GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware removal instructions
What is GandCrab 5.0.9?
Discovered by Marcelo Rivero, GandCrab 5.0.9 is a variant of a high-risk ransomware-type infection called GandCrab. Like most viruses of this type, it is designed to encrypt data, rendering affected files unusable. It renames each encrypted file by appending the victim's ID to the file extension (e.g. ".wwzaf"). For example, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.wwzaf", and so on. GandCrab 5.0.9 also generates a ransom note within a text file named "WWZAF-DECRYPT.txt". As with the appended extension, this filename is associated with the victim's ID. GandCrab 5.0.9 places the text file in each folder containing encrypted files and changes the desktop wallpaper.
When GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware is executed, a pop-up window appears containing the message "We will become back very soon;)". This information is of little use, but the main details are presented in the "WWZAF-DECRYPT.txt" file (or other ransom messages). According to GandCrab 5.0.9 developers, all of the user's data (photos, various documents, databases, etc.) have been encrypted/locked and the only way to retrieve (decrypt/unlock) them is to purchase a private (unique) decryption key (in effect, pay a ransom). In this case, GandCrab 5.0.9 victims are required to download a Tor browser, open the link provided, and then follow further instructions. This ransomware urges victims not to try to modify the encrypted files. It is not known which cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) cyber criminals employ to encrypt files using this virus. Regardless, most cyber criminals use algorithms that generate unique keys. They store the keys on remote servers accessible only by them. Furthermore, there are no tools capable of cracking GandCrab 5.0.9 encryption free of charge (at least not at present). Note that cyber criminals cannot be trusted, since they often ignore victims even decryption tools/keys are purchased and ransoms paid. The best solution in these cases is to use an existing backup and restore files from there.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
StevenSeagal, CmdRansomware, and Risk are just some examples of many other viruses of this type. Generally, ransomware developers use these infections to encrypt data and make ransom demands. Typically, the only differences between these viruses are cryptography algorithm used for encryption and size of ransom (cost of decryption tool/key). Free decryption (without involvement of cyber criminals) is impossible unless ransomware is still in development or contains unfixed bugs/flaws. To avoid data loss, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is not known how GandCrab 5.0.9 developers proliferate this infection, however, cyber criminals often use spam email campaigns, trojans, various untrustworthy software download channels, and fake software updaters. They use spam campaigns by sending a number of emails that contain a malicious attachment. The presented attachment might be a Microsoft Office document, executable file (.exe), archive file (such as RAR), PDF file, and so on. Computers become infected when these infected attachments are opened or permission to perform malicious actions is given. Various free file hosting, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, and other untrustworthy software download sources are used to present infected files as legitimate. In these cases people, are often tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Trojans are infections designed to distribute other viruses. Thus, having a trojan installed puts computers at risk of installation of additional viruses. Fake software updaters cause damage by downloading viruses rather than the updates or by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed and outdated software.
|Name||GandCrab 5.0.9 virus|
|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 malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent computer infection with ransomware-type (or other) viruses, we strongly recommend that you browse the Internet, install, download and update software with care. Do not open attachments that are presented in emails received from unknown/untrustworthy, suspicious addresses. If you suspect that an email is irrelevant, simply ignore it. Update your software (or the operating system) using implemented functions or tools provided by official developers only. Avoid downloading software using untrustworthy, unofficial websites or third party downloaders. Third party download or installation set-ups often include rogue applications that might cause system infections. Have a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus suite installed. These programs can detect and eliminate viruses before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with GandCrab 5.0.9, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in "(victim's_ID)-DECRYPT.txt" text file:
---= GANDCRAB V5.0.9 =---
***********************UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT DELETE THIS FILE, UNTIL ALL YOUR DATA IS RECOVERED***********************
*****FAILING TO DO SO, WILL RESULT IN YOUR SYSTEM CORRUPTION, IF THERE ARE DECRYPTION ERRORS*****
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .WWZAF
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/da9ad04e1e857d00
| 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.
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 GandCrab 5.0.9 desktop wallpaper:
Text presented in GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware wallpaper:
ENCRYPTED BY GANDCRAB 5.0.9
YOUR FILES ARE UNDER STRONG PROTECTION BY OUR SOFTWARE. IN ORDER TO RESTORE IT YOU MUST BUY DECRYPTOR
For further steps read WWZAF-DECRYPT.txt that is located in every encrypted folder
Screenshot of GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware website:
Text presented within this site:
If the payment isn't made until 3/8/2018, 10:45:13 AM, the cost of decrypting files will be doubled
Countdown to double price: Time is up. Price is doubled!
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:
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
Screenshot of files encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.9 (".wwzaf" extension):
Screenshot of a GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware pop-up window displayed once the malware is executed:
Text presented in GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware pop-up:
We will come back very soon! ;)
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 5.0.9 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:
- What is GandCrab 5.0.9?
- STEP 1. GandCrab 5.0.9 virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. GandCrab 5.0.9 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 GandCrab 5.0.9 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 GandCrab 5.0.9 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 GandCrab 5.0.9 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 5.0.9 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 GandCrab 5.0.9 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 GandCrab 5.0.9 ransomware: