The Creeper virus is a new malware threat that has just been discovered by the security community. The analysis reveals that it is not part of any of the popular malware families and follows the typical ransomware behavior patterns. It targets the commonly used user data using the built-in cipher. The processed data is renamed with the .creeper extension.
|Short Description||The main goal of the Creeper Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.|
|Symptoms||The Creeper Virus component processes target files and renames them with the .creeper extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Creeper.|
|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.|
Creeper Virus – Infection Process
The Creeper virus is distributed using the most popular delivery tactics. The hacker controllers can make use of email messages that utilize social engineering tactics. There are two main types that are considered by the criminals:
- Hyperlinks — These email messages contain links to malware-hosted instances on hacker-controlled sites. The victims are sent links that look like items of interest.
- File Attachments — The hackers can also attempt to use another social engineering strategy by sending out malware files that are disguised as files of interest.
The social engineering tactics can use two additional approaches. The first one is the inclusion of the malware code in documents. They can be of different types (rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations) and they usually pose as invoices, letters, contracts and etc. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt will be spawned. It asks them users to enable the built-in macros. If this is done the virus infection follows.
The other tactic relies on the distribution of malware software installers. They are essentially modified setup files taken from the legitimate sites which are modified to include the dangerous code.
Another strategy relies on browser hijackers that represent malware browser plugins. They are usually made compatible with the most popular applications: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Opera. Once they are downloaded to the victim’s computer the virus infection is started.
Creeper Virus – Analysis and Activity
The Creeper virus is a dangerous new malware that has been discovered by the security experts. At the moment no correlation with any of the famous malware families has been identified, this means that it is very likely that the threat is produced by the hacker or criminal collective behind it. It is possible that the samples may have been purchased from the hacker underground forums as well.The full security analysis is not yet complete and at the moment the full array of possible malware interactions is not known. We suspect that the virus and any of its future iterations may perform a dangerous array of hacker modifications.
The infection may begin with an information gathering that can harvest sensitive information from the compromised systems. Usually the data is classified into two main groups — anonymous data that usually consists of information related to the operating system configuration settings and the hardware components. The personal data gathered can directly expose the victim’s identity by looking out for strings related to their names, addresses, interests, location, email adresses, passwords and account credentials.
The next step would be to use the gathered information in order to scan the system for any installed instances that can interfere with its execution. This includes anti-virus products, sandbox and debugging environments and virtual machine hosts. The threat can bypass or entirely remove their real-time engines to protect itself. If it finds that it is unable to do so it can remove itself to remove infection.
System modifications that can impact the system include the modification of the Windows registry. Such changes can lead to severe performance issues and can impact the correct execution of certain applications and system services. The criminals can also opt to modify the boot options by removing the ability to access the recovery menu. This prevents the victims from using it to remove the persistent threat.
Advanced forms of ransomware like this one are also capable of removing the shadow volume copies of the discovered data – this makes it very difficult for the users to recover it. Further damage can be caused if the threat interacts with the Windows volume manager — this would allow it to impact any connected removable storage devices and network shares as well.
If a network connection is made to the hacker-controlled servers it can be used to overtake control of the affected machines, as well as deliver additional threats.
Creeper Virus — Encryption Process
As soon as the Creeper virus has finished the execution of the prior components it starts the ransomware engine. It uses a list of built-in extensions that usually target the most popular types of data:
As a result all affected data is renamed with the .creeper extension. A ransomware note is produced in a file called DECRIPT_MY_FILES.txt which has the following contents:
Decrypting your files is easy. Take a deep breath and follow the steps below.
1 ) Make the proper payment.
Payments are made in Monero. This is a crypto-currency, like bitcoin.
You can buy Monero, and send it, from the same places you can any other
crypto-currency. If you’re still unsure, google ‘monero exchange’.
Sign up at one of these exchange sites and send the payment to the address below.
Payment Address (Monero Wallet):
2 ) Farther you should send the following code: *** to email address email@example.com.
Then you will receive all necessary key.
Days : Monero : Offer Expires
0-2 : 3 : 03/01/18
3-5 : 5 : 03/04/18
Note: In 6 days your password decryption key gets permanently deleted.
You then have no way to ever retrieve your files. So pay now.
How to Remove Creeper Virus and Restore .creeper 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 Creeper 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 .creeper 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 Creeper Ransomware?
Creeper 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.
Can Creeper Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Creeper?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Creeper Infect?
Via several ways.Creeper 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.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way you may become a victim of Creeper 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 .Creeper files?
You can't. At this point, the .Creeper files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey 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 .Creeper files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Creeper" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Creeper 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 Creeper 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 Creeper ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Creeper files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Creeper ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.
How to 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 Creeper 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.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can 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 Creeper Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Creeper 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.
As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.
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