What is [email protected] ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
[email protected] ransomware is another crypto-malware discovered on March 15, 2018. This new ransomware threat is a variant of Arrow ransomware, which, as it turns out, is a variant of Dharma ransomware. Based on the analysis done by security experts, [email protected] ransomware is not that different from its predecessors as there are only minimal changes to its code.
This crypto-malware will make modifications among Windows system files so it can obtain administrative privileges, the moment it enters the system. After that, it also alters the Windows Registry so it can run on every system boot. And once it accomplishes all these aforementioned modifications, it will begin its search for files to encrypt. According to researchers, it encrypts the following file types:
.gpx, .kml, .kmz, .asp, .aspx, .cer, .cfm, .csr, .css, .htm, .html, .js, .jsp, .php, .rss, .xhtml, .doc, .docx, .log, .msg, .odt, .pages, .rtf, .tex, .txt, .wpd, .wps, .csv, .dat, .ged, .key, .keychain, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .ini, .prf, .hqx, .mim, .uue, .7z, .cbr, .deb, .gz, .pkg, .rar, .rpm, .sitx, .tar.gz, .zip, .zipx, .bin, .cue, .dmg, .iso, .mdf, .toast, .vcd, .sdf, .tar, .tax2014, .tax2015, .vcf, .xml, .aif, .iff, .m3u, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .mpa, .wav, .wma, .3g2, .3gp
It encrypts its targeted files using the AEs encryption algorithm. Afterwards, it appends the [email protected] extension to each one of the files. Despite having your files encrypted, paying the ransom demanded by this ransomware is not recommended as it would only be a waste of money and time. Cyber crooks behind ransomware threats are not really known to keep their end of the bargain once they received the ransom payment. The best course of action to take is trying out other alternative ways in recovering your encrypted files but before you do that, you need to terminate [email protected] ransomware from your system.
How is [email protected] ransomware distributed online?
Spam emails are the go-to distribution method used not only by the developers of [email protected] ransomware but also other ransomware developers in spreading crypto-malware. Usually, the email contains an infected attachment that may be a document disguised as invoices, bank statement, and receipts of orders, etc. – this is to trick users into thinking that the infected attachment is an important one that they need to download and open it. You should know better than to open these kinds of files, especially if the email is full of grammatical errors. To avoid getting infected with ransomware threats again, delete any suspicious-looking emails from the moment you notice one in your inbox.
To terminate [email protected] ransomware from your computer, refer to the following removal instructions:
Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to eliminate the process of [email protected] ransomware by opening the Task Manager – simply tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
Step 2: After that, click the Processes tab and look for any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to [email protected] ransomware and then end its processes.
Step 3: Now that the malicious process is eliminated, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Next, tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Control Panel’s list of installed programs.
Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for [email protected] ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Then close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for [email protected] ransomware’s malicious components such and other suspicious files it has created and downloaded into the system and then delete all of them.
Step 8: Close the File Explorer.
Before you go on any further, 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 9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 10: Navigate to the following path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Step 12: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by [email protected] ransomware.
Step12. Close the Registry Editor and empty the 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 [email protected] 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.
After you’ve covered the steps provided above, you need to continue the removal process 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.