Thanos ransomware encrypts files and may steal data. It has many variants, including “locked”, “getin”, “CRYSTAL”, “secure”, “kingdee”, “VIPxxx”, and others.
Thanos tends to spread with phishing emails. It is ransomware-as-a-service and it is related to Prometheus and Hakbit.
Thanos Ransomware quicklinks
- Symptoms of a Thanos infection
- Thanos ransomware has many variants
- It asks for ransom
- How Thanos infects computers
- How to delete Thanos
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover Thanos 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:
- 2.Restore System files and settings.
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Thanos Ransomware encrypted files
About Thanos ransomware:
|How to recognize Thanos||Thanos uses many different file extensions and ransom notes,
use ID Ransomware to identify the attack.
|How ransomware spreads||Thanos arrives in phishing emails with malicious attachments,
it disables antivirus tools and deletes backups before encrypting files.
|How to delete Thanos||Use antivirus tools (Spyhunter, others) to find and remove all malware.|
Symptoms of a Thanos infection
Thanos ransomware has many variants
Thanos ransomware is a malicious program. It encrypts files and then asks for money to fix them. It’s ransomware-as-a-service, meaning that it can be customized and used by many separate gangs. For example, Hakbit and Prometheus are thought to be related to Thanos.
Thanos locks files like documents, images, databases, archives, and others. It also changes their names to end with a short phrase, such as “.crypted”. To see the new double extension, it might be needed to change Windows settings to show file name extensions.
Other extensions used by Thanos ransomware include “.secure”, “.PROM”, “.zuadr”, “.plastic”, “.rastar”, “.kingdee”, “.VIPxxx”, “.locked”, “.getin”, “.CRYSTAL”, “.reofgv” etc. For example, a Thanos-encrypted file might have a name like this:
There, “.cryp” is the extension added by Thanos – or by other ransomware. Sometimes, the same file extension is used by many ransomware families (“Encrypted” ransomware).
To identify Thanos or other ransomware, upload the ransom note left by the malware on ID Ransomware.
It asks for ransom
The goal of Thanos ransomware is to make money. It wants the victims to contact the extortionists to transfer Bitcoins to them. In exchange, the extortionists promise to send the tools needed to fix the encrypted files.
Here’s an example of a ransom note used by Thanos:
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail [address]
[address] (Backup mail)
Free decryption as a guarantee
Before paying, you can send 1-2 files for free decryption.
Remember that your files are encrypted and only WE can recover them!
Do not try to recover yourself, as well as on third-party resources, you will lose your files and money forever!
Very similar to RedDot, Phobos, Dharma ransom notes.
Just like the extensions, the ransom notes used by the different variants of Thanos may be different. Some are very short, like this:
Your files are secured…
Write to this email with your Key Identifier:
Some versions of Thanos threaten to publish data that was stolen from the victims if they don’t pay the ransom.
How Thanos infects computers
Like most malware, Thanos spreads via malicious email spam. The extortionists target specific businesses and organizations, so the phishing emails may be crafted to be very convincing – with specific names and other details.
Normally, Thanos ransomware should be detected by antivirus scanners – it’s flagged by antivirus scanners by names like Ransom, Trojan, Encoder, Malware, Malicious, etc. Here’s an example: Virustotal.com.
But antivirus programs might fail to stop Thanos in time for various reasons:
- Thanos disables the processes of many popular antivirus programs. It can even delete antivirus data like signature files, essentially blinding antivirus programs.
- If the operators of Thanos ransomware infect the computer/network manually (such as by using hacked RDP accounts), they can manually shut down antivirus programs.
Once Thanos is running, it shuts down popular anti-ransomware tools, deletes shadow copies, and disables command-line and other tools that could be used to kill malicious processes.
How to delete Thanos
Thanos ransomware should delete itself. However, it’s important to not rely on that. For one, it might not have been the only infection. Use antivirus tools (Spyhunter, others) to check your computer for malware.
This will not restore the files that Thanos encrypted, though. If you did not have backups of your data, then there is no guaranteed free way to get your files back. Watch out for scammers who might promise to fix all of your files for a fee – that’s not possible without buying the decryption keys from the extortionists.
While u=it’s a far cry from decryption, file repair might yield some results, as may file recovery (undeleting files from HDDs).
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover Thanos 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 Thanos Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Thanos RansomwareAfter restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Thanos Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Thanos Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume CopiesIf 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 Thanos 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 Thanos Ransomware encrypted filesThere 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.