The NtCrypt Crypter is a dangerous weapon used against computer users worldwide. It infects mainly via phishing email messages. Our article gives an overview of its behavior according to the collected samples and available reports, also it may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The NtCrypt Crypter is a computer virus that is designed to silently infiltrate computer systems.|
|Symptoms||The victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.|
|Distribution Method||Software Vulnerabilities, Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by NtCrypt Crypter |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss NtCrypt Crypter.|
NtCrypt Crypter – Distribution Methods
The Ntcrypt Crypter is a recently discovered malware tool which is being offered on the hacker underground markets. The developers have outlined the main ways in which intrusions can be made however other techniques can also be employed. Usually the most popular way is to inject its code into other processes by payload delivery. The captured samples have been shown to borrow code from other famous threats.
It is likely that infections can be made by using the most popular methods:
- Email Phishing Messages — The criminals can attempt to send the virus files via email messages that pretend to be sent by legitimate and well-known companies. They are usually disguised using stolen multimedia content that may look the same as the official messages. The criminals can either attach the files directly or link them in the body contents.
- Infected Documents — The hackers can attach macros that will infect the users with the NtCrypt crypter. This is done via documents across all popular types: text documents, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. As soon as they are opened a notification prompt will appear asking the users to enable them. In most cases the reason quoted to the users is the correct display of the file contents.
- Modified Application Installers — Well-known program installers can be modified in order to lead to the NtCrypt infections. The hackers typically choose applications that are popular with most end users: system utilities, productivity and office apps, creativity suites and even computer games. They are made by taking the legitimate files from their official sources and modifying them with the relevant code.
- File Sharing Networks — Popular software solutions for spreading content like BitTorrent are widely used by computer hackers in order to distribute both pirate and legitimate files. They are a popular outlet for spreading the infected payload carriers.
- Malicious Web Sites — The hackers can generate scam sites that impersonate popular download portals, company landing pages, product sites and other places on the Internet where downloads are usually offered. To make them appear as safe places the criminals can host them on domains with similar sounding domain names to the spoofed ones, as well as self-signed security certificates.
- Browser Hijackers — The other mechanism which is used by the criminals is the embedding of dangerous code into plugins which are made compatible with the most popular web browsers. They are usually spread on the relevant repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials. The posted descriptions will promise performance enhancement and the addition of new features. Instead as soon as they are installed on the victim systems the virus code wil be implanted. Other malicious actions that will follow include the modification of the default settings in order to redirect the users to a preset hacker-controlled page.
At any point the malware operators can choose to use any other attack method in order to infect their target victims.
NtCrypt Crypter – Detailed Description
When the NtCrypt crypter code has been launched it will start a series of actions that are programmed to infect the target machines without alerting any security services or virus countermeasures into discovering that a malware infection has happened.
The modular engine is decrypted in real-time using a strong cipher which makes it very hard to detect as its signatures cannot be read. The malware is equipped with an advanced security bypass module. The crypter can be programmed to obfuscate its memory strings. Additional behavior that can be triggered by it is to locate security software and disable it. This is done by scanning the memory and local hard drive contents for signs of anti-virus engines, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and debug environments. Advanced samples can be configured to interact with the Windows Volume Manager which allows the engine to interact with any available network shares and removable storage devices.
The NtCrypt crypter can be used as a weapon to deploy other malware samples and it can be further extended with other code. We anticipate that the buyers will add at least some of them in the future releases. Common actions include the following:
- Data Theft — The hackers can use the NtCrypt crypter in order to insert a module that will carry out an information harvesting procedure. It can both expose the identity of the victims by looking out for strings such as a person’s name, address, phone number, location, interests and any stored account credentials. By searching all contents used by web browsers it can also retrieve bookmarks, cookies, search history and site preferences.
- Machine Identification — The engine can harvest sensitive information about the compromised machines which can be used to generate an ID that can differentiate the victim computers. This is done via an algorithm that takes it input values from data sources such as the installed hardware components, user settings and certain operating system conditions.
- Persistent Installation — When configured so the NtCrypt crypter can be programmed to automatically start running as soon as the computer has started running. This is done by manipulating the boot options, configuration files and Windows services. In many cases the victims will not be able to use manual removal guides as access to the recovery options can be disabled.
- Data Removal — The virus engine can be configured to locate and remove important data such as backups, restore points and shadow volume copies. In this case the users will need to resort to a professional-grade data recovery tool in order to effectively restore their data.
As the NtCrypt crypter is primarily used to deliver other threats it can be used in a variety of scenarios. A popular payload that can be spread onto the victim systems is the Trojan module. It creates a persistent connection to a hacker-controlled server which allows the criminals to take over control of the infected computers. This effectively allows them to spy on the victims, steal their files and carry out various malicious actions. Common payloads that are delivered to users include ransomware as well — they will encrypt target user data with a strong cipher and blackmail the victims to pay a decryption fee. Depending on the exact hacker configuration other actions may also follow.
Remove NtCrypt Crypter Completely
To remove NtCrypt Crypter manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal tutorial written down below. In case this manual removal does not get rid of the miner malware completely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.