“Try to kill or delete me and I will kill your PC” – this is the message the victims of the EXOTIC virus see once their computer has been infected by it. The vulgar cyber-threat goes as far as creating wallpapers of Hitler along with threatening ransom notes to induce fear in the minds of the users whose files were encrypted. Once this virus encrypts your files, they become no longer openable and the cyber-criminals have the decryption key. This is why they demand a ransom payoff to be made to restore the files. Anyone who has been the victim of the EXOTIC virus is advised not to pay any form of ransom to cyber-criminals and to wait for malware researchers to go through it and see if there is a free decryption solution. In the meantime it is recommended to remove this virus and try to revert your files back to normal, using the information in this article.
|The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
|The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” along with a deadline countdown timer. Displays images of Hitler.
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|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.
EXOTIC Virus – How Does It Cause Infection
Such malicious URLs or files may be distributed on various places throughout the web. Such places may be shady websites that use malvertising or upload malicious executables that resemble legitimate installers, porn sites and other types of malicious sites. Also, some malicious URLs may be forced onto the victim’s computer via adware and other PUPs that may cause a browser redirect or other forms of advertisements to appear.
The most widely used by ransomware makers type of distribution method still remains to be spam. Whether it is spammed e-mails (attachments or links) or spam-bots that advertise different web links on social media or as comments on various websites, careless users often become victims of threats like the EXOTIC virus.
EXOTIC Virus – More Information
When it’s payload is downloaded onto your computer, you may experience temporary glitches and slow-downs, even freezes and the “not-responding” state of the “explorer.exe” process. This is because the virus is active and may have dropped malicious files in the following Windows folders:
- %System Drive%
- %User’s Profile%
After the files are dropped, the virus may modify multiple registry entries that may cause several actions on your computer:
- Display a pop-up message.
- Change the wallpaper of the infected computer.
- Display the ransom message by opening a file specifically designed for that.
- Run the encryption program (or script).
The usual targeted registry entries that modify those settings are:
There may be more registry entries in which the EXOTIC virus may have created custom values for it’s operation in addition to those.
After being ran, the EXOTIC virus immediately begins encrypting the files of the compromised computer. The malware may use a strong cipher to generate a unique decryption key and send it to the servers of the cyber-criminals. Multiple types of files are preconfigured based on their file extensions to be targeted for file encryption. Such files are mainly important objects used often by the user, like:
- Text Documents.
- Microsoft Word documents.
- Microsoft Excel documents.
- Microsoft PowerPoint documents.
- Microsoft Outlook files.
- Database files.
- Adobe Reader Documents.
- VMware and other types of virtual drive files.
- Other files related to often used programs.
After the encryption, the user immediately sees the following pop-up:
After this pop-up the interface of the ransomware appears accompanying the following ransom note:
Malware researchers at Malware HunterTeam (@malwrhunterteam) who may be the first stumbling upon this cyber-threat, believe that this is another one of those “junk” ransomware viruses that may be cracked and have free decryptors released soon.
Remove EXOTIC Virus and Try to Restore Your Files
To remove this virus completely from your computer, it is advisable to follow the instructions posted below. They are carefully designed to provide you the means to locate the files and objects related to EXOTIC virus. However, in case there is no information about which files and registries the virus creates or you are having difficulties in removing the files yourself, malware experts always advise using an advanced anti-malware program.
In order to attempt and restore your files in case they have been encrypted by the EXOTIC ransomware virus, you should know that at this point there is no free decryption possibility. But, do not be motivated and under no circumstances you should pay the ransom. Instead, while malware researchers come up with a free decryption solution, it is strongly advisable to try alternative methods to revert your files, like the ones mentioned in step “2. Restore files encrypted by EXOTIC virus” below. Bear in mind that the methods are not 100 percent effective and they do not guarantee the recovery of your files. Also, make sure to back up the encrypted files before trying to decrypt them if you are using a decryptor, because they may be broken permanently.
Images Source: Twitter
What is EXOTIC virus Ransomware?
EXOTIC virus 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.
What Does EXOTIC virus Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does EXOTIC virus Infect?
Via several ways.EXOTIC virus 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.
Another way you may become a victim of EXOTIC virus 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 .EXOTIC virus files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .EXOTIC virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key 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 .EXOTIC virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".EXOTIC virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .EXOTIC virus 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 EXOTIC virus 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 EXOTIC virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .EXOTIC virus files.
Can I 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 EXOTIC virus 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.
Can a 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 EXOTIC virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this EXOTIC virus 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.
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.
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