New ransomware variant, whose name was chosen by its creators to be “Apocalypse” has emerged out into the open. The ransomware also known as a crypto-virus uses either RSA or AES cipher to encrypt the files of the computers it infects and runs on startup pretending to be a Windows Update process. Since this ransomware virus demands different ransom payoff ammount in BitCoin, users infected with it are strongly advised not to pay any. Instead it is recommended to follow the instructions here to remove Apocalypse and decrypt your data, using the Decryptor posted below.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files with a strong cipher and asks a ransom payoff for decryption by contacting its e-mail.|
|Symptoms||Files are encrypted and become inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom shows as a How_To_Decrypt.txt file.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Apocalypse Ransomware.|
|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.|
Apocalypse Ransomware – Ways of Spreading
In order to be successfully redistributed out into the open, Apocalypse uses different techniques. One of those is posting malicious web links on various places througout the web. Such web links may be featured in spam e-mails resembling a big company, like a bank or PayPal.
Another method of spreading this ransomware may be via potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) which are also known to cause browser redirects.
Apocalypse crypto-virus may also be featured as a malicious e-mail attachment in spam message sent via e-mail.
Apocalypse Ransomware – Methods of Operation
Once activated on your computer, the dropper of the ransomware virus creates an executable in the following Windows directory:
C:\Program Files (x86)\windowsupdate.exe,/p>
After doing so, Apocalypse modifies the registry entry of the infected computer so that this executable runs when you start your Windows OS. This is possible by adding values in the following registry key:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Windows Update Svc C:\Program Files (x86)\windowsupdate.exe
On system startup, the ransomware may run as a Windows Update service and block the user, explaining to him that the files are encrypted. It may also run in an obfuscated manner to avoid detection by anti Anti-Virus programs.
To encrypt the files, the Apocalypse ransomware uses an exclusion list. Basically, it encodes every single file of the infected computer except files with the following file extensions:
.encrypted, .dat, .bat, .bin, .ini, .tmp, .lnk, .com, .msi, .sys, .dll, .exe
After enciphering the data, Apocalypse ransomware adds the .encrypted extension to the files, for example:
The ransomware also drives users to open the “How_To_Decrypt.txt” file which states the following ransom note:
IF YOU ARE READING THIS MESSAGE, ALL THE FILES IN THIS COMPUTER HAVE BEEN CRYPTED!!!
IF YOU WANT TO RECOVER YOUR DATA, CONTACT THE EMAIL BELOW
WE WILL PROVIDE DECRYPTION SOFTWARE TO RECOVER YOUR FILES.
IF YOU DONT CONTACT BEFORE 72 HOURS, ALL DATA WILL BE LOST FOREVER”
After the encryption process has finished, the ransomware locks the user out of his computer and the only way to access the system again is in Safe Mode.
Remove Apocalypse Ransomware and Decrypt Your Files
To fully erase this ransomware from your computer, we strongly advise following our instructions below. In addition to that experts also recommend removing its malicious files and objects using an advanced-anti-malware tool for maximum effectiveness.
To decrypt your files it is advisable to download EmsiSoft`s decrypter for Apocalypse Ransomware below:
- Guide 1: How to Remove Apocalypse from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Apocalypse from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Apocalypse from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Apocalypse from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Apocalypse from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Apocalypse from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Apocalypse from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Apocalypse from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Apocalypse
Step 2: Uninstall Apocalypse 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 Apocalypse 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 Apocalypse there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Apocalypse from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Apocalypse 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 Apocalypse 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 Apocalypse files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Apocalypse, 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.
Remove Apocalypse 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.
Erase Apocalypse 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.
Uninstall Apocalypse 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.
Remove Apocalypse 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Apocalypse will be removed.
Eliminate Apocalypse 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.