THREAT REMOVAL

Thanatos Virus – How to Remove & Restore .thanatos Extension Files

This article has been created in order to help you by explaining how to remove Thanatos virus virus from your computer system and how to restore .thanatos encrypted files.

Security experts discovered a dangerous new malware threat called the Thanatos virus. It is able to penetrate all operating system components, cause performance issues and encrypt user data with a strong cipher.

Threat Summary

Name Thanatos
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The Thanatos virus is an original threat that can cause a lot of damage to the victim machines. The virus can impact all components of the operating system and encrypt sensitive user data.
Symptoms The victims may perceive performance issues and find that their data is renamed with the .thanatos file type extension.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Thanatos.
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.

Thanatos virus – Infection Process

The Thanatos virus is a new ransomware threat that is being distributed using different strategies to the end users. Depending on the chosen targets the hackers can opt to use several delivery mechanisms at once.

One of the most widely used ways is the distribution of email spam messages that use social engineering tactics to blackmail the victims. The hacker operators behind the Thanatos virus can opt to deliver malware executables as file attachments to the victims. They can be masked as files of interest and described in the body contents as such. In certain cases the attackers can even use password-protected archives to further persuade the victims that the file is intended for them. In other cases the hacker operators can depend on hyperlinks that lead the victims to malware instances hosted on hacker-controlled sites. When clicking on them the file may be immediately downloaded to their computer or the victims can be be redirected to a download portal or another type of site that can infect them with all types of threats.

Two noteworthy methods can be mentioned in relation to the email messages themselves. The first one depends on distributing malware software installers. They are made by taking the legitimate installers of free and trial software which are then infused with the dangerous code. The resulting file is distributed using email messages and download sites. In a similar way the criminals can create infected documents that contain scripts that can lead to the Thanatos virus infection. They are usually masked as invoices, letters or notices. The malware mechanism depends upon the victim’s execution of the built-in scripts. When the files are opened a message appears that asks the users to enable the macros. Once this is done the Thanatos virus infection follows.

The virus infection can also be caused by the use of browser hijackers. They are dangerous browser plugins that seek to redirect the victims to a dangerous site by manipulating the application settings. They are usually made compatible with the most popular browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge.

Thanatos virus – Analysis and Activity

The Thanatos virus does not appear to originate from any one of the kown famous malware families. The initial security analysis shows that it uses a modular framework which means that future updates can reshape and model the strains in an entirely new way.

The Thanatos virus employs a resource fork file which contains all malware commands in itself. This is a specific type of infection that in some cases can be used to conceal data and hacker-set parameters. The security analysts note that the Thanatos virus also contains an information extracting module that can query the operating system kernel. The virus engine can harvest the list of running processes and terminate all that can interfere with the malware operations. The hackers can opt to use this against sandbox environments, debuggers, virtual machine hosts and anti-virus products.

The information harvesting module has been found to gather a lot of information about the host computer and the victim user. Usually the data is classified into two main categories — anonymous data and personally-identifiable information. The first type of data refers to information about the operating system itself and the installed hardware components. The bulk of the collected data is usually used to judge how effective the attack campaign is. The second type of information can directly expose the victim’s identity by searching for strings related to their name, address, telephone number, location, account credentials and passwords. They are usually pooled into databases and can be sold to interested parties or used for crimes such as identity theft or financial abuse.

The malware engine of the Thanatos virus can also modify the operating system files and components. It has been found to be able to modify the boot options thereby removing the recovery options. This makes it impossible for the users to enter the recovery menu. This is connected with the virus’s installation as an persistent threat. It can automatically protect itself from removal attempts by manipulating the Windows Registry and setting itself to automatically launch itself once the computer is started. It can also create its own processes, delete certain system files and etc.

One of the most dangerous tactics that has been bundled with the Thanatos virus is the fact that it can modify the proxy settings which as a result routes all Internet traffic through the hacker-controlled server. This allows the criminals to utilize man-in-the-middle attacks and spy on the victims in real time. The hackers can also download files prior to the encryption process. By interacting with the Windows Volume Manager component they can access removable storage devices and network shares as well.

When all components have succeeded the ransomware engine is started. Like other similar threats it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. The virus usually acts against the following data:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Movies
  • Images
  • Music
  • Documents
  • Backups

As a result all target files are encrypted using a strong cipher that appends the .thanatos extension. A ransomware note is created in a file called README.txt that reads the following message:

Your computer is encrypted. All data will be lost if you do not pay 0.01 BTC to the specified BTC wallet 1DRAsxW4cKAD1BCS9m2dutduHi3FKqQnZF after payment you will receive the decryption code from this mail c-m58@mail.ru.

Thanatos Ransomware Decryptor Released!

The security researchers were able to create a decryptor that can attempt and restore the victim files. At the moment only a limited number of files can be restored, the list includes the following data types and extensions:

  • Images: .gif, .tif, .tiff, .jpg, .jpeg, .png
  • Videos: .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .avi
  • Audio: .wav
  • Documents: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .odt, .ods, .odp, .rtf
  • Other: .zip, .7z, .vmdk, .psd, .lnk

The utility should be run as soon as possible following the infection. It will recursive scan the most commonly used folders first before proceeding with the other system areas.

The Thanatos decryptor can be downloaded from GitHub.

Remove Thanatos Virus and Decrypt .THANATOS Files

In order to provide you with the most efficient way to remove this malware and decrypt your files, we have decided to separate the removal instructions in two phases, phase 1 being the removal and 2 being the decryption instructions. In case you have already gotten rid of this malware you can go right ahead by jumping to the decryption instructions for your files.

How to Remove Thanatos virus and Restore .下物妹! Encrypted Files

In order to make sure that this malware is permanently gone from your computer, you should follow the manual or automatic removal instructions down below. If you have the experience in removing ransomware manually, we advise you to focus on the first 2 steps from the manual removal and to look for the registry files which we have explained in the analysis part above. Otherwise, if you want a more automatic and faster solution and lack the expertise in malware removal, we urge you to download an advanced anti-malware program, which aims to automatically perform the removal operation of Thanatos Virus and secures your computer against future infections in real-time.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by this ransomware infection, we advise you to try out the alternative tools for file recovery down below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .下物妹! Files Virus”. They may not guarantee fully that you will recover all of the files, but if you haven’t reinstalled your OS already, there is a good chance that you might just restore them.

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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.


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 Thanatos from Windows.


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

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 Thanatos 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 Thanatos 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 Thanatos 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 Thanatos 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 Thanatos.

Ransomware infections and Thanatos 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 Thanatos from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Thanatos 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 Thanatos:

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 Thanatos. 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 Thanatos. 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 Thanatos 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 Thanatos. 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 Thanatos:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Thanatos 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.


Thanatos FAQ

What is Thanatos ransomware and how does it work?

Thanatos 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 Thanatos ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Thanatos 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 Thanatos 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 .Thanatos files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Thanatos 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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