A new variant of Cryptomix ransomware dubbed WORK ransomware was released recently. it was given this name due to obvious reason – extension added to encrypted files is .WORK and all crypto emails related to this infection (there are 5 of them) features a word ‘Work’. While almost all features of Work virus are almost similar to Cryptomix ransomware, it’s still a new virus. Back then Cryptomix was kind of big deal thus we can expect WORK ransomware to be not less threathful.
Analysis of Work ransomware infection
We have already mentioned that this infection is still new, thus at this moment not a lot of information is available. One of the biggest pieces missing of the puzzle is distribution methods of this infection. However, if we take a look back at CryptoMix ransomware, it’s safe to take a guess that this virus is distributed the same way – as an attachment to spam email letters.
This method of distribution is the most common to ransomware. Hackers simply sent millions of emails to random users and hope that some of them will open files attached to them. That’s right – all it takes to get infected with Work ransomware is to open attachment to the email. Therefore number one advice to stay away from trouble – never open attachments to the emails that were sent by a person or company you don’t know.
Aftermath of the infection is known and rather typical – Work virus will scan your computer for personal files and encrypt the with a strong cryptography. After that you will be not able to open or use those files in any way. Files encrypted by WORK ransomware get renamed, i.e. infection adds “.WORK” extension to the end of every file. So let’s say you had a file “document.docx”, after the encryption it will be renamed to “document.docx.work”.
Also, a new text file named “_HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT” will appear on a desktop and it contains a typical ransom note. Original text of the message:
Attention! All Your data was encrypted!
For specific informartion, please send us an email with Your ID number:
Please send email to all email addresses! We will help You as soon as possible!
IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE ANY PUBLIC SOFTWARE! IT MAY DAMAGE YOUR DATA FOREVER!
What’s not so typical, that there are even 5 different email addresses to contact cyber criminals. After the encryption each computer is assigned with unique id-number, which is used to generate decryption key and identify computers. Most probable scenario of events after you email cyber criminals with your ID number is that you get a return message with a demand to pay a ransom in Bitcoins, in exchange of decryption key.
Even though size of the ransom is not known, we recommend not to contact cyber criminals at all. Paying the ransom is never a good idea and there are no guarantees that your files will be decrypted.
Decrypting files and removing Work virus
Even though free decrypter for WORK ransomware is not available right now, you can try to contact technical support (click on the link) in case your computer is infected. They were able to help users to decrypt files encrypted by CryptoMix ransomware, so they might manage to do it this time as well. Also, if you have a copy of your hard drive that was made previous to the infection, you can surely follow this tutorial and restore your files.
Finally, malicious files of WORK ransomware have to be removed. For this task you will need anti-malware tool, such as SpyHunter Both of these programs features paid and free versions, so it’s up to you to choose.
Work Ransomware Virus quicklinks
- Analysis of Work ransomware infection
- Decrypting files and removing Work virus
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover WORK ransomware virus 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 WORK ransomware virus encrypted files
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover WORK ransomware virus 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 WORK ransomware virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of WORK ransomware virusAfter restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to WORK ransomware virus. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore WORK ransomware virus 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 WORK ransomware virus 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 WORK ransomware virus 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.