RanRan ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware
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RanRan ransomware virus targets Middle Eastern governmental organizations

RanRan ransomware is a unique file-encrypting virus that held few attacks against government organizations in the Middle East.[1] The virus has political connotations[2] and does not behave like ordinary ransomware. It’s already known that it attacked Saudi Arabia, more specifically – country’s leader King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. However, it seems that the same virus held another attack in the Philippines in January 2017.[3] The ransom note delivered by the RanRan virus asks Middle Easter government organizations, or victims, to make political statement against the leader of the country by creating a particular public sub-domain. It’s uncommon behavior for the ransomware because cyber criminals do not directly demand to pay the ransom like their counterparts. The instructions what criminals have to do are explained in the zXz.html file (the full message is presented below). After following the orders, victims just have to wait for the hackers’ response. Nevertheless, it’s unusual example of the file-encrypting virus; it’s better to remove RanRan from the system than dealing with cyber criminals.

!!!Congratulations!!!
Welcome to my Ransomware!
Cannot you find the fies youneed?
is the content of the files that you have watched not readable?
I want to play a game with you. Let me explain the rules:
Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted
with strongest encryption and unique key generated for this computer.
Private decryption key is stored on a secret internet server and nobody can decrypt
your files until you pay and obtain the private key.
But, don’t worry!
It is normal because the file, names as well the data in your files have been encrypted.

Do no: power off compuer, run antivirus program ,disable internet connection. Failures during key recovery
and file decryption may lead to accidental damage on files.

In order to have relationship with us, and pay the ransom; must go the following steps:
1. Launch a subdomain named:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
2. Make atxt file named:
ransomware.txt including:
Hacked!
“Your email address”
We will text you ASAP.

Malware researchers haven’t found RanRan distribution methods yet. However, when a victim runs an infected computer, the virus immediately starts looking for a mutex[4]. If it finds it, the virus understands that the computer is already infected and stops the execution process. It roots into the system by creating autorun key using an encoded base64 string which creates a new registry key. Then, the virus locates itself to the “C:\services.exe” file. RanRan ransomware also shuts down various processes that are mostly related to database servers. To prevent them from starting and running, the virus monitors them regularly and closes if necessary. Then, the virus starts scanning the system looking for the targeted files. It aims at the Microsoft Office files, various image, audio, video and other often used files. Though, the encryption procedure quite differs from the regular ransomware viruses, because it might use two encryption methods. If the virus finds a Supplied Rsa Public Key located in the“C:\pubkey”, it uses it for the data encryption. Otherwise, it employs Built-in MD5 Hash Encryption. This mechanism uses a randomly generated md5 hash of string which is written to the “C:\WINDOWS\pass.” This string is used as an RC4 password which is generated for the particular groups of files. Before starting data encryption, RanRan virus categorizes files by the size into 8 groups. For each cluster it generates unique passwords. Then, the virus encodes each of the used keys with RSA public key, and renames files using this pattern: VictemKey_[lower_bound]_[upper_bound] and appends .zXz file extension. Below you can find the list how virus categorizes the files and renames them during the encryption:

File size: 0 – 5 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_0_5.zXz
File size: 5 – 30 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_5_30.zXz
File size: 30 – 100 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_30_100.zXz
File size: 100 – 300 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_100_300.zXz
File size: 300 – 700 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_300_700.zXz
File size: 700 – 2000 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_700_2000.zXz
File size: 2000 – 3000 MB -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_2000_3000.zXz
File size: 3000 MB and greater -> example of the file name after encryption: VictemKey_3000.zXz

Nevertheless, RanRan ransomware for data encryption uses complex methods; malware researchers found out that there’res several mistakes in this procedure. For instance, during encryption, some files are not deleted but encrypted only. Researchers from Paulo Alto Network discovered how victims could decrypt their files[5]. However, before starting data encryption procedure, victims have to perform the RanRan removal. We suggest employing Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware to wipe out malware from the system.

How does ransomware spread?

We have already mentioned that it’s unknown how RanRan malware spreads. Though, it might be using one of the widely used distribution methods: malicious spam emails and their attachments, malvertising, exploit kits, bogus software updates, and downloads, etc. Thus, in order to avoid ransomware, computer users are advised to be careful with email attachments and do not rush opening them, avoid clicking suspicious or eye-catchy ads and stay away from insecure sources for downloads. To minimize the risk of ransomware attack helps installed a professional antivirus program. However, you should not forget to update security tools and other programs installed on the PC.

How to remove RanRan ransomware virus?

For RanRan removal we recommend employing reputable malware removal tools such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Manual virus elimination is not recommended because malware-related components might be rooted in the system and they might be hard to find. What is more, some of the malicious files might be obfuscated and look like legitimate system files. Thus, it’s better to leave this task for professional tools and do not risk causing more damage to the computer. Ransomware might prevent from installing, updating or accessing security programs. If you cannot run your chosen software and remove RanRan automatically, reboot your computer to the Safe Mode and try again. You will find explanations below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall RanRan ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual RanRan virus Removal Guide:

Remove RanRan using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

If virus blocks access to the security tools and prevents from automatic removal, please follow the instructions to reboot computer to the Safe Mode. When in Safe Mode, try to install or run your chosen security software for automatic elimination.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove RanRan

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete RanRan removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove RanRan using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

If Safe Mode method haven’t helped, please try System Restore. This method is supposed to help to disable RanRan ransomware and allow installing malware removal programs.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of RanRan. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that RanRan removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove RanRan from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by RanRan, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro might help to restore files encrypted by RanRan ransomware

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tools that helps to restore corrupted, deleted, and encrypted files. Though, it’s not an actual RanRan decrypter, so it might not be capable of decrypting all of the files; only some of them. But it’s better than nothing!

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by RanRan virus

If System Restore function has been activated on the affected computer, follow these steps to rescue some of the files:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Try ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by RanRan ransomware virus

If malware failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you can try ShadowExplorer for data recovery.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

RanRan decryption options by Palo Alto Networks

Researchers from Palo Alto Networks found out the way how victims can decrypt their files. You can find it here.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from RanRan and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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  • tornado

    Political-themed viruses are quite interesting. I know it may sound horrible, but I am curios what developers of the RanRan are planning to do next.

  • Marta

    This ransomware is interesting.

  • Federica

    Its brave to attack the leader of Saudi Arabia…