Saturn ransomware removal instructions
What is Saturn?
First discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, Saturn is a ransomware-type virus that, once infiltrated, encrypts stored data and makes ransom demands. During encryption, Saturn appends filenames with the ".saturn" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.saturn"). From this point, files become unusable. Following successful encryption, Saturn creates five files ("#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.vbs", "#DECRYPT_MY_FILES.BMP" [also set as desktop wallpaper], "#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.txt", "#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.html", and "#KEY-dea23dbdbbfeba538e0c3aac3751331d.KEY"), placing them on the desktop. The BMP, TXT, and HTML files contain ransom-demand messages.
Note that Saturn is provided as a RaaS - 'Ransomware as a Service'. In addition, this malware is free for aspiring cyber criminal to download on its website within the dark web. Typically, RaaS providers demand a certain fee in advance. Saturn's developers state that distributors (aspiring cyber criminals) must proliferate the malware and they will then receive 70% of submitted payments in return. The rest (30%) goes to Saturn's developers. This revenue-generating model is very convenient for the developers, since they put minimal effort into distribution - the third parties do everything for them. The developers simply share payments received.
The new files contain messages informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to pay a ransom in exchange for decryption of the files. Although it is currently unknown whether Saturn uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, decryption requires a key generated uniquely for each victim. These keys are stored on a remote server controlled by Saturn's developers and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom for their release. The cost of decryption is $300 in Bitcoins, however, payment must be submitted within seven days, otherwise the cost will double. After one month, files are corrupted permanently. Despite the threats and demands, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once ransoms are paid. In other words, paying gives no positive result and you will be scammed. We strongly advise you not to contact these people or pay ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files compromised by Saturn free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Although Saturn is provided as a RaaS, it shares many similarities with dozens of other regular ransomware-type viruses such as, for example, Wana Decrypt0r, Tornado, David, and TBlocker. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, all have identical behavior - they encrypt stored data and make ransom demands. They often have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Research shows that, unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, file decryption manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is mostly impossible. The only scenario allowing decryption of files is if the ransomware is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (for example, the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar). Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, backup files must be stored on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged external storage. If not, the backups are encrypted as well.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.|
To eliminate Saturn virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, be very careful when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses - delete these emails immediately, without reading. Download your applications from legitimate sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers should never be used, since they are often used to proliferate rogue apps. Keep installed software up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Remember that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, apps should be updated using implemented features or tools provided by the official developer.
Screenshot of Saturn HTML file:
Text presented in Saturn ransomware txt ("#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.txt") and html ("#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.html") files:
S A T U R N
All of your files have been encrypted!
To Decrypt your files follow these steps:
1. Download and install the "Tor Browser" from https://www.torproject.org
2. Run it.
3. In the Tor Browser, open website:
4. Follow the instructions on the page
Screenshot of Saturn desktop wallpaper:
Screenshot of Saturn website (homepage):
Text presented in this page:
All your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!
To restore your files you have to buy a special software called 'Saturn Decryptor''
If you pay within 7 days the price will be 300$ (0.02782545 BTC)
After 7 days the price will rise to 600$ (0.0556509 BTC)
Your files will be recoverable for a month, after that your files are forever gone.
Special price will end in 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 56 seconds
How to buy Saturn Decryptor
The only payment method we accept is Bitcoin, there are many methods to get them.
1. You have to create a Bitcoin(BTC) wallet.
We recommend the most popular wallet blockchain.info or coinbase.com
2. You have to buy some Bitcoins to your wallet.
Buy more than 0.02782545 bitcoins
We recommend the following trusted sites to buy bitcoin from (not related to this site in any way)
3. Send 0.02782545 bitcoins to the Bitcoin address below:
4. Wait for the payment to get confirmed.
Refresh the page to see up to date payment status.
5. Once the payment is confirmed you can download 'Saturn Decryptor'.
You will be then automaticly redirected to the download page.
No payment found
Total confirmed 0 BTC
We have received 0 out of 0.02782545 bitcoins from you
Screenshot of Saturn website (FAQ):
Text presented in this page:
Frequently asked questions
Q:What happened to my files?
A:Your files got encrypted by Saturn ransomware.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Saturn (".saturn" extension):
Saturn ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Saturn virus:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Saturn virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Saturn?
- STEP 1. Saturn virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Saturn 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 Saturn 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.
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 Saturn 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 Saturn 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 Saturn 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 Saturn ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
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 Saturn ransomware: