How to uninstall Sekhmet ransomware?

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

Sekhmet ransomware removal instructions

What is Sekhmet?

Discovered by dnwls0719, Sekhmet is a ransomware. This malicious program operates by encrypting data and demanding a ransom for the decryption. During the encryption process all affected files are appended with an extension, consisting of random characters (e.g. ".HrUSsw", ".WNgh", ".NdWfEr", etc.). Note, these extensions do not differ just from infection to infection, they can be different on the same device. Hence, victims may find that some of their files have one extension, others - another. After the encryption process is complete, a ransom note - "RECOVER-FILES.txt" is dropped into every compromised folder.

The ransom-demanding message ("RECOVER-FILES.txt") informs victims' that their company's network has been breached. Confidential and private data has been exfiltrated from the systems on the network and will be publicized in three days. Additionally, all of the stored files have been encrypted with the RSA-2048 and ChaCha cryptographic algorithms. The only way to prevent publication and recover the compromised data is to pay a ransom for the cyber criminals, behind the Sekhmet ransomware. There are two ways users can establish contact with the criminals. One method is via website, which can be opened through Tor browser. The other is via a different site that should be used, if victims have trouble connecting/using the Tor network. Within said websites, users will receive payment and decryption instructions, there they can also test recovery free of charge. The note ends with F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions). This section clarifies that decryption can be tested by uploading up to three encrypted files into the provided site. Additionally, it gives untrustworthy assurances, why victims should trust the cyber criminals. Concerning the question of how the network was infected, the criminals promise to provide a detailed report per victim request - following payment. Unfortunately, in most cases of ransomware infections, without the interference of the cyber criminals responsible - decryption is impossible. It may be, if the malware in question is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Since often, despite paying - users do not receive the promised decryption tools and/or the stolen data is not deleted (hence, it can be used for repeated ransom demands or publicized). Without the appropriate recovery tools/software, the files remain encrypted and worthless. To prevent Sekhmet from further encryptions, it must be removed for the operating system. However, removal will not restore already affected data. The sole viable solution is recover it from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

Sekhmet decrypt instructions (RECOVER-FILES.txt)

Ransomware-type programs are designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption tools/software; Taargo.2020MadoOpqz are a couple examples of such. There are several crucial differences in-between: the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. Digital currencies (mainly, cryptocurrencies) are used for the payments, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid permanent data loss, it is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (ideally, in multiple different locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware primarily proliferate via trojans, spam campaigns, software "cracking" (activation) tools, fake updates and untrustworthy download channels. Trojans are a type of malware, capable of causing chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malicious programs). Spam campaigns are used to send thousands of deceptive/scam emails on a mass scale. These letters have virulent files attached to (or linked inside) them. The malicious files can be in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - it jumpstarts the infection process. "Cracks" can download/install malware, rather than activating licensed product. Illegitimate updaters can infect systems by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malicious software instead of the updates. Malware can be unintentionally downloaded from untrustworthy sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders).

Threat Summary:
Name Sekhmet virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension Files are appended with varying extensions, consisting of random characters (e.g. .HrUSsw, .WNgh, etc.)
Ransom Demanding Message RECOVER-FILES.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact Tor browser website
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.42872102), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.GYISLCY), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Cryptor.ddu), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

All suspect and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any attachments (or links) present in such - since that can result in a high-risk infection. It is recommended to always use official and verified download channels. Furthermore, all products should be activated and updated only with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are advised against use, due to them being commonly used to proliferate malware. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software is to be used for regular system scans and to remove all detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with Sekhmet, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Sekhmet ransomware's text file ("RECOVER-FILES.txt"):

-----
| Attention! |
-----

Your company network has been hacked and breached. We downloaded confidential and private data.
In case of not contacting us in 3 business days this data will be published on a special website available for public view.

Also we had executed a special software that turned files, databases and other important data in your network into an encrypted state using RSA-2048 and ChaCha algorithms.
A special key is required to decrypt and restore these files. Only we have this key and only we can give it to you with a reliable decryption software.

-----
| How to contact us and be safe again |
-----

The only method to restore your files and be safe from data leakage is to purchase a private key which is unique for you and securely stored on our servers.
After the payment we provide you with decryption software that will decrypt all your files, also we remove the downloaded data from your network and never post any information about you.

There are 2 ways to directly contact us:

1) Using hidden TOR network:
 
   a) Download a special TOR browser: hxxps://www.torproject.org/
   b) Install the TOR browser
   c) Open our website in the TOR browser: hxxp://o3n4bhhtybbtwqqs.onion/1E857D009F862A38
   d) Follow the instructions on this page.

2) If you have any problems connecting or using TOR network
   
   a) Open our website: hxxps://sekhmet.top/1E857D009F862A38
   b) Follow the instructions on this page

On this web site, you will get instructions on how to make a free decryption test and how to pay.
Also it has a live chat with our operators and support team.

-----------------------
|Questions and answers|
-----------------------
We understand you may have questions, so we provide here answers to the frequently asked questions.

====
Q: What about decryption guarantees?
A: You have a FREE opportunity to test a service by instantly decrypting for free 3 files from every system in your network.
If you have any problems our friendly support team is always here to assist you in a live chat.
====

====
Q: How can we be sure that after the payment data is removed and not published or used in any nefarious ways?
A: We can assure you, downloaded data will be securely removed using DoD 5220.22-M wiping standart.
We are not interested in keeping this data as we do not gain any profit from it. This data is used only to leverage you to make a payment and nothing more.
On the market the data itself are relatively useless and cheap.
Also we perfectly understand that using or publishing this data after the payment will compromise our reliable business operations and we are not interested in it.
====

====
Q: How did you get into the network?
A: Detailed report on how we did it and how to fix your vulnerabilities can be provided by request after the payment.
====

-----
This is techinal information we need to identify you correctly and give decryption key to you, do not redact!
---SEKHMET---
-
---SEKHMET---

Appearance of Sekhmet's website (GIF):

Sekhmet ransomware website (GIF)

Screenshot of files encrypted by Sekhmet (varied random-character extensions):

Files encrypted by Sekhmet ransomware (various extension)

Sekhmet ransomware removal:

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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 Sekhmet 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 Sekhmet 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 Sekhmet 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 Sekhmet 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 Sekhmet, 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 Sekhmet 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, and 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 Sekhmet 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Sekhmet virus QR code
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