THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Spartacus Virus and Restore .Spartacus Files

Spartacus Virus is a newly discovered malware instance that appears to be made by an unknown hacker or criminal group. The security researchers propose that future attacks might impement newer versions of the malware engine.

Threat Summary

Name Spartacus
Type Ransomware
Short Description The Spartacus virus is a malware that encrypts the target data with .spartacus.
Symptoms The victims will find that their files are encrypted with the .Spartacus.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Spartacus.

Spartacus virus – Infection Spread

The Spartacus virus at the moment is being delivered to target users using a lot of different tactics. A preferred method is the use of email messages that use various social engineering tactics. In many cases the criminal operators opt to use graphics and text taken from well-known sites. This leaves the impression in the users that the received messages originate from the services and not from computer criminals.

The malware samples associated with the Spartacus virus can be either hyperlinked in the body contents or attached directly to the messages. A related method is to use various payload delivery mechanisms such as the following:

  • Software Installers — The developers behind the Spartacus virus take legitimate setup files of popular software which are then customized with the malware instance. Examples include computer games, creativity suites and system utility programs.
  • Malware Documents — Another strategy is to embed the dangerous code into documents of different types. Examples include rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt appears which asks the users to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the malware will be downloaded from a remote server and initiated on the local machine.

Such threats can also be delivered via browser hijackers. They are dangerous web browser plugins that are usually made compatible with the most popular applications (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Microsoft Edge). The uploaders usually utiize fake credentials and user reviews and lure victims into downloading the files by posting elaborate descriptions. Once they have infiltrated the target systems various tracking technologies are employed in order to create a complete profile of the victims. The next step is to deploy virus threats such as this one.

Spartacus virus – Technical Data

The initial analysis of the threat shows that it does not contain code taken from the famous malware families. It is believed that it follows similar behavior patterns to other well-known malware. It is possible that the whole operation is run by an individual hacker or a criminal collective.

The engine used by Spartacus is modular in nature which makes it possible to extend its features in updated versions. Newer versions of it can launch an information gathering component. It is started after the infection has infiltrated the computer. Future versions of the virus that contain this module usually work by harvesting data that can be classified in two types:

  • Private Data — The information can be used to directly expose the victims identity and is made up of the victims name, address, telephone numbers, location, interests, passwords and account credentials.
  • Anonymous Metrics — The obtained information is used by the criminals for statistical purposes and usually contains data such as operating system configuration settings and a list of the avilable hardware components.Anonymous Metrics — The obtained information is used by the criminals for statistical purposes and usually contains data such as operating system configuration settings and a list of the available hardware components.

Another possible update is the inclusion of a protective module that can guard the the instances against removal. They typically use the gathered data in order to scan the system for any anti-virus products or other security software that can interfere with the prescribed malware execution. The follow-up steps are to cause system modification as programmed by the hacker operators. This can include any of the following:

  • Windows Registry — The Spartacus virus can be programmed to create new entries in the Windows registry or modify existing ones. As a consequence the users may experience overall performance issues or the inability to launch certain applications or system services.
  • Boot Options — The engine can remove the possibility into entering the recovery menu.
  • Additional Malware Delivery — The Spartacus virus can be used to deliver additional threats if programmed to do so.
  • Trojan Component — In certain cases the Spartacus virus can engage in a network connecton with a malware server. This connection is used to harvest sensitive data and take over control of the infected hosts.

Further code changes can be made depending on the specific hacker instructions.

Spartacus virus — Encryption Process

As soon as all components have executed correctly the ransomware component is started. It uses a complex cipher to encrypt target user data. The collected samples so far seem to target specific locations instead of individual file type extensions. One of the captured samples has been to act against data found in these folders:

  • System
  • ProgramData
  • Desktop
  • My Computer
  • Desktop Directory
  • Favorites
  • Personal
  • My Music
  • History
  • Personal

As a consequence all affected data will be renamed with the .Spartacus extension preceded by the hacker criminal email address in brackets. The ransomware note is created in a file caled READ ME.txt which contains the following message:

All your data has been locked us.
You want to return?
Write email MastersRecovery@protonmail.com or MastersRecovery@cock.li
Your personal ID KEY: DvQ9/mvfT3I7U847uKcI0QU3QLd+huv5NOYT2YhfiySde0vhmkzyTtRPlcu73BAJIL***

Additionally a lockscreen instance is used to further blackmail the victims. It is designed as a full-screen overlay which reads the following:

All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us the e-mail:
MastersRecovery@protonmail.com and send personal ID KEY:
In case of no answer in 24 hours us to theese e-mail: MastersRecovery@cock.li

Remove Spartacus virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got compromised and is infected with the Spartacus ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written 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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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.


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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 Spartacus from Windows.


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

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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus.

Ransomware infections and Spartacus 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 Spartacus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Spartacus 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 Spartacus:

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 Spartacus. 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 Spartacus. 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus. 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 Spartacus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Spartacus 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.


Spartacus FAQ

What is Spartacus ransomware and how does it work?

Spartacus 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 Spartacus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 .Spartacus files?

You can't. At this point the .Spartacus 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 .Spartacus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Spartacus 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 ".Spartacus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Spartacus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Spartacus 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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