GANDCRAB 5.0.4 Ransomware

Also Known As: GANDCRAB 5.0.4 virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware removal instructions

What is GANDCRAB 5.0.4?

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 is another variant of high-risk ransomware called GandCrab designed to infiltrate systems and encrypt most stored files. As with most ransomware, a random appendix is added to the name of each compromised file. In this case, GANDCRAB 5.0.4 adds the ".rotxkry" string (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.rotxkry"). Once encrypted, data instantly becomes unusable. Note that encryption is not the only feature of GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware. This virus is also designed to change the desktop wallpaper and place a text file ("[random-string]-DECRYPT.txt") and a photo of Valery Sinyaev in every existing folder.

Side note: according to the LinkedIn website, Valery Sinyaev is a respectable Finance and Operating professional and we have no idea why GANDCRAB 5.0.4's developers have decided to use his photo on victims' computers. This person has nothing to do with GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware.

The new desktop wallpaper contains a short message stating that data is encrypted and that victims must read the message within the new text file for detailed information. The message states that data is encrypted and can only be restored using a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. Although it is currently unknown which encryption system (symmetric or asymmetric) GANDCRAB 5.0.4 uses, each victim receives a unique decryption key necessary to restore their data. Decrypting data without the unique key is impossible. Criminals hide these keys on a remote server and blackmail victims for their release. To receive their key, each victim must pay a ransom by visiting the GANDCRAB 5.0.4 website and following the instructions. After opening the site, users are immediately informed that the key is equivalent to $800 and a ransom must be paid in the Bitcoin or DASH cryptocurrencies. The website also contains a countdown timer. Once it reaches zero, the cost supposedly doubles. In any case, you should never trust these cyber criminals, even if you are willing to pay. These people often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying often gives no positive result and you will be scammed. Ignore all requests to submit payments or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking GANDCRAB 5.0.4 decryption and restoring data free of charge. Therefore, victims can only restore data from backups.

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

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 decrypt instructions

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 is virtually identical to dozens of other ransomware-type viruses, such as Waifu, Koolova, Dharma-Btc, and Qinynore. Although these viruses have different functionality, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: size of ransom and type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, these viruses employ RSA, AES, and other similar algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, decrypting data manually is impossible, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, remember to store them on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device. If not, malware encrypts backups with regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware is distributed in various ways, however, the five most popular methods/tools are: 1) trojans; 2) spam email campaigns; 3) fake software updaters; 4) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, and; 5) unofficial software download sources. Trojans cause so-called chain infections - one virus simply proliferates another. Spam campaigns distribute malicious attachments that, once opened, download and install malware. Fake software updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or downloading and installing malware rather than the updates. P2P networks (eMule, torrents, and so on) and other third party download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.) present malware as legitimate software, thus tricking users into downloading and installing viruses.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. We strongly recommend that you carefully study all received email attachments. If the file is irrelevant/unexpected or the sender seems suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open anything. Furthermore, download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. The same applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed software (and operating systems) up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any damage. If your computer is already infected with GANDCRAB 5.0.4, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware text file ("[random-string]-DECRYPT.txt"):

---= GANDCRAB V5.0.4 =---
Attention!
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .ROTXKRY
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 - hxxps://www.torproject.org/

| 1. Install Tor browser
| 2. Open Tor Browser
| 3. Open link in TOR browser: hxxp://gandcrabmfe6mnef.onion/113737081e857d00
| 4. Follow the instructions on this page

-------------------------------
On our page you will see instructions on payment 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---

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 placing a photo of Valery Sinyaev in every existing folder:

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 placing photo of Valery Sinyaev

Screenshot of GANDCRAB 5.0.4 desktop wallpaper:

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 wallpaper

Screenshot of GANDCRAB 5.0.4 website:

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 website

Text presented within this site:

What's the matter?
Your computer has been infected with GandCrab Ransomware.
All your files have been encrypted and you are not able to decrypt it by yourself.

To decrypt your files you have to buy GandCrab decryptor
The price is - 800 USD
What can I do to get my files back?
You should buy our software GandCrab Decryptor. It will scan your PC, network share, all connected devices and check for encrypted files and decrypt it. Current price: 800 USD. We accept cryptocurrency DASH and Bitcoin
What guarantees can you give me?
To be sure we have the decryptor and it works you can use free decrypt and decrypt one file for free.
But this file must be an image, because images usually are not valuable.
I don't have Bitcoin (BTC) or DASH (DSH). How can I make the payment?
Easy. The list of the most popular exchange services:
LocalBitcoins
PAYEER
CEX.IO
Bitfinex.com
The full list of exchange services for Bitcoin here and for DASH here.
Create an account
Charge the balance with a credit card or paypal
Buy requested amount of coins (Bitcoin or DASH)
Make withdrawal to our address

Another website of GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware. This site is designed using SpongeBob SquarePants (animated series) theme, with the character known as Mr. Krabs. Text within the website is exactly the same as in the previous one, the only difference is size of ransom, which is now $600.

GandCrab 5.0.4 website SpongeBob SquarePants version

Screenshot of files encrypted by GANDCRAB 5.0.4 (random extension):

Files encrypted by GANDCRAB 5.0.4

Update 25 October, 2018 - GANDCRAB developers have recently leaked almost one thousand decryption keys that allow victims from Syria to decrypt data free of charge. BitDefender immediately took advantage of this and released a decryption tool to help these victims easily decrypt their data. After the initial release, however, BitDefender teamed up with Europol and a number of police departments from various countries (such as Romania, Netherlands, United States, and many more). Working together, they discovered a GANDCRAB flaw, which can be exploited to decrypt data free of charge. The tool is universal (it can help victims worldwide) and is compatible with 1st, 4th, and 5th versions of GANDCRAB. At time of writing, this decryption tool is being updated and will eventually be able to decrypt data compromised by 2nd and 3rd versions of GANDCRAB. You can find more information in this article and you can download the decrypter by clicking this link.

The decryption tool developed by BitDefender, Europol, and a number of police departments, has the following appearance:

GANDCRAB ransomware decrypter by BitDefender, Europol and many police departments

GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 virus. 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4, 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 GANDCRAB 5.0.4 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 obtain 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 5.0.4 ransomware:

Side note: according to LinkedIn website Valery Sinyaev is a respectable Finance and Operating professional and we have no idea why GANDCRAB 5.0.4's developers have decided to put drop his photo on victims' computers. This person has nothing to do with GANDCRAB 5.0.4 ransomware. Thenew desktop wallpaper contains a short message stating that data is encrypted and that victim must read created text file for detailed information. Meanwhile, text file states that data is encrypted and can only be restored using a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. Although it is currently unknown what encryption system