THREAT REMOVAL

.SPECTRE File Virus – Remove and Restore Files

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

Name Spectre Ransomware
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The 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.
Symptoms Reportedly uses AES-256 algorithm on the encrypted files, the .spectre file extension and HowToDecryptIMPORTANT!.txt ransom note file.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Spectre Ransomware.
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.

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
141.8.195.157:80

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:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!
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.

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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.

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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.


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 Spectre Ransomware from Windows.


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

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 Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware:

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 Spectre Ransomware. 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 Spectre Ransomware. 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 Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware. 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 Spectre Ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Spectre Ransomware 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.


Spectre Ransomware FAQ

What is Spectre Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Spectre Ransomware 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 Spectre Ransomware 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 .Spectre Ransomware files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Spectre Ransomware 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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