How to uninstall RekenSom ransomware

Also Known As: RekenSom virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

RekenSom ransomware removal instructions

What is RekenSom?

RekenSom is a ransomware-type program that was discovered by dnwls0719. Unlike most programs of this type, RekenSom not only encrypts files but also deletes some of them. It renames all encrypted files by using the "Encrypted[a_number_of_dashes].som" pattern (for example, it renames "1.jpg" to "Encrypted-------.som", etc.) and displays a ransom message in a pop-up window. Another variant of RekenSom was discovered by WebSecurityIT. This variant encrypts files and renames them by changing their filenames to a random string of characters and appending the ".RekenSom" extension.

The pop-up window explains that RekenSom encrypts photos, documents, videos and other files with the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm. To decrypt files, victims must use a private decryption key, which is stored on a remote server controlled by the cyber criminals who designed RekenSom. The cost of this key is 0.015 of Bitcoin. Victims are encouraged to purchase the key within 24 hours, after which it is deleted. The transaction must be made using the provided BTC wallet address. After payment, victims are instructed to contact RekenSom's developers via Telegram (account named @Rekensom) and provide the assigned ID. Once all demands are met, cyber criminals will supposedly send a decryption key to recover the files. Another version of RekenSom ransomware displays a pop-up window with numbers, however, this does not create any ransom message and does not provides victims with any useful information. It is likely that this other version is still in development. Both RekenSom versions encrypt files with a strong encryption algorithm, and it is thus impossible to recover them without a key that can only be purchased from the cyber criminals behind RekenSom. Victims who trust cyber criminals and pay the ransom are scammed and do not receive any decryption tools/keys. Therefore, do not trust RekenSom's developers. In such cases, the only way to recover files free of charge is to restore them from a backup. Note that files remain encrypted even after removal of the ransomware, however, uninstalling it prevents further encryption (data loss).

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

RekenSom decrypt instructions (pop-up window)

More examples of ransomware are Uzuvnkyh, ATKL and ONION. In most cases, software of this type is designed encrypt files and display and/or create ransom messages. Main variables are cost of a decryption tool/key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files. Unfortunately, it is possible to decrypt files without paying cyber criminals, unless the ransomware contains bugs/flaws, and so on. Typically, the only free way to avoid data loss caused by ransomware is to restore files from a backup. Therefore, you are advised to have data backed up on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most commonly used methods to spread malicious software are via spam campaigns, untrusted download channels, Trojans, unofficial activation ('cracking') tools and fake updaters. Criminals attempt to trick users into installing malware via spam campaigns - sending emails that contain malicious attachments or website links designed to download malicious files. Their emails are often disguised as official and important. When recipients open attached or downloaded files, they cause installation of malicious software. Some examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF, Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), JavaScript files and archive files such as ZIP, RAR. Channels that can be used to host and distribute malicious programs and files include unofficial pages, third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), free file hosting pages and freeware download websites. People who open files downloaded through these channels risk infecting their computers with malware. Trojans are malicious programs designed to cause chain infections, in this case installation of ransomware. This can happen only if a Trojan is already installed on the computer. Unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge (bypass activation) often install malicious software instead. These tools are also used to proliferate malicious programs. Fake software updating tools can infect systems by installing malicious programs rather than updating installed software or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software.

Threat Summary:
Name RekenSom virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .som or .RekenSom (depends on the RekenSom variant).
Ransom Demand Message Pop-up window.
Ransom Amount 0.15 of Bitcoin
BTC Wallet Address 1F1tAaz5x1HUXrCNLbtMDqcw6o5GNn4xqX
Cyber Criminal Contact @Rekensom on Telegram
Detection Names (GHack.exe) Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.Hiddentear.A.5F086186), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.BQ), Kaspersky (), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (Another RekenSom variant) Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.Krider.8B205F69), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.BQ), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name GHack.exe (its name may vary)
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.
Additional Information One RekenSom variant renames files by using the "Encrypted[a_number_of_dashes].som" pattern; the other by appending the ".RekenSom" extension to the filenames. The second variant does not create or display any ransom messages, and therefore it might be in a development state.
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

Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious, unknown addresses should not be opened. These emails are often sent by cyber criminals. Email contents should be opened only when there is no reason to doubt if it is safe to do so. Installed software must be updated and activated through implemented functions/tools designed by official developers. Third party tools can distribute and install malicious programs. Note that it is illegal to activate licensed programs with unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. All files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Other channels are used to proliferate malicious software. Regularly scan the operating system for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. Keep this software up to date. If your computer is already infected with RekenSom, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

The appearance of pop-up window displayed by RekenSom ransomware (GIF):

rekensom ransom note appearance in gif

Text presented in this pop-up window:

Your files have been encrypted!

You are hacked..!

Your KEY will be destroyed on
03/30/2020/ 00:00:00

Time left
00:00:00

What happened to my files?
Your personal files, including your photos, documents, videos and other important files on this computer, have been encrypted with RSA-2048, a strong encryption algorithm. RSA algorithm generates a public key and a private key for your computer. The public key was used to encrypt your files a moment ago. The private key is necessary for you to decrypt and recover your files. Wm, your private key is stored on our secret Internet server. And there is no doubt that no one can recover your files without your private key.


How to decrypt my files?
To decrypt and recover your files, you have to pay 0.015 BTC (Bitcoin) for the private key and decryption service. Note that you ONLY have 24 hours to complete your payment. If your payment is not completed within time limit, your private key will be deleted automatically by our server. All your files will be permanently encrypted and nobody can recover them. Therefore, it is advised that you'd better not waste your time, because there is no other way to recover your files except making a payment

How to pay for my private key?

How to pay for my private key There are three steps to make a payment and recover your files.
1. For the security of transactions, all the payment must be completed via Bitcoin network This, you need to exchange some money to 0.015 Bitcoin, and then send it to the following receiving address:

For futher information about BTC, please refer to the net "Payment Tab".
2. After making a payment with BTC, please send your personal ID to out TELEGRAM: @Rekensom

Your personal ID:

3. You will recieve a decrypt key to recover all your files
please keep checking your TELEGRAM.

BITCOIN ADDRESS

1F1tAaz5x1HUXrCNLbtMDqcw6o5GNn4xqX

WARNING: If you close this window your files will be deleted for ever.
just warning you :)

 RekenSom malicious process running in Task Manager as "GHack" (its name might vary):

rekensom malicious ghack process in task manager

Screenshot of files encrypted by RekenSom (renamed using the "Encrypted[a_number_of_dashes].som" pattern):

Files encrypted by RekenSom ransomware (.som extension)

Pop-up displayed by another RekenSom variant:

rekensom another variant pop-up window

Screenshot of files encrypted by another RekenSom variant (".RekenSom" extension):

rekensom another variant encrypted files (.RekenSom extension)

RekenSom 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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RekenSom virus QR code
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