New version of the Locky ransomware encrypts files, appends them with the .shit extension, and creates _WHAT_is.html as well as _WHAT_is.bmp ransom notes.
Locky is a generic name of a ransomware family that appeared in early 2016 and has grown into one of the top global security threats ever since. There is no room for chance when it comes reaching milestones like that within such a short time span. The operators of this far-flung campaign leverage cryptography professionally enough to prevent brute-forcing of private decryption keys from being successful. These threat actors also treat the anonymity of their activities seriously, opting for Tor (The Onion Router) as the communication medium with victims. The strain in question, however, hasn’t been homogeneous throughout its existence. There have been four updates of Locky during the year. The latest one, unlike its predecessor known as Odin, appends the .shit extension to encoded files and provides decryption recommendations in documents called “_WHAT_is.html”, “_[random number]_WHAT_is.html”, and “_WHAT_is.bmp”.
The delivery mechanism is now somewhat different from the tactic used previously. While the Shit ransomware loader still arrives with phishing emails, its format has changed. Rather than use JS or .docm files with vulnerable macros to drag malicious code inside a computer, the malefactors have switched to the HTA format for this purpose. The actual email will contain a ZIP attachment camouflaged as an invoice, receipt, or complaint letter. Wrapped in this archive is a harmful file with the .hta or .wsf extension which, when opened, instantly downloads the totality of ransomware components. Even if a reliable antimalware suite is running on the targeted system, there is no guarantee that it will identify this occurrence as an attack, because the new format of the loader makes the pest look legit and harmless.
Having found the victim’s most important files stored locally as well as on the network and removable hardware, the Shit edition of Locky utilizes a double encryption routine using RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers. This process results in both inaccessibility of the data and dramatic changes of the way these files look. Filenames turn into strings of 32 numbers, characters and symbols followed by the .shit extension. For example, a photo named doggie.jpg will morph into something like 5FJDW859-YNPS-D2BN-1273-DE68134BCN4F.shit. Apparently, it’s impossible to establish any logical ties between the original and the crooked version of the file.
This ransomware configures a new desktop wallpaper to be displayed instead of the user’s preferred image. The text in the background poses a warning message and recovery basics at the same time. The _WHAT_is.html and _WHAT_is.bmp ransom notes fulfill the same function, providing the victim with several Tor links to receive their private key. By following one of these links, the user will end up on the Locky Decryptor page, where they will learn how much and in what way to pay the ransom. The size thereof is usually about 0.5 Bitcoin, or a little over $300. However, there is no certainty that the automatic decryptor will become available after the payment, so it’s strongly recommended to try recovery methods that don’t involve interaction with the extortionists.
Automated removal of the Shit ransomware
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 .shit 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 Shit 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.