Sodinokibi Ransomware

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

Sodinokibi ransomware removal instructions

What is Sodinokibi?

Discovered by S!Ri, Sodinokibi is a ransomware-type program created by cyber criminals. They use it to encrypt files stored on victims' computers and prevent people from accessing them files until they have paid a ransom. Malware researchers call it Sodinokibi, however, developers have not yet provided an official name. This ransomware places ransom messages in folders that contain encrypted files. The name of the text file depends on the extension added to the encrypted file. For example, if the extension is ".686l0tek69" (and the encrypted file is renamed from, for example, "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.686l0tek69"), the ransom message filename will be called "686l0tek69-HOW-TO-DECRYPT.txt". Sodinokibi also changes the wallpaper.

The ransom message explains that people who have computers infected with this ransomware can decrypt (recover) their files only by following the instructions provided by the cyber criminals who developed it. To decrypt data, users must visit the websites using one of the two links provided. One should be opened using the Tor browser, and the other with another browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge. It is stated that the link/website created for browsers other than Tor could be blocked by the browser, and thus they advise users to use the first website link. In any case, once opened, the website asks users to copy and paste the key provided in the ransom message (.txt file) and to enter the extension name (which is provided in the same text file). It then opens another page informing victims that they have two days to pay a ransom of $2500. Later, the cost is doubled to $5000. The ransom must be transferred to the Bitcoin wallet address (paid in cryptocurrency) provided. According to cyber criminals, when payment is made, victims should receive three confirmations. They then supposedly reload the website which will create a download link for a decryption tool. Victims are urged not to try to decrypt their files with other (third party) tools - according to cyber criminals, using them they might cause permanent data loss. Despite this, do not pay developers of this ransomware. Typically, cyber criminals cooperate only until they have received the ransom. After that, most ignore victims and send no tools/keys required for decryption. In summary, people are scammed. Unfortunately, there is no tool capable of decryption of files encrypted by Sodinokibi free of charge. Only the cyber criminals who developed a particular ransomware infection can provide decryption tools. Mostly, cryptography algorithms used to encrypt files are impossible to 'crack' without using specific decryption keys/tools. The best option in these cases is to restore files using a backup (if one was created before having all files encrypted with the ransomware-type program).

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

Sodinokibi decrypt instructions

Some examples of other ransomware-type programs are BellevueCollegeEncryptor, Hceem, and Hrosas. Most are created to encrypt files and to keep them locked unless a ransom is paid. Any differences are cost of decryption and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, in most cases, they are impossible to crack, unless ransomware is not fully developed, contains bugs/flaws. To prevent data (and financial) loss caused by ransomware, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Some of the most commonly used ways to proliferate ransomware and other malicious programs are spam campaigns, Trojans, fake software updaters, dubious software download sources and software 'cracking' tools. In spam campaigns, cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments. They present these emails as official and important attempt to trick people into opening attached files, which are usually Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives such as ZIP, RAR files, JavaScript files, executables (.exe and others), and so on. If opened, they download and install ransomware or other high-risk malware. If a Trojan is already installed on a computer, it can proliferate other threats. Programs of this type often cause chain infections. Fake software updaters proliferate/install malicious software rather than the expected updates or fixes. These tools can also be used to exploit outdated software flaws, bugs. Untrustworthy download sources (such as Peer-to-Peer networks, free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, unofficial websites and other similar channels) are used to distribute ransomware. Cyber criminals employ these channels to present their malware as harmless files. When people download and open them, they install malicious programs. By using software 'cracking' tools, people often risk having malicious programs installed. These tools supposedly bypass paid software activation, however, they often cause unwanted installations and computer infections.

Threat Summary:
Name Sodinokibi virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension Random string.
Ransom Demanding Message Text file, desktop wallpaper, website.
Ransom Amount $2500/$5000
Cyber Criminal Contact Website chat.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.31927370), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/GenKryptik.DGSJ), Kaspersky (Exploit.Win32.Nekto.lr), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Showing Mcga Wmv Photo Ramsey Married
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 demand payment of 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 Sodinokibi 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?

Avoid opening attachments in emails that are received from unknown/suspicious addresses. The same applies to web links. The emails are usually presented as important and legitimate, however, they are mostly irrelevant. Furthermore, use official and trustworthy websites when downloading software and update it using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. Note, tools that allow people to avoid paying for software are illegal and often cause computer infections. To avoid computer infections, have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled. If your computer is already infected with Sodinokibi, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Sodinokibi ransomware text file (random-string-HOW-TO-DECRYPT.txt):

--=== Welcome. Again. ===---

[+] Whats Happen? [+]

Your files are encrypted, and currently unavailable. You can check it: all files on you computer has expansion 686l0tek69.
By the way, everything is possible to recover (restore), but you need to follow our instructions. Otherwise, you cant return your data (NEVER).

