Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Satan?
Similar to Ransom32, Satan is a ransomware-type virus offered as a Service (Raas). Following successful infiltration, Satan encrypts stored data using RSA-2048 and AES-256 cryptography. In addition, this virus appends the names of encrypted files with the ".stn" extension (for instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.stn").
Following successful encryption, Satan places an HTML file ("HELP_DECRYPT_FILES.html") on the desktop.
Updated variants of this ransomware use .satan extension for encrypted files. As mentioned above, Satan's developers provide a service allowing prospective cyber criminals to make money by distributing this ransomware. In exchange, developers receive 30% of revenues generated by users.
To use Satan RaaS, users must create an account and provide the required information. Firstly, users must have a Bitcoin wallet used for ransom transactions. Secondly, they must specify a cost for decryption. They are then able to download a malicious executable file, which is used to infect victims' computers.
Satan's website also contains a number of other features (for example, transaction tracking, list of released Satan's versions, etc.). The aforementioned Satan HTML file (placed on the desktop) contains a ransom-demand message stating that files are encrypted and that restoring them without a unique key is impossible. Unfortunately, this information is accurate.
RSA-2048 is an asymmetric encryption algorithm and, thus, public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys are generated during file encryption. Cyber criminals store private keys on a remote server and victims are encouraged to pay ransoms to receive them by following instructions on Satan's decryption website (links are provided within the HTML file).
The cost of decryption is not consistent (distributors are able to change it), however, most ransomware-type viruses demand between $500 and 1500 in Bitcoins. It is also stated that the ransom must be paid within the given time frame, otherwise the price will increase. In any case, you should never trust cyber criminals.
Research shows that these people commonly ignore victims, despite payments made. Paying does not guarantee that your files will ever be restored and you might be scammed.
Therefore, never pay any ransom or attempt to contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking RSA-2048 and AES-256 encryption algorithms or restoring files compromised by Satan ransomware. Therefore, the only solution is to restore your files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging victims to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are hundreds of ransomware-type viruses with similar behavior to Satan. Examples include HakunaMatata, LambdaLocker, Karma, and many others. All encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only major differences are size of ransom and encryption algorithm (symmetric/asymmetric) used.
Ransomware-type viruses are often distributed using spam emails (malicious attachments), unofficial software download sources (peer-to-peer networks, freeware download and free file hosting websites, etc.), fake software update tools, and trojans.
Therefore, be cautious when opening files received from suspicious emails, and when downloading software from third party sources.
Keeping your installed applications up-to-date and using a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also essential. Be aware, however, that cyber criminals often exploit software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Therefore, never use any third party update tools.
Text presented within Satan HTML file (English):
What happened to my files ?
All of your personal files were encrypted using AES-256 and RSA-2048
What does this mean ?
This means that the content of your files have been changed, you will not be able to use them, it is basically the same as losing them forever. However, you can still get them back with our help.
How can I get my files back ?
As said before, your files have been encrypted, in order to decrypt them, you'll need the private key of the key pair that was generated when your files were encrypted. Decrypting your files is only possible with the private key and the decrypter.
If you really value your data, then you should not waste time and follow the instructions in the link below:
If the links above are not available, you should follow these steps instead:
1. Download and install the Tor Browser
2. After you've installed it, run the browser and wait for it to initialize
3. Type in the address bar: hxxp://satan6dll23napb5.onion/k9JEZbSz?lang=en
4. Follow the instructions on the page
Text presented within Satan HTML file (Portuguese):
O que aconteceu com os meus arquivos ?
Todos os seus arquivos pessoais foram criptografados usando AES-256 e RSA-2048
O que isso significa ?
Isso significa que o conteúdo dos seus arquivos foi alterado, você não será capaz de usá-los, isso é basicamente o mesmo que perdê-los para sempre. Entretanto, com nossa ajuda você ainda pode tê-los de volta.
Como posso ter meus arquivos de volta ?
Como dito antes, seus arquivos foram criptografados, para descriptografa-los, voc precisará da chave privada do par de chaves que foi gerado quando seus arquivos foram criptografados. Descriptografar os arquivos é apenas possível com a chave privada e o descifrador.
