What is DiskDoctor ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
DiskDoctor ransomware is a crypto-virus created to extort money from victims. And it turns out that it is yet another variant from the Scarab ransomware group. This crypto-virus was discovered early June 2018 and has since encrypted files from several users. Nothing much has changed in this new variant – the only noticeable change is the extension used in marking encrypted files which is .DiskDoctor.
The instant its malicious payload reaches the targeted computer, it establishes a connection to its remote Command and Control server. It then begins to execute its attack by gathering information about the system. The information gathered is sent to the C&C server. From there, it downloads more malicious files that aid it in executing its attack. These malicious files are used to avoid detection from any AV programs. It also alters the Windows Registry so it can achieve persistence. After that, it starts the encryption process by employing the AES cipher in locking its targeted files. Once the encryption is completed, you will notice that most of your files have the .DiskDoctor extension. This means that files with this extension is encrypted and can’t be accessed. You will find more information about the attack once DiskDoctor ransomware releases the file named “HOW_TO_RECOVER_ENCRYPTED_FILES.txt” which contains the following content:
“Warning all your files are encrypted !!! \ \___ / |
/- _ `-/ ‘
To receive the decoder, you must send an email to (/\/ \ \ /\
the email address with your personal ID: / / | ` \
O O ) / |
[email protected] `-^–‘`< ‘
(_.) _ ) /
In response you will receive further instructions. `.___/` /
ATTENTION !!! * Do not attempt to uninstall the program or run <—-|====O)))==) \) /====
antivirus software. <—-‘ `–‘ `.__,’ \
* Attempts to self-decrypt files will result in the | |
loss of your data. \ /
* Decoders of other users are incompatible with your ______( (_ / \______
data, as each user has a unique encryption key. ,’ ,—–‘ | \
Your personal identifier:
The past few weeks, Scarab has released not only one but a number of variants. And if you are one of the victims of the new variant, DiskDoctor, you must not, in any way, contact the cyber crooks behind this threat as they will only pressure you into paying the ransom. The best way to deal with such threats is by deleting them right away before they can harm more files on your computer.
How is the malicious payload of DiskDoctor ransomware distributed?
DiskDoctor ransomware, just like other Scarab variants, uses spam emails to infect users. These spam emails often contain an obfuscated attachment or corrupted links to launch DiskDoctor ransomware. Thus, opening files from suspicious-looking senders is certainly not advised.
Delete DiskDoctor ransomware from your system by following the removal guide below as well as the advanced steps that follow.
Step 1: Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time to open a menu and then expand the Shutdown options which are 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 DiskDoctor 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 DiskDoctor Ransomware and then uninstall it.
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 DiskDoctor ransomware like HOW_TO_RECOVER_ENCRYPTED_FILES.txt 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 DiskDoctor ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by DiskDoctor ransomware.
Step 15: Close the Registry Editor and empty your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if DiskDoctor 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 DiskDoctor 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.