Asasin ransomware virus is the freshest variant of a terrifying Locky which has recently become one of the most active crypto-malware infections. The newly-distributed infection should not be considered as a separate threat because it is generated by the same people that created .ykcol and Lukitus variants. Most of these infections are fully functional, while Asasin virus is a step back for the authors of Locky. Due to errors in the distribution process, the ransomware should not be successfully spread.
For some background information, we shall remind you the recent activity of Locky and its variants. It renewed its activity with a Diablo6 infection. Then, Lukitus variant followed and it was spread in a massive spam campaign. Then, .ykcol infection appeared. Now, we will discuss the newest addition to the Locky family.
Asasin crypto-virus is not properly distributed
Asasin infection is very similar to other frightening viruses that Locky authors have produced (Why does Locky keep coming back?). However, due to mistakes in the distribution process, users can very easily determine that a received email letter is suspicious and should not be trusted. Sent email messages carry titles of “Document invoice_95649_sign_and_return.pdf is complete“ or similar ones. However, once users open them, they will notice that an attachment has somehow been inserted as text instead of a properly-working file.
Like most of the Locky variants, Asasin virus (which is misspelled as it was probably meant to be Assassin) proceeds to modify names of encrypted digital data and ads .asasin extension at the end. This would occur if the distributed payload would be properly inserted into email letters. However, this ransomware sample fails to do so. Once the functional version would finish file-encryption process, it would insert ransom notes of asasin.htm and asasin.bmp. Furthermore, the payload is deleted from an infected operating system as soon as the digital files are damaged.
This variant requires users to pay 0.25 BTC which equals 1222.50 USD. However, we do not suggest this as a fair solution to ransomware infections (Why you should not pay ransom to malware creators). Developers of this ransomware might have very little interest in helping victims recover their data. We understand that file-recovery is very important to victims of ransomware, but paying the fees for decryption is never the choice we encourage.
Is it possible to decrypt files?
Sadly, we cannot give you any good news about the file-recovery. None of the Locky variants are decryptable. Therefore, the only option is to try not to become infected with any of these viruses. In addition to this, we would suggest looking at the other file-recovery options. They might not work, but you can definitely attempt to pursue them. To be properly protected from ransomware, we strongly encourage you to upload files in backup storages. If you will have your digital data stored in more than one location, ransomware will not be able to threaten you.
Distribution of ransomware
Locky ransomware variants are usually distributed through malicious spam campaigns. Furthermore, certain pop-ups have also been determined to be responsible for some transmission. One of them is the HoeflerText scam which encourages users to install missing fonts. Remember to never download files from senders you do not recognize. Even if an email message looks respectable, check the reliability of the email address and whether it is associated with an actual company.
Before you attempt to recover files, we hope you will decide to get rid of the malware infection. Try Reimage to be secured from all sorts of viruses. Ransomware is one of the most terrible infections around and we hope you will protect RDPs with strong passwords. If not, hackers could infect your operating system with malware and encrypted digital data. This is definitely not a thing you would wish to endure.
- Asasin crypto-virus is not properly distributed
- Is it possible to decrypt files?
- Distribution of ransomware
- Automatic Asasin ransomware removal tools
- How to recover Asasin ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of Asasin ransomware
- Step 3. Restore Asasin ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Asasin ransomware encrypted files
Automatic Asasin ransomware removal tools
How to recover Asasin 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 → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
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.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Asasin ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Asasin 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 Asasin ransomware . You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Asasin 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 Asasin 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 Properties → Previous 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.
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.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Asasin 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.
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.