers and we have even made instructions for victims to recover their files:
To compare this, GandCrab’s first version also came out in a variant using a fixed file suffix – .GDCB. The virus was also later deemed decryptable, this time by BitDefender researchers:
After this has happened, BOTH viruses immediately came out in a new version that uses a new extension, which for Cerber ransomware was .cerber2, then .cerber3, after which capital letters .CERBER and then random file extensions. To compare that with GandCrab, the virus’s new versions were respectively .crab, then .CRAB and then .KRAB. After these three versions for each, both ransomware viruses have started to appear with completely random file extensions and both were completely undecryptable since their firs decryptable versions came to an end. Something that we believe is a coincidence that is to close to not being such.
Similarity #2: The Wallpapers
Probably the most evident similarity between the two viruses is the styles in which their wallpapers are designed, which is extremely similar as you see in the image below:
As visible both wallpapers have extremely similar ransom notes and their wallpapers are in a text with a black background on a white noise overlay for Cerber and also a noise overlay for GandCrab ransomware.
Similarity #3: Well-Made Tor Web Pages
Another interesting part of the ransowmare viruses development is the well-made Tor web pages, which they ask victims to visit. When we take a look at those pages, it becomes very evidend that they both offer some type of “customer” support and also multi-language support:
Similarity #4: The Newer Versions and File Extension
So here we are to present times. GandCrab is now in version 5.0.2 and uses a random file extension with 10 letters. Need I remind you that the Cerber ransomware in one of it’s intermediary versions also switched to a completely random file extension? Here is a comparison between both:
To Sum It Up…
The versions which we have detected between the two viruses so far are the following:
We will leave it up to you, the informed reader to figure out the rest, but as far as we are concerned there clearly are patterns worth investingating, since the viruses may have nothing to do with each other, but they do share some very eyebrow-raising details.
- Guide 1: How to Remove from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove
Step 2: Uninstall 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the will be removed.
Eliminate from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.