The editor of Dark Reading Tim Wilson recently raised an provocative question in a comment he placed on the blog of Sara Peters, named “CryptoWall More Pervasive, Less Profitable than CryptoLocker”. Mr. Wilson provoked the security experts to share their advice on what the users should do when they face ransomware infections of the type CryptoLocker and CryptoWall. Should the users consider covering the ransom asked for? Are there implications for their data if users contact law enforcement? Can an enterprise set a policy on the malware? Is everything decided on an individual case?
The ransomware infections are attacks by cyber criminals, that is why the PC users should learn their technological limitations before the infection has reached them. When in enterprises, the security experts should educate themselves and then professionally present information to the users about the ransomware current state. They should also consider certain steps in order to prevent and them remediate the infections. However, people should know that they are on their own when it comes to ransomware problems.
In case the user calls the law enforcement, this will most likely not recover their files. Experts say that if the encrypted files cannot be recovered through a previous back-up or if they are extremely important for the business operation or for the livelihood of the individual, then paying the ransom is the best that the user can do.
The cyber criminals are utilizing file encryption tactics and they are not obliged to decrypt the files once the ransom is paid. The professionals claim that some ransomware does not come with an infrastructure suitable to store and then provide the decryption key to be used on the infected files of the user once he pays the ransom.
ZeroLocker is among the ransomware infections that raise the question about the possibility of decryption. When ZeroLocker encrypts the files of the user, the information along with the encryption key are sent through a GET request to a pre-determined server. This later results in a 404 on the server and this could mean that the server does not store the key. In other words, even if the ransom is paid there is no guarantee that the files will be restored. They might be restored and they might be not, thee outcome is uncertain.
CryptoLocker and CryptoWall
CryptoLocker crimeware current strain allow for FireEye/Fox-IT and Decrypt CryptoLocker tools to recover the encrypted files without paying the ransom. These tools however might not be applicable with future strains of CryptoLocker or with decryption of files that are affected by ZeroLocker, CryptoWall or CryptorBit.
If the files of the user could not be recovered from a backup and the user has the new Microsoft Windows Desktop operating system (Microsoft Vista and more recent), then the user might be able to leverage the restore functionality of Microsoft Windows’ Systems in order to restore the files that have been encrypted. The experts suggest for the users to try Shadow Explorer and the Windows Previous Version functionality, which might help them recover their files. A good guide to be used is the Bleeping Computer CryptoLocker guide which is available at the Bleeping Computer website.
Stay Prepared, Be Ready
PC users can take certain steps in order to prepare themselves for the ransomware attacks. The organizations should reinforce policies concerning the testing of data restoration and the data backups frequency. They should also pay attention to the user education. Al that will help the users fight the future cyber criminals’ attacks. This policy should be applied to all devices available including servers and workstations, laptops and IoP systems, as well as devices owned by the employees.
The home users should be very careful too as a great part of the ransomware comes as email attachment or is downloaded after executing an initial email attachment. In case the individual user is skeptical about an email that is not expected ad contains a DOC, PDF, or PPT file, they should be extremely careful and do not open the file. The best policy here is to delete the email. If the email has been important and not containing malware, it can be sent again.
Ransomware can be delivered with different methods including native email attachments, automated bots, downloaders with extra malicious malware, etc. The delivery mechanisms are always changing and thus the organizations have to use a predictive approach in order to protect themselves against ransomware. In order for this to be done, the organizations should use predictive intelligence concept.
How to Remove from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove
Step 2: Uninstall 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by 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 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .
Ransomware infections and 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.
If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:
Get rid of from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as , the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by on your Mac.
Ransomware for Mac aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.
What is ransomware and how does it work?
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 ransomware infect my computer?
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 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 . files?
You can't. At this point the . files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?
If a decryptor did not decrypt your . files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by 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 "." files (Other Methods)?
We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore . 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 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 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important . files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like 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?
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.