This article provides information about a data locker ransomware dubbed Aurora that encrypts important files and demands a ransom payment. By the end of it, you will know how to remove the threat and how to restore .aurora files.
The .aurora files virus causes enduring damage to important files stored on your infected computer. Corrupted files can be recognized by the specific extension .aurora that stands at the end of their original names. The main solution for their decryption is held by the hackers who demand a ransom payment for it. However, the decryption key possessed by them may be broken or missing at all. That’s why it is recommendable to consider alternative methods to deal with the problem before you rush into paying $500 ransom.
|Name||.aurora Files Virus|
|Short Description||A data locker ransomware that utilizes strong cihper algorithm to encrypt files stored on the infected computer. Then it demands a ransom for decryption solution.|
|Symptoms||Important files are locked and renamed with .aurora extension. They remain unusable until a ransom is paid.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by .aurora Files Virus |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .aurora Files Virus.|
|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.|
.aurora Files Virus – Update December 2018
The .aurora Files Virus keeps on spreading even in December, 2018. New samples of this ransomware have been spotted by malware researchers recently and during November as well. You can see the current detections on the VirusTotal service:
The Aurora ransomware still encrypts files by adding the same extension, namely .aurora and researchers say that it is decryptable. Other than that there is not much difference in the modus operandi of the cryptovirus.
.aurora Files Virus – Distribution
Mainly Aurora’s payload may be spread via email spam campaigns that distribute corrupted attached files. Even though, the emails seem legit the attached files contain files that trigger ransomware attack at the moment they are opened on the PC. To make you more prone to open the attached files, hackers impersonate representatives of well-known companies or even governmental institutions. The attachments usually are documents, archives, images and other commonly used file formats.
For the sake of your security, you could see how to use a free online file extractor that quickly identifies whether an uploaded file contains malicious elements or not. Thus it could help you to avoid opening malicious files that cause severe malware infections like Aurora ransomware.
.aurora Files Virus – Overview
Once Aurora‘s payload is running on the system it creates new malicious files that are needed for the next stages of the attack. Some of the malicious files may take over essential system processes in order to remain undetected until the end of the infection process.
Aurora ransomware exploits the auto-execute system functionality by settings some malicious values under Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys. After this happens, the threat acquires a persistent presence on the system as its files execute automatically on each system start.
It is likely that specific values added under the same keys help .aurora files virus to display its ransom note on the PC screen. The note is dropped on the system as a file called HOW_TO_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.txt and all that it reads is:
===# aurora ransomware #===
SORRY! Your files are encrypted.
File contents are encrypted with random key.
Random key is encrypted with RSA public key (2048 bit).
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any “decryption tools”.
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
In order to get private key, write here:
And pay 500$ on 3CwxawqJpM4RBNididvHf8LhFA2VfLsRjM wallet
If someone else offers you files restoring, ask him for test decryption.
Only we can successfully decrypt your files; knowing this can protect you from fraud.
You will receive instructions of what to do next.
===# aurora ransomware #===
Beware that the payment of the ransom doesn’t guarantee the efficient decryption of .aurora files. Hackers could only steal your money and use them to launch new attack campaigns or create new malware threats.
The analyses of Aurora’s samples reveal that it contacts two hosts during the infection stage. The bad news is that hackers could use installed malware files to get access to the system and track your online and offline activities. So as long as files associated with .aurora files virus are running on your system avoid entering financial and login credentials on the websites you visit.
As an additional impact, the ransomware may connect your device to a crypto mining pool by contacting corrupted domains that have embedded JS/Coinminer on them. The primary symptom that could help you to notice this additional malware is the highly elevated usage of your CPU or GPU (or both) resources even when only a few programs are running on your computer system.
.aurora Files Virus – Encryption Process
The code of Aurora ransomware is designed to store information about all types of files which it needs to locate on infected systems and then utilize strong cipher algorithm to encrypt them. During the encryption process target files get modified with the help of strong cipher algorithm that makes them completely inaccessible. An infection with this ransomware is likely to lead to the corruption of the following data:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Text files
All encrypted files are renamed with the extension .aurora that stands at the end of their original names. Your access to the information stored by .aurora files is restricted until an efficient data recovery solution reverts their code back.
Remove .aurora Files Virus and Restore Data
The removal of the so-called .aurora crypto virus demands a bit of technical experience and ability to recognize characteristics of malware files. And there is no doubt that you should remove this nasty threat from the infected PC as soon as you detect it. Below you could find how to do it step by step. Beware that ransomware has highly complex code that could plague not only your files but your whole system. So as recommended by security researchers you need to utilize an advanced anti-malware tool for its complete removal. Such tool will keep your system protected against devastating threats like .aurora files virus as well as all other kinds of malware in future.
After you remove the ransomware make sure to check the “Restore Files” step listed in the guide below. But before you take any further actions, don’t forget to back up all encrypted files to an external drive in order to prevent their irreversible loss.