GANDCRAB 5.2 Ransomware

Also Known As: GANDCRAB 5.2 virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

GANDCRAB 5.2 ransomware removal instructions

What is GANDCRAB 5.2?

GANDCRAB 5.2 is ransomware-type program used by developers (cyber criminals) to encrypt data stored on victims' computers and to keep it in that state until a ransom is paid. This program creates a ransom message and generates a random name for it. For example, "DSEWRBG-DECRYPT.txt". GANDCRAB 5.2 does the same with the extension, which it adds to each encrypted file. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.dsewrbg". It also changes the victim's desktop wallpaper. GANDCRAB 5.2 is one of many variants of GANDCRAB ransomware.

In the "DSEWRBG-DECRYPT.txt" ransom message (its name can vary), cyber criminals urge victims not to delete this text file until the data is recovered (decrypted). They state that deleting it might cause decryption errors. They claim that the only way to decrypt data is to purchase a decryption key from them. To proceed with data decryption, GANDCRAB 5.2 victims are encouraged to download and install the TOR browser and then to open the link provided in the ransom message. The website contains a deadline that, unless met, will double the cost of decryption. Therefore, if the initial cost of a decryption key is $1200, after a certain period of time has elapsed, it will increase to $2400. To make payment, victims must use the DASH or Bitcoin cryptocurrencies and transfer it by clicking a link that leads to a cryptocurrency wallet address. Before making payment, these cyber criminals offer free decryption of one file. This is common to ransomware developers who offer this 'proof' that they are capable of providing tools or keys required for successful data decryption. Recently, a malware security company called Bitdefender released a decryption tool that is capable of restoring files that were encrypted by previous versions of GANDCRAB ransomware. Therefore, it is very likely that these cyber criminals (GANDCRAB 5.2 developers) have released a new version in response. There are no tools capable of GANDCRAB 5.2 file decryption free of charge (at least not at the moment). Therefore, people with computers infected by this ransomware can be blackmailed and are forced to contact the developers. Most cyber criminals use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that make decryptions without using a specific tool impossible. Unfortunately, only ransomware developers have these tools. If a computer is infected with GANDCRAB 5.2, the only free way to recover data is to use a backup and restore everything from there.

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

GANDCRAB 5.2 decrypt instructions

Many cyber criminals develop ransomware-type programs, however, most are very similar. GANDCRAB 5.2 shares similarities with many other malicious programs of this type such as Shadi, Cammora, and Heets. Most of these infections encrypt data and keep it in this state until the ransom is paid or decryption tool is purchased. Main differences are usually cost of tool and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data. Encrypted files can be decrypted only if the ransomware is not fully developed, contains bugs/flaws, and so on. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and keep them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. These backups are then protected from being encrypted with other data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The exact method that cyber criminals use to proliferate GANDCRAB 5.2 ransomware is unknown, however, most programs of this type are proliferated using spam (email) campaigns, Trojans, fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download channels/tools or software cracking tools. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate infections via attached malicious files. Typically, these attachments are Microsoft Office documents, archive files (ZIP, RAR and other), PDFs, executable (.exe), JavaScript, and other files. Once opened/executed, these attachments download and install computer infections such as ransomware or other high-risk malware. Trojans are malicious programs that must already be installed. They then cause chain infections by downloading and installing other malicious programs. Fake software updaters usually infect computers/operating systems by downloading and installing malware rather than the expected updates or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Freeware download, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on) and other dubious/dubious software download sources are also used by cyber criminals to distribute computer infections. They present malicious files (or various rogue apps) as legitimate. By downloading and installing them, people cause computer infections. Software cracking tools also cause problems. They are used to activate paid software/operating systems free of charge, however, cyber criminals proliferate activation tools that install malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
Name GANDCRAB 5.2 virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .[random_string] (e.g., ".dsewrbg")
Ransom Demanding Message [RANDOM_STRING]-DECRYPT.txt (e.g., "DSEWRBG-DECRYPT.txt") text file, desktop wallpaper, Tor website
Ransom Amount $1200/$2400
Cyber Criminal Contact Tor website (gandcrabmfe6mnef[.]onion/113737081e857d00)
Detection Names (H.exe)
Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.31823469), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Kryptik.GRGO), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crypmod.abvs), 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.
Removal

To eliminate GANDCRAB 5.2 virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Think twice before opening attachments or web links that are presented in emails received from unknown/suspicious addresses. If the email is irrelevant or contains an attachment, do not open it, at least not without making sure it is safe. Download all software using direct links, trustworthy and official sources/websites. Do not use third party downloaders or installers. It is possible that these sources could be used to distribute rogue applications that might infect computers or cause other problems. Update the installed software using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers and not third party updaters. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and enabled at all times. If your computer is already infected with GANDCRAB 5.2, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in GANDCRAB 5.2 ransomware text file (in this case, the "DSEWRBG-DECRYPT.txt"):

---= GANDCRAB V5.2 =---
******************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*****
Attention!
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .DSEWRBG
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---

Screenshot of GANDCRAB 5.2 desktop wallpaper:

GANDCRAB 5.2 wallpaper

Screenshot of GANDCRAB 5.2 website:

GANDCRAB 5.2 website

Text presented on this website:

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: 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 - 2400 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: 2400 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:
BuyBitcoin
CoinMonitor.io
LocalBitcoins
CoinMama
Changelly.com
PAYEER
CEX.IO

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

Attention
Don't delete file *-DECRYPT.txt before full restore of your PC.

Screenshot of files encrypted by GANDCRAB 5.2 (in this case, the ".dsewrbg" extension):

Files encrypted by GANDCRAB 5.2

As mentioned above, 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 GandCrab decryptor:

GandCrab ransomware decryption tool by Bitdefender

GANDCRAB 5.2 ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of GANDCRAB 5.2 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 5.2 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 5.2 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 5.2 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 5.2 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 5.2 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 5.2, 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 5.2 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 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:

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 5.2 ransomware: