SynAck virus is an advanced ransomware threat that has been identified in a targeted attack. The security analysis reveals that it contains potent features making it a one of the most dangerous new viruses. We anticipate that future versions of it will deploy a ransomware component as well.
|This is an advanced virus threat that can lead to many system changes and can launch different components depending on the exact configuration.
|Users may experience performance issues, the inability to run certain programs or may find certain data inaccessible.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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SynAck Virus – Distribution Ways
The SynAck virus is an advanced strain of malware that has recently been uncovered. It uses a bypass technique that was discovered back in December 2017 that can override contemporary security mechanisms.
It is distributed using hidden embedded code in various files. A primary mechanism is the use of email spam messages that utilize various social engineering techniques. They are used to coerce the victim users into installing malware files that are either attached directly to the messages or hyperlinked in the body contents. In combination with this the operators behind the Synack virus can also use the emails for delivering malware payloads.
An example is the use of malware documents that contain embedded Synack virus code. They can be created in different types: text files, presentations or spreadsheets and when they are opened by the victims a notification prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in code. If this is done the virus will be downloaded and executed on the affected computer. The other payload delivery type is the creation of malware software installers. In a similar way to the previous example the computer criminals embed the Synack code into application installers. Usually popular software such as utilities, creativity suites and computer games.
Other than email messages the criminals behind the threat may also be distributed to various sites including web scripts such as pop-ups, banners and redirects.
Synack virus infections can be caused by browser hijackers — malicious web browser plugins that are distributed on various outlets. They are often described as implementing new features that might be useful to the users. They are often made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Once they are deployed the associated engine will change the default options in order to direct the users to a certain hacker-operated site. Affected settings are the default home page, new tabs page and search engine. After this is done tracking technologies will be enabled and any additional malware (such as the Synack virus) deployed.
At the moment the attacks so far target companies and individual users located in Kuwait, USA, Iran and Germany.
SynAck Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The security analysis reveals that the first component is the stealth protection module. It uses a complex bypass technique that uses NTFS file system processes that lead to a binary obfuscated delivery. Before the attack is commenced the virus code is obfuscated and then compiled. This means that the malware payload is executed indirectly, rather individual components and systems of the main engine are loaded. As an after effect security applications and virus countermeasures are not able to pick it up based on signature scans. The analysis reveals that that the malware engine can kill any running processes that can interfere with its execution.
The next step is to perform a language check which checks the regional and language settings and compares them with the built-in list of countries. The exact mechanism is to list the installed keyboard layouts and check if they match with the built-in instructions.
SynAck continues further by instituting a brief pause of 300 seconds before continuing further. The virus engine performs a file system check that looks up the current directory and starts to execute any follow-up modules.
Depending on the attack campaign and the performed customizations additional modules can be loaded. Examples include Windows Registry modifications. They can impact any existing strings associated with user-installed applications or the operating system itself. In addition the virus engine may create its own specific entries. Modifications to any existing values may lead to the inability to launch certain functions or Windows services. Overeall operating system performance can also be affected.
The SynAck virus engine can also opt to delete the Shadow Volume Copies of identified data which makes data recovery more difficult. In such cases the victims need to use a professional-grade solution, refer to our instructions to learn more about this step. The computer hackers behind the malware can also instruct the engine to institute a persistent state of infection. If this is done the virus engine will be started every time the computer is booted. Any user actions that attempt to negate this will be countered.
Follow-up modules that can be run include a network connection with a hacker-controlled server. It can be used in a Trojan-like manner by reporting the infections to the criminals and receiving arbitrary commands. The hackers can use the SynAck virus infection to spy on the victims in real time, as well as take over control of the machines. To make recovery more difficult SynAck also deletes all associated log files.
Some of the SynAck strains were found to disallow encryption if the keyboard input settngs correspond to the following values: ECIES-XOR-HMAC-SHA1.
SynAck Virus – Encryption Process
The security report indicates that the virus engine is capable of crafting ransom messages either by using the standard practice of creating ransomware notes or another method. This particular threat has been found to create custom text to the Windows logon screen. This is possible via Windows Registry entries modification. The security analysis shows that the cipher is a customized mix of ECIES-XOR-HMAC-SHA1.
An example message reads the following:
Hello. Your files are encrypted. To restore files, please contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Even though the security analysis shows clear signs of ransomare behavior patterns so far we have not received reports of affected files. It is very possible that the actual ransomware component will be launched in future versions of the threat. We presume that the .SynAck file extension or a similar one will be used.
A ransomware note may be created in a file called ==READ==THIS==PLEASE==[8-char-random-ID].txt which reads the following message:
(Files Encryption Softwre)
Dear client, we apoligize for inconvinience with your files.
So we make a business offer to order file recovery service from us.
We do not extort money, files restore is an optional service.
Also we will do auditing of your network FOR FREE if you order file recovery service.
Some details about SynAck- FES:
This software uses ecies-secp192r1 algorithm to create unique pair of private and public keys for the session.
Each file is encrypted with random keys using aes-ecb-256 algorithm.
We strongly recommend you not to use third-party decryptors because they can damage your files.
But if you want to try to restore your files by yourself, make sure you have made backup copies of encrypted files.
And please do not remove files with text notes, because they contain important information required for file restoring.
If you want to order file recovery service, please contact our support using one of the following e-mail addresses:
If you have not get a response in 24 hours, please do not panic and write on BitMessage (using site https://bitmsg.me/):
Keep in mind that there are fake services offering decryption; do not believe them or you will lose your money.
Anyway, there is one method you can use for proof: ask to decrypt some files for free.
No one excpet us will be able to do that.
! ! ! ! ! PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING TEXT IN YOUR MESSAGE ! ! !![PLACEHOLDER FOR UNIQIE VICTIM ID]
Remove SynAck Virus and Restore .SynAck Files
If your computer system got infected with the SynAck 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.
What is SynAck Ransomware?
SynAck 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 algorithms 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.
What Does SynAck Ransomware Do?
Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
How Does SynAck Infect?
Via several ways.SynAck Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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.
Another way you may become a victim of SynAck 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 .SynAck files?
You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .SynAck files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .SynAck files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".SynAck" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .SynAck files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of SynAck Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate SynAck ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .SynAck files.
Can I Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can SynAck Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Can a Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the SynAck Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this SynAck how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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.
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