The GandCrab 3 virus is the latest iteration of the GandCrab family of threats. It uses the same .CRAB extension to encrypt target user data and extorts the victims for a ransomware payment. The new iteration can be customized further by the hacker operators, its modules can be set up according to the ongoing attack campaign. It is expected that several attacks will follow in the coming weeks.
|Short Description||The GandCrab ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the .CRAB 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 GandCrab 3 |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GandCrab 3.|
|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.|
GandCrab Ransomware – Update July 2018 (New Version – GANDCRAB V4 Released)
The creators of GandCrab are staying busy even during the summer holidays. They have released and started infecting computers with a new version of the GandCrab ransomware virus, dubbed version 4. More information about it can be found in the related story underneath:
GandCrab 3 Virus – Distribution Ways
The Gandcrab 3 virus threat as the new version of the malware family uses a variety of dangerous tactics in ordere to infect computer users worldwide. It is presumed that the primary attack methods used remain.
The criminals send out bulk spam messages that utilize social engineering strategies that coerce the recipients of interacting with the malware elements. The virus files may be either attached directly or hyperlinked in the body contents. The messages can also help deliver payloads as a secondary delivery mechanism.
The first type is the inclusion of the malware code in software installers. They are made by taking the legitimate files from the official download pages and inserting the code in the resulting installers. Targets can be any popular software such as utilities, creativity apps or computer games. As soon as they are installed on the victim machines the Gandcrab 3 virus is started. The other payload is the inclusion of the initial infection engine in documents. They can be of different types such as text files, spreadsheets or presentations. When they are opened by the users a notification prompt appears that asks the victims to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the infection is started.
Gandcrab 3 can be distributed using browser hijackers — dangerous web browser plugins that have been created by the developers. They are advertised as providing useful functions to the target browsers and are usually made compatible with the most popular applications: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. The main goal is to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled site by changing the default settings: new tabs page, search engine and home page. The next step is to load the files onto the victim host.
Web scripts can be used to deliver the threat to various sites. Examples include pop-ups, notification screens, banners and redirects. Through affiliate links they can also be inserted onto legitimate and well-known sites.
Update May 2018: In the end of May 2018 there has been a significant rise in the attacks. Targeted GandCrab infections have been spotted in South Korea. It appears that the root of them is a massive email campaign that takes several forms — from fake delivery notifications to local HR recruitment announcements. The security reports indicate that the RIG exploit kit is responsible for the vast majority of detected infections.
GandCrab 3 Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The GandCrab 3 is a new strain of the GandCrab malware family. According to the security analysis it uses a strong encryption engine in order to encrypt the target data following the usual ransomware behavior strains.
The analysis shows that the main engine has the ability to be changed with each target campaign. The infections can begin with the start of a data harvesting component. It is programmed into harvesting strings that can be grouped into two main groups. The first one is related into acquiring information used for the campaign analytics as well. Example data includes hardware information and certain parameters set by the user in the operating system. The other data can directly expose the users identity and is classified as personal data. Such information includes the following: name, address, telephone number, geolocation, interests, passwords and account credentials.
The collected data can be fed to a stealth protection component. It uses the available information to search for installed applications and system services that can intefered wit the correct execution of the virus. Examples include anti-virus products, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. In certain cases the malware can be configured into deleting themselves if they are unable to do so. This is done in order to evade detection.
After the initial modifications have been made the GandCrab 3 virus can proceed with various system changes. The typical goal is to make the infection a persistent threat meaningthat the victims may find it very difficult or even impossible to remove the virus with manual methods. A common way is to make changes to the Windows registry where modifications to user-installed software or operating system services can cause applications or certain features to stop working properly. Depending on the magnitude of the changes overall system performance can be affected.
The persistent state of execution of GandCrab 3 can be achieved by making it run every time the computer is started. An additional measure is the removal of the possibility to enter into the recovery menu. If programmed in a suitable way GandCrab 3 can also institute a powerful network connection to the hacker-controlled servers. This is used to deliver additional malware in a Trojan like manner, as well as spy on the victim users and take over control of their machines at any given time.
Like other strains of the GandCrab malware family this third iteration can be customized to include further plugins.
GandCrab 3 Virus – Encryption Process
Once all malware components associated with the GandCrab 3 virus have executed correctly the ransomware engine will be started. It is very similar to previous versions in its operations: using a strong encryption engine target files are encrypted and the .CRAB extension is applied to the victim files. Data such as the following are the typical victims of the virus:
The associated ransomware note CRAB-DECRYPT.txt reads the following message:
—= GANDCRAB V3 =—
All your files documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .CRAB
The only method of recovering files is to purchase a private key. It is on our server and only we can recover your files.
The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:
0. Download Tor browser – https://www.torproject.org/
1. Install Tor browser
2. Open Tor Browser
3. Open link in TOR browser:
4. Follow the instructions on this page
On our page you will see instructions on payment and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.
The alternative way to contact us is to use Jabber messanger. Read how to:
0. Download Psi-Plus Jabber Client: https://psi-im.org/download/
1. Register new account: http://sj.ms/register.php
0) Enter “username”: 21b1a2d1729f0695
1) Enter “password”: your password
2. Add new account in Psi
3. Add and write Jabber ID: firstname.lastname@example.org any message
4. Follow instruction bot
It is a bot! It’s fully automated artificial system without human control!
To contact us use TOR links. We can provide you all required proofs of decryption availibility anytime. We are open to conversations.
You can read instructions how to install and use jabber here http://www.sfu.ca/jabber/Psi_Jabber_PC.pdf
Do not try to modify files or use your own private key. This will result in the loss of your data forever!
Remove GandCrab 3 Virus and Restore .GandCrab 3 Files
If your computer system got infected with the GandCrab 3 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.