SnowPicnic Virus – How to Remove It (+Restore Files)

SnowPicnic Virus – How to Remove It (+Restore Files)

This article will aid you remove SnowPicnic Virus effectively. Follow the removal instructions at the end.

The SnowPicnic Virus is a newly discovered ransomware threat that does not belong to any of the known malware families. The identity of the operators behind the recent attacks are not known. Depending on its configuration active infections can also lead to the installation of other threats — Viruses, ransomware, miners and Trojans. Our guide explains how computer users can spot the infections and attempt to remove them.

Threat Summary

NameSnowPicnic Virus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer and displays a ransom message afterward.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and put the extension .snowpicnic to them after it finishes its encryption process.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by SnowPicnic Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss SnowPicnic Virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

SnowPicnic Virus – Distribution

The SnowPicnic Virus is a newly discovered malware used in an attack in the end of October 2018. According to the security reports it is based on generic and well-known malware families. This brings up two possible hypotheses about its origins. The first one is that the operators have made the modifications by themselves and released the threat on their own. The other one is that the strain is commissioned through an order via the hacker underground forums.

It appears that one of the main distribution tactics is the use of infected documents. They can can be of any popular type: presentations, databases, rich text documents or spreadsheets. When they are opened by the victims a prompt will be shown asking for the internal scripts to be enabled. If this is done the ransomware will be installed onto the computers.

One of the popular methods is the coordination of SPAM email messages. They include phishing tactics that coerce the victims into running the documents — they may be described as manuals or received delivery notifications, contracts or other files that may be of user interest.

The other delivery tactic is the inclusion of the script into modified setup files. They are usually the most popular software that users download: creativity suites, system utilities and common productivity applications. Whenever they are installed the Virus will also be deployed. They are made by taking the real files and modifying them with the relevant infection code.

All of these infected payloads can additionally be spread on various file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent. They are often used to distribute both illegal and legal contents — applications, documents and games.

To initiate large-scale infections the computer criminals can make use of browser hijackers — dangerous extensions that are made compatible with the most popular web browsers. They are most commonly available on the official browser repositories posing as useful additions. To coerce the users into installing them fake user reviews and developer accounts are used.

SnowPicnic Virus – Information

At the moment the captured strains of the SnowPicnic virus contain the base encryption engine. However as it is based on other threats we expect that future updates of the modular engine will allow the hackers to launch a much more complex infection. This article will present the classic infection scenario however every single variation of it may use a different approach.

Usually the first module to be run is the information retrieval one. It scans the contents of the local machine for data that can be useful in the encryption process and for the hacker operators. It can expose the victim’s identity by looking for strings such as their name, address and any stored passwords. Another type of information would be a profile of their installed hardware or user settings.

The information can be sent automatically to the operators or used further in a security bypass. It will search for security software and remove them. They are responsible for detecting and countering virus infections — anti-virus software and various debug environments. Advanced malware can also detect if they are running inside a virtual machine and shuts themselves down to avoid detection.

At this point the criminals will have complete access to the infected devices. Most advanced threats will modify the Windows Registry of both the operating system and third-party applications. This can lead to the inability to start certain functions and cause overall performance issues.

A related malicious action is the installation of SnowPicnic as a persistent threat. This means that the engine will modify boot options, system settings and Registry values in order to automatically launch itself when the computer is started. Such threats also disable most manual user removal strategies.

Infections such as this one are very dangerous as they also delete system data such as Shadow Volume Copies and System Recovery Points. Effective recovery must therefore be made using a powerful data recovery application.

Additional payloads can be made such as Trojan horse infections which set up a local client to the hacker-controlled server. This allows the operators to spy on the victims in real-time and take over control of their machines.

Alternative signatures under which the SnowPicnic virus is known are the following:

MSIL:Filecoder-AC [Trj] Troj/Cryptear-A
a variant of MSIL/Filecoder.AK
malware (ai score=87)

SnowPicnic Virus – Encryption Process

When all modules have completed execution the associated SnowPicnic ransomware engine will be started. Like other popular threats it will use a built-in list of target file type extensions that will be processed by a strong cipher. An example one will include the following data:

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

All of them will receive the .snowpicnic extension. The ransomware note created by the engine is created in two files: Read.HTML and Read.TXT. Both of them contain the same message:

aYour files has been encrypted with Millitary Grade Algorithm AES-256 (Advanced Encrypting Standard) h[tt]ps://en.wikipedia[.]org/wiki/Advanced_Encryption_Standard,
And for decrypt: Buy to my wallet 0 bitcoins, not 0.5, not 1, not 2,0 bitcoins!ator will be crypted, obfuscated, and encoded with ASCII chars. Abort – spread to all computers. Retry – Record to BIOS and Hard Disk for installation and spreading before reinstalled:***
Good luck!
Good bye!’

Remove SnowPicnic Ransomware and Restore .snowpicnic Files

If your computer got infected with the SnowPicnic Ransomware ransomware Virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

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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