THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Crypt0 Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

READ_IT.html-crypt0-Hidden-Tear-ransomware-ransom-note

Crypt0 is a new data locker ransomware based on the open source code of the Hidden Tear project. It is designed to encrypt predefined types of files on the infected hosts leaving them inaccessible until a ransom is transferred to the malicious intenders. In a time frame of 6 days, hackers demand 0.5 BTC in exchange for the password that can decrypt corrupted files. They use a ransom message to contact the infected users. It appears on the PC screen once all target files are encrypted.

This article is designed to help all infected users with the removal process of Crypt0 ransomware. After the removal instructions there are instructions on how to possibly restore some corrupted files via alternative methods.

Threat Summary

Name Crypt0
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Encrypts the files on the infected computer. Demands ransom payoff in BitCoin.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files and place random alphanumeric extensions to each of them.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Crypt0.
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.

Crypt0 Ransomware – Delivery Tactics

The Crypt0 ransomware payload is most probably delivered via corrupted RAR files included in spam email campaigns. Hackers employ various tactics to trick targets into infecting their machines with Crypt0 ransomware. For example, they often spoof the email address and the sender by posing as legitimate organizations or their representatives. The message is likely to provoke anxiety in the readers so they can act according to the provided call to actions. As we mentioned above one of the distribution ways for ransomware payload is via file attachments, the other possible way is via links that lead to compromised websites.

Crypt0 Ransomware – Detailed Overview

Crypt0 is the name given to another ransomware that was first detected in September last year. However, the new Crypt0 ransomware is not related to the old one. The previous threat of the same name appeared to be a variant of the Detox malware family while the new Crypt0 ransomware belongs to the Hidden Tear malware family.

The new Crypt0 infection begins once its malicious payload is started on the computer. Part of the malicious code is contained in a file named BankInformation.exe. It is probably designed to initiate various malicious actions and manage all of them so that Crypt0 ransomware can successfully take over the system.

It is also possible that the threat establishes a connection with a server controlled by hackers in order to download additional malicious components. Like other Hidden Tear variants – CryptoShadow, Fake Cerber and others, Crypt0 may locate its infection files in essential Windows system folders like:

  • %System32%
  • %AppData%
  • %Temp%
  • %Local%
  • %Roaming%
  • %LocalRow%

As reported once the encryption process is done Crypt0 ransomware drops a ransom note file named READ_IT.html on the Desktop. The message can lock the screen restricting access to the system unless a ransom is paid. Such changes can be performed via modifications of some essential Windows registry keys that control all processes that are to be launched. So in case of infection with Crypt0 virus, the Run and RunOnce keys may be compromised by the threat.

READ_IT.html crypt0 Hidden Tear ransomware ransom note

As regards the ransom message it reads:

You have been victim of Crypt0 Ransomware
All your important files, photos, videos, documents, databases, have been encrypted with AES-256 and AES-128
A file called “READ_IT.html” will be dropped on your Desktop follow the instructions on how to make the payment
You Have 6 days to make the payment or else all of your files will be lost!
Hurry up!

Hackers insist on ransom payment transferred within six days by victims or all encrypted files will be lost. The instructions contained in the mentioned file point at the website shown below:

crypt0 ransomware payment page STF
As it gets clear from the payment page, the demanded ransom is 0.5 Bitcoins which is currently $5894.50. This is an insane amount of money that can be saved if victims try to deal with the problem by themselves.

Crypt0 Ransomware – Data Encryption

The file encryption is the primary aim of Crypt0 ransomware. For the purpose, the threat uses a combination of two strong cipher algorithms – AES-256 and AES-128 that modify the initial code of target files. As a result, the encrypted files cannot be used unless the ransom is paid. Unlike other data locker ransomware, Crypt0 does not append a specific extension to corrupted files but random alphanumeric combinations.

Being based on the Hidden Tear code the ransomware is likely to target the following file types to encrypt:

→.txt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .jpg, .png, .csv, .sql, .mdb, .hwp, .pdf, .php, .asp, .aspx, .html, .xml, and .psd

It is also highly possible that Crypt0 virus deletes the Shadow Volume Copies from the operating system by utilizing the following command in CommandPrompt:

→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

Remove Crypt0 Ransoware and Restore Data

Crypt0 ransomware should be eliminated as soon as possible from the infected system. Otherwise, it will corrupt all new files. Even worse is the chance to spread itself to all devices that are connected to the same network as the infected machine. The detailed guide below provides Crypt0 ransomware removal instructions. After the removal backup all encrypted files and check step “Restore files encrypted by Crypt0” for alternative data recovery solutions.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Crypt0 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Crypt0

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Crypt0 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Crypt0 on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Crypt0 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Crypt0 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Crypt0.

Ransomware infections and Crypt0 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Crypt0 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Crypt0 and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Crypt0:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Crypt0. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Crypt0. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Crypt0 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Crypt0. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Crypt0:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Crypt0.

Ransomware infections and Crypt0 aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Crypt0 FAQ

What is Crypt0 ransomware and how does it work?

Crypt0 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Crypt0 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Crypt0 Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 Crypt0 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 .Crypt0 files?

You can't. At this point the .Crypt0 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Crypt0 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Crypt0 ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Crypt0" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Crypt0 files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Crypt0 ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Crypt0 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Crypt0 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Crypt0 ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

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 it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files 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.

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