Zoldon virus is a newly discovered ransomware that appears to be made entirely by its operators. It does not contain code from any of the famous ransomware families. Our article contains an analysis of its features and full removal instructions showing how victims can delete the infections and restore their files.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system with the Encrypted extensions and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Zoldon virus |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Zoldon virus.|
|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.|
Zoldon Virus Virus – Distribution Ways
The Zoldon virus is a newly discovered malicious threat which does not appear to contain any code taken from any of the famous ransomware families. The captured number of samples appear to be low which gives an indication that this might be a test release. This fact does not give an indication on the main method of infection. As such we presume that the hackers behind it are going to use all popular methods.
One of them is the coordination of phishing email messages. They are made by taking the legitimate web elements of famous companies or Internet services in an attempt to confuse the victims into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification. Most of these messages are modeled as password reminders or service announcements.
Another tactic is to create fake web portals that use the same design elements as well-known Internet sites. These two methods are the main ways that ransomware authors spread infected payloads. Two of the main types are the following:
- Software Installers — The hackers can bundle the virus code into the setup files of popular programs. The operators typically choose software that is popular with end users: creativity suites, system utilities or productivity solutions. This is done by taking the legitimate files from the official vendor sites and including the virus code into them.
- Malicious Documents — The Zoldon virus infections can be caused by starting up an infected file. Malicious files are usually infected documents, they can take various forms: spreadsheets, presentations or rich text documents. Once they are opened in the relevant office application prompt will appear asking them to run the built-in macros. If this is done the virus infection will be triggered.
In some cases the ransomware can be acquired through the use of browser hijackers. They represent malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome). They are spread as useful addons and can often be found on the relevant repositories. The entries are typically combined with fake developer credentials, user reviews and an elaborate description.
Zoldon Virus Virus – In-Depth Analysis
The Zoldon virus appears to be an original threat made by its developer(s). No information is available about the individual or criminal collective that has made it. Another possible theory about its creation is that it has been acquired through purchase on the underground hacker markets.
As the captured samples that are labeled as test releases we presume that they contain only the basic ransomware engine. An advanced configuration of the threat may follow a complex behavior pattern.
In most cases the infections will begin with a data harvesting engine. It will scan the local system for specific strings that are categorized into two main types:
- Personal Data — Information contained in this data set can directly expose the identity of the victim users. This includes their name, address, phone number, interests, location and account credentials.
- Campaign Metrics — They are used to optimize the attacks by hijacking information that might be useful to the criminal operators. This includes a report of the installed hardware components and certain user-set regional settings.
The collected information can then be used by another module called stealth protection. It scans the system for signs of software that might interfere with it’s correct execution: anti-virus programs, virtual machine hosts or sandbox environments.
After this step has complete the virus can continue further with various system changes. One of the first steps are usually related to Windows Registry changes. They can edit strings related to the operating system which can cause overall instability and performance issues or target individual applications. In the second case some functionality may not be available.
The next steps are usually to delete backup or Shadow Volume Copies information. This renders recovery difficult unless a professional-grade solution is used. If this is the case the victims can follow our instructions on restoring files.
A persistent installation of the Zoldon virus can be instituted. This manipulates the boot options and automatically starts the malware once the computer boots. It may also disable access to the recovery boot menu which can render manual recovery guides non-working. In this case the victims will need to resort to a professional grade anti-spyware solution.
Some ransomware threats also launch a Trojan module which connects to a hacker-operated command and control server. It is used to spy on the victims in real time and deploy other viruses to the infected hosts.
Alternative names under which is known include ZOLDON Crypter V3.0. bearing the signature Bitcoin Miner Pro V3.1.exe. This is probably the name under which is distributed on the Internet.
Zoldon Virus Virus — Encryption
Once all prior components have finished execution the actual ransomware module belonging to the Zoldon virus will be started. Like other common threats it will encrypt target files with a strong cipher according to a built-in list. An example list might affect the following data:
One of the interesting characteristics is that it does not append a ransomware extension to the compromised files. It instead creates a ransomware note in a file called DesktopZoldon.txt and enforces a lockscreen instance. This blocks the ordinary interaction with the computer until the virus is compleely removed.
It reads the following message:
Alert: Your computer and Files are encrypted By Zoldon Virus
$150 within 24 hours. $400 after 24 hours
— Write this information down —
Email: [email protected]
How to Remove the virus ?
After the payment send to Bitcoin Address,
send a Email to [[email protected]] containing Your Machine ID
Once payment is received you will get the decryption password and simple instructions to restore all your files and computer to normal instantly
Without the decryption password you will not get them back.
If we do not reach the amount within 72 hours
We will publish all the contents of your device on the Internet
IF YOU LOOSE THIS INFO YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTACT US
Bitcoin Address: 1AHhnEDuHS1AFkSdcq3nQRZEPHs1QECAtv Copy
Machine ID: Copy
Manually delete Zoldon virus from Windows and your browser
Note! Substantial notification about the Zoldon virus threat: Manual removal of Zoldon virus requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.