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 ".[firstname.lastname@example.org].scarab" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[email@example.com].scarab". Updated variants of this ransomware append .bomber, .firstname.lastname@example.org, .email@example.com, .oneway, .firstname.lastname@example.org, .osk, .walker, .please, [Help-Mails@Ya.Ru].Scorpio, .email@example.com or .[firstname.lastname@example.org].scarab extensions to encrypted files. Other variants of this ransomware add .[email@example.com] 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 .firstname.lastname@example.org extension for encrypted files (for example 1.jpg after encryption would appear as VhyC=mMdD31qs4.email@example.com). Other variants use .firstname.lastname@example.org extension for encrypted files. Ransom demanding message is now presented in "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES - email@example.com.TXT" 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 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?
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:
*** IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS ***
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
| * Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
| * 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 (".[email@example.com].scarab" extension):
Screenshot of files encrypted by the variant of this ransomware - .[firstname.lastname@example.org] extension:
A variant of Scarab ransomware that uses .[email@example.com].scarab extension for encrypted files:
The appearance of "IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS.TXT" ransom note:
The appearance of "HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES - firstname.lastname@example.org.TXT" file:
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:
- What is Scarab?
- STEP 1. Scarab virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Scarab ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
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
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
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.
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 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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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: