Storm ransomware is a data locker malware that penetrates the computer in order to corrupt stored data on it and blackmails users into paying a ransom for their data. The threat is designed to open a ransom note file on the PC screen once it finishes the attack. The note provides the contact email address StormRansomware@gmail.com and urges victims to send money to a predefined Bitcoin address.
This removal guide aims to help you to get rid of all Strom ransomware malicious files and regain PC security. File recovery via alternative methods that prevent ransom payment is coming next.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer and displays a ransom message afterward.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files and show up a ransom message with the demand of a ransom in BitCoin for data recovery.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Storm.|
|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.|
Storm Ransomware – Distribution Methods
Ransomware attacks like Storm infect numerous online users worldwide via various delivery tactics. Hackers mostly prefer email campaigns for ransomware payloads distribution. Such emails pose as employees of legal services and are delivered directly to your inbox. The malicious ransomware code may be embedded in document file that needs to be downloaded and opened on the PC or injected into a web page that will download it automatically once visited. Corrupted web pages may also contaminate online advertising campaigns in order to redirect users who click on a banner, pop up, text and other types of online ads on malicious sites developed to auto-run the ransomware. Social media channels are another popular way of ransomware distribution as millions of users have registered accounts that visit every day.
Storm Ransomware – Technical Overview
The infection flow of Storm crypto virus is triggered by a single executable file. The analysis of Storm ransomware samples reveals that the file is named Stub.exe and appears to be assembled with .net compiler. Even though the primary goal of Storm ransomware is data encryption, it is performing various malicious activities that establish a permanent presence of its malicious files on the system. It may establish an online connection with domains controlled by hackers and then drop additional malware files or send hackers information about the infected host. It is also possible that Storm ransomware spawns essential processes that maintain system security to remain unnoticed until it encrypts the files.
Windows registry keys like Run and RunOnce are likely to be modified by the ransomware too. Storm ransomware may cause its payload to run automatically each time the Windows is started by adding entries under these keys:
The same keys are used for the sudden onset of Storm ransom note at the end of infection. It informs users about the corruption of their data and urges them to pay a ransom in order to receive the decryption key for Storm decryptor their files. What it reads is:
Hello You Are Hacked Now !! All your personal files have been encrypted ! if you want restore your data you have to pay ! Remember you can’t restore your data without our decryptor !!!!
Send mony to my bitcoin: ertyuioppoiuhygtfrdeRFTGYHDEZEFFZEF [Copy] Contact Me: StormRansomware@gmail(.)com
Hackers do not inform how much the demanded ransom is, but it should be transferred in Bitcoins. We want to inform all victims that according to security researchers the Bitcoin address is not valid and the email may also be a fake one. That’s why it is better to avoid any contact or negotiations with cyber criminals and deal with Storm removal by yourself as soon as possible.
Storm Ransomware – Encryption Process
To complete its main purpose, Storm ransomware utilizes its built-in encryption module. It is likely to apply the strong AES 256 cipher algorithm to all files that have one of the following file extensions:
→ .accdb, .aepx, .class, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dotm, .dotx, .idml, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .java, .jpeg, .m3u8, .mpeg, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppsm, .ppsx, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .sldm, .sldx, .xlam, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xltm, .xltx
After encryption, each corrupted file seems to be broken and remains completely unusable. Encrypted data is probably renamed with a malicious file extension which is currently not known. During the encryption, process ransomware generates a unique decryption key and then sends it to cyber criminals.
To enhance the effect of encryption Storm ransomware may write a single command line in Command Prompt and delete all Shadow Volume copies stored on the PC. This way Storm ransomware prevents one of the possible data recovery approaches.
Remove Storm Ransomware and Restore Your Files
By following the step-by-step instructions below, you can remove Storm ransomware from the infected computer either manually or automatically. After removal back up all encrypted files and follow the data recovery guide to regain some files.
What is Storm Ransomware?
Storm 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 algorithms 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.
Can Storm Ransomware Cayse Damage?
Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.
Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.
Should I Ignore Viruses, Like Storm?
No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.
Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.
How Does Storm Infect?
Via several ways.Storm Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 Storm 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 .Storm files?
You can't. At this point, the .Storm files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.
What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?
Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .Storm files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Storm" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Storm files.
These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.
How To Get Rid of Storm Virus?
The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.
It will scan for and locate Storm ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Storm files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Storm ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.
What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?
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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
- Another clever way 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.
How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?
In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.
Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:
Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:
Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei
United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre
United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police
France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
Italy - Polizia Di Stato
Spain - Policía Nacional
Netherlands - Politie
Poland - Policja
Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)
India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell
Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center
Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.
Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?
Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.
Can Storm Ransomware Steal Your Data?
Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.
Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?
Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.
Should I Pay Ransomware?
No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.
What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?
If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.
Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?
Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.
Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?
Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.
Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?
Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.
About the Storm Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Storm how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.
How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?
Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.
To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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