Remove CryTekk Ransomware Infections
THREAT REMOVAL

Remove CryTekk Ransomware Infections

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This article will aid you to remove CryTekk Ransomware. Follow the ransomware removal instructions provided at the end of the article.

CryTekk Ransomware is one that encrypts your data with the .locked extension and demands money as a ransom to get it restored. The CryTekk Ransomware will leave ransomware instructions as text file. Keep on reading the article and see how you could try to potentially recover some of your locked files and data.

Threat Summary

NameCryTekk Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer system with the .locked extension and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CryTekk Ransomware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CryTekk Ransomware.
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.

CryTekk Ransomware – Distribution Techniques

The CryTekk ransomware is a test release of a new Hidden Tear based malware. It has been identified in an ongoing attack campaign of a limited scope — the captured samples appear to be early test versions. As such the researchers cannot determine which is the primary distribution mechanism. It is possible that the hackers might use several different types in order to find out which would be the most effective.

One of the most successful tactics is to craft phishing SPAM emails impersonating legitimate companies and services that the recipients might be using. By using hijacked elements and layout design they can be coerced into interacting with them. The CryTekk ransomware files can be directly attached or linked in the body contents.

Another possible approach would be to create malicious web sites that impersonate vendor download sites, download portals and marketing landing pages. To coerce the intended targets into visiting them the criminals may use similar sounding domain names and self-signed or stolen security certificates.

The ransomware files can also be spread over BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks as they are a popular outlet for both pirate and legitimate content. All of these methods can additionally be used to spread infected payload carriers that deploy the CryTekk ransomware. These two are one of the most popular ones:

  • Malicious Documents — They are created by embedding the necessary scripts in documents across all popular file formats: rich text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. Whenever they are opened by the victims a prompt will appear asking for them to enable the built-in scripts, if this is done the virus will be installed. The notification will be presented as means to correctly view the document.
  • Application Installers — The hackers behind the CryTekk ransomware can additionally modify installers of legitimate applications across all popular software downloaded by end users: creativity suites, utilities, office and productivity programs and even computer games. This is done by taking the original files and modifying them with the required code.

Larger infections can be done by including the CryTekk ransomware infection code in dangerous browser plugins, alternatively known as hijackers. They will reconfigure the web browser settings as soon as they are deployed on the target systems in order to redirect the targets to a hacker-controlled landing page. Modifications include the default home page, search engine and new tabs page.

CryTekk Ransomware – Detailed Analysis

The security analysis confirms that the threat combines the source code of the Hidden Tear ransomware family along with smaller viruses. This leads us to believe that the criminal or collective behind it are not very experienced. The captured samples are considered early testing releases, it is expected that future versions of it are going to follow the established behavior pattern as exhibited by previous viruses of this malware family.

It is customary that such infections begin with a data harvesting process which is able to acquire information of varied sources. Depending on the exact configuration the information can be categorized into two main groups:

  • Personal Information — It is attributed to the owner of the machine itself by targeting strings that can reveal their identity: their name, email address, location data, interests and any stored account credentials.
  • Machine Identification Data — The engine can additionally create an unique ID associated with every infected machine. It is made by using a built-in algorithm that takes its input values from the installed hardware components, user configuration and operating system environmental conditions.

The collected information can be used for other purposes as well, one of the most common ones is the security bypass of any identified software and services that can block the CryTekk ransomware. The list includes most anti-virus programs, firewalls, debug environments and virtual machine hosts. If configured so the threat can delete itself it is unable to follow this step, this is done intentionally to avoid detection.

When these two processes have completed the associated engine can continue further with other actions. When the virus has penetrated the security of the computer and bypassed the protective services it can overtake complete control of the infected machine. This allows the infection engine to spawn many threads, including ones with administrative privileges. Another common mechanism is to hook up to existing operating system services and third-party applications. This not only allows it to be disguised, but also to spy on the actions of the users.

Some of the most prominent ransomware activities include the following:

  • Windows Registry Modifications — The ransomware has the ability to manipulate the Windows Registry. Modifications to values belonging to the operating system can cause serious performance issues and problems when starting certain services. On the other hand when values used by third-party applications are modified or removed they may quit unexpectedly or not launch at all.
  • Persistent Installation — The CryTekk ransomware can reconfigure the operating system in order to make the virus automatically start once the computer is booted. It will also block access to restore menus and options which renders most manual removal guides non-working.
  • Trojan Connection — The CryTekk ransomware can also deploy a Trojan module which can setup a connection to a certain hacker-controlled server. This will allow the criminals to spy on the users in real-time, download files before and after the encryption has completed and also take control of the machines.
  • Additional Payload Delivery — All other types of malware can be deployed using the made ransomware infections: botnet clients, miners, hijackers and etc.

CryTekk Ransomware – Encryption Process

When the preset behavior pattern has finished running the CryTekk ransomware will start the actual ransomware operations. As it is descended from a Hidden Tear code base it will use a strong cipher (AES) in order to encrypt target user data based on a built-in list of target extensions. An example one would be the following:

  • Archives
  • Databases
  • Backups
  • Configuration Files
  • Images
  • Music
  • Videos

The victim files will be renamed with the .locked extension, the associated ransomware note will also be placed on the desktop and in various locations, including user folders.

Remove CryTekk Ransomware and Try to Restore Data

If your computer system got infected with the CryTekk ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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