The XiaoBa virus is a newly discovered sample of the malware family. The security analysis shows that the new customized version uses a new ransomware extension — .Encrypted[BaYuCheng@yeah.net].XiaBa.
|Short Description||The main goal of the XiaoBa Virus is to encrypt sensitive user files and extort the victims for a ransom fee payment.|
|Symptoms||The XiaoBa Virus component processes target files and renames them with the .XiaBa extension.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss XiaoBa.|
|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.|
XiaoBa Virus – Infection Process
The new samples originating from the XiaoBa ransomware family are delivered using the same mechanics as the original threat. The hackers behind the active attack campaigns may be leveraging different strategies at once in order to increase the infections ratio.
Some of the primary methods used by the hackers depend on the sending of email messages that contain social engineering tricks. They attempt to coerce the target users into interacting with the malware element either by embedding them as file attachments or inserting malware hyperlinks. The malware samples are usually disguised as files of user interest and the hackers can utilize various tactics that emulate legitimate user activities. An example is the archiving of files in password-protected data. The passwords are often listed in the body contents of the messages themselves.
Two other methods used by the criminals in connection with these strategies include the use of infected documents as payload delivery mechanisms. The hackers behind the XiaoBa virus can create documents of various types which includes the malware code: presentations, spreadsheets and rich text documents. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt is spawned which asks the users to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done then the virus is downloaded from a hacker-controlled site and downloaded onto the target machine.
Another tactic relies on the creation and spread of malware software installers. They are made by taking the legitimate installers and modifying them to include the dangerous XiaoBa ransomware. The usual suspects are popular free and trial versions of software that are likely to be wanted by the computer users. The criminals can also make use of browser hijackers that represent malware browser plugins that are usually spread on the browser extension repositories. The dangerous code is usually made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they change important parameters to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled page and also infect the target users with the virus code.
As usual viruses like the XiaoBa ransomware can also be distributed on hacker-controlled download sites and file sharing networks like BitTorrent.
XiaoBa Virus – Analysis and Activity
The new strains associated with the XiaoBa virus family continue to follow the basic infection patterns. One of the most important aspects of the malware family is the fact that it includes a stealth protection module that can actively hide itself from security software and analysis. Advanced virus strains can scan the compromised machines for running instances of programs that can interfere with its execution and bypass or altogether stop them. The list includes anti-virus products, sandbox and debugging environments and virtual machine hosts.
Using the information gathering built-in module the criminals can also harvest all kinds of data from the compromised machines. The information is usually classified into two main groups:
- Anonymous Data — The gathered data is made up of information regarding the hardware components and certain operating system settings.
- Sensitive Private Data — This type of information is made up of harvested data about the victims itself that can directly expose their identity: name, address, telephone number, preferences and account credentials.
Any follow-up steps can include various system changes that can negatively impact the compromised computer. They can impact the boot options which in turn can prevent access to the recovery menu used by the victims to amend their machines. Changes to the Windows Registry can impact important operating system services and user applications. Such actions can be connected to the persistent type of installation performed by the malware engine. This makes it very difficult for the users to remove it using manual methods.
The XiaoBa virus has also been found to infiltrate the target devices with the CoinHive miner. This is a dangerous malware that is loaded into memory and uses the available hardware resources for complex operations called “mining” that result in income generation for the hacker operators. This particular version uses a Monero-based instance which is loaded into all files with the HTML and HTM file type extensions. Once they are opened by the users the dangerous code will be automatically launched. Follow-up strains can also include other related cryptocurrency miners with both 32 and 64-bit versions. The correct payload is chosen automatically by the malware engine based on the harvested machine information.
Its important to note that any network connections made with the hacker-controlled servers can be used to harvest the gathered information. The criminals can also opt to use it to send additional malware to the victim hosts. Such connections can also be used to institute control of the victim computers in a manner similar to Trojan viruses.
XiaoBa Virus — Encryption Process
Once all components have finished execution the ransomware component is started. The XiaoBa virus uses a list of target built-in extensions. Previous samples targeted the following data:
.3gp, .7z, .apk, .avi, .bmp, .cdr, .cer, .chm, .conf, .css, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .djvu, .dbx,
.docm, ,doc, .epub, .docx .fb2, .flv, .gif, .gz, .iso .ibooks,.jpeg, .jpg, .key, .mdb .md2, .mdf,
.mht, .mobi .mhtm, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg .mpeg, .pict, .pdf, .pps, .pkg, .png, .ppt .pptx,
.ppsx, .psd, .rar, .rtf, .scr, .swf, .sav, .tiff, .tif, .tbl, .torrent, .txt, .vsd, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx,
.xps, .xml, .ckp, .zip, .java, .py, .asm, .c, .cpp, .cs, .js, .php, .dacpac, .rbw, .rb, .mrg, .dcx,
.db3, .sql, .sqlite3, .sqlite, .sqlitedb, .psd, .psp, .pdb, .dxf, .dwg, .drw, .casb, .ccp, .cal, .cmx,
All affected data is renamed with a new and rather long extension — .Encrypted[BaYuCheng@yeah.net].XiaBa.
The ransom note is produced in an application frame that is similar to the lockscreens used by many similar malware families. The window is titled “BaYuCheng@yeah.net” and reads the following message:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your fles have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail BaYiCheng@yeah.net
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 10 Mb (non-archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins:
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, ans select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
The analysts note that a script also plays an automated voice over of the ransom note to further pressure the victims.
How to Remove XiaoBa Virus and Restore .XiaBa Encrypted Files
In order to make sure that this malware is permanently gone from your computer, you should follow the manual or automatic removal instructions down below. If you have the experience in removing ransomware manually, we advise you to focus on the first 2 steps from the manual removal and to look for the registry files which we have explained in the analysis part above. Otherwise, if you want a more automatic and faster solution and lack the expertise in malware removal, we urge you to download an advanced anti-malware program, which aims to automatically perform the removal operation of XiaoBa ransomware and secures your computer against future infections in real-time.
If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection, we advise you to try out the alternative tools for file recovery down below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .XiaBa Files Virus”. They may not guarantee fully that you will recover all of the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your OS already, there is a good chance that you might just restore them.
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.
How to Remove XiaoBa from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove XiaoBa
Step 2: Uninstall XiaoBa 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by XiaoBa on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by XiaoBa there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for XiaoBa with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by XiaoBa.
Ransomware infections and XiaoBa 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.
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.
Get rid of XiaoBa from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall XiaoBa and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 XiaoBa 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by XiaoBa on your Mac.
Ransomware for Mac XiaoBa aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money.
This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.
What is XiaoBa ransomware and how does it work?
XiaoBa 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 XiaoBa ransomware infect my computer?
Via several ways.XiaoBa 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 XiaoBa 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 .XiaoBa files?
You can't. At this point the .XiaoBa 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 .XiaoBa files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by XiaoBa 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 ".XiaoBa" files (Other Methods)?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .XiaoBa 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 XiaoBa 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 XiaoBa ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .XiaoBa files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like XiaoBa 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.