In this article, you will find more information about .Neptune files virus as well as a step-by-step guide on how to remove malicious files from an infected system and how to potentially recover files encrypted by this ransomware.
The so-called .Neptune files virus is yet another ransomware that has been detected by security researchers to be spread in active attack campaigns. The ransomware has its name as a derivative of the extension it uses to mark corrupted files. Another trait of this threat is a text file called !!!READ_IT!!!.txt which contains instructions on how hackers expect to receive a demanded ransom fee. If your computer has been affected by the .Neptune files virus, we recommend that you should read this article thoroughly.
|Name||.Neptune Files Virus|
|Short Description||A data locker ransomware that encodes valuable files with sophisticated cipher algorithm and demands a ransom fee for their decryption.|
|Symptoms||Important files are locked and renamed with .Neptune extension. Hackers attempt to blackmail you into paying a ransom for a decryption tool.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss .Neptune Files Virus.|
|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.|
.Neptune Files Virus – Update April 2019
A decryption tool for the .Neptune Files Virus got released by EMSIsoft, that you can download from the link provided here – Emsisoft Decrypter for Planetary Ransomware (.mira, .pluto, .Neptune, .yum). You will need a ransom note from this ransomware in order to use the decrypter.
.Neptune Files Virus – Distribution
The main channel used for the spread of .Neptune files virus is likely to be malspam. Since it lets hackers to present their malicious code directly in the inboxes of a large number of online users, it is one of the most preferred ways for ransomware distribution. Once they create their specifically crafted messages, they release them in massive email campaigns. Emails that are part of such attack campaigns usually have some common traits. One of these traits is a presented URL address being it in the form of an in-text link, a banner, a button, an image or another clickable object. Trait number two is the presence of a file attachment of common file type. In addition, expect these emails to pose as representatives of legitimate businesses and services.
The last trick attempts to take advantage of your trust and eventually trick you into opening the infected email element on your device.
A variety of common file types such as documents, PDFs, images could be misused for the spread of .Neptune ransomware payload. These files are often presented as:
- Invoices coming from reputable sites, like PayPal, eBay, etc.
- Documents from that appear to be sent from your bank.
- An online order confirmation note.
- Receipt for a purchase.
Malware authors may also bet on compromised software installers and infected websites for their attack campaigns. These methods enable them to embed the ransomware payload to an app installer or inject it into a web page. Both cases could result in automatic and unnoticed execution of this payload directly on a target system.
.Neptune Files Virus – Overview
The Solar System theme continues to be favored by malware creators. Recently two ransomware threats with planetary names were released in active attack campaigns against online users. The first one associated with [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/pluto-ransomware-remove/”].pluto extension and the other with [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/remove-mercury-ransomware/”].Mercury. The sequence is continued by another ransomware which is known to mark the files it corrupts with the .Neptune extension.
As revealed by security researchers this threat is designed to infect computer systems in an attempt to reach files that store valuable information and encode them with sophisticated cipher algorithm.
Once the payload of this ransomware is loaded on your system, it triggers a long sequence of malicious activities. Initially, .Neptune files virus is likely to create additional malicious files in some of the following system folders:
When .Neptune ransomware finishes this process, it starts executing malicious files in a predefined order. By doing this, the threat becomes able to access some essential system components and eventually alters some of their settings. As a result of malicious changes, functionalities of certain registry keys like Run and RunOnce could be misused by the ransomware. Since they are designed to manage the automatic execution of main system files and objects, threats like .Neptune are often configured to affect them by adding malicious values there.
Soon after this is done, a ransom note which is previously dropped on the system by .Neptune cryptovirus could load on the screen to inform the following:
!!! ATTENTION, YOUR FILES WERE ENCRYPTED !!!
Please follow few steps below:
1.Send us your ID.
2.We can decrypt 1 not important file what would you make sure that we have decription tool! Do not try to cheat us, only not important file.
3.Then you’ll get payment instruction and after payment you will get your decryption tool!
Do not try to rename files!!! Only we can decrypt all your data!
Your ID:[redacted 64 uppercase hex]:[redacted 64 uppercase hex, separated by dashes] [redacted 64 uppercase hex, separated by dashes]:[redacted 64 uppercase hex, separated by dashes]
This message could be manually loaded by opening the file that contains it. This file is called !!!READ_IT!!!.txt. Apparently, it is used by hackers who stand behind .Neptune ransomware attacks as part of their extortion tactic. The contact emails may be different than the ones mentioned above but the main purpose will always be the one and the same – extortion of a ransom payment. At this point the amount of demanded ransom is not publicly available but what is likely of it is to be requested in any cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.
Beware that even a successful ransom payment avoidance of which we highly recommend, you still have no guarantee for the efficient recovery of .Neptune files.
.Neptune Files Virus – Encryption Process
Data encryption stage is reached soon after the successful contamination of some essential system settings that support the undetected .Neptune ransomware’s presence on the system. During this stage, the ransomware activates a built-in encryption module which is designed to scan predefined drives and folders for targeted files. Whenever it registers a match, it encodes the detected file with the help of sophisticated cipher algorithm.
At the end of this process, almost all common files used for the storage of important information start to appear with the extension .Neptune appended to their original names. Unfortunately, all files that are saved in one of the following formats could remain inaccessible until the recovery of their original code:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Document files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials, etc
Remove .Neptune Files Virus and Attempt to Restore Data
The so-called .Neptune files virus is a threat with highly complex code designed to corrupt both system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system in a secure manner again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could use our removal guide that reveals how to clean and secure your system step by step. In addition, in the guide, you will find several alternative data recovery approaches that may be helpful in attempting to restore files encrypted by .Neptune ransomware. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.
.Neptune Files Virus-FAQ
What is .Neptune Files Virus Ransomware?
.Neptune Files 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.
Can .Neptune Files Virus 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 .Neptune Files Virus?
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 .Neptune Files Virus Infect?
Via several ways..Neptune Files 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.
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 .Neptune Files 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 ..Neptune Files Virus files?
You can't. At this point, the ..Neptune Files Virus 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 ..Neptune Files Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore "..Neptune Files Virus" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..Neptune Files 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 .Neptune Files 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 .Neptune Files Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..Neptune Files Virus files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like .Neptune Files Virus 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 .Neptune Files 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.
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 .Neptune Files Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .Neptune Files 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.
- Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.