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.
|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|
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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:
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.
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!
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:
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.
What is Crypt0 Ransomware?
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 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 Crypt0 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 Crypt0?
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 Crypt0 Infect?
Via several ways.Crypt0 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 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 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 .Crypt0 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Crypt0" Files?
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% 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 Crypt0 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 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.
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 Crypt0 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 Crypt0 Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Crypt0 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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