If the extensions of files stored on a computer have been appended with .micro value, it means a ransom virus is inside and it must be taken care of ASAP.
Different attributes of data kept on a PC stay invariable unless the admin intentionally changes them or a malicious program stealthily makes the respective modifications. File extensions matter because they constitute the processing routine that allows the operating system to automatically determine which software should be used to open a specific item. Numerous problem reports that began surfacing lately have to do with the “.micro” string being added to random files. As per thorough security analysis of these cases, a tweaking like that occurs because of ransomware. At first sight it may seem that the affected data elements are simply misrepresented and editing the file structure will get the issue fixed, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Every such object turns out to also be encrypted by an infection named TeslaCrypt 3.0.
The crypto infection mentioned above bears advanced disruptive characteristics, including smart distribution of the payload, Tor-protected interaction with the victim, and sophisticated antivirus evasion. What sort of surprises malware researchers is the encryption algorithm used – it’s the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) symmetric-key algorithm, as opposed to the more complex RSA standard leveraged by most ransom trojans on the loose. The symmetry consists in the fact that the same key is generated and used both for encryption and decryption. Earlier editions of TeslaCrypt stored this information on the victim’s computer, which made it possible for special software to retrieve the key and recover the locked files.
With the emergence of TeslaCrypt 3.0, things have gotten out of hand. The ransomware now sends the keys to an external server. Along with the .micro extension, the latest variant may also complement files with .ttt or .xxx string. As soon as the data encryption part has been completed, the trojan displays ransom instructions which, if followed, are supposed to result in full recovery of the encoded information. The corresponding files are in .bmp, .htm and .txt formats. They are called Howto_Restore_FILES. These notes are created on the desktop so that the user can easily access the steps and proceed with the restoration. The ransom amounts to about 500 USD, but it should be paid in cryptocurrency – this way, anonymity of the criminals is fully secured.
Prevention of these attacks is fairly trivial. Most of the time it suffices to abstain from opening suspicious email attachments camouflaged as invoices, payroll details or similar. As far as the fix goes, again, the .micro file ransomware version cannot be decrypted with expert-tailored tools. Paying the scammers isn’t a good option either, therefore special recovery techniques come to the fore.
Automated removal of .micro file 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 .micro 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 TeslaCrypt 3.0, 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.