GandCrab 5.1 ransomware removal instructions
What is GandCrab 5.1?
Discovered by TMMalAnalyst, GandCrab 5.1 is a new variant of the GANDCRAB ransomware family. This is a high-risk virus designed to encrypt data and deliver a ransom message within the "[victim's_ID]-DECRYPT.txt" file on modified desktop wallpapers. The new text file is placed in all existing folders. The ransomware renames the filenames of all encrypted files by adding a new extension containing a unique victim ID. For example, if the victim's ID is ".hjnakliq", GandCrab 5.1 renames a file called "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.hjnakliq", and so on.
The modified desktop wallpaper states that files have been encrypted using a strong encryption algorithm. To restore files, users are encouraged to purchase a 'decryptor' (decryption tool). Instructions about how to purchase this tool are provided within the "[victim's_ID]-DECRYPT.txt" text file. As mentioned, this file can be found in each existing folder. According to the ransom note, this file should not be deleted until the data is recovered/decryption tool is purchased. It is also stated that only the cyber criminals who developed this ransomware can provide that tool. To obtain it, GandCrab 5.1 victims must download the Tor browser and open the link provided. Further instructions are displayed on the website. First, the link opens an "Authentication" website required to find and upload a "*-DECRYPT.txt" or "*-DECRYPT.HTML" file ("*" is an addition, a unique ID of the encrypted file). It is stated that none of the encrypted files should be renamed and the site displays another page containing more details regarding payment details and so on. As stated on this website, the cost of the decryption tool ("GandCrab decryptor") is $1200, however, if the payment is not received by the specified date and time, which can be found at the top of the site, the cost will be doubled. The ransom must be paid by transferring the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin or DASH) to a wallet address provided. It is not clear which cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) GandCrab 5.1 ransomware developers use to encrypt victims' data, however, most cyber criminals use strong encryptions that cannot be 'cracked'. Therefore, it is accurate to state that only they have tools required for decryption. Most cyber criminals use cryptographies that generate unique keys, which are usually stored on remote servers and can only be accessed by specific ransomware developers. Note that cyber criminals can never be trusted. On the contrary, they often ignore victims once they receive ransom payments. Since there are no tools capable of decryption, the only free solution is to use a backup and restore files from there.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
GandCrab 5.1 is similar to other computer infections of this type such as Anatova, Ppam, Jundmd@cock.li, and many others. These programs usually encrypt data and attempt to blackmail victims (make ransom demands). Common differences between them are cost of decryption tools and cryptography used for encryption. Unfortunately, decryption without the involvement of cyber criminals is usually impossible, unless the ransomware contains bugs/flaws or is still in development. Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Name||GandCrab 5.1 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 GandCrab 5.1 virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Avoid opening attachments or web links that are presented in emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses or when the email itself is irrelevant. Download software using official, trustworthy sources and direct links, rather than the dubious sources mentioned earlier. Update your software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official developers only. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and enabled - these tools can detect and remove viruses before they can do any damage to the operating system. If your computer is already infected with GandCrab 5.1, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in GandCrab 5.1 ransomware text file ("[victim's_ID]-DECRYPT.txt"):
---= GANDCRAB V5.1 =---
***********************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: .HJNAKLIQ
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 in TOR browser: http://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 5.1 desktop wallpaper:
Text presented in wallpaper:
ENCRYPTED BY GANDCRAB 5.1
YOUR FILES ARE UNDER STRONG PROTECTION BY OUR SOFTWARE. IN ORDER TO RESTORE IT YOU MUST BUY DECRYPTOR
For further steps read [victim's_ID]-DECRYPT.txt that is located in every encrypted folder
Screenshot of GandCrab 5.1 website (Authentication):
Text presented on Authentication page:
For authorization find and upload *-DECRYPT.txt or *-DECRYPT.html.
* - is extension of encrypted files.
File name and content should not be changed
Screenshot of GandCrab 5.1 ransomware main page:
Text presented in this page:
If the payment isn't made until 1/18/2019, 11:11:06 AM, the cost of decrypting files will be doubled
Countdown to double price: 1 day, 00:44:24
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 - 1200 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: 1200 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
Don't delete file *-DECRYPT.txt before full restore of your PC.
Screenshot of files encrypted by GandCrab 5.1 (in our example, with the ".hjnakliq" extension):
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 5.1 ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of GandCrab 5.1 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 5.1 virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is GandCrab 5.1?
- STEP 1. GandCrab 5.1 virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. GandCrab 5.1 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 5.1 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 5.1 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 5.1 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 5.1 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 5.1 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 5.1 ransomware: