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.
|The main goal of the BananaCrypt Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.
|The BananaCrypt virus component processes target files and renames them with the .bananaCrypt extension.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
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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.
What is BananaCrypt Ransomware?
BananaCrypt 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 algorithms 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.
What Does BananaCrypt Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does BananaCrypt Infect?
Via several ways.BananaCrypt Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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.
Another way you may become a victim of BananaCrypt 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 .BananaCrypt files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .BananaCrypt files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .BananaCrypt files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".BananaCrypt" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .BananaCrypt files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of BananaCrypt Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate BananaCrypt ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .BananaCrypt files.
Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can BananaCrypt Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the BananaCrypt Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this BananaCrypt how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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