NEW UPDATE MAY 2017 This article is created to help you cope with the latest Wana Decrypt0r update. It will show how to remove the .WNCRYT file virus and restore files encrypted by this threat.
The greatest ransomware threat seen so far has come in a new outbreak. The newly updated version is now appending .WNCRYT file extension and it is not here to mess about. The malware has now been updated to use the AES-128 algorithm. However, the malware writers have somehow managed to utilize it and unleash the WannaCry virus this time via a worm. This will result in the worm spreading despite the efforts of researchers to cut it off by registering attack domains. In case you have been affected by the .WNCRYT ransomware infection, we strongly urge you to read the following material.
SensorsTechForum is currently looking into the latest WannaCry threat and will update this article as soon as more information comes through.
Wana Decrypt0r 2.0
|Short Description||Aims to hold your files hostage for a hefty ransom fee – $300.|
|Symptoms||The victim witnesses a changed wallpaper with the image above and the program for payment, called “Wana Decrypt0r 2.0” which has a deadline timer and FAQ.|
|Distribution Method||Via exploits from the “Lost in Translation” leak, multiple botnet operations and an obfuscated worm infection.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss Wana Decrypt0r 2.0.|
|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.|
.WNCRYT WannaCry – New Information and Activity
According to the latest information from malware analysts, this ransomware virus has not modified much of what it does. However, there have been significant changes on how does it infect. In addition to the previously used botnets to infect victims, the malware has also been reported to infect victims via a worm. Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) displayed how the ransomware spreads automatically from a computer to a computer:
If your boss thinks WannaCry has to be email to email transmission, show then this video of PCs infecting other PCs. pic.twitter.com/00MT2V9BW2
— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) May 14, 2017
Once an infection by the .WNCRYT iteration of the WannaCry ransomware virus has already occurred, the virus installs Tor on the infected computer. From there it embeds tor URLs in it’s software for ransom payoff, along with a custom BitCoin address. So far there have been multiple different BitCoin addresses detected for ransom payoff and the Twitter bot @actual_ransom is following every payment processed from the 3 wallets and updates it real-time on every payoff made to the cyber-criminals behind the WannaCry threat. The BitCoin wallets are believed to rise in number since this new variant appeared.
In addition to this activity, the Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 virus also takes advantage of Visual Basic Script (VBS) to perform some tasks on the infected computer. Similar to the other variants, the virus makes data recovery impossible via Windows backups, since it deletes the shadow copies and System Restore points as well.
.WNCRYT File Virus – Encryption
For the encryption process, malware researchers have identified this ransomware virus to use a military-grade encryption algorithm which is particularly chosen, because of it’s safety. The algorithm is named Advanced Encryption Standard and it aims to replace blocks of the encrypted files with encrypted data. What is interesting in this particular case is that the .WNCRYT virus uses the AES-128 bit strength which is used by ransomware threats. It is even amazing how the cyber-criminals have managed to make the encryption process stable. It seems that they have invested great deal of research to make this encryption work.
The encryption aims to replace blocks of code of the original file targeted, which are documents, photos, audio files and other types of files with blocks of data from the cipher. It does not encrypt the whole file, only enough to render the file itself no longer to be able to be opened. The files look like the following after becoming encrypted:
After the encryption, the virus changes the wallpaper and naturally opens it’s ransom note:
What is interesting is that not only it starts automatically on system boot, but it also detects if it is ran on a Sandbox, so the WannaCry ransomware has defensive features against malware researchers as well. Furthermore, after infecting your computer, the .WNCRYT virus also creates a mutex object so that it won’t be able to infect your PC twice.
WannaCry Ransomware – Remove, Restore Files and Protect Yourself
In the event that the inevitable has happened, your first symptom of noticing this virus should be to see the icons of the ransomware on your computer. They look like the following:
If you see those files, you should IMMEDIATELY power off your computer and take out the hard drive from it to allow specialists to salvage what is left of your files without triggering the virus. In case this has already happened, we advise you to look into the instructions below to remove the ransomware. For the removal of the Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 threat, security experts outline the best method to be using an advanced anti-malware software to perform the removal automatically, especially if you lack the experience in manual removal. In order to attempt and restore encrypted files, at the moment there is no decryptor that is free and leaked out into the public, but we have multiple reports of users managing to restore chunks of their files using alternative methods. Such tools you can find in the step “2. Restore files encrypted by .WNCRYT Virus” below.