This analysis has been created to inform you and show you with instructions how you can remove the GANDCRAB 5.1 ransomware virus from your computer and how you can try and restore files, encrypted by it.
New variant of the notoriously dangerous GANDCRAB ransomware virus has been recently detected. The ransomware is version 5.1 and it aims to encrypt the files on the computers attacked by it and then set a random file extension in either lowercase or uppercase letters. GandCrab cryptovirus has been active for quite some time now and has been released in tons of new variants all of which aim to get victims to a TOR web page, where the ransom virus extorts them to pay ransom in BitCoin and even DASH cryptocurrencies. In case your computer has been infected by GANDCRAB v5.1 ransomware virus, we suggest that you read this article to understand more about it and learn how you can remove it from your computer, plus try to recover your data.
|Short Description||New version of the GANDCRAB ransomware virus family. Aims to encrypt your files and ask you to pay ransom in order to retrieve them.|
|Symptoms||Files are encrypted with an either uppercase or lowercase file extension that ranges from 6 to 8 random letters. A ransom note is dropped with the file extension for it’s name and it ends in “-DECRYPT.txt”.|
|Distribution Method||Malcious URLs, Email Attachments, Executables|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by GANDCRAB 5.1
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GANDCRAB 5.1.|
|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 v5.1 Ransomware – Update February 2019
GandCrab 5.1 seems to keep its malvertising campaigns up and running in February, 2019. Below you can see one of the new e-mail messages that are being sent to try and lure more victims to this devastating ransomware:
I made transfer
Hello, I made transfer into your bank account
I’ll attach invoice on WeTransfer with password, I don’t think you can extract them from mobile, please extract from Desktop
Password for rar: invoice123
Please let me know
As you can see, a link is provided, which leads to a malicious domain, that automatically downloads and runs GandCrab 5.1. Refrain on clicking links which seem suspicious even if the sender looks like to be somebody you know.
GANDCRAB v5.1 Ransomware – Infection
GandCrab 5.1 ransomware virus is deemed a very persistent threat from the GandCrab ransomware family that uses a lot of differentfile types to conduct an infection. The malware continues to be spread with the aid of malicious .JS files, but may also be replicated as a result of other distribution methods and the ransomware virus is capable of also infecting users with the aid of rogue sites, cracks, ad-supported programs and suspicious downloads. The latest method which GandCrab v5.1 has started to use to infect vicitms is currently contucted via malicious e-mails that carry around fake picture files, embedded in .ZIP folders that are attached to e-mails, looking like the following:
Giovanni Price [email protected]
Attachment: PIC0101302924102-jpg.zip (69 KB)
E-mail Body: ;)
For the moment, researchers keep discovering new and new payloads that belong to the GandCrab ransomware virus. We have found the following GandCrab Payload files and listed them below, so if you encounter these files, be sure to scan them before actually opening them, since you risk getting infected with GandCrab ransomware yourself:
Malicious files infecting with GANDCRAB 5.1 Ransomware:
File size:185.5 KB
File name:GandCrab v5.1.exe
File size:421 KB
File size:595 KB
File name:Analysis’s Restrain
File size:630 KB
File size:694.5 KB
File size:609 KB
File name: 4.exe
File size:288.5 KB
Not only this, but researchers, like Valthek have also discovered new samples of GandCrab ransomware that were compiled earlier in January 2019, with the main difference that they create a hidden Window with the ame “AnaLab_sucks” and it has a timer to stay for a bit and create a threat that initiates GandCrab’s normal procedure. Other users have asked for tools to decrypt files, encoded by GandCrab ransomware, but researchers still have not been able to find new information.
Another method of infection, which was recently detected by researchers is to use Microsoft Word Macros to infect vicitms. The scripts hijacker the Ursnif data-stealing Trojan Horse in combination with GandCrab ransomware in the wild so if you have GandCrab, chances are that your computer might be infected with a Trojan Horse too. The way these infections tend to take place is the user having to download Malicious Macros, which could eventually lead to one of about 180 versions of MS Word files that target victims with VBS scrips, which run Windows PowerShell commands and perform infection with GandCrab ransomware on the targeted systems. And to hide those scripts, they are encoded in base64 which executes the next stage of infection with GandCrab that downloads it’s main payload files on the infected computer without the virus being detected.
The primary infection method that was used so far in relation to GANDCRAB 5.1 infection is e-mails that are composed in the following way:
From: Deanna Bennett <>
Subject: Payment Invoice #93611
To read your document please open the attachment and reply as soon as possible.
TCR Customer Support
Besides the “Payment Invoice #93611” subjects above, we have also detected other fake subject e-mails:
- Document #72170
- Invoice #21613
- Order #87884
- Payment #72985
- Ticket #07009
- Your Document #78391
- Your Order #16323
- Your Ticket #23428
If the malicious file is a document, then the infection will go through malicious macros that are embedded within the Microsoft Office or Adobe PDF document and they want you to Enable Content or Enable Editing in order to see what is in the document. Clicking on this “Enable Editing” button results in the following infection activities to take place:
Besides via e-mail, the infection process with GANDCRAB 5.1 ransomare may take place online. Researchers at Fortinet have previously detected GANDCRAB to infect users by pretending to be a software crack of the following programs:
- Merging Image to PDF.
- SysTools PST Merge.
More information about GANDCRAB infecting victims via software cracks can be found in the related article underneath:
GANDCRAB 5.1 – Malicious Activity Report
The main infection file of GANDCRAB 5.1 ransomware virus has been reported to have the following IOCs (Identificators of Compromise):
Size: 361.50 Kb
Once this file is dropped on your computer, it may immediately trigger the Windows component “wmic.exe” as an administrator in order to delete the shadow volume copies of your PC. This will prevent you from recovering your files via the Windows Recovery service. GANDCRAB 5.1 triggers the following command as an administrator in Windows Command Prompt:
→ “C:\Windows\system32\wbem\wmic.exe” shadowcopy delete
As soon as GANDCRAB 5.1 has deleted the backed up files, the ransomware begins to drop it’s ransom note file, which has the following message to the victims of the virus:
—= GANDCRAB V5.1 =—
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT DELETE THIS FILE, UNTIL ALL YOUR DATA IS RECOVERED
FAILING TO DO SO WIL RESULT IN YOUR SYSTEM CORRUPTION, IF THERE ARE DECRYPTION ERRORS
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension:
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key and only 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 http://gandcrabmfe6mnef.onion/ b6314679c4ba3647/
| 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.
IN ORDER TO PREVENT DATA DAMAGE:
* DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES
* DO NOT CHANGE DATA BELOW
The ransom note of this particular sample of GANDCRAB 5.1 which we have analyzed leads victims to the following ransom note web page, which can be opened only in the TOR browser listed in the instructions:
When the victim’s payment deadline timer expires, GandCrab may also show the following version of the ransom note, which says the price has doubled.
The ransom note has the following instructions to victims:
What’s the matter?
Your computer has been infected with GandCrab Ransomware.
All your files have been encrypted and you are not able to decrypt it by yourself.
To decrypt your files you have to buy GandCrab decryptor
The price is – 500 USD
What can I do to get my files back?
You should buy our software GandCrab Decryptor. It will scan your PC, network share, all connected devices and check for encrypted files and decrypt it. Current price: 500 USD. We accept cryptocurrency DASH and Bitcoin
What guarantees can you give me?
To be sure we have the decryptor and it works you can use free decrypt and decrypt one file for free.
But this file must be an image, because images usually are not valuable.
I don’t have Bitcoin (BTC) or DASH (DSH). How can I make the payment?
Easy. The list of the most popular exchange services:
The full list of exchange services for Bitcoin here and for DASH here.
Create an account
Charge the balance with a credit card or paypal
Buy requested amount of coins (Bitcoin or DASH)
Make withdrawal to our address
And in addition to those activities,GANDCRAB ransomware may also eventually change the wallpaper on the infected computer with the following picture:
And in the ransom note page, the virus offers 1 encrypted file for free download, just so the victim can see that it works. Which basically means that the virus may contain Trojan capabilities to copy files from the infected machine and upload them on TOR:
GANDCRAB 5.1 – Encryption Process
The main encryption algorithm that is used by GANDCRAB 5.1 is the Salsa20 cipher. Unlike RSA and AES encryption algorithms, the Salsa20 is much faster and can encrypt all files in around under a minute time. Just like other GandCrab versions, v5.1 also uses random file extension which it gladly ads to the encrypted files after it encrypts them. The files become scrambled and looking like the image below shows:
The ransomware skips encrypting files if they are located in the following Windows directories:
The encryption process of GANDCRAB ransomware is conducted in a way that the virus likely creates copies of the original files and then encrypts those copies by replacing blocks of data from the file with the scrambled data. The cyber-criminals may delete the original files and since they delete the shadow copies as well, there seems to be little chance to recover the files unless you pay the crooks, which we would highly advise to refrain from doing.
Remove GANDCRAB 5.1 and Try to Restore Files
Before beginning to even think about removing GANDCRAB 5.1 ransomware, we would recommend that you do a backup on your files, even if they are encrypted, because if you try to remvoe this variant of GANDCRAB, chances are your PC could malfunction and break down your OS irreversibly.
For the removal of GANDCRAB 5.1, we have prepared the steps below. Make sure to follow the first two steps only if you have some experience in malware removal and know what you are doing. Otherwise, we would recommend what most cybersecurity experts advise victims – to scan your computer for the GANDCRAB malware files with an advanced anti-malware program and remove all malicious files and objects belonging to it automatically.
For the file recovery, we would suggest that you check out the step “Try to Restore files encrypted by GANDCRAB 5.1” below. They contain multiple methods that explain what recovery method is the best for you and even though the methods provided do not come with a 100% guarantee to recover your files, you might theoretically be able to restore at least some of your files.