THREAT REMOVAL

remove Olympic Destroyer Virus Godjue strain

The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics cyber attack was found to be caused by a malware called the Olympic Destroyer Virus. The initial code analysis reveals that this is an advanced Trojan that recruits the impacted systems into a worldwide botnet network. It can also be used to institute ransomware and other additional viruses.

Threat Summary

Name Olympic Destroyer
Type Trojan, Botnet
Short Description The Olympic Destroyer Virus is an advanced virus that can delete important files and recruits the infected host to a worldwide botnet network.
Symptoms In most cases the victims may not be able to spot any infection symptoms. In certain cases applications and services may stop working.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable Files
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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.

Olympic Destroyer Virus – Distribution

The Olympic Destroyer Virus has become famous as this is the virus that was able to penetrate the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. At the moment the released details showcase that the threat has been deployed using a Wi-Fi network. Media reporters on location shared that shortly before the ceremony the Wi-Fi access stopped working due to technical difficulties. A spokesperson later issued a statement that the technical problems affected several areas of the Games without revealing further information. However many guests and reporters reported that they started receiving malware emails which means that the Olympic Destroyer Virus has probably penetrated the internal network. Using the obtained information we can deduce a few potential infection distribution tactics delivering the Olympic Destroyer Virus samples.

The hackers behind the virus may have targeted a particular software vulnerability using an automated penetration testing framework. These utilities are loaded with exploits for many of the most commonly used services. It is possible that the event organizers have employed an outdated version of a certain software services which was hijacked.

Another possibility is the active distribution of the Olympic Destroyer Virus through email messages to users of the internal network. In such cases the malware operators can uses various social engineering scams. There are two primary ways the email messages can be customized. One of them is the direct attachment of the virus files to the messages. The victim recipients are instructed to download and run them. Another prominent strategy is to send the ransomware file through a hosted instance. In this case malware hyperlinks are used to direct the intended victims into them.

When mass infections are intended the hackers can also take advantage of browser hijackers. They have the ability to modify the settings of the installed web browsers and are usually compatible with the most popular apps: Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari. The default behavior is to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page, as well as infect the victims with viruses.

Other techniques include the use of infected documents that may be of different types: rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The hackers customize them to appear as files of interests: invoices, letters, notifications or contracts. As soon as they are opened a prompt pops up and asks them to execute the built-in scripts (macros). Once this is done the virus infection follows.

A similar technique is the use of software installers that represent modified instances of popular software. The malware operators usually take the legitimate installers from the official vendor sites and modifying them to include the dangerous code. They are then uploaded to counterfeit download sites or sent using email message campaigns. Note that such files are also actively distributed on file sharing networks such as BitTorrent.

Olympic Destroyer Virus – Impact

The captured Olympic Destroyer Virus have been found to be based on a modular framework. Once the virus engine has found a way to penetrate the target system it starts to look out for security software and other applications that may interfere with its processes. Like other advanced malware it is able to counter and bypass the real-time security engines of anti-virus products and has been found effective against debuggers, sandboxes and virtual machines as well. We remind our readers that the hackers can also instruct the samples to delete themselves if they are unable to do so. This step is made in order to counter post-intrusion detection.

Once this is done the ransomware engine continues further by launching an elaborate information gathering module which is able to query sensitive information found in the infected machines. At the moment we have received confirmation that the bulk of data is related to the regional language settings and system data. This includes details about the computers such as their operating system.

A series of dangerous system changes follow that can make manual removal impossible without the use of a quality anti-spyware solution, refer to our in-depth guide after the analysis. The Olympic Destroyer Virus is extremely sophisticated as it can delete a number of important parts of the operating system: Shadow Volume copies (that make data recovery difficult), backups and certain Windows registry values. As a consequence the victims will find that data recovery will be difficult and that they will need to use a professional-grade software. The users can also experience serious performance issues and discover that certain services or applications may fail.

The main infection module has the ability to interfere with the boot options which in effect also disables the recovery options. By hooking up to system services it can masquerade itself from analysis and can spawn its own processes using both user and administrative privileges. The virus allows the hacker operators to execute arbitrary commands on the infected machines. Such use can allow the criminal operators to insitute additional malware including Trojans. They allow the computer system to be spied upon in real time. The hackers can also overtake control of the machines at any given time.

Such threats can be modified to include a ransomware component which can encrypt sensitive files based on a predefined list of target file type extensions. The files are encrypted using a powerful cipher and can be renamed with different extensions which can be customized according to the malware version or attack campaign. Usually after this is done the hackers create special documents called ransom notes that blackmail the victims for a ransom fee. The money is usually quoted in a cryptocurrency where the transactions cannot be traced down to a certain individual or group.

According to the security reports the main goal of the infections is to recruit the host to a worldwide network of zombie nodes that can be used to launch devastating denial of service attacks. Once all infection components have completed execution the virus spreads to other hosts via a network worm propagation technique. This is the reason why it is considered a high-risk threat.

How to Remove Olympic Destroyer Virus and Restore Files

Тo remove Olympic Destroyer ransowmare just follow the step-by-step removal guide below which provides both manual and automatic approaches. Due to the complexity of ransomware code, security researchers recommend the help of advanced anti-malware tool that guarantees maximum efficiency.

Once the removal is complete, alternative data recovery approaches could be also found in the guide. They may be useful for the restore of some encrypted files. Be advised to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before you proceed with the recovery process.

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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.


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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 Olympic Destroyer from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Olympic Destroyer

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 Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer.

Ransomware infections and Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer:

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 Olympic Destroyer. 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 Olympic Destroyer. 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 Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer. 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 Olympic Destroyer:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Olympic Destroyer.

Ransomware infections and Olympic Destroyer 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.


Olympic Destroyer FAQ

What is Olympic Destroyer ransomware and how does it work?

Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Olympic Destroyer 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 Olympic Destroyer 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 .Olympic Destroyer files?

You can't. At this point the .Olympic Destroyer 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 .Olympic Destroyer files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Olympic Destroyer 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 ".Olympic Destroyer" files (Other Methods)?

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Olympic Destroyer 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.

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