KRAB Ransomware

Also Known As: KRAB virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

KRAB ransomware removal instructions

What is KRAB?

KRAB is a new variant of high-risk ransomware called GANDCRAB 3. Immediately after infiltration, KRAB encrypts most stored files (thereby making them impossible to use) and appends filenames with the ".KRAB" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.KRAB". Once data is encrypted, KRAB generates a text file ("CRAB-DECRYPT.txt") and places a copy in every existing folder. At time of research, this malware was mostly distributed using fake software crack tools (for example, "Crack_Ghost_Mouse_Auto_Clicker.exe").

As usual, the new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to purchase a decryption key. It is currently unknown whether KRAB uses symmetric or asymmetric encryption - this information is not provided. In any case, it is certain that decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals and users are encouraged to pay a ransom for their release. The cost of the key is $800 (and must be paid in the Bitcoin or DASH cryptocurrencies), however, if payment is not submitted within the given time frame (specified on the KRAB website), the cost will double, Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying gives no positive result and you will be scammed. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people and submit payments. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking KRAB encryption and restoring data 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:

KRAB decrypt instructions

KRAB is virtually identical to Aurora, BI_D, Omerta, Leen, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Note that although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. Ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithms used. Unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring data manually is virtually impossible. These viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store backups on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or an unplugged storage device (e.g., external hard drive, Flash drive, etc.)

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware is proliferated in various ways, however, the most popular five are: 1) spam emails; 2) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks; 3) unofficial software download websites; 4) fake software update tools, and; 5) trojans. Spam emails are delivered with malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, JavaScript files, etc.) that, once opened, execute scripts designed to download and install malware. P2P networks (eMule, torrents, etc.) and other unofficial download websites (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) often proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Users are often tricked into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans open "backdoors" for other viruses (in this case, ransomware) to infiltrate systems without consent.

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, to prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze received email attachments. If the file seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address, it should never be opened. Furthermore, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Your software should be downloaded from official sources only (via direct download links) rather than using third party downloaders/installers. These tools often include rogue apps, and thus should never be used. The same rule applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed applications up-to-date, however, this should be achieved only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with KRAB, we recommend running a scan with Reimage Repair Tool for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

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

---= GANDCRAB V4 =---
Attention!
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .KRAB
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key 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 - https://www.torproject.org/
| 1. Install Tor browser
| 2. Open Tor Browser
| 3. Open link
| 4. Follow the instructions on this page
____________________________________________________________________

On our page you will see instruction and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.
ATTENTION!
IN ORDER TO PREVENT DATA DAMAGE:
* DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES
* DO NOT CHANGE DATA BELOW
---BEGIN GANDCRAB KEY---
-
---END GANDCRAB KEY---
---BEGIN PC DATA---
-
---END PC DATA---

Screenshot of KRAB website:

KRAB website

Text presented in this website:

What the matter?
Your computer has been infected with GandCrab Ransomware. Your files have been encrypted and you can't decrypt it by yourself.
In the network, you can probably find decryptors and third-party software, but it won't help you and it only can make your files undecryptable
What can I do to get my files back?
You should buy GandCrab Decryptor. This software will help you to decrypt all of your encrypted files and remove GandCrab Ransomware from your PC.
Current price: $800.00. As payment, you need cryptocurrency DASH or Bitcoin
What guarantees can you give to me?
You can use test decryption and decrypt 1 file for free
What is cryptocurrency and how can I purchase GandCrab Decryptor?
You can read more details about cryptocurrency at Google or here.
As payment, you have to buy DASH or Bitcoin using a credit card, and send coins to our address.
How can I pay to you?
You have to buy Bitcoin or DASH using a credit card. Links to services where you can do it: Dash exchanges list, Bitcoin exchanges list
After it, go to our payment page Buy GandCrab Decryptor, choose your payment method and follow the instructions

Screenshot of files encrypted by KRAB (".KRAB" extension):

Files encrypted by KRAB

KRAB ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of KRAB virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Reimage Repair is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of KRAB virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Reimage Repair 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 Repair.

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 KRAB 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 KRAB 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 KRAB 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 KRAB 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 KRAB, 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 KRAB 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 KRAB ransomware: