.SPECTRE File Virus - Remove and Restore Files - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com

.SPECTRE File Virus – Remove and Restore Files

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Read this article to learn how to remove Spectre ransomware and how to try and restore .spectre encrypted files.

A new ransomware string has been detected by malware researchers, identifying itself as Spectre ransomware. The virus changes the names of the important files on the computers it infects to random and ads the .spectre file extension to them as a suffix. Then it drops a HowToDecryptIMPORTANT!.txt note file in which the cyber-criminals demand the sum of approximately 200$ to be paid in order to get back the encrypted files.

Threat Summary

NameSpectre Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionThe virus encrypts the files on the computers it infects and asks the owners to pay 200$ to the cyber-criminals to get their files back.
SymptomsReportedly uses AES-256 algorithm on the encrypted files, the .spectre file extension and HowToDecryptIMPORTANT!.txt ransom note file.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Spectre Ransomware


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Spectre Ransomware.
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.

Spectre Ransomware – Distribution Methods

The .spectre file virus is a type of malware you do not want on your computer. It is by far the wors type – file encryption ransomware. However, many may have already fallen victims to this virus. In case you are one of them, bear in mind that there are several methods by which the Spectre virus may have infected your computer system. These methods are generally summed up by two spammed objects – malicious web links and malicious files. You may have seen such links on e-mail spam messages directed towards your computer system. These e-mail spam messages usually contain a false statement that the web link or e-mail attachment on them is a legitimate type of file. This attachment or link is usually portrayed as an invoice or other document. It may even be a compromised Microsoft Word document that has malicious macros in them and infects your computer when you click on the “Enable Editing” button. After this is done, here is what happens to your computer:

Other methods by which you could become a victim of the Spectre ransomware are via malicious files uploaded as fake setups, patches, updates, key generators, license activators and other software uploaded on shady sites you should not have trust.

Analysis of the .spectre Virus

When an infection by .spectre file virus has happened, the virus establishes connection to the following domain and host:

→ /a0142503.xsph{.}ru/systemlog.exe

From this host, Spectre ransomware’s loader script downloads the following types of files:

  • systemlog.exe – main executable which encrypts files.
  • HowToDecryptIMPORTANT!.txt

In addition to this, the ransomware virus also automatically may open it’s ransom note. It asks the victim of the virus to visit a Tor-based web page:

All your files are encrypted by encryption algorithm AES-256, you can’t decrypt your files without a key.
If you want to decrypt your files you should pay 200$.
To decrypt your files go to a0142503.xspn{.}ru/login.php
your ID: {23412414}

When the web page is visited, the user sees the main ransom note screen of the ransomware virus, which is the following:

It advertises the so-called SPECTRE DECRYPTOR which decrypts the encrypted files. However, security experts strongly advise against paying the cyber-criminals behind this ransomware for 2 main reasons:

  • You may not get your files back.
  • You support them to further spread and develop their malware and infect more users.

Spectre Ransomware – The Encryption Process

The Spectre virus encrypts via the Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm with 256 bit of strength. This is by far the strongest stable AES cipher which is classified as a Suite.B algorithm for data security (one of the strongest). If properly implemented, there is little chance that it can be decrypted. The Spectre virus aims at the following file types

→ .avi, .bmp, .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .mpeg, .pdf, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .rar, .rtf, .tiff, .txt, .wav, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .zip

If the virus detects those files on your computer, which are basically documents, media files, archives, text files, videos and others, it encrypts them by replacing data in the files. This makes the files seem corrupt and no program can open them. The virus does not stop there. Spectre ransomware also changes the names of the files themselves to custom names that consist of random letters, numbers and symbols.

The files assume the following appearance after they have been encrypted by Spectre:

Remove Spectre Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

Before actually removing this virus from your computer, we advise you to do a backup of your files.

After doing so, it is important to remove all files associated objects which Spectre ransomware has created on your computer. To do this, you can either manually look for the files by following the instructions below, or you can automatically remove Spectre ransomware. Since manual removal may present some difficulties, because viruses, like Spectre create multiple hidden objects, some of which can damage your PC if remove, the virus should be removed with specific software, according to experts.

After removing Spectre ransomware, it is recommended to focus on restoring your encrypted files with other methods, at least until a decrypter is released by researchers. We have suggested several tools with which you can recover your data. They are in no way 100 percent guarantee of you recovering all your files, but with their aid you may restore at least some of the files. Furthermore, make sure to follow our blog, as we will update with more new information regarding Specter, if available.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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