The BananaCrypt virus is a test malware that has been spotted in several attack campaigns. Its encryption engine targets set file type extensions that are encrypted with a powerful cipher that renames the affected data with the .bananacrypt extension.
|Short Description||The main goal of the BananaCrypt Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.|
|Symptoms||The BananaCrypt virus component processes target files and renames them with the .bananaCrypt extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by BananaCrypt |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss BananaCrypt.|
|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.|
BananaCrypt Virus – Infection Process
The BananaCrypt virus is distributed using different strategies. At the moment the volume of active attack campaign is low and the analysts cannot judge which is the primary method in use. However we presume that the most popular ones are being used in this case.
The developers behind it can take advantage of email spam messages that depend on social engineering tactics in order to convince the users to interact with the embedded malware element. The hackers can use hyperlinks to spread the BananaCrypt viruses hosted on hacker-controlled sites. They can be masked as legitimate software or files of user interest. In other cases the files can be attached directly to the messages. In the last few years the criminals have adopted the use of fake password-protected archives. The malware documents are placed in password-protected archives and the passwords are placed in the body message of the emails. In connection with these two mechanisms the hacker operators can rely on schemes such as the following:
- Infected Software Installers — They are created by the hackers by taking the legitimate setup files of free and trial versions and including the malware element. They are then distributed using e-mails, malware sites and file sharing applications such as BitTorrent.
- Malware Documents — They are modeled to appear as legitimate files such as rich text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. Usually they come under the form of an invoice, letter or contract. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt appears which asks them to enable the built-in scripts (macros). Once this is done the infection follows.
Another mechanism relies on the inclusion of the Bananacrypt virus as a component during the initial infection configuration of browser hijackers. They represent malware plugins made compatible for the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. Their main goal is to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled site. During its initial installation the virus is introduced to the system.
BananaCrypt Virus – Analysis and Activity
The initial security analysis shows that the BananaCrypt virus does not belong to any one of the popular ransomware families. It appears that the captured strains are of a testing version that is yet to be released in a fully functional instance.
This leads us to believe that the completed Bananacrypt virus iteration will follow a preset behavior pattern. Such malware threats begin with an information gathering component that is able to harvest sensitive data about the compromised machine and its users. The harvested information can be classified into two main categories — anonymous data and private user dat. The first set of information is composed mainly of information about the installed hardware components and certain software installations. If configured this can be used together with a stealth protection module that can counter any applications that can interfere with the virus execution. This includes anti-virus programs, sandboxes and debugging environments. The personally-identifiable information can directly expose the identity of the hackers. It does this via a configuration file that directs the malware engine into looking out for strings related to the victim’s name, address, telephone number, passwords and interests.
Once this is done a network connection with the hackers can be setup. Such steps are required in order to report the infections. If this is maintained for a longer period of time the hackers can use it to spy on the victims in real time without the use of a Trojan instance. This type of infections can also be used to relay commands from the hacker controllers.
Later on stages include malware system changes that can affect different parts of the operating system. Examples include the following:
- Windows Registry — The BananaCrypt virus can be configured to change values of the Windows registry. This can effectively disable certain Windows services and the victims may perceive performance issue.
- Boot Options — As a result of the infections the compromised computer can have its recovery menu disabled.
- Process Infections — The BananaCrypt virus can hook itself to system processes and as a result write configuration files and cause dangerous changes to the computer.
We anticipate that the future versions of the Bananacrypt virus will contain other advanced features as well.
BananaCrypt Virus – Encryption Process
At the moment the encryption module which is the basis of the ransomware nature of the malware. The BananaCrypt does not differ from any of the typical examples of this category, it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions that are processed with a powerful algorithm. At the moment the test versions encrypt only a few extensions: .doc, .jpg and .txt. Future versions can target a variety of other data as well:
Once all files have been processed a .bananaCrypt extension is applied to them. A ransom note can be created in different file names, usually named README.txt or RECOVER INSTRUCTIONS.txt. It reads the following text:
Your files have been decrypted using a unique key, generated for this computer
Send 300 USD worth of bitcoin to the address below to obtain your key to decrypt your files
Dont waste your time looking for a way to decrypt your files. This is only possible using our decrypter
How to Remove BananaCrypt Virus and Restore .bananaCrypt Encrypted Files
In order to make sure that this malware is permanently gone from your computer, you should follow the manual or automatic removal instructions down below. If you have the experience in removing ransomware manually, we advise you to focus on the first 2 steps from the manual removal and to look for the registry files which we have explained in the analysis part above. Otherwise, if you want a more automatic and faster solution and lack the expertise in malware removal, we urge you to download an advanced anti-malware program, which aims to automatically perform the removal operation of BananaCrypt ransomware and secures your computer against future infections in real-time.
If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection, we advise you to try out the alternative tools for file recovery down below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .bananaCrypt Files Virus”. They may not guarantee fully that you will recover all of the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your OS already, there is a good chance that you might just restore them.