THREAT REMOVAL

SamSam Ransomware (Samas) – How to Remove and Decrypt Files

This article has been made to help explain what exactly is the latest variant of SamSam ransomware and how to remove it from your computer plus how to try and restore files that have been encrypted by this virus.

The SamSam ransomware has been the reason of a new outbreak in Atlanta, Georgia, which has shut down several different governmental organizations. Luckily the outbreak, which was believed to be spread via a worm infection has been stopped. However, the SamSam ransomware may continue to evolve and be spread out to personal computers as well. The virus’s main purpose is to get the victims to pay a hefty ransom in order to restore their encrypted files back to normal. If you see this virus along with it’s ransom note, named “0000-SORRY-FOR-FILES.html” we advise you to read this article in order to learn how to remove it and restore files that have been encrypted by SamSam on your PC.

Threat Summary

Name SamSam
Type Ransomware
Short Description The ransomware encrypts files with RSA encryption cipher and asks a ransom payment of 1 BTC for decryption.
Symptoms Files are encrypted with RSA encryption and become inaccessible with an added .weapologize file extension to them. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom shows as 000-SORRY-FOR-FILES.html file.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

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.

SamSam Ransomware – Infection Methods

For this version of SamSam ransomware to infect unsuspecting users, it may take advantage of various different types of methods for infection. These can be divided in proactive and passive infection approaches and the proactive ones involve a variant of SamSam ransomware that may be sent to victims via e-mail. Such e-mails often pretend as if they come from large companies, from the likes of PayPal, eBay, Amazon or other big names in order to get the victim to bite. Here is one example of a carefully designed fake e-mail:

Furthermore, SamSam can be passively waiting for you to download it’s infection file by looking for files on suspicious software-providing websites. Those files are usually the following:

  • Fake setups of programs.
  • Fake game patches or cracks.
  • Fraudulent software license activators.
  • Fake keygens.

SamSam Ransomware – Malicious Activity

Samas ransomware, also known as SamSam as many refer it, was the reason of multiple reports that it has infected major government institutions in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. The ransomware infection aims to encrypt the files on the computers of victims and then drop it’s payload files. The payload of SamSam consists of different types of files and malware, which many refer to as PsExec. The difference between a traditional ransomware virus and the SamSam infection is that SamSam is a combination of several different types of infections. This allows SamSam ransomware to firstly drop a pentesting file in order to initiate a detection-less infection. Such pentesting gives the ability of cyber-criminals to see what types of vulnerabilities on the victim’s computer are unpatched and attack them via the exploit kit the virus uses. Once a weakness is discovered, the psexec.exe file is used in order to exploit the particular vulnerability selected via a JavaScript or an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).

The SamSam ransomware also has elements taken from the following viruses:

  • Derusbi infostealer.
  • Bladabindi infostealer for stealing credentials.
  • PsExect in order to execute programs remotely.

These tools are all used on your computer after it has been infected by SamSam ransomware. The first activity of the ransomware is to run a command as an administrator on the victim’s computer that will make sure the shadow volume copies in Windows are deleted and restoring your files via backup is impossible:

→ C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

In addition to this, the ransomware also makes sure to schedule it’s ransom note for automatically appearing on your computer. The ransom note of the latest variant of the malware, has been reported to appear like the following:


Text from image:

What happened to your files?
All your files encrypted with RSA-2048 encryption, For more information search in Google ‘RSA Encryption’
How to recover files?
RSA is a asymmetric cryptographic algorithm, You need one key for encryption and one key for decryption
So you need Private key to recover your files.
It’s not possible to recover your files without private key
How to get private key?
You can get your private key in 3 easy step:
Stepl: You must send us 0.7 BitCoin for each affected PC OR 3 BitCoins to receive ALL Private Keys for ALL affected PC’s.
Step2: After you send us 0.7 BitCoin, Leave a comment on our Site with this detail: Just write Your ‘Host name’ in your comment
Your Host name is:
Step3: We will reply to your comment with a decryption software, You should run it on your affected PC and all encrypted files will be recovered
Our Site Address: https://jcmi5n4c3mvgtyt5.onion/familiarisingly/
Our BitCoin Address: 1MdthqRCJe825ywjdbijsttWBpKanR
(If you send us 3 BitCoins For all PC’s, Leave a comment on our site with this detail: Just write ‘For All Affected PC‘s’ in your comment)
(Also if you want pay for ‘all affected PC‘s’ You can pay 1.5 Bitcoins to receive half of keys(randomly) and after you verify it send 2nd half to receive all
How To Access To Our Site
For access to our site you must install Tor browser and enter our site URL in your tor browser.
You can download tor browser from https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en
For more information please search in Google ‘How to access onion sites’
Test Decryption
Check our site, You can upload 2 encrypted files and we will decrypt your files as demo.
If you are worry that you don’t get your keys after you paid, You can get one key for free on you choise(except important servers), Te
Also you can get some single key and if all single BTC taht you paid reached to all keys price you will get all keys
Anyway be sure that you will get all your keys if you paid for them and we don’t want damage our reliability
with buying the first key you will find that we are honest.

.weapologize SamSam Ransomware – Encryption Process

The encryption algorithm used to encipher the files on your computer by this virus is RSA cipher which is a part of the Suite.B category of encryption. It is often used by governments in order to hide top-secret files by encrypting them. The algorithm is specific by the fact that it creates different decryption keys for each file. The SamSam ransomware’s latest variant uses the .weapologize file extension for the file encryption process. The process of encrypting files, used by SamSam can be characterized via the following chain of activities in the figure below:

After the files, belonging to SamSam ransomware have been encrypted on your computer they assume the following appearance:

The virus is careful not to encrypt files in %SystemDrive% that are essential for the functioning of Windows, so that it won’t break your PC after infection. This is why it excludes some of the critical folders where system files and drivers are located and only focuses on documents, videos, pictures as well as other often used types of files.

How to Remove SamSam Ransomware and How to Restore Files, Encrypted by It

If you have the latest version of the SamSam virus, we advise you to not pay the ransom. This is primarily because paying the cyber-crooks may not get your files back and in addition to this, the threat actors behind this virus should not be supported, because by paying, you fund their organization to further spread and make viruses.

To remove SamSam, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are specifically created to help you to delete the malware either manually or automatically based on your experience to remove malware. For maximum effectiveness, recommendations are to focus on removing this infection via an advanced anti-malware program which will scan for and automatically detect any malicious files and objects created by it on your computer system plus protect it against future infections as well.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection on your computer, we strongly suggest that you try the alternative methods for file recovery in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by SamSam” undereneath. They may not be fully able to recover all of your files, but we have had reports on our forum (sensorstechforum.com/forums/) by users who have managed to restore up to 50% of their files, encrypted by a ransomware infection.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter


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 SamSam from Windows.


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

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 SamSam 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 SamSam 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 SamSam 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 SamSam 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 SamSam.

Ransomware infections and SamSam 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 SamSam from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall SamSam 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 SamSam:

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 SamSam. 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 SamSam. 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 SamSam 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 SamSam. 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 SamSam:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and SamSam 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.


SamSam FAQ

What is SamSam ransomware and how does it work?

SamSam 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 SamSam ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.SamSam 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 SamSam 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 .SamSam files?

You can't. At this point the .SamSam 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 .SamSam files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

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

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .SamSam 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 SamSam 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 SamSam ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .SamSam files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like SamSam 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Stay tuned
Subscribe for our newsletter regarding the latest cybersecurity and tech-related news.