THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Snake Ransomware Virus – What You Should Know about It

remove-ransomware-virus-restore-files-sensorstechforumSnake Ransomware was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam last week who shared it with Vitali Kremez to reverse engineer and learn more about the infection.

A new ransomware was recently discovered by MalwareHunterTeam researchers. Dubbed Snake ransomware, the threat was reverse engineered by Vitali Kremez. Thanks to him, now more details are available about Snake, which is considered a targeted type of ransomware deployed against organizations and enterprises.

Threat Summary

NameSnake ransomware
File Extension A 5-character string to each file’s extension.
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
What Is ItA ransomware that specifically targets networks of organizations.
SymptomsSpecific files are encrypted. In each encrypted file, the EKANS file marker will be added.
Ransom NoteFix-Your-Files.txt
Distribution MethodCurrently not known
RemovalTo effectively remove active Snake ransomware virus infections, we recommend that you use an advanced anti-malware tool.

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Snake 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.

New information regarding the Snake ransomware became available this month. According to a new sample analysis that was posted this month (January 2020) more detailed information about the targets and the behavior exhibited by the engine. The latest versions of the ransomware are heavily obfuscated and appear to be designed specifically to take down entire networks rather than individual computers. The files which are detected as Snake ransomware samples appear to be configured against industrial systems.

The Snake virus now includes several advanced functions which will be triggered once a host is infected. Among them are the following capabilities:

  • Data Removal — The Snake ransomware has been found to delete any found Shadow Volume Copies of files found on the contaminated computer. This will make data recovery much more difficult and may hinder some restore operations.
  • Process Control — The Snake virus engine will be able to scan for running processes of software which can block the ransomware — virtual machines, access systems, remote control tools, network management, anti-virus software and etc.
  • Sabotage — Important SCADA systems and other industrial control software will be stopped from running. When this step has run in a working production environment this can cause a big overall issue in the factory which can be labeled as industrial sabotage.
  • Encryption Control — During the ransomware encryption process the analysts have discovered that the engine will skip files that belong to the operating system. This is intentional in order not to corrupt the running systems. This ensures that the proper damage is done and that the victim users will be aable to review the posted ransom message.

Further investigation into the hacking group behind the Snake ransomware reveals that the criminals may be behind other dangerous attacks as well. Of particular note is the possibility that they have launched an attack with a disk wiper called ZeroCleare in the past. This was a highly sophisticated and devastating planned operation against industrial and energy organizations in the Middle East region.

Further information about the threat became available on January 13 when another detailed report about the Snake ransomware was posted. The dangerous aspect about this particular threat is that the victim files will be encrypted with a random input cipher — this means that the data will not be processed with a single algorithm. The way this is done is that the main engine will record the original file names and directories which are used as parameters. A special string is included as well — public-key encryption is used by the Snake ransomware.

Markers are added to the files as extensions — random sets of character combinations are placed as file extensions. The ransom note generated by the current version of the virus is called *Fix-Your-Files.txt which begins with the line What happened to your files?.

Snake Ransomware – Technical Analysis

Kremez’s analysis indicates that the ransomware is written in the Golang language, and that it is highly obfuscated.

The level of routine obfuscation is much higher than what is usually seen in ransomware deployed in targeted attacks.
When the Snake ransomware infection is initiated, Shadow Volume Copies will be removed from the system.

Then, various processes related to SCADA systems, virtual machines, industrial control systems, remote management tools and network management tools will be killed.

After these two stages are completed, the ransomware will continue with data encryption, but it will skip files located in Windows system folders and some system files, such as:

windir
SystemDrive
:\$Recycle.Bin
:\ProgramData
:\Users\All Users
:\Program Files
:\Local Settings
:\Boot
:\System Volume Information
:\Recovery
\AppData\

Upon encryption, the Snake ransomware will append a 5-character string to each file’s extension. As a result, an file named file.doc will look like this after encryption – file.docknfgT (think is a random example).

In each encrypted file, the EKANS file marker will be added. It is curious to note that EKANS is SNAKE written in reverse.

The researchers say that the ransomware takes longer than usual to encrypt targeted data. However, since this is a targeted threat which is executed whenever the attacker decides, the time surely will not be much of an issue.

Once the encryption process is finalized, Snake will create a ransom note in C:\Users\Public\Desktop, and it will be called Fix-Your-Files.txt. The ransom note typically contains instructions to contact cybercriminals for payment instructions. The email provided for contact is bapcocrypt@ctemplar.com but the email may change in future releases of the ransomware.

This is what the ransom note looks like:


Here’s what the note says (parts of it):

What happened to your files?
We breached your corporate network and encrypted the data on your computers. The encrypted data includes documents, databases, photos and more –
All were encrypted using a military grade encryption algorithms (AES-256 and RSA-2048). You cannot access those files right now. But dont worry!
You can still get those files back and be up and running again in no time.
How to contact us to get your files back?
The only way to restore your files is by purchasing a decryption tool loaded with a private key we created specifically for your network.

Remove Snake Ransomware

In terms of file decryption, currently, there is no information whether files encrypted by Snake ransomware can be decrypted without the attackers’ decryption key. By the looks of it, the ransomware’s encryption is unbeatable, though.

Even though at the moment Snake ransomware is targeting organizations, large-scale campaigns against individuals can also be launched. If your ransomware infection’s symptoms resemble Snake ransomware’s behavior, you can try removing the ransomware using the instructions below.

Milena Dimitrova

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the beginning. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

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.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Snake ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Snake ransomware

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

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

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Snake ransomware and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Snake ransomware on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Snake ransomware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Snake ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

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.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. 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


4. 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

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Snake ransomware.

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

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Snake ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Snake ransomware and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Snake ransomware:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Snake ransomware. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Snake ransomware. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Snake ransomware via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Snake ransomware. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Snake ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Snake ransomware.

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

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Snake ransomware FAQ

What is Snake ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Snake ransomware 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 algorithm how 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.

How does Snake ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Snake ransomware Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 Snake ransomware 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 .Snake ransomware files?

You can't. At this point the .Snake ransomware files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Snake ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Snake ransomware ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".Snake ransomware" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Snake ransomware files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of Snake ransomware ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate Snake ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Snake ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Snake ransomware ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

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 it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files 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.

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