What is Donut ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
Donut ransomware is a file-locking malware designed to encode important data in a computer. And it seems to be a new addition to the HiddenTear ransomware group. Once its malicious payload finds its way into a targeted device, Donut ransomware will be activated. Following its infiltration, it will set up a connection to its remote Command and Control server in order to send information about the affected system. It is also where it downloads its malicious components and places them into Windows system folders to help the crypto-malware in executing its attack. One of the main functions of these malicious components is to make sure that no program installed in the system can interfere with the attack while the other ones are used to modify the Windows Registry to ensure that the ransomware can run on every system boot.
After the system modifications, Donut ransomware will scan the computer looking for files to encrypt. It mostly encrypts user-generated files such as:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .xqx, .zip
During the encryption process, Donut ransomware applies a strong encryption algorithm and places the .donut extension after it finishes encrypting files. Following data encryption, it locks the screen with a message saying:
“Hi. All your files have been ENCRYPTED by DONUT Ransomware Do you want to restore your files? Your should buy DonutDecryptor.
Current Price $100.
For payment your need cryptocurrency BitCoin. Write to our email – donutmmm @tutanota.com and tell us your unique ID and BitCoin transaction. Your Uniq ID is: BitCoin wallet is: [redacted]”
How is the malicious payload of Donut ransomware distributed?
Donut ransomware, like other variants of HiddenTear, makes use of spam emails in distributing its malicious payload. This malicious payload may be a ZIP file, executable file, a link or documents with macro scripts used to initiate the attack. this is why you must not rush into opening emails no matter who sent them.
Eliminate Donut ransomware from your system by following the given removal guide below.
Step 1: Tap the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys to open a menu and then expand the Shutdown options which is right next to the power button.
Step 2: After that, tap and hold the Shift key and then click on Restart.
Step 3: And in the Troubleshoot menu that opens, click on the Advanced options and then go to the Startup settings.
Step 4: Click on Restart and tap F4 to select Safe Mode or tap F5 to select Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 5: After your PC has successfully rebooted, tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
Step 6: Go to the Processes tab and look for any suspicious-looking processes that could be related to Donut ransomware and then end their processes.
Step 7: Exit the Task Manager and open Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 8: Look for Donut Ransomware and other dubious program and then uninstall them.
Step 9: Close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to open File Explorer.
Step 10: Navigate to the following locations and look for the malicious components created by Donut ransomware and make sure to delete them all.
- %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
Step 11: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use [product-name] this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then, by all means, go on to the next steps.
Step 12: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 13: Navigate to the listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by Donut ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\DesktopStep 14: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Donut ransomware.
Step 15: Close the Registry Editor and empty your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using their Volume Shadow copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Donut ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
To ensure the removal of Donut ransomware from your system including the malicious components it has created on your system, follow the advanced steps below.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now”button.