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Remove Rackcrypt MVP Locker Ransomware and Restore .rack Files

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New crypto-malware has been detected out in the wild. It is called Rackcrypt and it is also known as MVP Locker. It claims to use a strong AES-256 encryption algorithm to encrypt infected users’ files and extort them for the decryption. This type of ransomware is reported to be entering user systems via malicious executables concealed in a key Windows directory. It supports a variety file types to scan for and encrypt, and its algorithm is military grade. However, users who have been affected by this ransomware are strongly advised not to pay the ransom money and use special software to remove Rackcrypt and restore their files, instructions for which are provided after this article.

NameRackcrypt
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe crypto-virus encrypts user files with .rack extensions and may use AES-256 encryption algorhithm, demanding 1.3 BTC to decrypt the data.
SymptomsThe user may witness his files to become of an unfamiliar origin with the .rack extension.
Distribution MethodVia different malicious sites.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Rackcrypt
User Experience Join our forum to discuss Rackcrypt.

Rackcrypt Ransomware – How Does It Spread

Microsoft malware researchers have observed samples of the threat in their report, and they have established this malware to spread via malicious executables. Such executables may contain the following names:

  • Setup.exe
  • Firefox.exe
  • Activator.exe
  • Smsss.exe

The executables may be downloaded onto the victim’s PC from websites that are dangerous and distribute the malware disguised based on what the user is looking for. For example, if you search for a certain program the website may automatically generate a file, named ‘yourprogramname.exe’ tricking you into downloading the actual setup of the software you are looking for. There may be other methods of distribution such as malicious executables uploaded on file sharing sites or in suspicious torrents.

Rackcrypt Ransomware – What Does It Do?

Once activated on the computer, the ransomware immediately drops a malicious module in the %temp% Windows folder. After doing so, according to Microsoft, It adds the following registry keys with values and data:

In HKU\Administrator\mvpdata the value “launches” with data “ (REG_DWORD)”
In HKU\Administrator\mvpdata the value “day” with data “ (REG_DWORD)”
In HKU\Administrator\mvpdata the value “done” with data “ (REG_DWORD)”
In HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop the value “Wallpaper” with data “%Windows%\Web\Wallpaper\rack.jpg”

The value for the wallpaper aims to set the picture “rack.jpg” that may contain the ransom instructions as a wallpaper.
After the ransomware has been set up on your computer, it begins the encryption process. Its payload modules are programmed to scan and encrypt files that have the following extensions:

.3fr .7z .accdb .ai .ank .apk .arch00 .arw .asset .avi .bar .bay .bc6 .bc7 .big .bik .bkf .bkp .blob .bmp .bsa .cas .cdr .cer .cfr .cpp .cr2 .crt .crw .css .csv .d3dbsp .das .dat .dazip .db0 .dba .dbf .dcr .der .desc .dmp .dng .doc .docm .docx .dwg .dxg .epk
.eps .erf .esm .et .ff .flv .forge .fos .fpk .fsh .gdb .gho .hkdb .hkx .hplg .hpp .hvpl .ib .icxs .indd .itdb .itl .itm .iwd .iwi .jpe .jpeg .jpg .js .kdb .kdc .kf .layout .lbf .litemod .lrf .ltx .lvl .m2 .m3u .m4a .map .mcmeta .mdb .mdbackup .mddata .mdf .mef .menu
.mlx .mov .mp3 .mp4 .mpqge .mrwref .ncf .nrw .ntl .odb .odc .odm .odp .ods .odt .orf .p12 .p7b .p7c .pak .pas .pdd .pdf .pef .pem .pfx .pkpass .png .ppt .pptm .pptx .psd .psk .pst .ptx .py .qdf .qic .r3d .raf .rar .raw .rb .re4 .rgss3a .rim .rofl .rtf .rw2
.rwl .sav .sb .sid .sidd .sidn .sie .sis .slm .snx .sql .sr2 .srf .srw .sum .svg .syncdb .t12 .t13 .tax .tor .txt .upk .vcf .vdf .vfs0 .vpk .vpp_pc .vtf .w3x .wall .wb2 .wma .wmo .wmv .wotreplay .wpd .wps .x3f .xf .xlk .xls .xlsb .xlsm .xlsx .xxx .zip .ztmp

After the files have been encrypted, they can be identified with the “.rack” extension specific for this ransomware variant. An example of an encrypted document may be:

New Text Document.txt.rack

When the user attempts to open an encrypted file, there is an error message from Windows may display a pop-up saying the file is corrupt or open the Window that helps the user find a program to open the encrypted file with. Removing the “.rack” file extension does not fix the program and when the file has been opened as a .txt the information is displayed with encrypted symbols, for example:

encrypted-text-document-rack-sensorstechforum

After encrypting the user files, the ransomware drops the following files:

  • Rackfiles.txt – (shows the user a list of the encrypted files)
  • Rack.jpg – (wallpaper with the ransom message)
  • Rackinfo.txt – (displays more information about what happened to the files)

These files may be located either in the %Temp% directory or others and they aim to provide the user with instructions on what the situation is and scare him/her into paying the ransom money to the cyber-criminals in bitcoins.

