NetWalker ransomware is a variant of the Mailto Ransomware family as malware researchers have discovered. This ransomware locks files on a computer and demands money to be paid as a ransom for unlocking them.
NetWalker Ransomware (.Mailto Cryptovirus)
NetWalker ransomware is believed to be a variant of the Mailto Ransomware family. The .mailto file extension along with an email address is attached as the extension to all of your files, making them inaccessible. All encrypted files will receive the new extension as a secondary one. The NetWalker ransomware drops a ransom note, which gives instructions to victims on how they can allegedly restore their data by paying a ransom fee.
NetWalker Ransomware Virus
NetWalker Ransomware will encrypt all types of files such as audio, video, pictures, backups, banking data, and other personal user files found on a compromised computer system.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The NetWalker ransomware will encrypt your files by appending the .mailto extension to them, along with a unique identification number placing the new .mailto extension as a secondary.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss NetWalker.|
Netwalker Cryptovirus (Mailto) October 2020 Update
Several new samples have been identified in a new attack campaign. The changes in the October 2020 release are related to the virus operations which are done on the compromised computers. Code analysis has been done on some of the collected iterations giving further details about the execution. What we know is that this new version will create “mutants” on the machines — these are objects that are created in system areas. Modern operating systems (like Windows) use them as kernel objects that work with programs and through this interaction synchronize events. Their main goal is to create a kind of trigger, thereby making sure that further virus samples will not re-infect the same machine.
Functionality that is often added in such ransomware is the process control — the ransomware may be programmed to interact with the running applications and steal information from them. It may also execute actions on behalf of the users without them knowing. This can lead to the theft of valuable information, performance issues, data loss, and other dangerous consequences.
Like other previous versions, the local agent will install itself as a persistent threat, meaning that it will get started automatically when the computer is powered on.
Various PowerShell commands may be used by the virus engine to conduct other dangerous malware operations, they can include any of the following:
- Commands Execution
- Additional Virus Installations
- Data Theft
- Files Manipulation
- System Changes
Netwalker Cryptovirus (Mailto) May 2020 Update
In May 2020 new information became available about the way ransomware infects computers. One of the newer attacks used a new technique called reflective loading which is used for DLL Injection, one of the advanced ways through which viruses are deployed. One of the key differences between it and ordinary ones is that the loading happens from memory. No files are saved on the disk of the devices which guards against discovery by some anti-virus programs.
The virus infection is made in a several stage sequences – a PowerShell script is initiated which will download the virus and run it on the system. One of the notable characteristics is that the initial loader code is encrypted, obfuscated, and encoded in several layers.
The ransomware will also terminate processes, one of the collected samples shows that the following are affected:
backup, sql, Acronis Agent, ARSM, Server Administrator, Shadow Protect Svc, wbengine, excel.exe, ntrtscan.exe, powerpt.exe, winword.exe and wra.exe
March 2020 Netwalker Cryptovirus Attacks Against Health Organizations
A new attack campaign carrying this cryptovirus is currently targeting healthcare organizations. An unknown hacking group is creating email messages which are designed to infiltrate organizations and companies.
This means that the criminals have carefully selected targets so that they match a certain profile. The intention is to deliver the virus through common mechanisms. The first and primary one is to attach the virus file or a malware-infected file directly to the emails. The alternative is to link the ransomware via text links, multimedia files and etc.
NetWalker Ransomware – How Did It Infect My PC and What Happened?
It might spread its infection via a payload dropper, which initiates the malicious script for this ransomware. The virus might also distribute its payload file on social media and file-sharing services. Freeware that is found on the Web can be presented as helpful also be hiding the malicious script for the cryptovirus.
The ransomware encrypts your files and shows ransomware instructions inside a ransom note that is called ID-Readme.txt as showcased in the picture below:
The note states the following:
Your files are encrypted.
All encrypted files for this computer has extension: .1401
If for some reason you read this text before the encryption ended,
this can be understood by the fact that the computer slows down,
and your heart rate has increased due to the ability to turn it off,
then we recommend that you move away from the computer and accept that you have been compromised,
rebooting/shutdown will cause you to lose files without the possibility of recovery and even god will not be able to help you,
it could be files on the network belonging to other users, sure you want to take that responsibility?
Our encryption algorithms are very strong and your files are very well protected, you can’t hope to recover them without our help.
The only way to get your files back is to cooperate with us and get the decrypter program.
Do not try to recover your files without a decrypt program, you may damage them and then they will be impossible to recover.
We advise you to contact us as soon as possible, otherwise there is a possibility that your files will never be returned.
For us this is just business and to prove to you our seriousness, we will decrypt you some files for free,
but we will not wait for your letter for a long time, mail can be abused, we are moving on, hurry up with the decision.
Don’t forget to include your code in the email:
You should NOT under any circumstances pay any ransom sum.
The extortionists want you to pay a ransom for the alleged restoration of your files, the same as with a lot of cryptoviruses. NetWalker ransomware could make entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence and could launch or repress processes in a Windows system. All encrypted will receive the .mailto extension alongside an email address. That extension will be placed as a secondary one for each file. Audio, video, image files as well as documents, backups, and banking data can be encrypted by the ransomware.
This Ransomware Virus could be set to erase all the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system with the help of the following command:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
If your computer device was infected with this ransomware and your files are locked, read on through to find out how you could potentially restore your files back to normal.
Remove NetWalker Ransomware Cryptovirus
If your computer got infected with the NetWalker Ransomware, 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.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove NetWalker
Step 2: Uninstall NetWalker and related malware 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 NetWalker 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 NetWalker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for NetWalker with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by NetWalker.
Ransomware infections and NetWalker 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.
Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.
What is NetWalker Ransomware?
NetWalker 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 algorithms 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.
Can NetWalker Ransomware Damage My Computer?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Ransomware, like NetWalker?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom. Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.
How Does NetWalker Ransomware Infect My Computer?
Via several ways.NetWalker Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 NetWalker 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 .NetWalker files?
You can't. At this point, the .NetWalker files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .NetWalker files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by NetWalker ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be 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.
Can I Restore ".NetWalker" Files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .NetWalker files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed 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 NetWalker Ransomware Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program. It will scan for and locate NetWalker ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .NetWalker files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like NetWalker ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with 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 I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?
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.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Prevent NetWalker Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.
Can NetWalker Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.
Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can affect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even to use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine. It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the NetWalker Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this NetWalker how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware
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.