[+] What guarantees? [+]

Its just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities - nobody will not cooperate with us. Its not in our interests.
To check the ability of returning files, You should go to our website. There you can decrypt one file for free. That is our guarantee.
If you will not cooperate with our service - for us, its does not matter. But you will lose your time and data, cause just we have the private key. In practise - time is much more valuable than money.

[+] How to get access on website? [+]

You have two ways:

1) [Recommended] Using a TOR browser!
  a) Download and install TOR browser from this site: hxxps://torproject.org/
  b) Open our website: hxxp://aplebzu47wgazapdqks6vrcv6zcnjppkbxbr6wketf56nf6aq2nmyoyd.onion/913AED0B5FE1497D

2) If TOR blocked in your country, try to use VPN! But you can use our secondary website. For this:
  a) Open your any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, IE, Edge)
  b) Open our secondary website: http://decryptor.top/913AED0B5FE1497D

Warning: secondary website can be blocked, thats why first variant much better and more available.

When you open our website, put the following data in the input form:
Key:

-

Extension name:

686l0tek69

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

!!! DANGER !!!
DONT try to change files by yourself, DONT use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus solutions - its may entail damge of the private key and, as result, The Loss all data.
!!! !!! !!!
ONE MORE TIME: Its in your interests to get your files back. From our side, we (the best specialists) make everything for restoring, but please should not interfere.
!!! !!! !!!

Screenshot of Sodinokibi website (first page):

sodinokibi ransomware website first page

Screenshot of Sodinokibi website (second page):

sodinokibi website second page

Text presented in a website opened with Tor (second page):

Your computer have been infected!
Your documents, photos, databases and other important files encrypted
To decrypt your files you need to buy our special software - 686l0tek69-Decryptor
You can do it right now. Follow the instructions below. But remember that you do not have much time
686l0tek69-Decryptor costs

You have 2 days, 23:59:17
* If you do not pay on time, the price will be doubled
* Time ends on May 3, 10:44:08
Current price
After time ends
0.47528863 btc
ò 2,500 USD
0.95057726 btc
ò 5,000 USD

Status: No access to download 686l0tek69-Decryptor.

BTC receiving address: 324VH5nPXCKCUGAMAn23nogm2Z6ph97evh
Instructions Chat support
How to buy 686l0tek69-Decryptor?

Create a Bitcoin Wallet (we recommend Blockchain.info)
Buy necessary amount of Bitcoins. Current price for buying is 0.47528863 btc
Send 0.47528863 btc to the following Bitcoin address:
324VH5nPXCKCUGAMAn23nogm2Z6ph97evh

* This receiving address was created for you, to identify your transactions
Wait for 3 confirmations
Reload current page after, and get a link to download 686l0tek69-Decryptor

Guarantees?

Upload your file for test 686l0tek69-Decryptor.

* This file should be an encrypted image. Example

your-file-name.jpg.686l0tek69
your-file-name.png.686l0tek69
your-file-name.gif.686l0tek69

Appearance of Sodinokibi website opened with Tor (GIF):

sodinokibi web appearance

Screenshot of Sodinokibi desktop wallpaper:

Sodinokibi wallpaper

Screenshot of files encrypted by Sodinokibi (random extension):

Files encrypted by Sodinokibi

Screenshot of Sodinokibi ransomware process in Task Manager ("Showing Mcga Wmv Photo Ramsey Married")

sodinokibi process in task manager

Screenshots of a chat with cyber criminals about the ransomware name:

sodinokibi chat window 1 sodinokibi chat window 2

Text in the chat:

Researcher Tomas: Where are you from?
Researcher Tomas: What is the name of your ransomware?
Cyber criminal: We don't have name, don't write here.
Researcher Tomas: Researchers are calling this - "Sodinokibi" ransomware. That's not a very nice name, maybe you like to use something else?
Cyber criminal: show me
Researcher Tomas: hxxps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlfYEqAjXUE&feature=youtu.be
Researcher Tomas: You could think of some cooler name than "Sodinokibi".
Cyber criminal: Hm, why this name?
Researcher Tomas: I would guess this is from an executable file name (hxxps://twitter.com/GrujaRS/status/1122051853657739265/photo/1)
Researcher Tomas: What name would you like to use?
Cyber criminal: we don't have name, but give to us few days to think about it
Researcher Tomas: ok, great.

Update May 3rd, 2019 - Research shows that cyber criminals have started exploiting Oracle WebLogic Server vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to inject them with malware, including GANDCRAB, Sodinokibi, and various miners, botnets, etc. Fortunately, Oracle has already released a patch to fix the vulnerability. Therefore, if you own this type of server, download and install the patch immediately. You can find detailed information and a download link for the patch in this article.

Sodinokibi ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi, 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 Sodinokibi 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 Sodinokibi ransomware: