THREAT REMOVAL

.KRAB Files Virus (GANDCRAB V4.4) – How to Remove + Restore Data

The GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus is the latest iteration of the GandCrab ransomware family of threats. It uses the same .KRAB extension to encrypt target user data and extorts the victims for a ransomware payment. The new iteration can be customized further by the hacker operators, its modules can be set up according to the ongoing attack campaign. It is expected that several attacks will follow in the coming weeks.

Threat Summary

Name GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .KRAB extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus.
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.

GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus – Distribution Ways

The main delivery method associated with the GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus is the coordination of a SPAM email campaign. A popular tool to fuel the infections is the RIG Exploit Kit used to send out many messages to targets on a global scale. The criminal operators program templates that contain various graphics, text and design layouts that are hijacked from legitimate companies. Upon receiving the messages the users may notice the same notifications and messages as the ones that are typically sent by an Internet site or service that they use. In many cases familiar sounding domain names are used and even security certificates. The scope of messages that are being sent by the hackers can range from password reminders, update notifications, advertising materials and etc.

Many of the messages contain the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus under various forms:

  • Adobe Flash Exploit — The victim users are sent malicious Adobe Flash interactive elements that take advantage of vulnerabilities identified in the client software. Adobe Flash remains as one of the most common applications that are targeted by computer hackers.
  • File Attachments — The dangerous files can be attached directly to the messages. The body contents will contain instructions that coerce the victims into executing them.
  • Infected Payload Carriers — Some hackers can embed the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus in payload carriers that be software installers, updates or pop-ups. They are made by taking the legitimate files from the official vendors and bundling them with the virus code. Whenever they are installed the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus infection will be started.
  • Macro-Infected Documents — The hackers can embed scripts in popular document types: rich text documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations. Whenever they are opened by the victim users a notification prompt will be spawned requesting them to run the built-in code. If this is done the virus infection will begin.

The hackers can also construct fake download sites that imitate the legitimate download pages or well-known Internet portals. To help spread them the criminals can utilize various scripts such as pop-ups, banners, in-line hyperlinks and etc.

The virus executable files, payloads and payload carriers can also be spread in archives, even password-protected ones. In a situation where a string is required in order to unlock the files the hackers can place them in messages, notification boxes and other contents.

GANDCRAB V4.4 virus can also be spread via malicious browser extensions, also called hijackers. They are created for the most popular web browsers and are spread on the official repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials. The associated descriptions coerce the victims into installing them — the description promises to add new features or enhance already existing ones. Once they are installed the built-in code will start to modify the application settings to redirect the users to hacker-controlled page. Following this the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus infection will start.

GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus – In-Depth Analysis

Following the infiltration of the malware threat on the victim hosts several security checks are performed in order to bypass processes that may interfere with its correct execution. A modular framework is used which allows the main infection engine to access and manipulate different system settings.

One of the first actions that are executed by the malicious code is the information harvesting one. There are two main types of data that are commonly hijacked:

  • Private Data — The collected information can be used to expose the identity of the victims. The engine will automatically hijack personal data such as strings related to their name, address, phone number, location, interests and account credentials.
  • Campaign Metrics — Other information that can be used to optimize the attacks can include a report on the installed hardware components, user settings and operating system variables.

The collected information can then be processed by another component called stealth protection. It is used to scan for applications and services that can interrupt the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus execution. The list of target programs includes: anti-virus products, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. The identified processes will be stopped and the applications themselves can be removed from the systems. This allows the virus to be able to take full control of the devices — the GANDCRAB V4.4 virus can create its own processes, hook up to existing ones and spawn multiple threads.

Constant monitoring of the system is enforced — the analysis reveals that the infection engine can monitor for changes in both operating system settings, Windows Registry values, files and etc.

The analysis shows that the engine has the ability to interact with the system Volume manager. This means that the virus will have access to removable storage devices and available network shares. This means that a single infection can potentially trigger a whole network takeover.

Follow-up infection actions can modify the web browser settings and redirect the victim machines to a hacker-controlled page. This is particularly useful when instituting the threat with blackmail tactics. The ransomware can also modify the Windows Registry. This means that it can access, modify and create new strings. When operating system ones affected then overall performance will suffer. Changes to individual applications can render certain services and functions non-working. In addition the malicious engine can create strings for itself and modify the boot settings thereby setting itself as a persistent threat. This means that it will start itself whenever the computer boots and disable access to the recovery boot menu.

Other malicious behavior includes the removal of Restore Data — Restore points and Shadow Volume Copies. To effectively restore them a professional software will need to be used, refer to our removal instructions.

The GANDCRAB V4.4 virus can be used to deliver Trojan infections. They create a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. It allows the criminals to take over control of the infected machines, spy on the users and steal any file.

One of the key differences between this version and previous GandCrab ransomware threats is the fact that v4.4 creates a specific mutex value. It appears that under certain conditions this will block the operations of the virus. There are several explanations for this behavior:

  • Killswitch Variant — One of the proposed speculations is that by acquiring this version of the GandCrab the automatic activation of the mutex lock will disable the virus’s ransomware component.
  • Upgraded Weapon — The fact that the lock mutex is used probably means that the criminals behnd it are focusing on a stealth delivery. The ransomware component will be activated upon a command given by the operators.
  • New Ransomware — The new GandCrab v4.4 threat may be created as an independent threat without having a connection to previous attackers. The developers of the v4.4 version may have taken the source code of already existing threats done by other hackers and modified them to create their own custom version.

GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus – Encryption Process

Like previous GandCrab ransomware threats the v4.4 version uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. They will be processed by a strong cipher, the encrypted files will not be accessible to the user. Teh lists include the most popular user data including the following:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Documents
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

The same .KRAB extension will be applied to the victims files.

A ransomware note will be created in a file called KRAB-DECRYPT.txt. A typical message will read the following contents:

—= GANDCRAB 4 =—

Attention!
All your files, documents. photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the
extension: .KRAB
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key
and only we can recover your files.

The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:

——————————————————————————–
|0. Download Tor browser – https://www.torproject.org/
|1. Install Tor browser
|2. Open Tor Browser
|3. Open link in TOR browser: https://gandcrabmfe6mnef.onion/
|4. Follow the instructions on this page
———————————————————————————

On our page you will see instructions on payment and have the opportunity to decryp 1 file for free.

ATTENTION!
IN ORDER TO PREVENT DATA DAMAGE:

* DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES
* DO NOT CHANGE DATA BELOW

—BEGIN GANDCRAB KEY—

—END GANDCRAB KEY—

—BEGIN PC DATA—

—END PC DATA—

The ransomware note contains several fields that are generated automatically by the engine. The first part is the extension — while the generic .CRAB or .KRAB extension is used as one of the main identification signs for the ransomware family it can be customized by the hackers to something else. The GandCrab key is the unique identifier given to each individual infection. The PC DATA string is a type of uniquer user identifier — it is created by analyzing certain conditions and creating it based on the acquired data.

Remove GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

If your computer system got infected with the GANDCRAB V4.4 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.

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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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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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus

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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus.

Ransomware infections and GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus:

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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus. 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus. 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus. 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus.

Ransomware infections and GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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.


GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus FAQ

What is GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus ransomware and how does it work?

GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 .GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus files?

You can't. At this point the .GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 .GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 ".GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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 GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like GANDCRAB V4.4 Virus 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.

1 Comment

  1. Avatardipur

    We are waiting for Grandcrab 4 decryptor. This ransomware is really cruel.

    Tks

    Reply

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