What is Gollum ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Gollum ransomware is another crypto-malware discovered in the second week of July 2018. This new ransomware threat implements its attack just like a typical ransomware does – once it infects a computer, it will drop its malicious payload which will then connect the infected system to a remote server. Once the connection is established, Gollum ransomware then employs a data gathering module used to collect data about the computer and the user. The data obtained is then used for another module called stealth protection which allows the ransomware to continue its attack without any interruption from programs installed in the computer like AV programs, sandbox environment, and virtual machine.
Gollum ransomware will look for files with the following extensions right after it applies the aforementioned modifications stated above. These files are usually user-generated 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
After finding its targeted files, Gollum ransomware applies a combination of AES and RSA ciphers to encrypt files. It then adds the .encrypted extension to the affected files signifying that the files are now encrypted and no longer accessible. It also releases two ransom notes namely, “ransom_pay.html” and “ransom_note.txt” which contains the following text:
“MOST OF YOUR IMPORTANT FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED BY AES 256-CBC AND RSA 2048!
well, if you want to restore all your files you should
send 0,05000000 BTC to the next bitcoin address as you see below
until 04-Jul-2018 08:33:12 (UTC)”
How is the malicious payload of Gollum disseminated online?
The malicious payload of Gollum ransomware is disseminated using malicious spam emails campaigns where crooks attach a malware-infested file used to install Gollum ransomware. It could also infiltrate your computer via fake updates and fake programs as it could contain the malicious payload of Gollum ransomware.
Make sure to follow each one of the removal steps prepared below to terminate Gollum ransomware from your computer.
Step 1: Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Task Manager.
Step 2: Go to the Processes and Applications tab and look for the malicious processes of Gollum ransomware then right click on them and select End Process or End Task.
Step 3: Close 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 4: Look for dubious programs that might be related to Gollum ransomware and then Uninstall it/them.
Step 5: Tap Win + E to launch File Explorer.
Step 6: After opening File Explorer, navigate to the following directories below and look for Gollum ransomware’s malicious components such as [random].exe, “ransom_pay.html” and “ransom_note.txt” which contain the ransom note and other suspicious-looking files and then remove them all.
Step 7: 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 8: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 9: Navigate to the listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by Gollum ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Step 10: Next, delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Gollum ransomware.
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: Finally, empty the contents of your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Volume Shadow copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Gollum 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.
Once you’re done executing the steps given above, you need to continue the removal process of Gollum ransomware using a reliable program like [product-name]. How? Follow the advanced removal 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.