THREAT REMOVAL

.Encrypted GX40 Virus – How to Remove

Article created to help remove the GX40 ransomware infection and restore files that have been AES encrypted with the .encrypted file extension appended.

A ransomware virus known as GX40 has been reported by malware researchers to encrypt files on the computers infected by it and then append the .encrypted file extension to them. After encryption, the files can no longer be opened and seem to be corrupt. The infection has also been reported to drop a ransom note with instructions on how to pay a hefty ransom fee to get the files back. Anyone who has been infected by the GX40 ransomware is advised to read the following article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name

GX40

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe malware encrypts users files using the AES encryption cipher, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
SymptomsThe user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” screen named GX40 – NOTICE, linking to a web page and a decryptor. Changed file names and the file-extension .encrypted has been used.
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss GX40.
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.

.encrypted GX40 Virus – How Does It Infect

The infection process of GX40 ransomware is similar to any other ransomware virus out there. The virus may initially be distributed with the help of e-mail spam messages with malicious archives and attachments embedded within them. Once those attachments are embedded, they are accompanied by a deceitful messages that trick the user into opening them. They may pretend to be:

  • An invoice for a purchase the user is tricked to have made.
  • A document from a bank, claiming there is suspicious activity.
  • Fake PayPal, FedEx or other documents.

Once the malicious file within the archive is opened, the infection is immediate and the virus uses a loader to drop it’s payload.

Other methods of infection by GX40 ransomware is if the virus takes advantage of fake installers, fake Windows updates and any other file that may seem legitimate. It may even be encountered on torrent websites as a fake game patch or game crack that is usually used to license an unlicensed versions of programs or games.

The .encrypted GX40 Ransomware – Infection Activity

Once the loader of this virus has already dropped it’s malicious files on the victim computer, they are likely situated in the following folders:

  • %AppData%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Local%
  • %Windows%

Two of the malicious executables belonging to GX40 ransomware infection are recognized to be the following:

GX40 – PayPal Validator.exe
GX40.exe

After being activated, the malicious files of the virus may contain a malicious code within them that might modify the shadow volume copies of the infected computer, so that they are deleted without the user noticing. This is achievable by executing the following commands, primarily the vssadmin line:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c
vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet
bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures

In addition to this activity, the GX40 ransomware infection may also tamper with the Windows registry editor of the victim PC, making the malicious executable that encrypts files run when the Windows system boots:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

GX40 Ransomware – Encryption Process

The process of encrypting files by this virus is done with the assistance of the Rijndael encryption algorithm also known as AES. The cipher encrypts files in blocks which are 129 bits in size and the strength of it’s encryption may be 128, 192 or 256-bit(strongest) encryption. The encryption algorithm is also used by the U.S. government and it generates a symmetric key after encrypting files. This key is the same for all the locked files and it may be sent to the cyber-criminals’ command and control servers.

Among the files which the GX40 virus targets for encryption are the following types of important files:

  • Microsoft Office documents.
  • OpenOffice files.
  • PDF documents.
  • Text files.
  • Image files.
  • Audio files.
  • Videos.
  • Archived files and different types of archives.

After the encryption process is complete, the files become no longer able to be opened and are appended the .encrypted file extension. They may appear as shown on the image below:

After the encryption, the virus makes sure the user knows of it’s presence by dropping a screen note(see images at the start above) asking to pay an 80$ ransom. It has the following messages within it:

Main Screen:
YOUR FILE HAS ENCRYPTED GX40
All of your important files has been encrypted by Ransomware
OPEN NOTICE
GX40 Ransomware
Contact me to make payment and make sure to attach yor identifier
GX40@YAHOO.COM
IDENTIFIER: {unique A-Z 0-9 digits
‘COPY’
‘RESTORE’

GX40-NOTICE:
NOTICE
by : GX40
All Your Personal Files Are Encrypted
All your data (photos, documents, and other files) have been encrypted with a private and unique key generated fot this computer. It means that yout will not be able to access your files anymore until they’re decrypted. The private key is stored in our servers and the only way to receive your key to decrypt your files is making a payment.
The payment has to be done in Bitcoint to a unique address that we generated for you. Bitcoins are a virtual currency to make online payments. IF you don’t know to get Bitcoins, you can google “HOW TO BUY BITCINS” and follow the instructions.
YOU ONLY HAVE 2 DAYS TO SUBMIT THE PAYMENT! When the provided time ends, the payment will increase to $80. Also, if you dont pay in 7 days, your unique key wil be destroyed and you wont be able to recover your files anymore.
To recover your files and unlock your computer, you mush send 0.07214 BTC or 80 USD, to the next Bitcoin address : 12EN79yZyZpEvfnQPHUqyhEtrWU4W3UrDn
WARNING!
DO NOT TRY GET RID OF THIS PROGRAM YOURSELF. ANY ACTION TAKEN WILL RESULT IN DECRYPTION KEY BEING DESTROYED. YOU WILL LOSE YOUR FILES FOREVER. ONLY WAY TO KEEP YOUR FILES IS TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.

DX40 Virus – How to Remove it and Restore .encrypted Files

Before beginning the removal process of the DX40 infection, recommendations are to focus on backing up all the files of importance, no matter if they are encrypted or usable.

Then, since the DX40 virus may interfere with multiple Windows processes and keep active connection to hosts such as the reported https host www.academyx40.com, it is important to isolate the threat before removing it. One way to do it is by following the manual removal instructions below and after isolating the malware, you can go ahead and proceed with reverting the settings modified by the virus and remove the files yourself. However, if manual removal is not what you are going for, recommendations are to focus on performing the removal process automatically. The best way to do this according to experts is by downloading an advanced anti-malware tool, which will perform the removal processes and protect your computer from future infections, like DX40 ransomware.

After having removed the DX40 ransomware, it is time to focus on the encrypted files. For the moment there is no decryptor available for this particular ransomware threat. However, it is also good to know that there are alternative methods that you can try in step “2. Restore files encrypted by DX40 below”. They may not be 100 percent effective by they may also help recover some of your important files, at least until malware researchers find a free decryption solution, which if happens, we will post a link in this article.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove GX40 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GX40

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall GX40 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GX40 on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GX40 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for GX40 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by GX40.

Ransomware infections and GX40 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of GX40 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall GX40 and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to GX40:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to GX40. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to GX40. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 GX40 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as GX40. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for GX40:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by GX40.

Ransomware infections and GX40 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


GX40 FAQ

What is GX40 ransomware and how does it work?

GX40 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 algorithm how 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.

How does GX40 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.GX40 Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of GX40 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 .GX40 files?

You can't. At this point the .GX40 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .GX40 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by GX40 ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".GX40" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .GX40 files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of GX40 ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate GX40 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .GX40 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like GX40 ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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