A new Matrix ransomware strain has been identified in an ongoing attack processing files with the .CHE808 or .CHE80 extension. Its modular framework allows the hackers to create custom threats against specific targets. We anticipate that newer versions will be developed.
Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files by placing the .CHE808 extension on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Matrix ransomware.|
|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.|
Matrix Ransomware – Distribution Tactics
Matrix ransomware samples are being delivered via several mechanisms at once. The security researchers have been able to detect the threat in a smaller attack campaign, it is believed that the first detected strains may be test versions. The large campaigns that are directed against users on a global scale can take advantage of the common technique of overseeing the creation of email SPAM messages — they are sent to the users masking as legitimate notifications sent by Internet services that they use, social networks or other Internet sites. Most of them will be designed using the familiar layout and elements coercing the users to interact with the virus code. The malware files can be either attached or linked in the body contents.
A similar strategy is the construction of fake download sites — they can mimic real-world vendor download sites, landing pages or Internet portals. The use of similar sounding domain names and security certificates which can further manipulate the users into thinking that they have come across a legitimate page.
The victims may get redirected to them through the use of scripts under various forms — redirects, pop-ups, banners, ads and in-line links. Links to the fake pages may be posted using fake or stolen profiles on social networks.
Large-scale infections may be provoked by embedding the ransomware code into payload carriers. There are two popular types that are most commonly used in these attacks:
- Macro-infected Documents — The criminals can embed the virus installation code into documents via macros. This can be done with any one of the popular types: rich text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. When they are opened by the users a prompt will be spawned asking them to enable the built-in macros. If this is done the threat will be deployed.
- Malware Software Installers — A similar method is the creation of malicious application installers. The criminals will take the legitimate setup files and modify them with the relevant virus installation code. Usually popular choices are the most common carriers — creativity suites, productivity solutions and system utilities.
These payload carriers may also be distributed via file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent. It is often used to spread pirate content, including documents and software installers. As such this is a popular outlet for spreading the payload carriers.
Large-scale infections can be made through malicious browser plugins which are alternatively known as hijackers. They are created by the hackers with the intention of fooling the users that they are downloading and installing a legitimate extension that will optimize their browsers or add new functionality. They are uploaded to the relevant plugin repositories with fake developer credentials and user reviews. When they are installed on the infected machines usually the first step would be to modify the default settings in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page: default page, search engine and new tabs page. Following this the virus will be automatically downloaded and installed onto the system.
Matrix Ransomware – In-Depth Analysis
Once the infection is started the Matrix ransomware strain will initiate its built-in behavior pattern. Like previous versions we assume that the default options will be included. This means that one of the first components that are started is the data extraction one. It can harvest sensitive data including ones that can expose the victim’s identity. This is done by looking out for strings such as their name, address, phone number, interests, location and any stored account credentials. The engine can also harvest metrics that can be used to optimize the attacks by harvesting hardware reports and information about the user settings and operating system values.
The harvested information can be processed by another module called stealth protection. It will scan the system for signs of security software and services that can directly interfere with the virus execution. The list includes the likes of anti-virus programs, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. They can be either disabled (blocked) or entirely removed allowing the malicious engine full system access.
When this step is complete the Matrix Ransomware engine will be able to deploy all of its components and begin the real infection. The modular framework allows the criminals to create custom iterations. We anticipate that once the security software are bypassed the engine will start to hook up to system processes, create ones of its own and acquire administrative privileges. At this point the module will have total control of the system allowing it to launch any other module as desired.
One of the first modules that are launched after the system has been infiltrated is the Windows Registry manipulation one. It can create strings associated with the infection or manipulate the ones belonging to the operating system or individual applications. This can lead to severe performance issues and the inability to run certain functions or services.
The creation of strings that are used by the ransomware is related to the set up of a persistent installation. What this means is that the malicious engine will be started every time the computer is powered. A side effect of this is the inability to enter into the boot recovery menu. This will render most manual removal options useless, in such cases the victim users will need to rely on a professional-grade anti-spyware solution. To make recovery more difficult the criminals may also delete files such as the System Restore Points and Shadow Volume Copies. They can only be recovered by a data recovery software.
Some Matrix Ransomware samples like this one can be the carriers of a Trojan component. Like other similar threats it will connect to a hacker-controlled server which will allow the operators to have full access to the infected systems. Such can directly spy on the victim users, take over control of the machines at any given time and deploy other threats. A particularly popular option is the deployment of cryptocurrency miners. They take advantage of the available system resources in order to carry out complex calculations. When the results are posted to the servers digital currency in the form of Bitcoin, Monero and other similar forms will be wired to the hacker’s wallets. Additionally the hosts can be recruited to a worldwide botnet that can be used to attack other hosts — either local ones or far away computers in other countries.
Matrix Ransomware – Encryption Process
Once all prior components have executed correctly the encryption module will be started. Similar to older Matrix ransomware versions it will use a built-in list of target data. An example list can process the following file types:
There are two distinct versions of the Matrix ransomware — either .CHE808 or .CHE80. The detected samples will rename the processed files according to the following formula — [contact-email.random-extensions.CHE808/CHE80]. This means that there are three components that are used to affect the files: a hacker’s contact email address (taken from the ransomware note), a random extensions which may be based upon the UUD (unique user ID) taken by the data harvesting component and the final extension. The two extensions (.CHE808 and .CHE80) might be used as campaign labels indicating the current attack campaign.
Remove Matrix Ransomware Virus and Restore .CHE808Files
If your computer got infected with the Matrix 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.
What is Matrix ransomware Ransomware?
Matrix ransomware 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.
Can Matrix ransomware Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Matrix ransomware?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Matrix ransomware Infect?
Via several ways.Matrix ransomware 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.
After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.
Another way you may become a victim of Matrix ransomware 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 .Matrix ransomware files?
You can't. At this point, the .Matrix ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey 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 .Matrix ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Matrix ransomware" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Matrix ransomware 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 Matrix ransomware 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 Matrix ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Matrix ransomware files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Matrix ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:
- Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
- Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
- Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
- You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.
More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.
How to 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 Matrix ransomware 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.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can 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 Matrix ransomware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Matrix ransomware 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.
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