Project 57 Ransomware – How to Remove It
THREAT REMOVAL

Project 57 Ransomware – How to Remove It

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This article will aid you to remove Project57 Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

Project57 Ransomware is one that encrypts your data and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. The Project57 Ransomware will leave ransomware instructions as text file. Keep on reading the article and see how you could try to potentially recover some of your locked files and data.

Threat Summary

NameProject 57 Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files with the .костя баранин extension and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Project 57 Ransomware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Project 57 Ransomware.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

Project57 Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

The Project 57 ransomware is a typical malware threat which was identified in an ongoing attack campaign. The captured samples were sufficient in number to conduct an analysis of the way the ransomware operates. We anticipate that several methods are to be used at once in order to maximize the number of impacted computers.

One of the most popular methods is the coordination of email SPAM campaigns which are being sent to the recipients with various social engineering elements built-in. This is done in order to coerce them into thinking that they have received a legitimate message from a well-known company or service that they might be using. In the body contents the users will be shown interactive and multimedia links call to actions, if any of them are clicked the victims will download the virus files. In other cases the malware can be directly attached to the messages.

Another technique that is often used by malicious users is the creation of payload carriers, these are files that contain the Project57 ransomware virus installation code. It is launched as soon as the required user interaction has been made. There are two primary types which are the following:

  • Infected Documents — The hackers embed macro scripts in all of the popular document types in order to maximize the number of infected users. Possible carriers include all forms of text files, databases, spreadsheets and databases. In the most common case whenever one of them is opened a notification prompt will be launched asking the users to enable the built-in interactive content. This will lead to the virus infection.
  • Setup Files — The malicious actors can also choose to embed the Project 57 ransomware code in application installers of popular software. In most cases applications that are often used by end users are most likely to carry out virus infections. The criminals will take the real setup files and modify them to include the necessary code.

Ransomware can be spread across file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent which are often used to distribute both legitimate and pirate content.

When larger Project 57 ransomware infections are planned the criminals may make use of browser hijackers which are dangerous extensions made for most of the popular web browsers. They can be found on the relevant repositories of the browsers, masking themselves as useful additions. Their descriptions will promise feature additions or performance optimizations while at the same time fake or hacked developer credentials and user reviews may be used.

Project57 Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

What we know about the Project 57 ransomware is that it does not appear to originate from any of the popular malware families. It is possible that it is created by the same malicious actors responsible for its distribution or it may be ordered from the underground markets. Whatever the case the captured samples contain only the encryption engine showing that the impacted computers will have their files encrypted right after the infection has been made.

It is possible that if the Project 57 ransomware proves to be a successful tool for infiltration it can be upgraded to act like the other common malware viruses of this type. In these cases a typical behavior pattern can be modeled.

As soon as the ransomware is introduced to the system an information gathering component will be started. Using a pre-programmed engine this module will search for strings that contain useful information that will be collected by the malicious actors. Many of the contemporary viruses will assign an unique computer infection ID to each machine. It is generated using an algorithm that takes its input values form from the list of installed hardware components, user settings, regional preferences and etc. It can also be configured to hijack sensitive user data which can expose the identity of the victims. This is made possible by scanning the hard disk contents and memory for strings such as their name, address, phone number, location and stored account credentials.

The collected information can then be used to bypass security software and services that can potentially block the virus’s distribution: anti-virus applications, sandbox and debug environments, as well as firewalls and other related products.

When this step is complete the Project 57 ransomware will have obtained control of the infected machine, having the ability to create its own processes and hook up to existing ones, including those belonging to the operating system. One of the most dangerous actions are the ones that are related to modifications to the Windows Registry. Modified values belonging to the operating system can result in severe performance issues, while those that affect user-installed applications can block them from running.

If the malware is installed as a persistent virus then its removal will be made very difficult. Such ransomware will change important system options and can even make some of the manual user removal guides non-working. When this behavior is engaged the infection will be started automatically each time the computer is booted. This particular component is also responsible for any for any removal of user data: Backups, Shadow Volume Copies and Restore Points. If the main Project 57 ransomware engine interacts with the Windows Volume Manager it may also access any connected removable devices and network shares.

Another malicious command issued by most other ransomware is payload delivery of other malware. The three most popular categories that can be carried by ransomware are the following:

  • Trojans — These instances are responsible for establishing a connection to a hacker-controlled server allowing the malicious actors to overtake control of the infected hosts. Additional possibilities include the non-stop option to spy on the users, steal valuable data before and after the encryption module has started and to deploy other threats if programmed to do so.
  • Cryptocurrency Miners — They will take advantage of the available hardware resources of the impacted machines by downloading complex mathematical tasks that will be run on the compromised hosts, all performance-related components will be utilized: CPU, GPU, memory and hard disk space. As soon as one of the tasks is complete and reported the malicious operators will receive income in the form of cryptocurrency.
  • Intrusive Browser Hijackers — Future versions of the Project 57 ransomware can be programmed to deploy browser hijackers which will modify the settings of the affected programs and redirect the users to a hacker-controlled landing page.

Project57 Ransomware – Encryption Process

The security analysis confirms that a powerful encryption engine is used by the Project 57 ransomware. It will process all system and user files as defined by the built-in list of target file type extensions. An example one would include the following data:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Music
  • Images
  • Videos

All victim files will be renamed with the .костя баранин extension. The associated ransomware note is created in two files called DECRYPT.HTML and DECRYPT.TXT which contain the same message written in Russian.

Remove Project57 Ransomware and Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the Project57 ransomware 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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