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Remove Anonymous Ransomware (Jigsaw Variant) and Restore .xyz Files

STF-anonymous-ransomware-jigsaw-variant-xyz-extension-ransom-note

The Jigsaw ransomware continues to have more variants. The latest one puts the extension .xyz to encrypted files. The crypto-virus can encrypt more than 120 file extensions, as previous variants did, and will create a ransom note afterward. The theme is again Anonymous, as we saw a similar one in the Epic variant. 250 dollars is the sum asked for the ransom payment. To know how to restore your files and remove the ransomware virus, you should read the article carefully to the end.

Threat Summary

Name Anonymous
Type Ransomware
Short Description Files with more than 120 different extensions get encrypted. Every hour files can be deleted if the ransom money is not paid.
Symptoms The ransomware encrypts files with the AES encryption algorithm. Encrypted files have a new extension – .xyz. The ransom price that is asked is 250 US dollars.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Anonymous.
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.

Anonymous Ransomware – How Is It Spread?

Anonymous ransomware could be spread via spam e-mails containing a file attachment. If the attachment is opened, the malicious code inside it injects itself in your computer system. That file might be named to something like firefox.exe or a similar name of a known program, pretending that it is useful and trying to trick people into opening it.

Most of the previous variants of the Anonymous ransomware were also spread through social media networks and sites for file-sharing, too. DropBox was utilized as an another distribution method for the original – Jigsaw ransomware. The best thing you can do to avoid infection is to be wary of suspicious websites and links and even of files with unknown origin. From them, you could easily find malware, which can infect your machine with the Anonymous ransomware virus.

Anonymous Ransomware – Technical Overview

This encryption virus is called Anonymous and it is part of the Jigsaw ransomware family. Its name comes from the theme this variant used. This reminds us of the other Jigsaw variant – Epic Ransomware. In the ransom message, we can see the logo of the group Anonymous, with their slogan “We are Anonymous. We Are Legion. We do not forget. We do not forgive. Expect us”. After encryption, all of your files will be locked and unusable. The malware demands a fixed sum of money to be paid in BitCoins for decryption. If you do not comply with the rules set by the Anonymous ransomware, your files may get deleted on an hourly basis.

The ransomware will create the following file on a compromised computer:

%UserProfile%AppData\Local\MS\app_roaming.exe

Afterward, it will register itself in the Windows Registry as Microsoft’s Defender program, and pretend to be Windows Defender, so it can maintain persistence. This is the entry in the Windows Registry:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Defender.exe %UserProfile%AppData\Roaming\MS\Defender.exe

The above registry value will automatically load the app_roaming.exe executable file of the ransomware with every start of Windows. Anonymous ransomware will start each time and the process will be registered in the Windows Task Manager – it is advised that you end the process from there, so no files could get erased.

After that, the Anonymous ransomware will show a lock screen which types out text like it’s a real-time event, trying to scare you further. Have a look at the lock screen message:

STF-anonymous-ransomware-jigsaw-variant-xyz-extension-ransom-note

The text from the lock screen reads:

Your data has now been fully encrypted
But don’t worry! this can be temporary
Follow the instructions and this virus will decrypt all the data
and then remove itself
However, time is crucial. Every hour, it will select some of them,
and delete permanently.
PLEASE NOTE: If you or you Anti-virus attempts to remove this virus,
You will be responsible for getting rid of the ONLY way to getting you DATA back.
During the first 24 hour you will only lose a few items, actioned every hour
the second day a few hundred, the third day a few thousand.
If you turn off you computer, or attempt remove the virus
or try to close this window, it will start up again
and WILL delete 1000 files as a punishment.
Once you make the payment, click the confirmation button below and it will begin to
automaticlly decrypt process all data and the virus will remove itself once completed.
The ball is now in your court.

Your Move _

TIMER

1 file will be deleted.

View encrypted files.

Please, send at least $250 worth of Bitcoin here

I made a payment now give me back my files!

The ransomware wants you to make a payment of at least 250 US dollars in Bitcoin currency. It threatens you with the deletion of files for every hour you do not pay. The demanded ransom price will not increase with time. If you end the process from the Task Manager, you shouldn’t get files deleted.

Paying the ransom money demanded by the Anonymous ransomware is not advised. Nobody can make you a guarantee that you will get your files back in that way. Plus, the money will go to cyber-criminals and will aid them in their criminal activities.

Be aware that at the end of the article you will find yourself a few ways to restore your data. The malware researcher that cracked the original Jigsaw ransomware, Michael Gillespie, has also updated his decryption tool, and you can find it among the file restoration ways below.

The Anonymous ransomware searches to encrypt files with various extensions, on each kind of storage device you might own – a SSD, a HDD, both locally and externally. The Anonymous variant encrypts a bit more than 120 file extensions, as its past variants. A big portion of them are listed below:

STF-anonymous-ransomware-jigsaw-variant-xyz-extension-encrypted-file

→ .3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .raw, .rb, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .rtf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .xqx, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java

The AES algorithm is used for the encryption of the files. The ransomware sets the .xyz extension to all locked files. If you restart your computer, there is a possibility that you might lose 1,000 of your files.

A solution to restore all of your files is given below. In case you already rebooted your PC system after the infection and lost a part of your files – do not worry. Data Recovery software could still aid in the recovery of your lost data.

Remove Anonymous Ransomware and Restore .xyz Files

If Anonymous ransomware infected your machine, do not panic, as there is already a solution available for getting your files decrypted for free. If you want to get rid of the ransomware, you should have some experience in removing viruses. Check the instructions manual given below to see how you can recover your files.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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How to Remove Anonymous from Windows.


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

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 Anonymous 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 Anonymous 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 Anonymous 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 Anonymous 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.


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Get rid of Anonymous from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Anonymous 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 Anonymous:

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 Anonymous. 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 Anonymous. 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 Anonymous 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 Anonymous. 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.


Step 2: Scan for and remove Anonymous files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Anonymous, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Anonymous:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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Remove Anonymous from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


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Erase Anonymous from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



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Uninstall Anonymous from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Anonymous from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Anonymous will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Anonymous from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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