Apocalypse Ransomware - How To Remove?

 

Apocalypse is a made-up super villain that is known from comic books. Also, another common way to interpret this word is to refer to the end of the world with it. You might not hear the seven trumpets or see a bright-shinning light in the case of Apocalypse ransomware. The apocalyptic vision of this Trojan virus will be asking to pay a ransom to get back encrypted files.

About Apocalypse Ransomware

Apocalypse ransomware is a part of the malicious program circle and is regarded as a much bigger threat than advertising-supported software or browser hijackers. The pattern all ransomware uses is pretty basic: it slithers into computer systems, detects potentially valuable files, then uses algorithms to encrypt them. The grand finale of this theatrical pest’s performance happens on your computer screens (changed backgrounds) and dubious new files are created, encouraging to pay the ransom in exchange for users’ files.

Apocalypse ransomware basically does the exact same thing; but a few distinctions should be mentioned. It uses Trojan strategy to hide itself in the form of seemingly executable files: pdf, docx and doc that can be spotted in the Program Files folder. That is why weaker antivirus programs are not able to detect it beforehand. To be more specific, Apocalypse ransomware might be disguising with a file called windowsupdate.exe. Extension to the encrypted files, in Apocalypse ransomware case, is .encrypted. Files that are randomly placed in users’ systems: How_To_Decrypt.txt, urge to contact decryptionservice@mail.ru email-address. If victims do this, hackers will inform them about the size of the ransom and the method to transfer it. About 670 dollars are the demanded sum of money. In addition to this, it has to be sent as bitcoins (1 BITCOIN in this case). The message to users looks like this:

IF YOU ARE READING THIS MESSAGE, ALL THE FILES IN THIS COMPUTER HAVE BEEN CRYPTED!!
documents , pictures, videos, audio, backups, etc
IF YOU WANT TO RECOVER YOUR DATA, CONTACT THE EMAIL BELOW.
EMAIL: decryptionservice@mail.ru
WE WILL PROVIDE DECRYPTION SOFTWARE TO RECOVER YOUR FILES
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
IF YOU DONT CONTACT BEFORE 72 HOURS, ALL DATA WILL BE LOST FOREVER

How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Apocalypse Ransomware?

Fabian Wosar from Emisoft has recently created a file recovery tool, specifically for this ransomware. You have to act fast if you want to have the best chance to recover your files with this application. Users have to enter Safe Mode with Networking. Once that is done, users have to turn-off the ransomware by opening MSConfig software and unmark Windows Update Svc. Only now people are prepared to download decrypt_apocalypse.exe. After that is done, install and run it. However, there is no guarantee that this recovery tool will be useful and successful to everyone. But the new decryption tool by Avast should decrypt your data.

How is Apocalypse Ransomware Distributed?

Opening of spam letters might be one of the actions, after which you became a victim of ransomware. These messages often contain attachments with so-called updates that are actually viruses in disguise. Apocalypse is also spread this way. Another tactics, used by hackers, are implanting ransomware into shady webpages. Pornographic, gambling sites, other questionable content providers can be injected with various viruses.

Utilize applications like Spyhunter, Reimage or Malwarebytes to support your computer system and shut the door on disruptive viruses.

Update of the 4th of December, 2016. The latest version of Apocalypse leaves the ransom note named [md5].txt and the new extension appended to the encrypted files is [filename].ID-*8characters+countrycode[cryptservice@inbox.ru].[random7characters].

Update of the 19th of December, 2016. Apocalypse ransomware has evolved once more. Its ransom note is named *md5*.txt and it appends .ID-[A-Fo-9]{8}+countrycode[cryptcorp@inbox.ru].[a-zo-9]{13} extension to each encrypted file.

Update of the 30th of January, 2017. A new variant of Apocalypse ransomware was discovered to leave a new email address as a contact: crypt32@mail.ru.

How to recover Apocalypse Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:


for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again. CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Apocalypse Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of Apocalypse Ransomware

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Reimage and remove all malicious files related to Apocalypse Ransomware. You can check other tools here.


Step 3. Restore Apocalypse Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Apocalypse Ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.

Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.

a) Native Windows Previous Versions

Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.


Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer

It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Apocalypse Ransomware encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:

  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro

Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.

       
 

About the author

 - Main Editor
I have started 2-viruses.com in 2007 after wanting to be more or less independent from single security program maker. Since then, we kept working on this site to make internet better and safer place to use.
 
June 20, 2016 06:47, January 30, 2017 02:39
 
   
 

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