Mr-X666 Ransomware

Also Known As: Mr-X666 virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Mr-X666 ransomware removal instructions

What is Mr-X666?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie and belonging to the GlobeImposter ransomware family, Mr-X666 is a malicious ransomware-type program that cyber criminals distribute to extort money (cryptocurrency) from innocent people. This is achieved by encrypting files stored on computers and making ransom demands to restore them. This ransomware renames encrypted files by adding the ".Mr-X666" extension. For example, "1.jpg" is renamed by Mr-X666 to "1.jpg.Mr-X666". In addition, Mr-X666 creates a ransom message within a file called "HOW TO BACK YOUR FILES.txt" and places the file in all folders that contain encrypted files.

Within the "HOW TO BACK YOUR FILES.txt" ransom message, cyber criminals inform victims that all files were encrypted, and to decrypt them, they must use a decryption tool. To acquire this tool, they are encouraged to contact the developers of Mr-X666 by sending an email to x_mister@aol.com or x_mister@india.com (the email message must include a personal ID). Victims should then receive instructions on how to pay for a decryption tool. They promise to send this as soon as they receive the money. As 'proof' that they have this tool, they offer free decryption of some files, which must also be sent to one of the aforementioned email addresses with the assigned unique ID. Mr-X666's developers assure victims that only they can provide a decryption tool. They urge victims not to attempt to decrypt data using any other tools, since this can supposedly lead to permanent data loss. Unfortunately, that is accurate: only the cyber criminals who developed Mr-X666 can decrypt data encrypted. Most cyber criminals use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that make encryption 'uncrackable'. In summary, encrypted files cannot be decrypted without using specific tools. Unfortunately, in most cases, only the ransomware developers have the tools capable of file decryption. There is no software available that can decrypt data encrypted by Mr-X666 free of charge (at least not at the moment). Furthermore, people who develop programs such as Mr-X666 cannot be trusted, even if their ransom demands are met. They send no decryption tools and simply ignore victims. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and restore all files from there.

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

Mr-X666 decrypt instructions

Mr-X666 is one of many other programs of this type. Some examples of other ransomware-type programs are CMG, L1LL, and Prus. Most encrypt data and display ransom messages. The main differences between these programs are cryptography used to encrypt files and cost of decryption tool (ransom amount). Typically, decryption without the involvement of cyber criminals is possible only if ransomware is still in development, has unfixed bugs/flaws, and so on. To avoid data loss, maintain regular backups and keep them stored on remote servers (such as Cloud) or unplugged/disconnected storage devices.

Mr-X666 ransomware technical analysis:

  • Detection names: Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.GlobeImposter.B328...), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Zudochka.hn), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Filecoder.NUW)
  • Full list of antivirus detections: VirusTotal
  • Sample first submitted: 2019-03-21 (created 2019-03-18)

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware developers use various ways to proliferate these computer infections including spam campaigns (emails). They send emails with attached malicious files that, once opened, download and install ransomware or other high-risk computer infections. Attached files are usually Microsoft Office or PDF documents, archive files such as RAR, ZIP, executables (.exe files), JavaScript files, and so on, however, these files can cause computer infections only if they are opened. 'Trojans' also infect computers with ransomware - these are malicious programs that cause chain infections. When installed, they download and install other malicious programs. Dubious software download sources such as untrustworthy, unofficial websites (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites), Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on), third party downloaders, and other similar channels are used by cyber criminals who attempt to infect computers. They present viruses as legitimate files. When people download and open them, however, they cause computer infections. Another way to proliferate ransomware and other malicious programs is through fake software updaters. These tools often download and install infections rather than installing updates, or they exploit bugs/flaws of installed and outdated software. Use of software 'cracking' tools can also lead to computer infection. These supposedly allow people to bypass paid activation of software or operating systems, however, they often install malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Mr-X666 virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals request a ransom payment (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)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To keep computers safe from various infections, do not open attachments or links that are presented in emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Generally, they are included in irrelevant emails that are presented as legitimate and official. Additionally, download software from official, trustworthy websites and using direct links. Avoid dubious channels such as torrents, eMule, dubious websites, third party downloaders and other such tools. Installed software and operating systems should be updated using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official developers only. Software activation should not be done using third party ('cracking') tools. They are illegal and can be used to cause computer infections. Keep your computer protected by having reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and keep it enabled at all times. These programs detect and eliminate various threats before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with Mr-X666, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Mr-X666 ransomware text file :

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!

TO DECRYPT, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS:

To recover data you need decrypt tool.

To get the decrypt tool you should:

1.In the letter include your personal ID! Send me this ID in your first email to me!
2.We can give you free test for decrypt few files (NOT VALUE) and assign the price for decryption all files!
3.After we send you instruction how to pay for decrypt tool and after payment you will receive a decryption tool!
4.We can decrypt few files in quality the evidence that we have the decoder.


DO NOT TRY TO DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR FILES BY YOURSELF YOU WILL BRAKE YOUR DATA !!! ONLY WE ARE CAN HELP YOU! CONTACT US:

x_mister@aol.com
x_mister@india.com

ATTENTION !!! THIS IS YOUR PERSONAL ID WICH YOU HAVE TO SEND IN FIRST LETTER:

-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Mr-X666 (".Mr-X666" extension):

Files encrypted by Mr-X666

Mr-X666 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

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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.

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