A new folder locker threat has been reported to infect the victims’ computers and set a lockscreen message whose primary purpose is to lock the screen on the infected computer and lock it’s folders, while demanding from victims the ransom amount of 0.05 BTC. The ransomware infection is the screenlocked type and it uses a simple password locker in order to get the folders on the affected computer to deny access. In case your computer has been affected by the WANNACRYPT folder locker ransomware, recommendations are to follow the instructions in this article to remove this malware from your computer system and restore your computer back to working state.
|Short Description||WANNACRYPT Ransomware is from the folder locker type of malware which locks the folders on infected computers until a ransom has been paid to unlock them.|
|Symptoms||The screen of the victim’s computer is locked and the folders are no longer openable. A ransom note with a bar code under which the words WANNACRYPT or ANONYMOUS are written.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss WANNACRYPT.|
|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.|
WANNACRYPT Ransomware – How Does It Infect
In order to perform a successful infection on the computers of victims, the WANNACRYPT ransomware virus may use a variety of techniques to slither into your computer system. Such are reported to be different methods from the likes of spammed e-mail messages which contain either malicious e-mail attachments embedded within them or malicious web links that aim to infect the computers of victims by simply being clicked on, similar to the fake PayPal malicious link spam e-mail down below:
In addition to malicious e-mail spam messages, the WANNACRYPT Folder Locker ransomware may also perform other unwnated methods in order to slither into your computer, such as have malicious files uploaded and ready for you to download them, while believing they are legitimate:
- Setups of free programs.
- Software installers, like drivers and other types of important programs.
- Game installers.
- Cracks and patches for programs and games.
- Software license activators.
- Key generators.
Most users tend to become misled and download such suspicious programs on their computers, believing they are the installers they were looking for.
WANNACRYPT Folder Locker Ransomware – More Information and Activity
After being installed on your computer system, the WANNACRYPT ransomware virus may drop it’s primary malicious executable, detected at VirusTotal to be with the following parameters:
After the file is executed on the victim’s computer it may perform series of unwanted activities among the victim’s computer, starting with adding a scheduled task or a registry entry in Windows Registry Editor which both have the capability of running the file automatically in the future. The targeted registry sub-keys for this are believed to be the following:
After this ransomware infection has done various different types of activities on the victim’s computer that make it run automatically, WANNACRYPT Folder Locker begins to lock the important folders of the infected computer. The ransomware infection may lock the following folders, in which most of the important files of the user are likely to be located:
- %Program Files%
For the locking procedure, the developer of WANNACRYPT has likely taken the source code of a program which is similar to the programs Folder Lock or Doc Lock, which use simple encryption to lock folders and make them hidden, until the user enters a unique unlocking password.
After locking the folders on the victimized device, the WANNACRYPT virus sets the following ransom notes so that the victim knows of the virus’s presence:
Instructions from image:
“Your computer has been hacked and all your important files are now encrypted. To get back your all files you need to purchase the private key in Btcoin. Pay the EXACT amount to the Address given below
Amount: 0.05 BTC”
At this moment, it is not clear whether or not the ransomware has become spread worldwide, like the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, but in the event that your computer has been infected by WANNACRYPT Folder Locker, we advise you to NOT PAY THE RANSOM, since this virus is now unlockable and you can unlock your folders for free.
Remove WANNACRYPT Ransomware and Restore Access to Your PC
Before beginning to actually remove this virus from your computer, we would advise you to enter the unlock code which was discovered by malware analyst and ransomware hunter Karsten Hahn (@struppigel) who kindly provided it in Twitter:
After unlocking your PC, we would recommend that you move all your important files away from it on a flash drive or some other external memory carrier. Then, you can proceed securing your computer.
For the removal of this ransomware virus, we would strongly advise you to follow the removal instructions we have stated down below. They are specifically divided in manual as well as automatic removal steps. To perform such a removal manually, it is a benefit if you have experience in malware removal, otherwise experts always recommend to use an advanced anti-malware software to remove WANNACRYPT automatically from your PC, using an advanced anti-malware software. Downloading and installing such program will make sure that the malware is gone from your system completely and will effectively protect your computer against future infections as well.
What is WANNACRYPT Ransomware?
WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT?
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 WANNACRYPT Infect?
Via several ways.WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT 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 .WANNACRYPT files?
You can't. At this point, the .WANNACRYPT 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 .WANNACRYPT files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".WANNACRYPT" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .WANNACRYPT files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT 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 WANNACRYPT Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this WANNACRYPT 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.
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.
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- Always check "About Us" web page.
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