What is Mars ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Mars ransomware is a typical file-encrypting threat designed to encode important data in a targeted computer. It is a new strain of Major ransomware and was recently identified in an ongoing attack campaign. It uses a “.mars” extension in marking the files it encrypt, hence the name, Mars ransomware.
The moment its payload file reaches a targeted computer, it will connect to its remote Command and Control server where it downloads more malicious files and drops them into the system. It also makes changes in the Windows Registry so it can run every time users boot their PCs. It uses its components to either launch or repress system processes. It also employs an information gathering module used to gather data from the system. The collected information is then used for the stealth protection module which allows the crypto-virus to bypass security programs like antivirus programs and Firewall, as well as virtual hosts and sandbox environment.
Mars ransomware uses a sophisticated encryption algorithm in encrypting files. After the encryption, it appends the “.mars” extension to each one of the encrypted files. It then opens a text file that contains the following ransom note:
“All your important files are encrypted.
To recover encrypted files, you need:
- Buy bitcoins. The easiest way to buy bitcoins is the LocalBitcoins site. You must register, click “Bu Bitcoins” and select a seller by payment method and price. https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
You can also find other places to buy bitcoins and a beginner’s guide here:
How Can I Buy Bitcoin?
You can buy bitcoins from regulated exchang or directly from other people selling them.
write to google how to buy bitcoin in your country?
to guarantee the availability of our key
we can decrypt three files for free.
- Send bitcoins to the address you receive in the mail. After payment, we will send a decryption program
Do not try to decrypt your files using third-party programs, decoders. You only damage your data and lose them forever.
Only we can decrypt your data!
Contact email address [email protected] or root[email protected] or [email protected]”
How does Mars ransomware proliferate?
In most cases, ransomware infects your computer when you download suspicious applications or files or when you click corrupted links and such. It’s the same thing for Mars ransomware. The main distribution methods for this ransomware are as follows:
- Exploit kits
- Spam emails with infected attachments
- Ads that are malware-laden
- Illegal and bogus downloads
- Fake software updates
- Macro-enabled corrupted document files
As you can see, there are many ways in which this malware can spread so you have to be careful in downloading attachments or downloading software from shady sites, or carelessly clicking links.
Kill Mars ransomware from your infected computer with the help of the following removal guide.
Step 1: First, tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys in your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
Step 2: After opening the Task Manager, go to 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 Mars ransomware.
Step 3: After that, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.
Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Mars ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Next, close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for Mars ransomware’s malicious components like [random].exe and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.
Step 8: 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 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\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Mars ransomware.
Step 12: 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 Mars 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.
Complete the removal process of Mars ransomware by using a trusted and reliable program like [product-name]. Refer to the following guidelines on how to use it.
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 it.
- 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 Safe Mode 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.