A variant of the Kryptovor Ransomware, Neitrino ransomware is reported to encode the files of the computer it infects, adding the .neitrino expansion to them. This ransom virus also uses a MESSAGE.txt file that aims to notify affected users that their computer’s files are encrypted with an AES cipher and they should pay ransom money to get them back. This is done to convince users they do not have any other options and their best bet is to pay criminals from their money. Since victims have been already affected, experts strongly advise against paying any ransom notes.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users’ files after force restarting their PC, dropping ransom message, named “MESSAGE.txt”|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom messages and “instructions”.|
|Distribution Method||It may spread via malicious PDFs and an Infostealer featured in spam e-mail messages.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Neitrino |
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Neitrino 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.|
Neitrino Ransomware’s Distribution Methods
Neitrino Ransomware virus may use third-party websites and leave its malicious executables there by uploading them in the form of different legitimate programs:
The content of such e-mails may appear to be convincing for the user, giving him or her serious reasons to open the e-mail attachment. This is very effective if the spammers use websites that the users are registered in or other information against them, making users believe this is legitimate.
Neitrino Ransom Virus – Detailed Information
Since Neitrino is a Kriptovor variant, it may also use a Trojan that can obtain and send to the cyber-criminals key system information:
The Neitrino Ransowmare may also have specific configuration to delete itself and not run. For instance, if it detects that it is not running on a real Windows environment and is instead running on a virtual drive, it may shut down and self-terminate. Not only this, but if such criteria is ment, the Neitrino Ransowmare may also download its payload in a .RAR file from a malicious domain belonging to the cyber-criminals.
Neitrino Ransomware may have more than one executable. It may add a registry entry for its malicious file that encrypts files in the Windows Registry Editor. The targeted key may be the “RunOnce” key which runs the encryptor when you start Windows:
As soon as Neitrino encryption process is initiated, it may scan for hundreds of types of file types. The most “important” files it encrypts are:
Microsoft Office Documents.
But Neitrino does not stop there. The Neitrino virus, actually leaves a ransom note, written entirely in Russian. It translates to the following message:
This scareware message suggests that Neitrino Ransomware may have used the so-called CBC-mode. This abbreviation stands for Cipher Block Chaining and it may indeed damage the files if you try to use other decryptors than the original. This is why we do not advise you to do it, or if you are to do it, to create copies of the encoded files.
Neitrino Ransomware – Removal and File Restoration Methods
If you have decided that you should immediately erase Neitrino Ransomware our advice is to use the instructions which we kindly have provided for you after this article. They will help you to manually delete Neitrino from your computer. In case you are having difficulties following the manual instructions, it is generally preferable to use an advanced anti-malware program which will automatically scan for and remove malicious files associated with this virus and restore your settings back to normal without damaging the encoded files.
In case you feel like you should do something about the encrypted files, DO NOT pay the ransom amount if the crooks ask for it. Instead you can try to:
1. Before starting any decryption by yourself create several copies of the encrypted files so that you can try decrypting them using Kaspersky’s and Emsisoft’s decryptors from a safe computer.
2. Ask the cyber-criminals to decrypt one file for free as a guarantee since this will assist you with the decryption of the other files.
3. Follow the suggested alternative solutions in step “3. Restore files encrypted by Neitrino” below.