What is LittleFinger ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
LittleFinger ransomware is a data-encrypting Trojan which was first spotted at the end of May 2018. Based on the preliminary analysis conducted by security experts, this new ransomware threat is a new addition to the HiddenTear ransomware family. Though its code may be based on this open-source platform, LittleFinger ransomware is not a typical HiddenTear variant as it is different in some ways and further analysis also revealed that developers of this threat may have used some code snippets of HiddenTear in developing it as opposed to making a customized copy.
Once it infiltrates a targeted computer, it will initiate a connection to its remote Command and Control server where it sends some data about the infected system. It is also where this ransomware gets its additional malicious files that help it in implementing its attack on the infected computer. It starts its attack by searching the computer for files with the following formats:
.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 it finds the above mentioned file formats, it will apply the AES encryption algorithm in locking the files and appends the .0x3737451845184518 string on each one of the encrypted files, signifying that they are encrypted by LittleFinger ransomware. Once the encryption is completed, it drops its ransom note in the form of a small program called “mpsigeng.exe” which contains the following context:
“YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED YOUR FINGERPRINT: [redacted]
SEND 0.01 BTC to address: [redacted]
SEND TRANSACTIONID AND FINGERPRINT to [email protected]
YOU RECEIVE DECRYPTION INBOX”
As you can see, based on its ransom note, victims have to pay the demanded ransom, 0.01 BTC to a given Bitcoin wallet address. If you are one of the victims of this file-encrypting threat, paying the ransom won’t get you anywhere and you’ll only end up losing money and still no recovered files. So the best way you can deal with this kind of threat is by obliterating it from your computer first and then try other ways to recover your encrypted files.
How does LittleFinger ransomware spread online?
LittleFinger ransomware spreads via spam emails. These malware-laden spam emails are often disguised to make it seem like it was sent by some well-known individual or company so that you won’t suspect the safety of the file attached. So if you happen to come across such emails, it’s best to stir clear of them rather than get tricked into downloading some obfuscated file used to launch LittleFinger ransomware.
Obliterate LittleFinger ransomware from your system by following the given removal guide below.
Step 1: Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Task Manager.
Step 2: Go to Processes and look for the malicious process of LittleFinger ransomware named mpsigeng.exe and then right click on it 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger ransomware’s malicious components 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 LittleFinger ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 10: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by LittleFinger ransomware.
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: 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 LittleFinger 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 LittleFinger 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.