What is Babyk?
Babyk is a type of malware that encrypts files, appends the ".babyk" extension to their filenames, and creates ransom notes (text files named "How To Restore Your Files.txt") in all folders containing encrypted files. Its ransom notes contain payment information. Babyk modifies filenames like this: it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.babyk", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.babyk", and so on. This ransomware is another variant of the Babuk Locker ransomware.
There are multiple variants of Babyk ransomware (".babuk", ".doydo", etc.), and some of them can be decrypted using a decrypted developed by Avast (more information below).
Screenshot of files encrypted by Babyk ransomware:
Babyk ransomware in detail
As written in the "How To Restore Your Files.txt" ransom note, Babyk encrypts files and deletes backups. It encrypts files with strong encryption algorithms, and there is no way to decrypt them without the help of attackers.
Encrypted files can be decrypted with a universal decoder that can be purchased for 0,006 BTC (Bitcoin). Victims have to pay a ransom to the provided BTC wallet and then send the transaction ID to email@example.com.
After the payment, victims will receive a file named decryptor.exe (a decryption tool). It is also mentioned that victims should not try to recover files by themselves because it may damage them irreversibly.
As a rule, victims cannot decrypt files encrypted by ransomware unless they have the right decryption tool. In most cases, cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks are the only ones who can help victims to decrypt their files.
Fortunately, some versions of Babyk can be decrypted with Avast's decryptor (more information below). However in cases where there are no third-party tools available, the only free way to recover files without paying a ransom is to restore them from a backup that has been created before the attack.
It is strongly recommended not to pay a ransom to the attackers behind Babyk - they may never send a decryption tool even if they would be paid. In fact, it is common for victims who paid a ransom to get scammed.
Additionally, it is recommended to remove ransomware from the affected computer as soon as possible. Otherwise, that ransomware may encrypt new files or infect other computers connected to the same network as the already infected computer.
Similarities with other ransomware variants
In most cases, they are designed to encrypt files and generate a message demanding payment. Two main differences between ransomware variants are the prices of data decryption and cryptographic algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) they use to encrypt files.
It is possible to recover files without a decryption tool purchased from the attackers when installed ransomware has some vulnerabilities, or a free decryption tool is available on the Internet. However, victims of most ransomware attacks can recover files for free only if they have a data backup.
Therefore, it is highly advisable to create data backups regularly and store them on a remote server (for example, Cloud), or unplugged storage device. Keeping backups not a computer helps to prevent them from being encrypted during ransomware attacks.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
Typically, users infect computers with malware via emails, fake software updaters, files downloaded via questionable, unreliable sources, trojans, and software cracking tools/cracked software. In order to trick users into installing malware via email, cybercriminals send emails containing malicious attachments or links.
Fake software updaters can infect computers by exploiting flaws, bugs, or other vulnerabilities of installed programs or installing malware instead of updates or fixes. Either way, fake updaters do not fix or update any legitimate software.
Examples of questionable channels that can be used to distribute malware are Peer-to-peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), various third-party downloaders and installers, freeware download sites, free file hosting websites. Users infect computers through them by executing downloaded malicious files.
Trojans are malicious programs that can be designed to do different things. Trojans of a certain type install additional malware (infect computers with other malware). Typically, they look like legitimate programs.
Software cracking tools illegally activate legitimate, licensed programs. Although, it is very common for these tools (and cracked programs) to have some malware hidden in them.
Therefore, by installing cracked software or using cracking tools, users often install malware on their computers. It is important to know that it is not legal to use cracked software.
|Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
|Encrypted Files Extension
|.babyk, .babuk, .doydo
|Ransom Demanding Message
|How To Restore Your Files.txt
|0.006 BTC (may vary)
|BTC Wallet Address
|Free Decryptor Available?
|Partial (more information)
|Cyber Criminal Contact
|firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
|Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Ransomware.GenericKDS.46554008), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HLOF), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.DelShad.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Azorult.RM!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|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.
|Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
|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 Combo Cleaner.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Files or programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and through direct links. It is not safe to open files downloaded via Peer-to-Peer networks, third-party downloaders, unofficial pages, etc., or install programs via third party installers.
Operating system and installed software has to be updated and activated with implemented functions or tools provided by its official developers. Software cracking tools and third-party updaters often are used to distribute malware (also, it is not legal to use cracked software).
Attachments and links in irrelevant emails received from suspicious, unknown addresses should not be opened. It common that emails of this kind are used to deliver malware - they contain malicious files or links to malicious pages.
