THREAT REMOVAL

SkyFile Virus – How to Remove It and Restore .sky Files

The SkyFile virus is a new test version malware that is actively being spread towards computer users worldwide. A preliminary code analysis does not reveal a correlation with any of the famous malware engines. The affected files are renamed with the .sky extension. Our in-depth removal guide shows how victims can remove any active infections.

Threat Summary

Name SkyFile
Type Ransomware
Short Description The SkyFile virus is a malware that encrypts the target data with .sky.
Symptoms The victims will find that their files are encrypted with the .sky.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss SkyFile.

SkyFile virus – Infection Spread

The SkyFile virus can be distributed onto target users using various methods. One of the main ones is the use of spam messages that rely on social engineering tactics. They are frequently made with stolen graphics and text taken from legitimate sites in order to confuse the victims. The criminal controllers can hyperlink the malware files into the message contents. When the victims click on the respective links they will be forwarded to a hacker-controlled site where the strains are hosted. The other option is to directly attach the malware files directly to the emails.

In other cases the criminals can opt to use payloads that contain the SkyFile virus in themselves and the infections are caused due to victim interaction. A common method is to integrate the SkyFile virus into software installers. The criminals usually target popular software such as computer games, system utilities and creative suites. The malware is automatically deployed when the relevant app is installed. The other method relies on documents, in this case the hacker operators can choose various types of files: presentations, rich text documents and spreadsheets. When they are opened a notification prompt appears which asks the users to enable the built-in macros (scripts). When this is done the virus payload is automatically deployed to their machines.

Another strategy would be to take advantage of browser hijackers also known as browser redirects. They are malware plugins that are made for the most popular web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer and Opera). The criminals often upload them to the official plugin repositories using counterfeit credentials, user reviews and elaborate descriptions. As soon as they are installed the users will find that the respective browsers will be changed to a hacker-designated page. Various system changes can be made, as well as other viruses deployed to the infected machine.

The virus files can be deployed using other methods including various forms of web scripts. They can take the form of web banners, pop-ups and ads.

SkyFile virus – Technical Data

According to the initial security analysis the SkyFile virus does not belong to any of the famous malware families. This means that the hacker or criminal group behind it have been probably made it themselves. Another possibility is that it is a still unknown customized version of a malware downloaded or bought from the underground hacker markets.

As the ongoing attack campaigns at the moment target a small selection of potential victims, the security analysts believe that this may be a test version. Further updates to its code may allow for a much more dangerous strain.

The threat can be configured to begin the infection process by launching an information gathering module. It is programmed to harvest sensitive content from the victim computers. An example is private data that can be used to expose the victims identity. its engine scans for strings related to their names, addresses, phone numbers, interests, location, passwordsa and account credentials. The other type of information is referred to as anonymous metrics and they are primarily used for statistical purposes. Such strings are composed of operating system configuration settings, certain system values and a list of the available hardware components.

The next step would be to launch a stealth protection component that can prevent certain system and secutity solutions from preventing the SkyFile virus from operating correctly. The standard behavior is to look for signatures for anti-virus products, sandbox and debug environments, as well as virtual machine hosts. In certain cases if the SkyFile virus is not able to bypass the security measures it can remove itself to avoid detection.

The hackers have embedded the possibility core to institute system changes. They depend upon the current attack campaign and may include both Windows Registry and boot options. Changes to the operating system registry can result in poor system performance, application and system services issues and other problems. The SkyFile virus engine can also be programmed to delete the Shadow Volume Copies of potential victim data. This makes it very hard to restore the files without the use of a quality data recovery application. You can refer to our instructions in the removal steps on how to do this. Modified boot options effectively remove the possibility to enter the startup recovery menu.

A network connection to the hacker operators can also be instituted. In such cases the hackers can use it to deploy additional malware to the infected machines. Another possibility would be to remotely take over control of the affected systems, as well as spy on the victims in real time.

SkyFile virus — Encryption Process

Once all malware components have completed execution the respective ransomware module is launched. It uses a strong cipher in order to affect the target files. Like other similar threats it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions, typically acting against the following data:

  • Archives
  • Documents
  • Music
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Databases
  • Backups

All encrypted files are renamed with the .sky extension. A randomly-named executuable is crafted by the engine which launches an application that is designed to look like a typical lockscreen. It is titled “SkyFile Decryptor | ZeuS CitadeL” and reads the following message:

Oops, your files has been encrypted. Such as: photos, videos, documents, etc. To decrypt your files, read HOW TO DECRYPT.txt

Remove SkyFile virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got compromised and is infected with the SkyFile ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written 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.


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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 SkyFile from Windows.


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

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 SkyFile 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 SkyFile 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 SkyFile 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 SkyFile 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 SkyFile.

Ransomware infections and SkyFile 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 SkyFile from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall SkyFile 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 SkyFile:

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 SkyFile. 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 SkyFile. 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 SkyFile 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 SkyFile. 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 SkyFile:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and SkyFile 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.


SkyFile FAQ

What is SkyFile ransomware and how does it work?

SkyFile 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 SkyFile ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.SkyFile 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 SkyFile 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 .SkyFile files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like SkyFile 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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