Remove Crypt0 Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

Remove Crypt0 Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files


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

TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionEncrypts the files on the infected computer. Demands ransom payoff in BitCoin.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and place random alphanumeric extensions to each of them.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Crypt0


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Crypt0.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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 completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for four years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Google Plus

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Share on Facebook Share
Share on Twitter Tweet
Share on Google Plus Share
Share on Linkedin Share
Share on Digg Share
Share on Reddit Share
Share on Stumbleupon Share