Removal instructions for Truke ransomware infection

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

Truke ransomware removal instructions

What is Truke?

Belonging to Djvu ransomware family, Truke is yet another ransomware infection discovered by Michael Gillespie. Once infiltrated, Truke encrypts most of stored data and appends filenames with ".truke" extension (e.g., encrypted "sample.jpg" would be renamed to "sample.jpg.truke"). Encrypted data instantly becomes unusable. Following successful encryption, Truke generates a text file ("_readme.txt") and drops a copy in every existing folder.

Truke uses the aforementioned text file to deliver a ransom-demanding message. It states that data is encrypted and can only be restored by using a tool with a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this is true. It is currently unknown whether Truke uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, however, each victim gets a unique decryption key which is necessary to restore data. The problem is that victims cannot access their keys, as all of them are stored in a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Crooks hide decryption keys with an intention of blackmailing victims - in order to receive his/hers key and restore data each victim has to pay a ransom of $980. All payment/decryption instructions are provided via email/telegram. Yet it is noted that victims who'll contact crooks within 72 hours after the encryption will receive a 50% discount and the price will drop to $490. Additionally, victims are allowed to send Truke's developers one encrypted file which will be restored and sent back as a guarantee that the decryption is actually possible and that these persons can never be trusted. Nevertheless, even if you think that the price is low, you should never agree to pay. Research results show that vast majority of ransomware developers ignore victims after they submit payments. In other words, victims simply get scammed and paying gives no positive result, which is why all encouragements to submit payments and even contact these persons should be ignored. Now it is worth noting that Truke encrypts data using an "offline key" whenever the infected machine isn't connected to the Internet or the server is not responding. For this reason, we highly recommend to attempt restoring data with a decryption tool developed by Michael Gillespie. The only other possible solution is to use a backup.

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

Truke decrypt instructions

Truke shares many similarities with Amigo X-3, LooCipher, middleman2020, and dozens of other ransomware-type infections. Although the developers are different, almost all of these infections behave virtually the same - encrypt data and make ransom demands. Unluckily, infections of this type employ cryptographies like AES, RSA, and other designed to generate unique decryption keys. Hence, if malware is developed flawlessly, manual decryption (without developers interfering) is impossible. Ransomware infections present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Nevertheless, be sure to store backups in an unplugged storage device/remote server, since locally stored backups will be compromised together with regular data. Additionally, we recommend to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, since there's always a chance that used storage device/server will be damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The way developers proliferate Truke is currently unknown. However, ransomware-type infections are usually distributed using third party software download sources, email spam campaigns, trojans, and fake software updaters/cracks. Unofficial download sources (e.g., free file hosting sites, freeware download websites, P2P [Peer-to-Peer] networks, etc.) are used to spread malware by presenting it as legitimate software. Crooks trick users into downloading and installing malware manually. Spam campaigns are used to send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain malicious attachments and deceptive messages encouraging recipients to open. In order to create the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients into opening crooks often present attachments as important documents, such as bills, receipts, invoices, and similar. Trojans are basically malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and inject them with additional malware. Software cracks are meant to activate paid software for free. However, most of them are fake and they simply download/install malware rather than providing access to paid features. Same goes to fake updaters which infect computers by exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than actual updates. At the end of the day the main reasons for computer infections still are poor knowledge and reckless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name Truke virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Detection Names (75a0.tmp.exe) Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41387479), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.DLGP), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Chapak.dptf), Full List (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .truke
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, ferast@firemail.cc, @datarestore (Telegram)
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.
Additional Information This malware is designed to show fake Windows Update window, modify Windows "hosts" file (to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites) and inject AZORult trojan into the system.
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 Truke 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?

To begin with, every user should know that the key to computer safety is caution. For this reason, it is extremely important to pay close attention during the download/update/installation processes, as well as when browsing the Internet in general. Desired software should be downloaded only from official sources, preferably using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, which is why such tools shouldn't be used. Keeping installed applications and operating system up-to-date is also a must. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. It is also worth noting that cracking installed applications is illegal (software piracy is a cyber crime). If that wasn't enough, the risk of infections is extremely high. For this reason, you should never do that. We highly recommend to carefully analyze every single email attachment received. Irrelevant files/links should never be opened. Same goes for attachments received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses. On top of all that, be sure to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times. Software of this type will help you detect and eliminate infections before they arm the system. If your computer is already infected with Truke, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Truke ransomware's text file :

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
hxxps://we.tl/t-i9Z5mq0D52
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.


To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
ferast@firemail.cc

Our Telegram account:
@datarestore

Your personal ID:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Truke (".truke" extension):

Files encrypted by Truke

Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As we've already mentioned, each victim gets a unique decryption key and all of them are stored in remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys". However, there are cases when the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If that is the case, Truke will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Now it is worth mentioning that cyber criminals change offline keys every now and again. This is being done to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. Meanwhile, Michael Gillespie continually gathers offline keys and updates the decrypter. However, the chances of successful decryption are still very low, since only a very small portion of "offline keys" has been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains the same, despite the fact that decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys will include the one that was used to encrypt your data.

Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:

STOP/Djvu ransomware decrypter by Michael Gillespie

As with most of ransomware from Djvu family, Truke also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

Djvu ransomware family fake update

IMPORTANT NOTE! - Aside from encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from Djvu malware family also installs a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Moreover, this malware family is designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is carried out with the intention of making users unable to access malware security websites and seek help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:

Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

Truke ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Truke 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 Truke 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 Truke 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 Truke 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 Truke 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 Truke 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 Truke, 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 Truke ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default this feature automatically protects files stored in 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's more information on how to get this update and add 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 Truke ransomware:

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Truke virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Truke virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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