Katafrack ransomware - How to remove

Katafrack ransomware virus is a new crypto-malware threat which will require ransom payments to be made either via bitcoin or ethereum payment systems. Even though it insists on getting 0.02 BTC (approximately 165.77 US dollars) and 0.45 ETH in form of ethereum, there is no need to make these transactions.

There are many in-development ransomware (Ransomware). projects that have some significant flaws. Katafrack infections is similar to WanaDie malware: they both are incapable of encrypting files and require ransoms from users for no good reason. Katafrack virus should encode data with AES-256 cipher, but the encryption process clearly fails. Therefore, there is no reason to contct hackers via [email protected].

Is Katafrack crypto-malware a threat? For now: no.

Katafrack ransomware virus

Katafrack file-encoder is delivered through a payload called LiteHTTP.exe (VirusTotal). However, this is not the only malicious tool that belongs to this ransomware. ETH Wallet.245Z.exe is an additional sample that security researchers have detected (Hybrid). However, none of them pose a real threat to Internet surfers. Of course, we cannot forget about the fact that even deeply flawed ransomware projects can be developed into more frightening variants.

Katafrack virus looks extremely similar to Ordinal ransomware: an infection that surfaced in October of 2017. Their ransom notes look completely identical and we are almost certain that both of these projects are crafted by the same hackers. In addition to this, Katafrack virus is based on Hidden Tear open source codes, making it very typical ransomware infection. Cyber Police and Jhash are one of the examples of such software apps.

Even though most ransomware infections append original extension to the encrypted digital files, Katafrack malware does not have this function. The malicious threat does insert READ-ME-TO-GET-YOUR-FILES-BACK.txt file which includes information about the price of decryption. Even if the virus would be fully active, we do not recommend sending payments to hackers (To).

According to a thorough analysis, Katafrack virus modifies console tracing settings, contacts suspicious hosts and adds an entry in the registry for payloads’ auto-execution. It sends DNS requests to a Dontmindme.tk website which is presumably controlled from United States. Infection contacts hosts that have different IP addresses, but all of them are predicted to be in US as well.

The hackers clearly state they will not wait any longer than 7 days for the ransoms to be paid. After this time passes, decryption will be permanently deleted from hackers’ servers. Of course, this is a part in which we have to remind you that Katafrack crypto-virus does not encrypt files. Therefore, there is no need to worry about decryption. However, we are going to keep track of the evolution of this infection. It could be that after some time, the ransomware will be developed into fully functional.

Some recommendations for ransomware prevention

In order to have your operating system functioning without any significant malware threats, you have to protect your yourself with a reliable anti-malware tool. Spyhunter tool is a very recommended program that we think will enhance your experience. With its help, your device will function much more smoothly.

If you wish to secure yourself from ransomware infections, we are giving you a very specific task: backup your data. This means that you will have to find an backup storage utility and upload your files in it. As a result, you will have an additional source of your files. Of course, you can simply upload important data in USB flash drives. However, we discourage you from keeping the drive plugged into a device. If a ransomware infect your operating system, connected USBs are usually damaged as well.

Transmission of ransomware infections

People are very frequently targeted via spam campaigns. This means that users receive fraudulent messages into their emails. They are tempted or frighten to download attachments. For instance, these are a couple possible titles for letters from scammers/hackers:

“Attention, you need to confirm some information about your flight”,
“Problems with your tax returns”,
“FBI has issued a warrant for your arrest”
“Proposition for an investment”,
“Cheap medication: purchase now”,
“You have won 56 million dollars!”,
“Please fill out a form for a job position in our company.”

If you notice any similar emails in your inbox, delete them immediately. In addition to this, protect your RDP and avoid clicking on online advertisements. Even visitation to random websites could cause a ransomware infection: be careful.

How to recover Katafrack 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 Katafrack 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 Katafrack 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 Katafrack ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Katafrack 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 Katafrack 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 Katafrack 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.
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