The instructions in the ransom messages are the following:

“Hi,
We are sorry to tell you, but all your files on this PC were encrypted using strongest AES-256 encryption algorithm and you can personally verify this by pressing “files” button below or do this manually.
What can I do?
Despite that, you still has a chance to get all your data back in a 3 days period. For further information about unlocking process please use “info” button below. Please do not try to eliminate this program in case you want to get your files back.
Bicoin Wallet
You should use this address to send a payment. It costs around 300 USD (1.3 BTC) .
Use “copy” button to copy wallet address to clipboard.
(Contains uppercase, lowercase and digits)
Unlock
We will verify your payment status within 2-3 hours after transaction. Please be patient since it’s manual process. In case you made a payment, but decryption process won’t start, use this e-mail to contact us:
mvplocksvc@yahoo.com”

The ransomware also has several buttons in its pop-up one of which leads to the following .txt file:

text-sensorstechforum-rack

If a user clicks on the “Decrypt” button, it displays a pop-up message claiming the payment hasn’t been made yet or is currently being processed.

Remove Rackrypt Completely and Restore .rack Files

Before we start, keep in mind that you have the option to pay the ransom money of 300 USD even though it is no guarantee you will get your files back. If you remove the malware you will not be able to pay them. Otherwise, in order to remove this malware, it is important to first backup the encrypted files to another device since it may delete them if you try to remove it. Then, it is highly recommended to follow the step-by-step manual illustrated after this article to isolate and remove the malicious files and clean up your registries.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Rackcrypt

1. Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

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For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

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3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

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While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu

donload_now_140

Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.

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Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.

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Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.

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Step 6: Click on Restart.
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Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove Rackcrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

2. Remove Rackcrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Rackcrypt.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Rackcrypt.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

donload_now_140
It is highly recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

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Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
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Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Rackcrypt files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
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Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Rackcrypt in the future

3. Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

Security engineers recommend that you back up your files immediately, preferably on an external memory carrier in order to be able to restore them. In order to protect yourself from Rackcrypt (For Windows Users) please follow these simple steps:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
backup-1
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
w7-backup3
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
backup-3
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
backup-4
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Rackcrypt.
backup-5

1-Press Windows button + R
filehistory-1
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
filehistory-2
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
filehistory-3
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
filehistory-4
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Rackcrypt.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
sysdm
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
windows-defense2
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
windows-defense3
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Rackcrypt is on.
windows-defense1
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
file-restore1
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
file-restore2
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Rackcrypt should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by Rackcrypt

4.Restore Files Encrypted by Rackcrypt

Security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods. Here are several suggestions:

To restore your data, your first bet is to check again for shadow copies in Windows using this software:

Shadow Explorer

If this method does not work, Kaspersky have provided a decryptors for files encrypted with the this and other encryption algorithms:

Kaspersky Decryptors

Another method of restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

EaseUS Data Recovery
Recuva
R-Studio
Photorec

There is also the technical option to use a network sniffer:

Another way to decrypt the files is by using a Network Sniffer to get the encryption key, while files are encrypted on your system. A Network Sniffer is a program and/or device monitoring data traveling over a network, such as its internet traffic and internet packets. If you have a sniffer set before the attack happened you might get information about the decryption key.

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove Rackcrypt Using Other Alternative Tools

Malwarebytes Anti-MalwareSTOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan for and remove Rackcrypt.
Step 1: Download Malwarebytes by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
pets-by-myway-ads-virus
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on ‘Next’ on the following 4 steps that will appear afterwards and after that click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button and check the ‘Launch MalwareBytes AntiMalware’ check box.

2. Scan your PC with MalwareBytes to remove all Rackcrypt associated files automatically.

Step 1: Launch MalwareBytes if you havent launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to update and then click on the blue ‘Scan Now’ button. If it doesnt start updating automatically, click on the blue ‘Update Now’ highlighted text.
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Step 3: At this point, after clicking the ‘Scan Now’ button, the system should start scanning your PC. It may take a while but be patient – it is worth it.
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Step 4: After the scan has been complete and all of the threats have been identified, click on the ‘Remove Selected’ button to delete them permanently.
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Step 5: Once the scan has completed, MalwareBytes will prompt you to restart your computer. It is recommended to save all your data you are working on before restarting.

1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Rackcrypt.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Rackcrypt associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
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Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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