If personal files stored on a Windows computer turn into inaccessible objects with .crypt extension, it’s a clear symptom of the Gomasom ransomware activity.
Data encryption is a good practice in numerous scenarios where one’s sensitive files need to stay protected in the course of transmission over digital channels. However, cybercriminals have stepped onto the crypto arena with a totally different task in mind – they use it as a tool for extortion. Malicious programs known as ransomware have been terrorizing computer users for more than three years now, holding their preys’ files hostage and demanding a payment so that the information becomes available again. Gomasom is an example of lower-level crypto malware. Its name is an acronym for “Google Mail Ransom”, which denotes a unique feature of the sample under consideration. Having encrypted a file, it appends a string containing a Gmail address to which the victim is supposed to shoot a message.
Specifically, the Gomasom virus makes a file named butterfly.png look like this: email@example.com_.crypt, where the username part of the webmail address may vary. For instance, one of the variants of this ransomware has used firstname.lastname@example.org instead. All in all, the general pattern here is as follows: [filename.extension]!___[Gmail address]_.crypt. The operators in charge of the campaign, obviously, want the victim to send them a message to the respective address and get data recovery instructions in response. The decryption presupposes a payment to a specified Bitcoin wallet or via a prepaid voucher so that the transaction cannot be tracked and attributed to anyone. What makes this strain sort of primitive is that it doesn’t create ransom instruction files on the infected machine and appears to have no Tor decryption service site.
This pest mainly circulates through email attachments disguised as harmless-looking ZIP archives or PDFs. If a credulous user happens to open one, the malicious executable is instantly created inside the AppData directory and then launched from there during every system logon event. When triggered for the first time, the offending software roams through the host PC’s hard disk letters, detects files that match the hard-coded range of extensions and encrypts them.
A clearly adverse characteristic of the Gomasom .crypt ransomware has to do with the file types that it targets. As opposed to its counterparts, it locates and encrypts executable entities along with regular data items like images, videos, Microsoft Office documents, and databases. Consequently, the user will be unable to run most of the applications installed on the workstation. Even program icons undergo the encoding. Luckily, security enthusiasts have built a solution that restores files locked by early editions of Gomasom. The newer variant, though, may have anti-crack features built into its code, so some of the tips below should do the trick.
Automated removal of Gomasom virus
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.
Ways of non-ransom recovery of encrypted files
Cracking the crypto used by this ransom trojan is more of a science fiction thing rather than an attainable prospect for the masses. This is why the troubleshooting in predicaments of this sort is a matter of two approaches: one is to pay the ransom, which isn’t an option for many victims; and the other is to apply instruments that take advantage of the ransomware’s possible weaknesses. If the latter is your pick, the advice below is a must-try.
Backups can make your day
Not only are you a lucky person in case you’ve been backing up your most important files, but you’re also a wise and prudent user. This isn’t necessarily a resource-heavy activity these days – in fact, some providers of online services are allocating a sufficient size of cloud storage space for free so that every customer can easily upload their critical data without paying a penny. Having removed Gomasom ransomware, therefore, all you have to do is download your stuff from the remote server or transfer it all from an external piece of hardware if that’s the case.
Restore previous versions of encrypted files
A positive upshot of using this technique depends on whether or not the ransomware has erased the Volume Shadow Copies of the files on your PC. This is a Windows feature that automatically makes and keeps the backups of data elements on the hard drive as long as System Restore is enabled. The cryptoware in question is programmed to switch off the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), but it has reportedly failed to in some cases. Checking one’s options regarding this workaround is doable in two ways: through the Properties menu of each file or by means of the remarkable open-source tool called Shadow Explorer. We recommend the software-based way because it’s automated, hence faster and easier. Just install the app and use its intuitive controls to get previous versions of the encrypted objects reinstated.
Data recovery toolkit to the rescue
Some strains of ransomware are known to delete the original files after the encryption routine has been completed. As hostile as this activity appears, it can play into your hands. There are applications designed to revive the information that was obliterated because of malfunctioning hardware or due to accidental removal. The tool called Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic features this type of capability therefore it can be applied in ransom attack scenarios to at least get the most important files back. So download and install the program, run a scan and let it do its job.
Revise your security status
Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.
- Petya ransomware removal and system recovery (upd. June 27)
- Sorebrect ransomware – fileless malware exploits PsExec utility
- Remove MOLE02 ransomware virus and decrypt .mole02 files (upd. June 15)
- Erebus ransomware infects Linux web servers in South Korea
- Decrypt .master ransomware files – BTCWare virus variant