Se você realmente dá valor aos seus dados, você não deve desperdiçar tempo. Siga as instruções no link abaixo:
Se os links acima não estiverem disponíveis, siga os seguintes passos:
1. Baixe e instale o Tor Browser
2. Depois de instalado, execute-o e espere a sua inicialização
3. Digite na barra de endereço: http://satan6dll23napb5.onion/k9JEZbSz?lang=pt
4. Siga as instruções na página
Screenshot of Satan ransomware Tor website:
Text presented within this site:
Your personal files have been encrypted. In order to decrypt them you'll have to pay -- BTC
If the payment is not made until %LIMIT%, the cost for the private key will increase to -- BTC
How to get your files back
1. Register a bitcoin wallet
2. Purchase the amount of bitcoins needed
3. Send -- BTC to the address:
4. Wait for the transaction to be confirmed
The transactions are checked automatically every hour. After you've paid, come back here after at least one hour.
You've paid -- BTC. There are still -- BTC left.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Satan ransomware (random file name and ".stn" extension):
Screenshots of Satan RaaS (ransomware as a service) website:
Satan RaaS "Homepage" page:
Text presented within this page:
What is Satan?
Apart from the mythological creature, Satan is a ransomware, a malicious software that once opened in a Windows system, encrypts all the files, and demands a ransom for the decryption tools.
How to make money with Satan?
First of all, you'll need to sign up. Once you've sign up, you'll have to log in to your account, create a new virus and download it. Once you've downloaded your newly created virus, you're ready to start infecting people.
Now, the most important part: the bitcoin paid by the victim will be credited to your account. We will keep a 30% fee of the income, so, if you specified a 1 BTC ransom, you will get 0.7 BTC and we will get 0.3 BTC. The fee will become lower depending on the number of infections and payments you have.
Satan RaaS "Malwares" page:
Text presented within this page:
Ransom - Ransom in BTC (min 0.1) Use "." as decimal separator.
Multiplier - Used to multiply the ransom by X times after Y days.
Multiplier (Days) - Days before the ransom multiplier.
Note - Notes are private, and used only to keep track of your victims.
Proxy - Read about how to set up a gateway proxy here.
Do not upload your malware to VirusTotal and/or any other online scanner.
The malware does not run inside virtual machines, if you wish to test it, you must do it in a physical computer. Don't forget to run the test with the command-line argument -r to avoid having the binary deleted.
Satan RaaS "Droppers" page:
Text presented within this page:
Making a dropper
1. Use one of the xor functions below to encrypt your ransomware.
2. Upload the encrypted ransomware to your web server.
3. In the form below, enter the url to the file, the key you used to encrypt and click on "Generate".
4. Follow the usage instructions
Satan RaaS "Translate" page:
Text presented within this page:
1. All fields must be filled.
2. Anything between "%" should be only copied and not translated.
3. The field "English" should be filled with the name of the language you're translating (e.g Deutsch, Español).
4. The characters used must be UTF-8 supported.
5. Only one translation is allowed per day.
The translations are manually checked and added once a day. Duplicates are ignored.
Satan RaaS "Account" page:
Satan RaaS "Notices" page:
Satan RaaS "Messages" page:
Satan ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
Video suggesting what steps should be taken in case of a ransomware infection:
- What is Satan virus?
- STEP 1. Reporting ransomware to authorities.
- STEP 2. Isolating the infected device.
- STEP 3. Identifying the ransomware infection.
- STEP 4. Searching for ransomware decryption tools.
- STEP 5. Restoring files with data recovery tools.
- STEP 6. Creating data backups.
If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we recommend reporting this incident to authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies you will help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers. Here's a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack. For the complete list of local cybersecurity centers and information on why you should report ransomware attacks, read this article.
List of local authorities where ransomware attacks should be reported (choose one depending on your residence address):
- USA - Internet Crime Complaint Centre IC3
- United Kingdom - Action Fraud
- Spain - Policía Nacional
- France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
- Germany - Polizei
- Italy - Polizia di Stato
- The Netherlands - Politie
- Poland - Policja
- Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
Isolating the infected device:
Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.
Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.
The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:
Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result:
Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window:
Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable".
Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.
As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:
Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device, and select "Eject":
Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.
Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.
Identify the ransomware infection:
To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).
This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).
Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).
This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).
The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.
Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):
Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):
If your data happens to be encrypted by ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, a ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, crypto wallet addresses, etc.).
Search for ransomware decryption tools:
Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cybercriminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.
Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.
Restore files with data recovery tools:
Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use the Recuva tool developed by CCleaner. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data). In addition, the recovery feature is completely free.
Step 1: Perform a scan.
Run the Recuva application and follow the wizard. You will be prompted with several windows allowing you to choose what file types to look for, which locations should be scanned, etc. All you need to do is select the options you're looking for and start the scan. We advise you to enable the "Deep Scan" before starting, otherwise, the application's scanning capabilities will be restricted.
Wait for Recuva to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundred gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:
Step 2: Recover data.
Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data:
Create data backups:
Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.
Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all the necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.
Data backups: One of the most reliable backup methods is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from the sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach, although it's a really rare occasion.
We recommend using Microsoft OneDrive for backing up your files. OneDrive lets you store your personal files and data in the cloud, sync files across computers and mobile devices, allowing you to access and edit your files from all of your Windows devices. OneDrive lets you save, share and preview files, access download history, move, delete, and rename files, as well as create new folders, and much more.
You can back up your most important folders and files on your PC (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders). Some of OneDrive’s more notable features include file versioning, which keeps older versions of files for up to 30 days. OneDrive features a recycling bin in which all of your deleted files are stored for a limited time. Deleted files are not counted as part of the user’s allocation.
The service is built using HTML5 technologies and allows you to upload files up to 300 MB via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 10 GB via the OneDrive desktop application. With OneDrive, you can download entire folders as a single ZIP file with up to 10,000 files, although it can’t exceed 15 GB per single download.
OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage out of the box, with an additional 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available for a subscription-based fee. You can get one of these storage plans by either purchasing additional storage separately or with Office 365 subscription.
Creating a data backup:
The backup process is the same for all file types and folders. Here’s how you can back up your files using Microsoft OneDrive
Step 1: Choose the files/folders you want to backup.
Click the OneDrive cloud icon to open the OneDrive menu. While in this menu, you can customize your file backup settings.
Click Help & Settings and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Go to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
In this menu, you can choose to backup the Desktop and all of the files on it, and Documents and Pictures folders, again, with all of the files in them. Click Start backup.
Now, when you add a file or folder in the Desktop and Documents and Pictures folders, they will be automatically backed up on OneDrive.
To add folders and files, not in the locations shown above, you have to add them manually.
Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder/file you want to backup. Select the item, right-click it, and click Copy.
Then, navigate to OneDrive, right-click anywhere in the window and click Paste. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop a file into OneDrive. OneDrive will automatically create a backup of the folder/file.
All of the files added to the OneDrive folder are backed up in the cloud automatically. The green circle with the checkmark in it indicates that the file is available both locally and on OneDrive and that the file version is the same on both. The blue cloud icon indicates that the file has not been synced and is available only on OneDrive. The sync icon indicates that the file is currently syncing.
To access files only located on OneDrive online, go to the Help & Settings drop-down menu and select View online.
Step 2: Restore corrupted files.
OneDrive makes sure that the files stay in sync, so the version of the file on the computer is the same version on the cloud. However, if ransomware has encrypted your files, you can take advantage of OneDrive’s Version history feature that will allow you to restore the file versions prior to encryption.
Microsoft 365 has a ransomware detection feature that notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and guide you through the process of restoring your files. It must be noted, however, that if you don’t have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription, you only get one detection and file recovery for free.
If your OneDrive files get deleted, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous state. Here’s how you can restore your entire OneDrive:
1. If you're signed in with a personal account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Options and select Restore your OneDrive.
If you're signed in with a work or school account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Restore your OneDrive.
2. On the Restore your OneDrive page, select a date from the drop-down list. Note that if you're restoring your files after automatic ransomware detection, a restore date will be selected for you.
3. After configuring all of the file restoration options, click Restore to undo all the activities you selected.
The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.
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