The Rektware ransomware is a new virus threat that is currently being developed by a an unknown hacker or criminal collective. Unlike other ransomware it will add a randomly-named extension to the victim files. We suspect that future updates will bring more features to the strains.
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 Encrypted 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|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Rektware ransomware |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Rektware 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.|
Rektware Ransomware – Distribution Tactics
The Rektware ransomware is a newly discovered cryptovirus that appears to be currently in-development. There is a relatively low number of captured samples which means that the hackers or criminal collective behind have still not carried out a large-scale attack campaign. This allows them to choose any of the popular methods or use several ones at the same time.
One of the main tactics is the coordination of SPAM phishing campaigns that aim to coerce the users into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification from an Internet service that they use or a well-known site. The most effective scam messages are those that have the ability to directly lead to the virus infections — by directly attaching the files to the messages or linking them in the message contents.
The hackers behind the virus may also construct fake download portals impersonate vendor download landing pages and software sites. An additional strategy is the upload of the malware files to file-sharing networks, the most popular one is BitTorrent. It is used to spread both legitimate and pirate content. These three methods are the most common for spreading infected payload carriers:
- Software Installers — The hackers can construct infected software installers of popular end-user applications. They typically choose creativity suites, productivity solutions and system utilities. Whenever the setup files are executed this will also lead to a Rektware ransomware infection.
- Infected Documents — Macro-infected files can be created taking the forms of many of the documents such as presentations, rich text documents, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened a notification prompt will appear asking the victims to enable the built-in scripts. When this is done the virus infection will follow.
Large distribution campaigns can sometimes make use of malware extensions that are made for the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded to the relevant repositories and make use of elaborate descriptions promising the addition of new features or enhancement of already existing one. In many cases fake developer credentials and user reviews can be used to coerce the users into downloading them. Once installed they will change the default settings in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page — the made changes will be applied to the home page, search engine and new tabs page. When these actions are complete the ransomware will be delivered to the host system.
Rektware Ransomware – In-Depth Analysis
The captured Rektware ransomware appear to be currently in development. The reports indicate that a modular framework is being used which allows the developers to customize the strains according to the targets. We anticipate that the typical behavior pattern will be initiated in later versions. As such the attacks will begin launching the data harvesting module. It will hijack data that can be used to expose the victim’s identity — their name, address, phone number, location, interests and stored account credentials.
Its other use is to take information that can be used to optimize the attacks. Another technique that can be used by the engine is the collection of system data. The bulk of it is used to optimize the attack instances by generating a report of the installed hardware components, user settings and operating system metrics.
The collected data can also be used by another module called stealth protection which uses a signature-based scan in order to look for signs of security software, firewalls, debug environments or virtual machine hosts. Their real-time engines will be disabled or entirely removed. This will then allow the virus engine to take over control of the whole system allowing it to hook up to system processes and gain administrative privileges.
A common action would be to continue by installing the malicious engine as a persistent threat. This means that the malicious engine will be started as soon as the computer is powered on. Other services and user-installed applications may be disabled in order to allow for the virus to execute all of its commands without any possible issues. This in turn is connected with another step in the infection process — the Windows Registry Modifications. They can both manipulate the existing values and create new ones for the ransomware itself. Modifications to services and applications can render certain functions non-working. Changes to the operating system can lead to severe performance issues.
To make recovery more difficult the Rektware ransomware can delete system files such as System Restore Points and Shadow Volume Copies. Their effective recovery is possible with a data recovery program, refer to our instructions for more information.
In certain cases the Rektware ransomware can lead to the installation of a Trojan module. The typical behavior is to create a secure connection to the hacker-controlled server defined in the virus code. This action allows the operators to take over control of the infected hosts, hijack user files or spy on the users in real-time. This connection can also be abused into infecting the computers with other viruses.
As we have found that a modular engine is the base that is used by the virus we believe that the hackers behind it may offer custom versions on the underground markets. This means that future versions are expected to have more features and different operators. The target users might be changed according to their instructions.
Rektware Ransomware – Encryption Process
The Rektware ransomware engine will launch the relevant encryption algorithm once all prior steps have completed successfully.
The module will use a strong algorithm which wil process user data listed in the virus code. A typical list will act against the following types of data:
Unlike other popular ransomware it will assign a random extension to the files. It may be generated from the strings extracted by the data collection module that ultimately lead to the creation of a unique user ID (UUID). Every individual file will be numbered with a numeric value. Upon the completion of the ransomware and when viewing the individual files a notification prompt will appear. It will read the following message:
ContactID: MG9r9awS9V Send E-mail: [email protected]
The instructions can also be placed in any ransomware instructions file as ordered.
Remove Rektware Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files
If your computer system got infected with the Rektware 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.
Note! Your computer system may be affected by Rektware ransomware and other threats.
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