Scarab Ransomware

Also Known As: Scarab virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

Scarab ransomware removal instructions

What is Scarab?

Discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, Scarab is a ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates systems and encrypts various data. During encryption, Scarab appends filenames with the ".[].scarab" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[].scarab". Updated variants of this ransomware append .bomber,,, .oneway,, .osk, .walker, .please, [Help-Mails@Ya.Ru] or .[].scarab extensions to encrypted files. Other variants of this ransomware add .[] extension to encrypted files. Following successful encryption, the virus creates and automatically opens a text file ("IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS.TXT"), and then places it on the desktop. Since April, 2018 Scarab ransomware started using extension for encrypted files (for example 1.jpg after encryption would appear as Other variants use extension for encrypted files. Ransom demanding message is now presented in "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES -" file.

The text file contains a message that informs victims of the encryption and makes ransom demands. It is currently unknown whether Scarab uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, in either case, decryption without a unique key is impossible. Cyber criminals store decryption keys on a remote server and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom to receive them. The cost is unconfirmed - the message states that this depends on how swiftly victims contact the cyber criminals (who usually demand the equivalent of between $500 and 1500 in Bitcoins). Cyber criminals should never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. There is a high probability that paying will not deliver any positive result and you will probably be scammed. In addition, you will support cyber criminals' malicious businesses. Therefore, never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Scarab. Therefore, the only solution is to restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Scarab decrypt instructions

Scarab has very similar characteristics to ElmersGlue, EncrypTile, GlobeImposter, TheDarkEncryptor, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Note that all have identical behavior - they encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only major differences between ransomware-type viruses are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Furthermore, most use cryptography that generates unique decryption keys. Therefore, restoring files manually is virtually impossible.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type viruses are usually distributed using spam emails (malicious attachments), unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, torrents, etc.), fake software update tools, and trojans. Malicious attachments are often JavaScript files or MS Office documents (with embedded macros) that download the malware. Furthermore, unofficial software download sources proliferate malicious executables by presenting them as legitimate software. Fake software updaters exploit outdated software bugs/flaws to infect the system.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent this situation, be cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious emails or download software from unofficial distribution sources. Furthermore, keep your installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. The key to computer safety is caution.

Message presented within Scarab ransomware text file:

Your files are now encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC.
Now you should send us email with your personal identifier.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Contact us using this email address:
Free decryption as guarantee!
Before paying you can send us up to 3 files for free decryption.
The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived), and files should not contain
valuable information (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.).
|  How to obtain Bitcoins?
| * The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click
|   'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price:
|   hxxps://
| * Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
|   hxxp://
| Attention!
| * Do not rename encrypted files.
| * Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
| * Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price
|   (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of files encrypted by Scarab (".[].scarab" extension):

Files encrypted by Scarab

Screenshot of files encrypted by the variant of this ransomware - .[] extension:

scarab ransomware variant

A variant of Scarab ransomware that uses .[].scarab extension for encrypted files:

scarab ransomware .[].scarab extension


scarab ransom note appearance

The appearance of "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES -" file:

 scarab ransomware updated ransom demanding message HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES -

Update April 23, 2018 - It appears that security researchers from a company called Dr.Web are able to decrypt some of the files encrypted by this ransomware. Victims of Scarab ransomware should contact them for help decrypting their data.


Scarab ransomware removal:

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Scarab virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

Download recommended remover for
Scarab virus

1) Download and install   2) Run system scan   3) Enjoy your clean computer!
By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Reimage.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Scarab ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Scarab ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Scarab are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Scarab, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Scarab ransomware.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Scarab ransomware: