Remove Rektware Ransomware – Restore Encrypted Data
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Remove Rektware Ransomware – Restore Encrypted Data

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.

Threat Summary

NameRektware ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files by placing the Encrypted extension on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note with payment instructions.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Rektware ransomware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Rektware ransomware.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

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: rektware@inbox.ru
(FreeDecryptAllYourFiles)

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.
Scan Your PC with SpyHunter
SpyHunter is a powerful malware removal tool designed to help users with in-depth system security analysis, detection and removal of Rektware ransomware.
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter’s malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

To remove Rektware ransomware follow these steps:

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Rektware ransomware files and objects

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows XP, Vista and 7. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. Fix registry entries created by malware and PUPs on your PC.

For Windows XP, Vista and 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.

donload_now_140

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.

donload_now_140

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

donload_now_140

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

Step 1: Open up the Start Menu.

Step 2: Click on the Power button (for Windows 8 it is the little arrow next to the “Shut Down” button) and whilst holding down “Shift” click on Restart.

Windows 8 Safe Mode Step 2 Shift Restart 2018

Step 3: After reboot, a blue menu with options will appear. From them you should choose Troubleshoot.

Windows 8 10 Safe Mode Boot Options Step 3 Choose an option 2018

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

Windows 8 10 Safe Mode Boot Options Step 4 Troubleshoot 2018

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

Windows 8 10 Safe Mode Boot Options Step 5 Advanced 2018

Step 6: From the Startup Settings menu, click on Restart.

Windows 8 10 Safe Mode Boot Options Step 6 Startup Settings Restart 2018

Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You can choose any of the three Safe Mode options by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

Windows 8 10 Safe Mode Boot Options Step 7 Safe Modes 2018

Some malicious scripts may modify the registry entries on your computer to change different settings. This is why cleaning your Windows Registry Database is recommended. Since the tutorial on how to do this is a bit long and tampering with registries could damage your computer if not done properly you should refer and follow our instructive article about fixing registry entries, especially if you are unexperienced in that area.

2. Find files created by Rektware ransomware on your PC

Find files created by Rektware ransomware

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

For Newer Windows Operating Systems

Step 1:

On your keyboard press + R and write explorer.exe in the Run text box and then click on the Ok button.

explorer.exe-sensorstechforum

Step 2:

Click on your PC from the quick access bar. This is usually an icon with a monitor and its name is either “My Computer”, “My PC” or “This PC” or whatever you have named it.

this-pc-sensorstechforum

Step 3:

Navigate to the search box in the top-right of your PC’s screen and type “fileextension:” and after which type the file extension. If you are looking for malicious executables, an example may be “fileextension:exe”. After doing that, leave a space and type the file name you believe the malware has created. Here is how it may appear if your file has been found:

N.B. We recommend to wait for the green loading bar in the navination box to fill up in case the PC is looking for the file and hasn’t found it yet.

For Older Windows Operating Systems

In older Windows OS’s the conventional approach should be the effective one:

Step 1:

Click on the Start Menu icon (usually on your bottom-left) and then choose the Search preference.

search-bar-windows-xp-sensorstechforum

Step 2:

After the search window appears, choose More Advanced Options from the search assistant box. Another way is by clicking on All Files and Folders.

search companion

Step 3:

After that type the name of the file you are looking for and click on the Search button. This might take some time after which results will appear. If you have found the malicious file, you may copy or open its location by right-clicking on it.

Now you should be able to discover any file on Windows as long as it is on your hard drive and is not concealed via special software.

Use SpyHunter to scan for malware and unwanted programs

3. Scan for malware and unwanted programs with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Scan your PC and Remove Rektware ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for Rektware ransomware and remove them.2. Scan with SpyHunter, Detect and Remove Rektware ransomware. Back up your data to secure it from malware in the future.
Step 1: Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

It is 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. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.

Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018

Step 1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Malware/PC Scan’ tab. A new window will appear. Click on ‘Start Scan’.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018

Step 2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the ‘Next’ button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

Step 3: If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

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

IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data with a cloud backup solution and insure your files against any type of loss, even from the most severe threats. We recommend you to read more about it and to download SOS Online Backup .

4. Try to Restore files encrypted by Rektware ransomware

Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Rektware ransomware

Ransomware infections and Rektware ransomware aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested several alternative methods that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that these methods may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

Method 1: Scanning your drive’s sectors by using Data Recovery software.
Another method for restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some suggestions for preferred data recovery software solutions:

Method 2: Trying Kaspersky and EmsiSoft’s decryptors.
If the first method does not work, we suggest trying to use decryptors for other ransomware viruses, in case your virus is a variant of them. The two primary developers of decryptors are Kaspersky and EmsiSoft, links to which we have provided below:

Method 3: Using Shadow Explorer

To restore your data in case you have backup set up, it is important to check for Volume Shadow Copies, if ransomware has not deleted them, in Windows using the below software:

Method 4: Finding the decryption key while the cryptovirus sends it over a network via a sniffing tool.

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. See how-to instructions below:

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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