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Spora ransomware virus. How to Remove? (Uninstall Guide)

removal by - -   | Type: Ransomware
12

Spora ransomware targets PC users all around the world

It seems that Spora virus is about to be the next big player in the ransomware world. So far, malware analysts call it "the most sophisticated ransomware of all time." First discovered on January 10th, Spora ransomware appears to be a data-encrypting Trojan[1] which started communicating with its victims only in the Russian language. However, after several weeks of operation it has started traveling the whole world wide web. Surprisingly, the malicious program uses the entirely different, and very complicated data encryption algorithm which seems to be immune. Apparently, the virus creates contents of .KEY file by creating RSA key, encrypting it with a newly generated AES key. In addition, it encrypts the AES key with a public key inserted into the virus' executable file, and finally saves them to .KEY. Data encryption routine of this malware is slightly less complicated: they are encrypted using an AES key encrypted with RSA cipher (unfortunately, we cannot say so about Spora ransomware removal). The virus currently targets only 23 file extensions:

.backup, .xlsx, .docx, .rtf, .dwg, .cdr, .cd, .mdb, .1cd, .odt, .pdf, .psd, .dbf, .doc, .sqlite, .accdb, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .zip, .rar, .7z, .xls.

Files that have these extensions are secured using a long encryption key (the public key); meanwhile, the private key is sent to criminals remote servers and is kept there until the victim agrees to pay a ransom. Instructions on how to transfer the payment are provided in the ransom note which is usually saved on the desktop. Typically, these instructions point the victim to a place that contains even more instructions - the official Spora ransom payment site. Surprisingly, authors of this ransomware demonstrate excellent programming skills in their payment websites. Besides, their user support has surprised even the most experienced security experts. The number of payment sites has been increasing rapidly and now you can find 10 sites that are used for collecting illegal ransoms, including spora[.]bz, spora[.]one, spora[.]hk, and others.

The payment site[2] differs from websites that typical ransomware viruses normally point to because it provides a variety of options for the victim - one can remove Spora virus for $20, restore files for $30 and even pay $50 for ostensible immunity to ransomware attacks. However, if the victim wants to get a full restore package, has to pay $79. Keep in mind that the virus might ask higher or lower ransoms from different victims. In fact, such wide range of options elevates the "freemium" model to a new level. You probably have already heard that traditional ransomware, including Cerber ransomware, suggests trying the decryption tool on one or two small encrypted files to prove that the decryption tool exists and its on crooks' secret server, but this new virus breaks the full ransom price into pieces, offering the victim to purchase separate services. Authors of the virus accept the payment in BitCoin currency[3] only. On January 16th, the payment website was improved, and a "Help" page was added. The site also has a public communication window, a table of transactions already made, and other little details that all make a very user-friendly interface[4]. No matter what, the malware is definitely not user-friendly as it wants to extort money[5] from the victim. In order to get the decryption key, victims are asked to pay the ransom and send the .KEY file to crooks via the payment site. If you have been hit by this virus, make sure you delete it immediately. It is highly advisable to use tools like Reimage or PlumbytesWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus for successful Spora removal.

How did I get infected with Spora?

Spora ransomware is currently disseminated via malicious email campaigns filled with infectious HTA files. These hideous files have double extensions, for example, PDF.HTA and the real extension is hidden so that the victim would think that .DOC is the real extension. Let us remind you that HTA file is HTML executable file format, and so when the victim opens it, it downloads close.js JavaScript file to the system folder called %Temp%. Here, the infection activates itself by extracting an executable file and opening it. This executable file is the main file which is responsible for the data encryption procedure. At the same time, HTA file opens a DOCX file, which shows an error message that says file cannot be opened. While the victim stares at this suspicious error, the ransomware encrypts all files one the system.

Malspam is currently the main technique used to distribute Spora. In the beginning, when this threat was using Russian language only, misleading emails used such subject: Скан-копия _ 10 января 2017г. Составлено и подписано главным бухгалтером. Экспорт из 1С.a01e743_рdf.hta. (In English that would be: "The copy of scan _ 10 Jan 2017. Written and signed by the chief accountant"). However, now you should bear in mind that this ransomware keeps changing and it will definitely use different subject lines. Of course, different malware dissemination tricks, for instance, via exploit kits, Trojans, phishing websites and so on, can also be expected. We advise you to be very careful while browsing the Internet and assess unknown Internet sites with suspicion. If you do not want to be tricked into installing questionable software or malicious software updates, you better not install anything from the websites that you have never visited before. 

Spora ransomware removal

You can remove Spora virus quite easily if you use reliable anti-malware software. However, it matters what developers are working behind anti-malware software you use, so, if you do not have it, we suggest installing Reimage. If you want to use a different program, you can easily choose the one that you like after reading detailed software reviews in Software section. Please keep in mind that you are dealing with the virus of ransomware type, so it can try such things as blocking your anti-malware and antivirus programs when trying to remove it from the system. If you are dealign with such problem right now, we recommend you to try rebooting your computer to a Safe Mode with Networking before launching anti-spyware software. If this option does not work, continue Spora ransomware removal with the help of System restore method.

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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Spora 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.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Spora 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.
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We are testing Plumbytes's efficiency (2017-01-31 06:25)
Malwarebytes Anti Malware
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Hitman Pro
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus

References

Method 1. Remove Spora using Safe Mode with Networking

Ransomware viruses are extremely hard to remove because they typically modify Windows Registry, clutter the system with malicious files and often drops additional malware. If your anti-malware program is blocked by Spora virus, perform the following steps and reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking before a scan. You should repeat it in normal mode once you finish the scanning process in Safe Mode.

Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  • Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
  • When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  • Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list
Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  • Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
  • Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
  • Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window.
Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
Step 2: Remove Spora

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 Spora removal.

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

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

Method 2. Remove Spora using System Restore

If rebooting to Safe Mode with Networking failed to work for you, you can try System Restore option to block the virus. Then, make sure you run a full system scan with anti-spyware software because system restore does not eliminate malicious files from your computer, it just blocks the ransomware.

Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  • Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
  • When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  • Select Command Prompt from the list
Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  • Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
  • Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
  • 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
  • Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
  • Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
  • When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Spora. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
  • 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 Spora removal is performed successfully.
Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage
Reimage is a tool to detect malware. You need to purchase full version to remove infections. More information about Reimage

Bonus: Recover your data

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

There are some data recovery methods that might help you to restore lost files. You can find descriptions of these methods below.

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

Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro can help you to restore some of your lost files, so you should not miss the opportunity and try it:

Find lost data with ShadowExplorer

ShadowExplorer helps you to find previously saved file copies in case their latest versions get corrupted. Here's a quick tutorial on how to find the earlier versions of encrypted files:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go thru 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.

Spora ransomware decrypter is not available yet

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

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate virus researcher

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Information updated:

Comments on Spora ransomware virus

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Lean0n
Ughhhh why why why why I didnt create the God damn backupppp!!
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William
This one seems sophisticated, I can say. Wondering if someone is smart enough to crack it!
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hetera
Even if the ransom isnt high, Im not gonna pay it, no matter what!

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