A notorious ransomware, known by the name keyholder has started to spread again, reports on forums indicated. It carries the symbolical name KeyHolder and uses a XOR cipher to encrypt various files of encrypted users’ computers. Not only this, but KeyHolder ransomware also demands users to pay the sum of 500$ to get the files back. It is strongly believed that KeyHolder`s creators are the same people behind another malware – CryptorBit. Users affected by this ransomware, should not fall for the demands of the cyber-crooks and instead follow instructions like the ones in this article to remove KeyHolder ransomware and try to restore their data.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files with the XOR cipher and uses CFB mode and asks a ransom payment of 500$ for decryption.|
|Symptoms||Files are encrypted and become inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom shows as .txt and .html files.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss KeyHolder Ransomware.|
|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.|
KeyHolder Ransomware – Spreading Methods
In order to infect users, KeyHolder’s creators may have used more than one methods:
- Malicous URLs shared on social media from compromised accounts to their friendlists.
- URLs spread via malvertising.
- Malicious .exe files posted on shady websites, posing as cracks, game cheats, fake installers or other software.
- Spread via redirects to malicious web links caused by PUPs, like DNS Locker, for example.
- Web links posted on spam e-mail messages..
Users should beware of all of those spreading tactics and more that they do not know about, because cyber-criminals are constantly developing their methods of infection.
KeyHolder Ransomware Viewed In Detail
After infection, the KeyHolder crypto-virus immediately drops a malicious file on the victim PC. The file may be dropped in various Windows directories, for example:
- %Program Files%
- %User`s Profile%
After this, KeyHolder ransomware immediately begins scanning the infected computer for the most widely used file extensions and encrypt them on a random basis. Some of the extensions KeyHolder ransomware may encode are the following:
→ “PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG” Source:fileinfo.com
After encryption, when an encoded file is opened, Windows does not recognize it and looks for a program to open it. The ransomware uses a XOR cipher along with a so-called CFB mode which additionally secures the encrypted files and makes direct decryption a rather risky process.
In addition to this menace, the ransomware adds two new files which contain its ransom instructions:
KeyHolder Ransomware – Conclusion, Deleting and File Restoration
In conclusion, KeyHolder Ransomware only pretends to use the immensely strong RSA-2048 encryption algorithm. However, it uses a CFB mode which additionally makes direct decryption even more impossible. This ransomware is a very serious variant and it has been existing since 2014 without any resolution from that date. However, malware researchers are continuing to look into the virus and we will post an update as soon as there is a decryptor. Meanwhile we strongly advise removing this rasomware either manually or automatically in safe mode using an advanced anti-malware program. We also recommend following step “3. Restore Files Encrypted by KeyHolder Ransomware” below to alternatively attempt and restore your data. Ofcourse, the methods there are with no 100 percent guarantee you will recover your data, but you may at least get some of your files back, if lucky.
- Guide 1: How to Remove KeyHolder from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of KeyHolder from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove KeyHolder from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase KeyHolder from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall KeyHolder from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove KeyHolder from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate KeyHolder from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove KeyHolder from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove KeyHolder
Step 2: Uninstall KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of KeyHolder from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as KeyHolder, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder 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 KeyHolder will be removed.
Eliminate KeyHolder 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.