CryptoID Ransomware

Also Known As: RICKROLL LOCKER virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

CryptoID ransomware removal instructions

What is CryptoID?

Ransomware-type programs are malicious programs developed by cyber criminals who use them to encrypt data (lock files) and make ransom demands. CryptoID is an example, which is also known as RICKROLL LOCKER. This is an offline version of another ransomware infection called Aurora. CryptoID was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. It renames each encrypted file by adding the ".cryptoid" extension: "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.cryptoid". It also creates three ransom messages within separate text files: "CRYPTOID_BLOCKED.txt"; "CRYPTOID_HELP.txt", and; "CRYPTOID_MESSAGE.txt". They are stored in each folder that contains encrypted data. All of these ransom demand files contain identical text.

According to the ransom messages, cyber criminals have infected the computer with CryptoID, which resulted in encryption of all files. It is stated that data was encrypted using the RSA-2048 cryptography algorithm, and that using any 'decryption tools' might cause permanent data loss, thus making data recovery impossible. According to the criminals who developed CryptoID, only they should be contacted to obtain the correct tool for successful decryption. To achieve this, victims are urged to send an email to them via the rickastley@keemail.me address. This must contain the "000000000.key" file, which should be found in the "%appdata%" folder. They state that data decrypt is not possible unless the "000000000.key" file is sent to them. To receive instructions on how to decrypt files, however, victims are required to pay $400 in Bitcoins using the Bitcoin wallet address provided. Generally, people who develop ransomware-type programs use cryptographies that are impossible to crack/decrypt without using tools provided by specific ransomware developers. Note that no cyber criminals should be trusted, since they usually ignore victims once their ransom demands are met. They send no decryption tools and people are scammed. Typically, the only free solution in these cases is to use a data backup and restore files from there. In this particular case, however, there is another solution: CryptoID's victims can decrypt data free of charge using a tool developed by Michael Gillespie, and it can be downloaded from here.

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

CryptoID decrypt instructions

There are many ransomware-programs online, however, most are similar. Some examples are Air, ETH, and Qwex. These programs usually have two main purposes: to encrypt data and blackmail users by making ransom demands. The main differences are cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data and ransom amount (cost of decryption tool). As mentioned above, CryptoID can be decrypted using a tool that can be downloaded free of charge, however, encrypted data cannot be decrypted without the involvement of specific ransomware developers. This is only possible if the ransomware is not fully developed or has bugs/flaws (this is rare). Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Do not store backups on the computer, since they will be encrypted with other data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is unknown exact which method (or methods) are used to proliferate CryptoID, however, most cyber criminals use one of the following ways: software cracking tools, spam (email) campaigns, dubious software download sources, fake software updaters and Trojans. Software cracking tools allow users to avoid paying for software (or operating system) activation, however, cyber criminals use these tools to infect computers. They might install malicious programs rather than activating any software or OS. Spam campaigns are also used to proliferate ransomware. Cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments, which are often Microsoft Office documents, archive files, PDF documents, executable files, and so on. These attachments cause computer infections only if opened - opening them results in download and installation of malicious programs. Dubious/untrustworthy sources such as freeware download or free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks (torrents, eMule etc.), third party software downloaders/installers are used to proliferate malware. Cyber criminals present their malicious programs as legitimate files, however, once downloaded and executed, they install ransomware or other infections. Using these software download sources, they often successfully trick people into installing malware. Fake software updaters can cause high-risk computer infections by downloading and installing malicious programs rather than the expected updates or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other programs of this type, however, to cause chain infections, a Trojan must first be installed.

Threat Summary:
Name CryptoID (RICKROLL LOCKER) virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .cryptoid
Ransom Demanding Message CRYPTOID_BLOCKED.txt,  CRYPTOID_HELP.txt, CRYPTOID_MESSAGE.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact rickastley@keemail.me
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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

There are several factor that can prevent computer infection with ransomware and other computer infections. Emails received from unknown/suspicious addresses and containing attachments should be handled with care. Do not open the attachment if the email seems irrelevant or suspicious. Even if the email is presented as 'important and legitimate'. The best option in these cases is to simply ignore them. Software should be downloaded using official websites or tools, and not third party downloaders and the other sources mentioned above. The same applies when updating software: this should be done using tools or implemented functions provided by official software developers. Software cracking tools should not be used, since they often install malicious software rather than free software activation. Furthermore, using these tools is committing a cyber crime. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed. These tools often detect threats before they can do any damage to the operating system or files stored on the computer. If your computer is already infected with CryptoID, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in CryptoID ransomware text files (" CRYPTOID_BLOCKED.txt", "CRYPTOID_HELP.txt" and "CRYPTOID_MESSAGE.txt"):

#############> RICKROLL LOCKER <#############
SORRY! Your files are encrypted.
File contents are encrypted with random key.
Random key is encrypted with RSA public key (2048 bit).
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any "decryption tools".
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
In order to get private key, write here: rickastley@keemail.me
===========
!ATTENTION!
Attach file is 000000000.key from %appdata% to email message,
without it we will not be able to decrypt your files
===========
And pay $400 on BTC-wallet 1Ex6qfkopZ5wgbiCrxpq4cALF56yr8gLhX
If someone else offers you files restoring, ask him for test decryption.
Only we can successfully decrypt your files; knowing this can protect you from fraud.
You will receive instructions of what to do next.
#############> RICKROLL LOCKER <#############

Screenshot of files encrypted by CryptoID (".cryptoid" extension):

Files encrypted by CryptoID

Update April 9, 2019 - MalwareHunterTeam discovered a new variant of CryptoID ransomware, which contains a ransom-demanding message written in Turkish language. Hence, there's a chance that CryptoID's developers live in Turkey and Turkish is their native language. The text file is named "@@_BENI_OKU_@@.txt", yet the file extension remains the same (".cryptoid").

Screenshot of the CryptoID's ransom-demanding message in Turkish:

CryptoID ransomware Turkish variant

Text presented within this file:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$> CRYPTO LOCKER <$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Merhabalar,
Bir kisim dosyalariniz tarafimdan sifrelenmistir.
Bu dosyalarin Áˆz¸m¸ bendeki sifre ve Áˆzme yazilimi olmadan imkansizdir.
Dosyalarinizi eski haline getirmemi istiyorsaniz bana krkcdkkn@gmail.com mail adresinden ulasiniz.
Anlastigimiz miktarda bir parayi bana ulastirir ulastirmaz bilgisayarlarinizdaki bilgilerinizi eski haline getirecegim.
Bunun disindaki Áˆz¸m arama girisimleri size sadece zaman kaybettirecektir.
Sifrelenmis dosyalarin sadece ¸zerinde oynanmamislarinin geri gelecegini unutmayiniz,
bu y¸zden dosyalarin ¸st¸nde oynayip onlari bozmayiniz.
=====================
Bana mail yazarken l¸tfen dis ip adresinizi konu / subject kisminda belirtiniz. Ayni g¸n yazmaniz
durumunda bilgilerinizi aÁmak iÁin talep etmeyi d¸s¸n¸p not aldigim rakam ¸zerinden %25 indirim yapacagim.
=====================
Her t¸rl¸ sorulariniz iÁin krkcdkkn@gmail.com adresinden mail yazabilir
ya da bu maile bagli Hangouts sistemi ¸zerinden anlik ileti gˆnderebilirsiniz.  
krkcdkkn@gmail.com
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$> CRYPTO LOCKER <$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Threat Summary:
Name CryptoID (RICKROLL LOCKER) virus (Turkish variant)
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .cryptoid
Ransom Demanding Message @@_BENI_OKU_@@.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact krkcdkkn@gmail.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.31848937), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Filecoder.NVB), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crypren.afgj), 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.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

CryptoID 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

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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
RICKROLL LOCKER virus QR code
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