The operating system should be scanned for threats on a regular basis. It is recommended to scan it with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with Babyk, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Screenshot of Babyk ransomware's text file ("How To Restore Your Files.txt"):
Text presented in this message:
--------------- Hello ---------------
*** By BABUCK LOCKER ***
Your computers and servers are encrypted, and backups are deleted.
We use strong encryption algorithms, so no one has yet been able to decrypt their files without our participation.
The only way to decrypt your files is to purchase a universal decoder from us, which will restore all the encrypted data and your network.
Follow our instructions below, and you will recover all your data:
1) Pay 0,006 bitcoin to 1E6cvG6iEbufvYspsDa3XQ3WJgEMvRTm9i
2) Send us message with transaction id to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Launch decryptor.exe, which our support will send you through email
We value our reputation. If we will not do our work and liabilities, nobody will pay us. This is not in our interests.
All our decryption software is tested by time and will decrypt all your data.
!!! DO NOT TRY TO RECOVER ANY FILES YOURSELF. WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RESTORE THEM!!!
Ransom note delivered by another variant of Babyk ransomware ("How To Restore Your Files.txt"):
Text presented within:
If you need your files Send 0.1 etherium to 0xb9E0e99cF7F0A8e7e82D5B48251A88d25ce82BAb and send transaction confirmation on NRKZ@DNMX.ORG
Screenshot of files encrypted by Doydo ransomware (".doydo" extension):
Screenshot of a ransom note dropped by another Babyk ransomware variant called Lovely ransomware ("How To Restore Your Files.txt"):
Text presented within:
############## [ Lovely ransomware ] ##############
* What happend?
Your computers and servers are encrypted, backups are deleted from your network and copied.
We use strong encryption algorithms, so you cannot decrypt your data without us.
But you can restore everything by purchasing a special program from us - a universal decoder.
This program will restore your entire network. Follow our instructions below and you will recover all your data.
If you continue to ignore this for a long time, we will start reporting the hack to mainstream media and posting
your data to the dark web.
* What guarantees?
We value our reputation. If we do not do our work and liabilities, nobody will pay us. This is not in our interests.
All our decryption software is perfectly tested and will decrypt your data. We will also provide support in case of problems.
We guarantee to decrypt one file for free. Go to the site and contact us.
* What information compromised?
We copied many data from your internal network.
For additional confirmations, please chat with us.
In cases of ignoring us, the information will be released to the public
* How to contact us?
1) Download for browser: hxxps://www.torproject.org/download/
2) Open this url on browser > -
3. register your account on CryptBB and open this link > -
You can send message there
or here is my email : email@example.com
Update November 3rd, 2021 - The source code of Babuk ransomware has been recently leaked in a forum, which gave cyber security experts an opportunity to release a decryptor for this ransomware. The tool developed by Avast is capable of restoring data encrypted Babuk ransomware with ".babuk", ".babyk" and ".doydo" extensions. You can download this tool and find more information in Avast's official website.
Screenshot of Avast's decryptor for Babuk ransomware:
Babyk ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
Video suggesting what steps should be taken in case of a ransomware infection:
- What is Babyk virus?
- STEP 1. Reporting ransomware to authorities.
- STEP 2. Isolating the infected device.
- STEP 3. Identifying the ransomware infection.
- STEP 4. Searching for ransomware decryption tools.
- STEP 5. Restoring files with data recovery tools.
- STEP 6. Creating data backups.
If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we recommend reporting this incident to authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies you will help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers. Here's a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack. For the complete list of local cybersecurity centers and information on why you should report ransomware attacks, read this article.
List of local authorities where ransomware attacks should be reported (choose one depending on your residence address):
- USA - Internet Crime Complaint Centre IC3
- United Kingdom - Action Fraud
- Spain - Policía Nacional
- France - Ministère de l'Intérieur
- Germany - Polizei
- Italy - Polizia di Stato
- The Netherlands - Politie
- Poland - Policja
- Portugal - Polícia Judiciária
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:
Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window:
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".
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":
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).
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).
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).
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):
Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):
If your data happens to be encrypted by ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, a ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, crypto wallet 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, cybercriminals 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.
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 the Recuva tool developed by CCleaner. 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). In addition, the recovery feature is completely free.
Step 1: Perform a scan.
Run the Recuva application and follow the wizard. You will be prompted with several windows allowing you to choose what file types to look for, which locations should be scanned, etc. All you need to do is select the options you're looking for and start the scan. We advise you to enable the "Deep Scan" before starting, otherwise, the application's scanning capabilities will be restricted.
Wait for Recuva 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 hundred 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:
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:
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 the necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.
Data backups: One of the most reliable backup methods 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 the 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, although it's a really rare occasion.
We recommend using Microsoft OneDrive for backing up your files. OneDrive lets you store your personal files and data in the cloud, sync files across computers and mobile devices, allowing you to access and edit your files from all of your Windows devices. OneDrive lets you save, share and preview files, access download history, move, delete, and rename files, as well as create new folders, and much more.
You can back up your most important folders and files on your PC (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders). Some of OneDrive’s more notable features include file versioning, which keeps older versions of files for up to 30 days. OneDrive features a recycling bin in which all of your deleted files are stored for a limited time. Deleted files are not counted as part of the user’s allocation.
The service is built using HTML5 technologies and allows you to upload files up to 300 MB via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 10 GB via the OneDrive desktop application. With OneDrive, you can download entire folders as a single ZIP file with up to 10,000 files, although it can’t exceed 15 GB per single download.
OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage out of the box, with an additional 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available for a subscription-based fee. You can get one of these storage plans by either purchasing additional storage separately or with Office 365 subscription.
Creating a data backup:
The backup process is the same for all file types and folders. Here’s how you can back up your files using Microsoft OneDrive
Step 1: Choose the files/folders you want to backup.
Click the OneDrive cloud icon to open the OneDrive menu. While in this menu, you can customize your file backup settings.
Click Help & Settings and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.
Go to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
In this menu, you can choose to backup the Desktop and all of the files on it, and Documents and Pictures folders, again, with all of the files in them. Click Start backup.
Now, when you add a file or folder in the Desktop and Documents and Pictures folders, they will be automatically backed up on OneDrive.
To add folders and files, not in the locations shown above, you have to add them manually.
Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder/file you want to backup. Select the item, right-click it, and click Copy.
Then, navigate to OneDrive, right-click anywhere in the window and click Paste. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop a file into OneDrive. OneDrive will automatically create a backup of the folder/file.
All of the files added to the OneDrive folder are backed up in the cloud automatically. The green circle with the checkmark in it indicates that the file is available both locally and on OneDrive and that the file version is the same on both. The blue cloud icon indicates that the file has not been synced and is available only on OneDrive. The sync icon indicates that the file is currently syncing.
To access files only located on OneDrive online, go to the Help & Settings drop-down menu and select View online.
Step 2: Restore corrupted files.
OneDrive makes sure that the files stay in sync, so the version of the file on the computer is the same version on the cloud. However, if ransomware has encrypted your files, you can take advantage of OneDrive’s Version history feature that will allow you to restore the file versions prior to encryption.
Microsoft 365 has a ransomware detection feature that notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and guide you through the process of restoring your files. It must be noted, however, that if you don’t have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription, you only get one detection and file recovery for free.
If your OneDrive files get deleted, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous state. Here’s how you can restore your entire OneDrive:
1. If you're signed in with a personal account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Options and select Restore your OneDrive.
If you're signed in with a work or school account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Restore your OneDrive.
2. On the Restore your OneDrive page, select a date from the drop-down list. Note that if you're restoring your files after automatic ransomware detection, a restore date will be selected for you.
3. After configuring all of the file restoration options, click Restore to undo all the activities you selected.
The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How was my computer hacked and how did hackers encrypt my files?
Ransomware executables are usually disguised as regular content - therefore, in many cases, victims themselves open these files. This malware is widely proliferated via drive-by downloads, spam emails/messages, online scams, malvertising, dubious download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), fake updaters, illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, and so on.
How to open files encrypted by Babyk ransomware?
Continued file usage requires decryption. In other words, ransomware-encrypted files can neither be opened nor otherwise used - unless they are decrypted.
Where should I look for free decryption tools for Babyk ransomware?
Some variants of Babyk ransomware - those appending files with ".babuk", ".babyk" and ".doydo" extensions - can be decrypted using a decryption tool developed by Avast (more information above). However, if this decryptor is incompatible, we recommend checking out the No More Ransom project website (more information).
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Babyk ransomware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate active ransomware infections. It must be mentioned that while using an anti-virus is the first step in ransomware recovery - security software programs are incapable of recovering encrypted files.