The GameOver Virus is a test release ransomware targeting users on a global scale. The currently released samples of it are early versions that may be updated in further iterations. Refer to our in-depth article for a technical analysis and full removal instructions.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .gameover extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by GameOver |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GameOver.|
|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.|
GameOver Virus – Distribution Ways
The GameOver virus is distributed via the most common methods attributed to ransomware of this type. At the moment the captured strains are relatively low which does not showcase on single method used for distributing it.
A common way of distributing the threat is the coordination of SPAM email messages. They use social engineering techniques utilizing web elements from well-known companies and Internet services thereby confusing the targets into believing that they are being sent by legitimate senders. Usually the ransomware files (GameOver virus) are either hyperlinked or directly attached.
The hackers can also construct fake download sites using the same tactic. They will take the web elements from famous site and attempt to recreate them using similar sounding domain names and design. These two tactics when combined are the main methods for distributing infected payloads. There are two distinct types that are the most common ones:
- Application Setup Files — The GameOver virus can be embedded in software installers of popular applications. This is done by modifying the legitimate files downloaded from the official vendors with the virus code. The hackers typically choose software such as: creativity suites, productivity apps and system utilities.
- Documents — Using a similar technique the criminals behind the GameOver virus can modify documents such as text files, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. When they are opened by the victim users a notification window will pop-up asking them to enable the built-in macros (scripts). As soon as this is done the virus sequence will be initiated.
The threat can also be spread via browser hijackers — they are malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are distributed via the associated browser repositories and make use of fake customer reviews and developer credentials. Once they are installed on the appropriate browsers they will make various changes to the program’s configuration files and infect the users with the GameOver virus. Another common issue with them is that they redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page.
GameOver Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The GameOver virus is a recently discovered threat that appears to be made by an individual hacker or a criminal group without a known identity. The iniital code analysis does not show any code taken from any of the famous ransomware families showing that it may be an original creation.
We suspect that the hackers are going to use the typical behavior tactics associated with this type of threats. Typical strains begin by calling a data harvesting which is programmed to extract sensitive information from the victim systems. There are two groups of information that are usually classified:
- Private User Data — The virus can be configured to extract information that can reveal the identity of the victims. The strings are programmed to collect information such as their name, address, phone number, interests, location and account credentials.
- Campaign Metrics — The GameOver virus can acquire information that can be used to optimize the attacks. This includes a report of the installed hardware components on the infected hosts and certain user-set operating system parameters.
This information can then be processed by a stealth protection module that bypasses any found security software. This is done by performing a signature scan for the presence of any anti-virus hosts, sandbox environments or virtual machine hosts. Their real-time engines can be bypassed or completely removed.
When the virus operations are ready to begin the system modification sequence is activated. It makes use of the fact that the infected host’s security has been penetrated and that it can take over control of any system resource. The GameOver virus can hook up to system and user processes and creates ones of its own.
In many cases the malicious scripts will include a Windows Registry manipulation process. It can affect both strings belonging to the user-installed applications and the operating system itself. As an effect of this some application features may stop working together and performance may suffer.
These changes can be related to the GameOver virus installation as a persistent threat. This will make it run every time the computer boots bypassing any security protective measures. Usually this also involves a boot recovery menu disable command which also makes it very difficult for users to use most manual recovery instructions.
In many cases advanced strains of ransomware like the GameOver virus can proceed with the installation of a Trojan component. It will set up a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server which is used to spy on the users at all times. This also allows them to take over control of the affected machines and deploy additional malware.
GameOver Virus — Encryption
The ransomware component is engaged after all prior modules have completed execution. It uses a strong cipher designed to encrypt user-owned files and then blackmail the victims for a decryption fee. This is governed by a built-in list of target file type extensions. The collected samples have been analyzed and this list has been extracted. At the moment the GameOver virus targets the following data:
.3g2, .3gp, .7z, .accdb, .aes, .ARC, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asx, .avi, .backup, .bak, .bat, .brd, .bundle, .c,
.cgm, .cmd, .cpp, .crt, .cs, .csproj, .csr, .csv, .db, .dbf, .dch, .der, .dip, .djvu, .doc, .docb, .docm,
.docx, .dot, .dotx, .dwg, .edb, .eml, .flv, .frm, .gif, .gpg, .gz, .htm, .html, .hwp, .Iay6, .ibd, .iso,
.jar, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .jse, .key, .lay, .lbd, .log, .m2ts, .max, .mdf, .mdp, .mid, .midi, .mkv, .mml,
.mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .myd, .myi, .nef, .ocx, .odg, .odp, .odp, .ods, .odt, .onetoc2, .ost,
.otg, .otp, .ott, .PAQ, .pas, .pdf, .pern, .pfx, .php, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx,
.ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .pst, .pub, .py, .pyc, .pyd, .pyo, .rar, .raw, .rm, .rpa, .sb2, .sch, .sh, .sin, .sldm,
.sldx, .slk, .snt, .sql, .sql, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .stc, .std, .sti, .stw, .suo, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd,
.sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tar, .tbk, .tiff, .txt, .uop, .uot, .vb, .vbe, .vbproj, .vbs, .vcd, .vdi, .vdmk,
.vmx, .vob, .vsd, .vsdx, .wks, .wma, .wncry, .wrav, .xdata, .xlc, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt,
.xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .zip
Instead of a traditional ransomware note it uses a lockscreen instance which prohibits ordinary computer interaction until the virus is completely removed from the system. It spawns a black application frame that reads the following message:
If you see this banner then all of your files on your harddisk have been encrypted with a very powerful algorithm.
WARNING!: THIS IS NOT SOME STUPID JOKES, EVERYTHING IS REAL ! !
You cannot restore your data by youself and especially decrypt it if you do so you can corrupt and destroy all of your data or even more, also if you try to delete the software your OS will be corrupted.
But if you want to retore at least your PC, you need to do this:
1: Reinstall windows or other OS on your computer
2: Get a better version of your antivirus or get a more powerful antivirus software.
If you want to get back your device do everything as it has been written.
Remove GameOver Ransomware Virus and Restore .gameover Files
If your computer got infected with the GameOver 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.