GandCrab 2 Ransomware - How to remove

GandCrab 2 ransomware is a second version of the GandCrab crypto-malware. If you are following the news in the cyber world, you might have heard that Romanian Police, together with BitDefender and Interpol have managed to get access to the C&C servers of GandCrab virus. After that, BitDefender released a free decryption software, allowing victims of this infection to recover their damaged data completely free-of-charge.

This setback for the authors of GandCrab ransomware was not the end: they were determined to create a second version: a more secure and less likely to become decrypted. As it was promised, hackers produced the GandCrab 2 ransomware and started distributing it at the beginning of March, 2018. This article will quickly summarize the changes, done to the Ransomware, and explain whether victims might have a chance of decrypting their data for free. At the moment, the prospects of recovering data for free seem dim.

GandCrab 2 crypto-virus operates with new Command&Control Servers and appends .Crab extension

GandCrab2 ransomware

The creators of GandCrab 2 virus made quite a few changes to their previous virus. As we have mentioned, they have set new Command&Control servers. Of course, hackers hope to have made them secure enough to avoid the same fate. In addition to that, crooks have also changed the extension which is appended to the encrypted digital files. Now, if you are a victim of GandCrab 2 virus, you will notice that the damaged data will feature .Crab extension.

Furthermore, hackers have made other subtle changes. One of them is the ransom note, presented in a CRAB-DECRYPT.txt. The message contains the usual text, but also instructs victims to download TOR browser to access Gdcbmuveqjsli57x.onion website. In the domain, victims will find more information about the decryption options and the actual ransom.

Hackers are demanding 400 USD for the GandCrab 2 decryptor. If payment is not made until the due date is up, the ransom will double to 800 USD. Crooks are expecting to receive payments in the DASH cryptocurrency and this payment system has been selected by very few ransomware viruses.

Is there any way to decrypt files that GandCrab2 virus has encrypted?

Since the GandCrab 2 ransomwar has only been detected yesterday (the 6th of March), security researchers have not had enough time to review it properly. Sadly, there is no way of decrypting the files that the new version has decrypted, but it is important to remain hopeful. Researchers might be able to get access to the C&C servers once again and generate free decryption software. Until then, we hope that you won’t be intimated into paying the demanded ransom. Giving money to ransomware creators will only feed their pride and encourage them to keep on creating crypto-malware (Your money or your files: Why do ransomware victims pay up?). If we ever want ransomware authors to stop, we have to stop giving them money.

Of course, if you have your digital files in back up storages, the ransomware is no threat to you. In this case, you should remove the ransomware from your computer and retrieve your data from a back up source. Nevertheless, this is not always an option for victims as people rarely back up their data.

GandCrab 2 virus can be distributed thru deceptive pop-ups and malspam

Creators of GandCrab 2 virus might be using several ways of distribution. It could be that some deceptive messages are circulating on the Internet. They usually urge people to download a file. Previously, we have reported that HoeflerFont scam was delivering the GandCrab virus. With the second version, it is still vague what specific distribution strategies are selected. It could be that some malspam campaigns are also in order. If you receive a suspicious email message in your inbox, please be very careful with its content.

There is no doubt that you have to remove the GandCrab 2 ransomware from your computer device. This might be done manually, by following the instructions we are providing at the end of this article. However, if you have no experience in removing malware, we are not sure whether the elimination of ransomware will go smoothly for you. You should install an anti-malware tool and use it for the removal of GandCrab 2 virus. We are recommending one of the best security programs in the business: Spyhunter. With these tools, you will be able to protect yourself from all sort of malicious parasites.

How to recover GandCrab 2 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 GandCrab 2 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 GandCrab 2 Ransomware

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to GandCrab 2 Ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore GandCrab 2 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 GandCrab 2 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 GandCrab 2 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 a data recovery program.
  • 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.

Removal guides in other languages

One response to “GandCrab 2 Ransomware

  1. When it comes to malware mining, detection, vulurability analysis, PEN tests, Network security, IoT, location services. I have used this service for work and also personal issues. This team provides the best in online forensics and can help you get almost anything done. Since they are now commercial i thought i should share with you guys too. You can mail the username above.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *