RYK Ransomware

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

RYK ransomware removal instructions

What is RYK?

There are many ransomware-type computer infections available online, including RYK, which was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. This is a new variant of RYUK Ransomware. RYK encrypts data using a cryptography algorithm, thereby rendering files stored on a computer unusable. It appends the ".RYK" extension to each encrypted file, thus renaming all affected files. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.RYK". RYK also places a "RyukReadMe.txt" text file (ransom-demand message) in every folder that contains encrypted files.

The ransom message within "RyukReadMe.txt" is from RYK developers who inform victims that all data has been encrypted using a strong cryptography algorithm, however, the type of algorithm used (symmetric or asymmetric) is not specified. They state that encrypted backups and shadow copies have also been encrypted and that using the F8 key (and other methods) will not help and might even do more damage (this function key is often used to enter the Windows startup menu while booting the Windows Operating System and can also be used to access Windows recovery system). RYK developers also state that only they can provide victims with a decryption tool, and no other tools are capable of decryption. In summary, they make it clear that no other party can help those with computers infected with RYK. These cyber criminals also warn users that shutting down or restarting a computer might cause damage or data loss. They urge people not to delete or rename the "RyukReadMe.txt" text files. RYK developers offer free decryption of two files to prove decryption is possible and in an attempt to give the impression that they can be trusted. To decrypt the remaining data, users must contact them via the charlstonparkwji@protonmail.com or huntingdonu@tutanota.com email address. Once contacted, they will send a Bitcoin wallet address for the ransom payment (to be made in a cryptocurrency). Do not contact RYK developers under any circumstances. They use cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys (and store them on remote servers controlled only by them). In this way, they can blackmail victims, since there are no other (free) tools capable of cracking RYK ransomware encryption. Note that cyber criminals usually ignore victims even if their ransom demands are met. 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:

RYK decrypt instructions

There are many ransomware-type viruses online, such as Forma, Doubleoffset, and Gerber. All infections of this type are very similar and serve the same purpose: to encrypt data and keep it in that state until ransom demands are met. The main differences are ransom size (cost of decryption) and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data. Decryption without the involvement of ransomware developers is usually impossible, unless their program is not fully developed, contains bugs/flaws or other important deficiencies. Therefore, maintain regular backups and keep them stored on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how cyber criminals promote RYK ransomware, however, in most cases, infections of this type are distributed through spam campaigns, trojans, fake software updaters, and other untrustworthy software download sources. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate these infections by employing emails that contain malicious attachments. These can be Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, archive files, executables, and so on. By opening these attachments, people are often tricked into downloading and installing computer infections, including ransomware. Trojans are computer infections (malicious programs) that are used to proliferate other infections (if installed, they cause chain infections). Untrustworthy software download sources such as peer-to-peer networks (eMule, torrents, and so on) usually present malicious files (often executables) as legitimate files. Freeware download websites, file hosting websites and other similar software download sources are also used to proliferate viruses. Using these untrustworthy sources, cyber criminals trick people into downloading and installing malicious programs. Another common way to proliferate these viruses is using fake software updaters - They infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of installed (outdated) software or downloading and installing malicious programs rather than the updates, fixes, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name RYK virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .RYK
Ransom Demanding Message RyukReadMe.txt, RyukReadMe.html files
Cyber Criminal Contact annarummowellington91@protonmail.com, boganyrosina@protonmail.com, charlstonparkwji@protonmail.com, cilibertogeorgiana1992@protonmail.com, dejackomeajna@protonmail.com, devinocandence96@protonmail.com, elmersvictoria@tutanota.com, huntingdonu@tutanota.com, lakelynnmaske@protonmail.com, naborbrice1990@protonmail.com, nowabosag1988@protonmail.com, pebawestsa1973@protonmail.com, coftocounbio1977@protonmail.com (emails depend on RYK's variant)
Detection Names (raEMQ.exe)
Avast (Win64:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.Ryuk2.84BB3536), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win64/Filecoder.Z), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. To prevent computers infection, browse the web, download, install and update software with care. Do not open attachments or web links that are presented in emails received from unknown/unidentified/suspicious email addresses. If an email does not relate to you, ignore it. Do not use third party downloaders, installers or other such tools to download or install software. These are often used to proliferate rogue apps or other unwanted software (potentially, malicious). Never use unofficial tools to update installed software (or the operating system). This might lead to installation of unwanted software or even high-risk computer infections. The best way to keep your software up-to-date is to update it using tools and/or functions that are provided by official developers only. Reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software can prevent computer infections, and we recommend that you have this software installed and active. If your computer is already infected with RYK, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in RYK ransomware text file :

Your network has been penetrated.

All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.

Backups were either encrypted
Shadow copies also removed, so F8 or any other methods may damage encrypted data but not recover.

We exclusively have decryption software for your situation.
More than a year ago, world experts recognized the impossibility of deciphering by any means except the original decoder.
No decryption software is available in the public.
Antiviruse companies, researchers, IT specialists, and no other persons cant help you encrypt the data.

DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN - files may be damaged.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.

To confirm our honest intentions.Send 2 different random files and you will get it decrypted.
It can be from different computers on your network to be sure that one key decrypts everything.
2 files we unlock for free

To get info (decrypt your files) contact us at
CharlstonParkwji@protonmail.com

annarummoWellington91@protonmail.com

imatprophav1982@protonmail.com

papinsdasun1982@protonmail.com

krystyna_trapp1989@protonmail.com

dfvdv@tutanota.com
or
Huntingdonu@tutanota.com

LakelynnMaske@protonmail.com

wahabigreen@tutanota.com

cestidemet1983@protonmail.com

keelyjankowski1992@protonmail.com

jkjbg@protonmail.com

escirepi1974@protonmail.com

You will receive btc address for payment in the reply letter

Ryuk

No system is safe

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

Files encrypted by RYK

Update January 23, 2019 - RYK's developers have released another variant of this ransomware which also known as Cryptor 2.0. This variant generates a differently named text file ("ReadMe.txt") and provides different email addresses. The ransom-demanding message and file extension remain the same.

Screenshot of updated RYK's variant (Cryptor 2.0) text file:

RYK Ransomware update Cryptor 2.0

Text presented within this file:

Your network has been penetrated.

All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.

Backups were either encrypted
Shadow copies also removed, so F8 or any other methods may damage encrypted data but not recover.

We exclusively have decryption software for your situation.
More than a year ago, world experts recognized the impossibility of deciphering by any means except the original decoder.
No decryption software is available in the public.
Antiviruse companies, researchers, IT specialists, and no other persons cant help you encrypt the data.

DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN - files may be damaged.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.

To confirm our honest intentions.Send 2 different random files and you will get it decrypted.
It can be from different computers on your network to be sure that one key decrypts everything.
2 files we unlock for free

To get info (decrypt your files) contact us at
DejackomeAjna@protonmail.com
or
ElmersVictoria@tutanota.com

You will receive btc address for payment in the reply letter

Ryuk

No system is safe

Another variant of the ransom demanding message created by RYK ransomware - RyukReadMe.txt:

ryk ransomware note variant 3 (RyukReadMe.txt)

Text presented in this variant:

Your network has been penetrated.
All files on each network host have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.
Backups were encrypted too.

Shadow copies also removed, so F8 or any other methods may damage encrypted data but not recover.
Only we have exclusive decryption software, suitable for your situation.

More than a year ago, world experts recognized the impossibility of such encryption deciphering by any means except the original decoder.
No decryption software is available in the public.
Antivirus companies, researchers, IT specialists, and any other persons cannot help you to decipher the data.

Decryption takes from ten minutes up to several hours.
It is performed automatically and doesn't require from you any actions except decoder launching.

DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN SYSTEM — files may be damaged.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.

To confirm our honest intentions. Send 2 different random files and you will get them back decrypted.
It can be from different computers on your network to be sure that one key decrypts everything.
We will unlock 2 files for free.
To get info (decrypt your files) contact us a
BoganyRosina@protonmail.com
or
NaborBrice1990@protonmail.com

You will receive btc address for payment in the reply letter

Ryuk
No system is safe

Another variant of a ransom-demanding message created by RYK ransomware - RyuReadMe.html:

RYK Ransomware HTML File

Text presented in this html file:

CilibertoGeorgiana1992@protonmail.com

tamesepo1980@protonmail.com

loybranunun1975@protonmail.com

erenomen1979@protonmail.com

backnabanney1983@protonmail.com

prefexdocve1989@protonmail.com

otostehos1970@protonmail.com

subsazimi1970@protonmail.com

kirsninmaino1977@protonmail.com

distwilmufor1989@protonmail.com

reelsraserro1970@protonmail.com

bubgiasvilfa1985@protonmail.com

abcorviman1981@protonmail.com

hemulnina1974@protonmail.com

isadora_mashburn1987@protonmail.com

anfreesextuo1982@protonmail.com

rotenakge1989@protonmail.com

Teara.Baker.1977@protonmail.com
DevinoCandence96@protonmail.com

vadocpuce1975@protonmail.com
futamenlooo1981@protonmail.com

hostthingbourbuo1973@protonmail.com
bunakade1970@protonmail.com

chris-morris-1976@protonmail.com
tasha-williams.91@protonmail.com

gaetwelsenba1983@protonmail.com

enexunon1979@protonmail.com

lundcedrick@protonmail.com

buricoume1976@protonmail.com

kassulke_dora@protonmail.com

marks_arno@protonmail.com

zandra_simone1995@protonmail.com

olgearreabo1989@protonmail.com

profhandgomo1989@protonmail.com

Ryuk

balance of shadow universe

Update 21 June, 2019 - Cyber criminals have recently released an updated version of this ransomware. The new variant is implemented with a filter allowing cyber criminals to distinguish certain systems and decide whether to encrypt data or not. It is designed to check victim's IP address and computer name. If the Internet IP address contains 10.30.4, 10.30.5, 10.30.6, or 10.31.32 string, then the files will not be decrypted. Same goes for computer's name. If the name includes at least one of the listed strings (MSK, Msk, SBP, Spb, msk, spb), then data will also be left untouched.

RYK ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by a ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, cryptowallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cyber criminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data).

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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license.

Step 1: Perform a scan.

Hover your mouse over the partition you wish to scan and select "Scan". You can also select a specific folder, or click shortcut icons to scan the Desktop or Recycle Bin: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 1)

Wait for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundreds gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 2)

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data. Note also that the trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is only capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license: Recovering data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Step 3: Save the scan session (optional).

We recommend that you save the scanning session once you have completed recovery, in case you decide to recover additional files later. Simply click the "Save Scan Session" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose the location for the file to be saved. This will save a lot of time, since you will not need to re-scan the storage drive the next time you wish to restore something. Bear in mind, however, that data removed after the scanning session has finished will not be listed: Saving scan session in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: The most reliable backup method is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach. Therefore, you should consider using an application to create data backups locally.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for EaseUS Todo Backup. 30 days free trial available.

We recommend using the EaseUS Todo Backup application. The "Home" edition of EaseUS Todo Backup is usually more than adequate for regular users, however, the "Business" edition is more suitable for companies and large computer networks. The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides extensive data protection features. You can easily create backups, and encrypt and compress them for enhanced protection and storage saving purposes. It also allows you to set backup schedules, create bootable devices, and restore the system if a crash occurs. You can easily choose where to store the created backup: locally; uploaded to an external drive; FTP; cloud storage, or elsewhere. In summary, EaseUS Todo Backup is an all-in-one tool, which provides all features required to properly backup your data.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is virtually identical regardless of the item (file, partition, entire system) you wish to backup. Taking the File Backup feature as an example:

Step 1: Choose which item to backup.

Click on the "Menu" icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to reveal the menu and select "File Backup": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 1)

Select the files you want to backup. You can also enter a name and description of the backup that will be created: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 2)

Step 2: Change the default settings.

The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides a variety of additional options that can be added/modified while creating the backup. For example, you can encrypt data (add a password), select the compression rate (how much the backup should be compressed), performance (how many system resources should be allocated), add an email notification (you receive an email once the process is complete) and so on.

To open the options window, click the "Backup options" button in the lower-left corner of the screen: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 3)

Select the settings you want to change and click "Save". You can also reset your changes by clicking "Reset to initial settings": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 4)

Step 3: Select the backup destination.

As mentioned above, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to choose where backups are saved - locally or externally.

Click the "Browse..." button and select the location you want the backup to be saved: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 5)

Step 4: Safety measures and process completion.

Depending on the location you have chosen, there are a number of measures you should or should not take. If you are uploading to an internet-connected location (for example, Cloud storage, FTP, etc.), be sure to maintain your internet connection, otherwise you will have to start again. The same applies to external storage devices - do not unplug them until the process is complete.

The progress bar displays estimated time remaining until completion. Large backups (hundreds of gigabytes) can take hours to create (depending on storage device speed, internet connection, etc.). Therefore, the application also allows you to optionally choose what the system should do (shut down, sleep or hibernate) once the process has finished: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 6)

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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 pcrisk.com 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
RYK virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of RYK virus on your mobile device.
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