Breaking news of the day is the emergence of a new Locky ransomware iteration that arrives with spam and appends the .diablo6 extension to encrypted files.
Although the security community started feeling confident that the once dominating Locky ransomware vanished from the radar, it made a reappearance that’s shaping up to be the next big thing. The newest persona of this notorious infection is referred to as Diablo6 because that’s the extension it uses to blemish ransomed files. It seems like an accurate denomination considering the scope of the contagion. The .diablo6 file edition of Locky is still making the rounds via malicious spam that most likely emanates from the Necurs botnet. Would-be victims receive virus-tainted messages disguised as accounting information. The subject of these emails may contain the word “Numbers” or “Invoice” to draw the recipient’s attention and entice them into opening the attached file.
The attachment, however, is tricky. It is a ZIP archive encompassing a VBS entity inside it. Once opened, this script automatically starts the infection chain behind the scenes. In particular, it downloads an EXE binary to LocalAppData path from a remote server and runs it on the targeted host without requesting any authorization from the victim. What happens afterward is a classic scenario. The Diablo6 virus disables the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) so that the plagued user is unable to leverage shadow copies of their files to restore them after the data tweaking process is completed. This being done, the Locky offshoot scans all local drive volumes, network shares and removable devices for files with specific extensions. Every matching item spotted during this traversal is subject to modification via a mix of the RSA-2048 and AES-128 cryptosystems.
Not only does the Diablo6 ransomware encrypt the internal structure of one’s files, but it also makes it impossible for the victim to work out what exactly has been encrypted. To this end, it changes filenames to strings consisting of 36 random hexadecimal characters, which all have the .diablo6 affixed at the end. So a document named Sample.docx becomes something similar to F5986398-A218-0FB1-A18F3D7B-2A8F8CB8DN8A.diablo6. To let the victim know what exactly happened and how to sort things out, the perpetrating program replaces the desktop wallpaper with an image containing basic recovery steps. It also drops rescue notes named “diablo-[4 random chars].htm” (for example “diablo-ff12.htm”) onto the desktop and into all folders with affected files in them.
According to these notes, the fix boils down to visiting a Tor page titled “Locky Decryptor” and following steps listed there. Specifically, the victim is instructed to submit 0.5 BTC to the threat actor’s Bitcoin wallet address. Although the crooks supposedly provide an automatic decryption tool after the payment has been validated, that’s something nobody can guarantee. So be sure to follow the specially crafted anti-ransomware procedure below to get rid of Diablo6 Locky ransomware and try to regain access to personal data.
Diablo6 ransomware automated removal and data recovery
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.
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.
Diablo6 ransomware manual removal and file recovery
Some ransomware strains terminate themselves after completing the encryption job on a computer, but some don’t. Furthermore, the .master file virus may prevent victims from using popular antimalware tools in order to stay on board for as long as possible. Under the circumstances, it may be necessary to utilize the Safe Mode with Networking or System Restore functionality.
- Restart the machine. When the system begins loading back up, keep pressing the F8 key with short intervals. The Windows Advanced Options Menu (Advanced Boot Options) screen will appear.
- Use arrow keys to select Safe Mode with Networking and hit Enter. Log on with the user account infected by the ransomware.
- Click on the Search icon next to the Start menu button. Type msconfig in the search field and select the System Configuration option in the results. Go to the Boot tab in the upper part of the GUI.
- Under Boot options, select Safe boot and click the Apply button. A prompt will appear to reboot the computer so that the changes take effect. Select the Restart option and wait for the system to load into Safe Mode. Again, log on with the ransomware-stricken user account.
In Safe Mode, the ransom Trojan won’t keep security software from running or otherwise thwart troubleshooting. Open your preferred web browser, download and install an antimalware tool of choice and start a full system scan. Have all the detected ransomware components removed in a hassle-free way.
- Open Windows Advanced Options Menu as described in the previous section: hit F8 repeatedly when the PC is starting up. Use arrow keys to highlight the Safe Mode with Command Prompt entry. Hit Enter.
- In the Command Prompt window, type cd restore and hit Enter
- Type rstrui.exe in the new command line and press Enter
- When the System Restore screen pops up, click Next, select a restore point that predates the contamination, and use the application’s controls to roll back the system to this earlier state.
Be advised that even after the ransomware is removed, files will still be encrypted and inaccessible. The malicious code cleanup part, however, is important because it keeps a relapse of the infection from occurring further on and eliminates all opportunistic malware.
Ways of non-ransom recovery of .diablo6 extension 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.
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.
Alternatively, you can leverage the Previous Versions feature, which is native to Windows operating system. This method is more cumbersome that the use of ShadowExplorer, but it can help restore the most important individual files on condition that the ransomware failed to disable the Volume Snapshot Service on the computer. Right-click on a file of choice and select Properties. Then, go to the Previous Versions tab as illustrated below.
Go ahead and pick the file’s latest backup version on the list. Use the Copy or Restore buttons to reinstate this object to a new path or to its original folder, respectively.
Ransomware Prevention Tips
To avoid Diablo6 / Locky ransomware and other file-encrypting infections in the future, follow several simple recommendations:
- Toggle your email provider’s anti-spam settings to filter out all the potentially harmful incoming messages. Raising the bar beyond the default protection is an important countermeasure for ransom Trojans.
- Define specific file extension restrictions in your email system. Make sure that attachments with the following extensions are blacklisted: .js, .vbs, .docm, .hta, .exe, .cmd, .scr, and .bat. Also, treat ZIP archives in received messages with extreme caution.
- Rename the vssadmin.exe process so that ransomware is unable to obliterate all Shadow Volume Copies of your files in one shot.
- Keep your Firewall active at all times. It can prevent crypto ransomware from communicating with its C&C server. This way, the threat won’t be able to obtain cryptographic keys and lock your files.
- Back up your files regularly, at least the most important ones. This recommendation is self-explanatory. A ransomware attack isn’t an issue as long as you keep unaffected copies of your data in a safe place.
- Use an effective antimalware suite. There are security tools that identify ransomware-specific behavior and block the infection before it can do any harm.
These techniques are certainly not a cure-all, but they will add an extra layer of ransomware protection to your security setup.
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.