THREAT REMOVAL

How To Remove SynAck Virus Infections and Restore Your PC

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.

Threat Summary

Name SynAck
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description This is an advanced virus threat that can lead to many system changes and can launch different components depending on the exact configuration.
Symptoms Users may experience performance issues, the inability to run certain programs or may find certain data inaccessible.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss SynAck.
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.

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:

SynAck FES

Hello. Your files are encrypted. To restore files, please contact us by e-mail: synack@scryptmail.com or synack@countermail.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:

SynAck FES
(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:

synack@scryptmail.com
synack@countermail.com

If you have not get a response in 24 hours, please do not panic and write on BitMessage (using site https://bitmsg.me/):
BM-2cTp9eosgjWs8SV14kYCDzPN3HJkwYk1LQ

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]

SynAck virus ransom note

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.

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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.


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 SynAck from Windows.


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

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 SynAck 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 SynAck 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 SynAck 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 SynAck 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 SynAck.

Ransomware infections and SynAck 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 SynAck from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall SynAck 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 SynAck:

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 SynAck. 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 SynAck. 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 SynAck 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 SynAck. 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 SynAck:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and SynAck 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.


SynAck FAQ

What is SynAck ransomware and how does it work?

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 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 SynAck ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.SynAck 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 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. At this point the .SynAck 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 .SynAck files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

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

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% 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 SynAck 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 SynAck ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .SynAck files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like SynAck 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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