Rakhni Ransomware

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

Rakhni ransomware removal instructions

What is Rakhni?

Rakhni is high-risk trojan/ransomware distributed using spam emails. Users receive an email letter containing a message (in Russian) encouraging them to open an attached .PDF document, which is presented as an "act of reconciliation". This is deceptive - in fact, the attachment is a malicious executable written in the Delphi programming language. Once opened, this executable downloads and installs Rakhni malware. Research shows that most infected machines are located in Russia - unsurprising, due to the Russian email text and that non Russian-speaking users are likely to delete these emails without opening attachments.

Rakhni is an advanced virus. The malicious attachment performs a number of steps before infecting the system. Firstly, it displays an error message stating that the Adobe Reader plug-in is not found and, therefore, the .PDF file cannot be opened. This tricks users into believing that the attachment is simply broken, however, this is not the case. After displaying the pop-up, the downloader checks if the operating system is running on a virtual machine. If so, the infection process is terminated immediately. If the test "passes", the downloader "decides" whether to install a cryptocurrency miner or a file encrypter. To achieve this, the executable searches for "%AppData%\Bitcoin" and checks how many logical processors exist (the number of logical processors can be determined by multiplying the number of cores by the number of threads on each core [e.g., if you are running a dual-core processor with 2 threads per core, you will have 4 logical processors]). If the folder does not exist and there are more than 2 logical processors, a cryptocurrency miner is installed. If one or more of these conditions is met, file-encryption malware is infiltrated. In addition, the "downloader" checks the list of running processes to determine if there are any anti-virus/anti-spyware suites running. If not, the downloader executes a number of commands to disable Microsoft Windows Defender. Furthermore, this malicious executable sends various information (IP address, computer name, list of running processes, a screenshot, etc.) to a remote server controlled by Rakhni's developers.

Downloader creates a "%AppData%\KB[8_random_characters]" folder and drops the miner within. A VBS script is then generated and executed upon next OS boot. The script executes two commands that run two different processes to mine Monero (XMR) and Monero Original (XMO) cryptocurrencies. If the aforementioned folder contains an executable called "svchost.exe", it will also be executed to mine the Dashcoin cryptocurrency. Note that "svchost.exe" is actually a genuine process of the Windows operating system, however, cyber criminals use this name to disguise cryptominers. The presence of cryptomining malware can be very frustrating. The mining process may take up to 100% of system resources. Therefore, the system becomes unstable and might crash, possibly leading to permanent data loss. Furthermore, hardware running at its maximum capacity generates great heat. Therefore, within the certain circumstances (bad cooling systems, high room temperatures, etc.), computer components might overheat. Victims receive nothing in return - all revenue goes to cyber criminals. Therefore, these viruses must be eliminated immediately.

Rakhni's encrypter is completely different. This virus is designed to encrypt most stored data using RSA-1024 cryptography. In doing so, this malware appends filenames with an extension such as ".neitrino" (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.neitrino"). Compromised data immediately becomes unusable. Once encryption is complete, Rakhni generates a text file ("MESSAGE.txt") and places a copy in each existing folder. The text file also contains a Russian message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay for decryption. To achieve this, victims must contact Rakhni's developers via an email address provided. As mentioned above, Rakhni uses RSA-1024 - an asymmetric encryption algorithm that generates public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys for each victim. Decryption without the private key is impossible and cyber criminals hide all keys on a remote server and make ransom demands for their release. The cost is not specified - all details are supposedly provided via email, however, in most cases ransomware developers demand $500-1500 in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Paying gives no positive result and you will be scammed. You are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking RSA encryption and restoring data free of charge, however, some variants of Rakhni ransomware are not flawless and, thus, can be decrypted with Kaspersky's RakhniDecryptor. If that does not work, the only possible solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

Rakhni decrypt instructions

Although Rakhni is complex malware, it ca be compared to a number of other ransomware-type viruses, such as RaRansomware, KyMERA, ANIMUS, and many others. Research shows that although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, these viruses are likely to use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (i.e., the key is stored locally, it is hard-coded or similar), decrypting data manually is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store them on an unplugged storage device or remote server, otherwise backups are encrypted together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

