A ransomware infection, known by many as the Meteoritan virus has been reported to cause infections on unsuspecting users since March 2017. The virus is oriented on English-speaking users and it’s primary goal is to encrypt the files on the computers It infects by suing an AES encryption algorithm. The files are no longer openable after encryption is complete and the virus demands a hefty ransom fee to be paid to the cyber-criminals. In case your computer has been infected by this ransomware virus, recommendations are to read this article and learn how to remove this virus and try to get back the encrypted files.
|Short Description||Meteoritan ransomware encrypts the files on the infected systems and demands a ransom payoff to be made to make them openable again.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness the ransom notes “where_are_your_files.txt” and “Readme_your_files_have_been_encrypted.txt” after his computer was infected by Meteoritan.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Meteoritan |
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Meteoritan.|
|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.|
Meteoritan Ransomware – How Does It Infect
The creators of this ransomware infection may spread it via either a drive by download of a malicious file or script, both executed via a web link the victim may click on. However, a more effective approach is to upload an e-mail attachment that is malicious and trick inexperienced users to open it themselves. This e-mail spam technique is likely the one that may primarily be used for infection, amongst multiple others. Other methods by which the Meteoritan virus may be distributed are via:
- Fake game or program patches uploaded on torrent websites.
- Fake installers of programs on shady websites for free software.
- Installers that are legitimate but bundled with the malware.
- Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUPs) that display different browser redirections.
Whatever the case may be, users need to be aware on how to protect their data, before the inevitable happens. This is why we advise reading our related article on how to safely store your data to protect it:
Meteoritan Virus – What Does It Do
After becoming infected with the Meteoritan ransomware, the virus begins to modify the infected system’s settings. The first thing this ransomware may perform is to use different techiques to connect to the cyber-criminals remote host and download the malicious payload of Meteoritan on the infected computer. The payload may consist of multiple different files that may have different names. The files are usually located in multiple different Windows system folders:
In addition to the modules dropped by the Meteoritan Virus, there are other files, which contain the ransom note and are also dropped on the victim’s computer:
After the files are dropped on the victim PC, the ransomware may begin to perform multiple other modifications on it, such as delete the volume shadow copies on the compromised machine. This is usually done if the virus uses scripts that execute the vssadmin command with custom sub-commands:
After the command has been executed, the ransomware infection performs multiple other actions on the infected machine. One of those actions is to modify the Windows Registry Editor. These type of actions may be done to allow the executable responsible for the file encryption to run on system startup. The targeted Windows Registry Keys for this are the following:
The ransomware may also automatically open it’s ransom note file which has the following message to the victims of the virus:
→ ATTENTION! ATTENTION! You have been victim of METEORITAN RAMSOMWARE!
Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted by RSA-4096 alghorythm generated by your computer, if you want to restore your files, you must get a decryption key.
How can I get decrypt key?
1. Send E-Mail to email@example.com with your ID. Your ID is in METEORITAN.POLAND file, open in Notepad.
2. Get Bitcoins. Bitcoin is a cryptovalute, which can pay. Use these sites: coinbase.com, btc.com, bitgo.com, strongcoin.com
3. In e-mail turning, we get a value of your key. Pay it.
4. In 24 hours you get an decrypt key. If you don’t see e-mail, check spam catalogue.
5. Run aplication and enter your key.
Meteoritan Ransomware – The Encryption Process
For the encryption process to work and render the files no longer openable, the Meteoritan ransomware virus is reported to use the AES encryption algorithm. This encryption cipher has been reported by malware researchers to replace bytes of the original file’s data with bytes of it’s encryption algorithm’s symbols. This procedure corrupts the file and the only way to restore it is if it is inserted in a program that can reverse engineer it’s unlock using a unique decryption key.
For the encryption, the virus may target multiple different files that are used in a very often basis. These files are reported to be often-used. The following file types may be affected by this ransomware infection:
→ “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 the encryption process is complete, the files may be concealed from the user, or may appear unrecognizable.
Remove Meteoritan Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files
For the removal of this ransomware infection, advices are to focus on performing a backup of all the files that have been encrypted.
Then, for the actual removal process, we advise following the removal instructions below. They are specifically designed to help users with the effective removal of this ransomware infection. For maximum effectiveness and if you lack experience to eliminate Meteoritan virus manually, researchers recommend using an anti-malware program. It is specifically designed to delete files and other objects of threats like Meteoritan automatically and protect your computer from newer threats in real-time.
After having removed the Meteoritan virus, reccomendations are to focus on restoring the damages done by it via using multiple alternative tools. We have posted some methods below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Meteoritan” with which you can attempt and restore at least some of the files encrypted by this virus.