“!HELP_SOS.hta” is the file which users see on every folder with important files encrypted by the latest version of Sage ransomware. This virus is from the file encryption type, meaning that it renders the files on the computers it infects unable to be opened. Sage has lately seen more popularity primarily because of the fact that the virus was reported to be spread via a very massive spam campaign of e-mail spam messages, carrying .zip archives with malicious documents or .js scripts in them. In case you have become a victim of the Sage 2.2 ransomware virus, we recommend you to read this article and learn how to remove Sage 2.2 and restore files encrypted with the .sage file extension.
SensorsTechForum team is actively investigating the 2.2 version of Sage. More information will be available in the hours to come.
|Short Description||This ransomware infection is an updated version of the Sage 2.0 ransomware. Encrypts files on the compromised computer and asks the user to visit a TOR-based web page for further instructions.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom note, named !HELP_SOS.hta and the important files on the computer may be encrypted with an added padlock icon on them.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Sage 2.2 |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Sage 2.2.|
|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.|
Sage 2.2 Ransomware – How Does It Infect a PC
For the infection process, this version of Sage ransomware may use malicious e-mail spam that contains deceptive messages. The messages may be of various types and aim to convince potential victims into opening malicious .zip file attachments to those e-mails. Examples of deceptive topics that could be used to infect with Sage 2.2 are:
- “Your PayPal transaction is complete.”
- “Suspicious activity on your online bank account. (Bank Name)”.
- “Your Invoice.”
There may be many other e-mails sent out infecting with Sage ransomware and they all may carry archives as file attachments. The archives may be randomly named, like “6207_ZIP.zip”, for example. In the .zip file, there are two types of files which cause an infection:
- A Microsoft Office document .doc file which causes an infection when you click on Enable Content button to enable macros. These macros have malicious script in them.
Sage 2.2 Ransomware – What Happens After Infection
After the moment the user PC has been infected by the Sage 2.2 virus, an unsecured port may be used to connect to the cyber-criminals distribution sites and download the payload on the infected computer.
The payload of Sage 2.2 ransomware consists of multiple executable and temporary files, it may contain a .dll type of modules and it also contains the Wallapaper of Sage 2.2 ransomware and it’s “Decryption Instructions” ransom note. This ransom note is also named “!HELP_SOS.hta” and when opened, displays the following message to the victim:
“File recovery instructions
You probably noticed that you can not open your files and that some software stopped working correctly.
This is expected. Your files content is still there, but it was encrypted by “Sage 2.2 Ransomware”.
Your files are not lost, it is possible to revert them back to normal state by decrypting.
The only ay you can do that is by getting “SAGE Decrypter” software and your personal decryption key.
Using any other software which claims to be able to restore your files will result in files being damaged or destroyed.
You can purchase “SAGE Decrypter” software and your decryption key at your personal page you can access by following links.”
The ransom note of the virus also has a web link which of course leads to Sage ransomware’s decryption page, which has not changed much. The web page is still well-developed, like in the Sage 2.0 version.
Sage 2.2 Ransomware – Encryption Analysis
Regarding the encryption of the files, Sage 2.2 ransomware uses a strong encryption algorithm. This cipher renders files on the compromised computers no longer openable. The virus attacks
“PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG”Source:fileinfo.com
Once the Sage 2.2 virus detects that there are such types of files on the computers that have been infected, it immediately renders them no longer able to be opened and adds the .sage file extension to the files. The files appear like the image below:
The Sage Ransomware virus also may delete the shadow volume copies of the infected computer, in addition to the encryption of the files. This is performed to destroy any possibilities of recovering them via an administrative command, called vssadmin:
Remove Sage 2.2 Ransomware and Try Restoring .sage Encrypted Files
Before performing the removal process of Sage ransomware, recommendations are to focus on performing a back up of the encrypted files on a removable drive or in the cloud.
Then, we recommend following the removal instructions below. They are created with the one and only purpose of assisting you isolating the virus in Safe Mode and then locating the malicious files of Sage 2.2 ransomware. For maximum effectiveness during the removal process of Sage 2.2 ransomware, researchers recommend using the automatic approach and scanning for the virus by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.
After having removed Sage 2.2 ransomware, it is strongy advisable to try and recover the encrypted files using some alternative methods, since at the present moment direct solution for free is not available. We have suggested some of those tools in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Sage 2.2” but we recommend you to use them on your own risk.
How to Remove Sage 2.2 from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Sage 2.2
Step 2: Uninstall Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Step 4: Scan for Sage 2.2 with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Sage 2.2.
Ransomware infections and Sage 2.2 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.
If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:
Get rid of Sage 2.2 from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Sage 2.2, 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 Sage 2.2 on your Mac.
Ransomware for Mac Sage 2.2 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.
Sage 2.2 FAQ
What is Sage 2.2 ransomware and how does it work?
Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 ransomware infect my computer?
Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 .Sage 2.2 files?
You can't. At this point the .Sage 2.2 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.
Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?
If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Sage 2.2 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
One way to restore files, encrypted by Sage 2.2 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 ".Sage 2.2" files (Other Methods)?
We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Sage 2.2 files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Sage 2.2 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?
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.