As mentioned above, Rakhni is proliferated using spam emails with an attachment - a malicious executable disguised as a .PDF document. Cyber criminals generate emails with convincing messages to trick users into opening malicious attachments. This method is very common amongst ransomware developers, however, these viruses are also often proliferated using P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.), unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and so on), fake software updaters, and trojans. P2P networks and other third party download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software. Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake software updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans are essentially designed to cause chain infections - they open backdoors for other viruses to infiltrate the system. In a way, Rakhni operates as a trojan (the downloader infiltrates the system and injects other malware). Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/updating/installing software. Carefully analyze each email attachment. Files that seem irrelevant and have been received from suspicious email addresses should not be opened. Furthermore, download your programs from official sources only (via direct download links) rather than using third party downloaders/installers. These tools are used to proliferate rogue apps, and thus should never be used. The same rule should be followed when updating software. Keep installed programs up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with Rakhni, we recommend running a scan with Reimage Repair Tool for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Rakhni ransomware text file ("MESSAGE.txt"):

запросить стоимости: Приобрести
В ТЕМЕ писыма укажите ваш ID: письма без указания ID
Убедитепьная просьба не пытаться расшифровать Вы можете их окончатепьно испортить и даже оригинапьный декриптор не поможет.
заявки обрабатываются автоматической системой.

List of data types targeted by Rakhni ransomware:

.1cd; .7z; .abd; .abk; .accdb; .accdc; .adp; .afp; .ai; .as4; .asd; .ashbak; .bac; .backup; .bak; .bck; .bdb; .bfa; .bk1; .bkc; .bkf; .bkp; .bmp; .boe; .bpa; .bpd; .bpk; .bsk; .bup; .cdr; .cer; .cf; .cfn; .cmb; .crt; .csr; .csv; .dbc; .dbf; .dbt; .dbx; .der; .djvu; .doc; .docm; .docx; .dot; .dt; .dwf; .dwg; .dws; .dxe; .dxl; .ebb; .ebd; .ebn; .edb; .efb; .efn; .egg; .eis; .emd; .eml; .emr; .enc; .end; .eog; .epf; .eps; .eql; .erb; .erf; .fb; .fb2; .fbf; .fbw; .fc2; .fcz; .fg; .fh; .fp3; .ful; .gho; .htm; .html; .ipd; .iso; .jbc; .jif; .jiff; .jpe; .jpeg; .jpf; .jpg; .kdb; .kdbx; .key; .kwm; .ldf; .lgp; .md; .mdb; .mdf; .mht; .msf; .msg; .mxl; .nb7; .nba; .nbd; .nbf; .nbi; .nbu; .nco; .oab; .oeb; .old; .ost; .oxps; .p7; .p7b; .p7c; .pab; .pcx; .pdf; .pem; .pfx; .ply; .png; .pov; .ppsx; .ppt; .pptx; .prefab; .psb; .psd; .pst; .pwm; .qic; .rar; .raw; .repx; .rev; .rtf; .rzk; .rzx; .sec; .sef; .sgn; .shy; .sn1; .sn2; .sna; .snk; .spi; .sql; .sqlite; .sqlite3; .sqlitedb; .stg; .stl; .tbb; .tbk; .tbn; .tib; .tif; .tiff; .txt; .uci; .win; .wor; .xbk; .xcf; .xls; .xlsm; .xlsx; .xof; .zip; .zipx; .

Screenshot of spam email distributing Rakhni downloader disguised as a .PDF document:

Rakhni ransomware distributing spam email

Screenshot of files encrypted by Rakhni (".neitrino" extension):

Files encrypted by Rakhni

Screenshot of Kaspersky RakhniDecryptor (download here):

Kaspersky RakhniDecryptor

Rakhni ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Rakhni 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni, 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 Rakhni 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 Rakhni ransomware: