.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware — How to Remove It

GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware — How to Remove It

This article will aid you to remove .GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware is one that encrypts your data and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. Files will receive the .GEFEST3 extension. The .GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware will leave ransomware instructions as a desktop wallpaper image. Keep on reading the article and see how you could try to potentially recover some of your locked files and data.

Threat Summary

Name.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe Scarab ransomware encrypts files by placing the .GEFEST3 before the affected files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe Scarab ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware.
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.

.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

The .GEFEST3 ransomware is a new release of the Scarab family and it uses the traditional methods to spread itself. The captured sample in the ongoing campaign were captured from email phishing messages that are being sent by the Fallout Exploit Kit. This is a method that relies on bulk sending of phishing email messages that pose as legitimate notifications from well-known companies. Their body contents will entice the recipients into interacting with a dangerous element that will lead to the infection — they can be either placed in the body contents or attached directly.

Other methods that can be used include malicious sites that directly copy legitimate and trustworthy search engines, Internet portals and product landing pages. They are created with similar sounding domain names and security certificates and have the main task of confusing the users into thinking that they have accessed the real page. By interacting with their multimedia elements or clicking on links the .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware will be deployed.

There are other ways that the this threat can be delivered, an example is the payload delivery which depends on the creation of files that include the virus installation code. There are two types that are most commonly used:

  • Infected Documents — The relevant .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware instructions can be embedded in macros across all popular file types: spreadsheets, presentations, databases and text files. Whenever they are opened by the users a notification prompt will be called asking the users to enable the built-in scripts. The quoted reason is to “correctly” view the document. If this is done the malware delivery will take place.
  • Application Installers — The same strategy can be used with setup packages of popular software that is often downloaded by end users: creativity suites, system utilities, productivity and office programs and etc. They are then distributed using one of the aforementioned strategies.

These data files can also be distributed using file-sharing networks like BitTorrent which are often used to spread to both pirate and legitimate files. In most cases the infected setup files are the most common carriers of the Scarab ransomware samples.

Larger campaigns can utilize browser hijackers which are dangerous plugins made for the most popular web browsers. They are mostly found on the relevant plugin repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials — the posted descriptions will promise feature additions or performance enhancements. In fact after installing them the victim browsers may be modified to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled landing page.

.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

The .GEFEST3 Scarab follows the known Scarab behavior patterns. It is very possible that these attacks are operated by the same criminal collective behind the last few attacks utilizing samples from this malware family. We anticipate that the most common command will be launched against the victim users.

Malware samples can begin the infection with an information gathering mechanism which can gather information that can be grouped into two main categories:

  • Personal Information — The engine can search for strings that can reveal sensitive data about the victim users that use the infected machines. This is possible by searching for strings such as the person’s name, address, location, interests and any stored account data. This can be used to carry out crimes such as identity theft, financial abuse and blackmail.
  • Machine Identification Information The virus engine can run an algorithm that will be used to generate an unique ID for each infected machine. The input values that are taken include the list of hardware components, user settings and regional options.

The collected information can be used to locate if there are an installed security software. They will be bypassed or entirely removed, example ones include the following: anti-virus software, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virtual machine hosts and debug environments.

The .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware will then have the opportunity to hook up to running processes — both system ones and third-party applications. This allows the virus to spy on the users activities in real time. Other malicious actions include the following:

  • Windows Registry Modifications — The .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware can access and modify strings located in the Windows Registry. This can cause overall system stability issues and the inability to launch certain services. Unexpected errors can come up while running common programs.
  • Boot Options — The Scarab ransomware can modify the boot options which will automatically launch the infection when the computer is powered on. Another side effect of this is that recovery menu access can be blocked which makes most manual removal guides useless.
  • Trojan Delivery — One of the most dangerous actions that can be launched by this threat is the Trojan installation. This will install a local client that will connect to a hacker-controlled server. The criminal controllers will have the ability to spy on the victims in real-time, acquire their files before encryption and take over control of the machines at any given time.
  • Additional Payload Installation — Like other similar Scarab variants the .GEFEST3 samples can also be programmed to install other malware from all popular categories: redirects, hijackers, miners and etc.

As the .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware samples are modular in nature they can be programmed to cause a wide variety of other actions depending on the exact configuration.

.GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware – Encryption Process

The .GEFEST3 Scarab ransomware samples that we have received reports about use the familiar tactic of using a built-in list of target file type extensions. An example list may target the following:

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

The .GEFEST3 extension will be applied to all processed files. The crafted ransomware note will blackmail the victims to pay them a decryption fee.

Remove .GEFEST3 Scarab Ransomware and Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the .GEFEST3 Scarab 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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