GANDCRAB V2.0 Ransomware

Also Known As: GANDCRAB2 virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

GANDCRAB 2 ransomware removal instructions

What is GANDCRAB 2?

GANDCRAB 2 is an updated version of the high-risk ransomware-type virus called GANDCRAB. GANDCRAB 2 was first discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. Once infiltrated, this malware encrypts most stored files and adds the ".CRAB" extension to the name of each compromised file. From this point, files become unusable. After successfully encrypting files, GANDCRAB 2 creates a text file ("CRAB-DECRYPT.txt") and places a copy in each existing folder.

The new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and stating that files can only be restored using a private key generated individually for each victim. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unknown whether GANDCRAB2 uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, decryption requires a unique key. Furthermore, developers hide all keys on a remote server and make ransom demands for their release. The message in the text file encourages victims to visit GANDCRAB 2's website stored on the Tor network. After opening this site, users are prompted with a message stating that the key (together with a decryption tool) is available at a cost (equivalent value = $400 in the Dash cryptocurrency). It is also stated that, after 48 hours, the cost will double. Victims are permitted to decrypt one selected file free of charge as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible. Despite these threats and demands, cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that developers of ransomware-type viruses often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying ransoms typically gives no positive results and victims are scammed. You are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by GANDCRAB2 (the Bitdefender tool developed for the original GANDCRAB version will not help). Therefore, 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:

GANDCRAB2 decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses virtually identical to GANDCRAB 2. For example, Jigsaw, LockyCrypt, Dharma, ANNABELLE, and Saturn. Although these viruses are designed by different cyber criminals, all have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, these viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, most employ encryption algorithms (such as RSA, AES, and so on) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), file decryption manually is impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should keep regular data backups, however, it is very important to store backup files on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged external storage, otherwise they will also be encrypted.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, developers typically employ fake software updaters, trojans, spam emails (malicious attachments), and unofficial download sources. Fake software update tools infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or installing viruses rather than software updates, whilst trojans merely open "backdoors" for other high-risk malware to infiltrate the system. Infectious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents that, once opened, execute scripts designed to download and install malware. Third party software download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer networks, etc.) proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Users are thus tricked into downloading and installing viruses.

Threat Summary:
NameGANDCRAB2 virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan'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 methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll 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 malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of 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, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses. These emails should be deleted without reading. It is also recommended that you download your applications from official sources only using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps - these tools should not be used. Furthermore, keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, but remember that criminals proliferate ransomware using fake updaters. Therefore, you are advised to use implemented update functions or tools provided by the official developer only.

Text presented in GANDCRAB 2 ransomware text file ("CRAB-DECRYPT.txt"):

---= GANDCRAB V2.0 =---


All your files documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .CRAB

The only method of recovering files is to purchase a private key. It is on our server and only we can recover your files.
The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:

0. Download Tor browser -

1. Install Tor browser

2. Open Tor Browser

3. Open link in tor browser: http://gdcbmuveqjsli57x.onion/113737081e857d00                        

4. Follow the instructions on this page
If Tor/Tor browser is locked in your country or you can not install it, open one of the following links in your regular browser:


On our page you will see instructions on payment and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.
The alternative way to contact us is to use Jabber messanger. Read how to:
0. Download Psi-Plus Jabber Client:
1. Register new account:
    0) Enter "username": 113737081e857d00                        
    1) Enter "password": your password
2. Add new account in Psi
3. Add and write Jabber ID: any message
4. Follow instruction bot

It is a bot! It's fully automated artificial system without human control!
To contact us use TOR links. We can provide you all required proofs of decryption availibility anytime. We are open to conversations.
You can read instructions how to install and use jabber here


Do not try to modify files or use your own private key - this will result in the loss of your data forever!

The appearance of GANDCRAB 2 ransomware pop-up (GIF):

GANDCRAB2 pop-up gif

Screenshot of an updated variant of cyber criminal Tor website:

.crab ransomware tor website

Text presented in this website:

We are sorry, but your files have been encrypted!
Don't worry, you can return all your files! We can help you!
Files decryptor price is 800 USD
If payment is not made before 2018-03-08 10:45:13 UTC the cost of decrypting files will be doubled
Amount was doubled!
What happened?
Your computer have been infected with GandCrab Ransomware. Your files have been encrypted and you can't decrypt it yourself.
In the network, you can find decryptors and third-party software, but it will not help you and can make your files undecryptable
What can I do to get back my files?
You should buy GandCrab Decryptor. This software will decrypt all your encrypted files and remove GandCrab Ransomware from your PC.
Current price: $800.00. For payment you need cryptocurrency DASH or Bitcoin
What guarantees can you give me?
You can use test decryption and decrypt 1 file for free
What is cryptocurrency and how can I purchase GandCrab Decryptor?
About cryptocurrency you can read more detail at google or here.
For payment, you have to buy DASH or Bitcoin with a credit card, and send coins to our address.
How can I pay you?
You have to buy Bitcoin or DASH with a credit card. Links to services where you can do it: Dash exchanges list, Bitcoin exchanges list
After, go to the our payment page Buy GandCrab Decryptor, choose your payment method and follow the instructions

Screenshot of files encrypted by GANDCRAB2 (".CRAB" extension):

Files encrypted by GANDCRAB2

Update 24 April, 2018 - Cyber criminals have released GandCrab V2.1 ransomware. It still uses .CRAB extension for encrypted files. Cyber criminals are using Magnitude exploit kit to spread this ransomware:

gandcrab V2.1 ransomware

Update February 19, 2019 - Bitdefender has recently released a decryption tool capable of restoring data encrypted by GandCrab V1, V4, and all V5 versions (up to 5.1). Therefore, victims can decrypt their data easily without paying cyber criminals. You can find more information in this article and you can download the decryptor by clicking this link.

Screenshot of Bitdefender's GandCrab decryptor:

GandCrab ransomware decryption tool by Bitdefender

GANDCRAB 2 ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter 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 Spyhunter.

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 GANDCRAB2 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.

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 GANDCRAB2 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 GANDCRAB2 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 GANDCRAB2 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 GANDCRAB2, 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 GANDCRAB2 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 GANDCRAB 2 ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
GANDCRAB2 virus QR code
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