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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Amnesia ransomware — crypto-virus that is related to Scarab virus family

The ransom note of Amnesia ransomware
Amnesia ransomware is a virus that demands the ransom in this text message

Questions about Amnesia ransomware virus

Amnesia ransomware is a dangerous crypto-virus that belongs to Scarab ransomware family. Ransomware[1] type viruses are especially dangerous as they can modify your files immediately after the infection. After the encryption process is finished, this virus appends the specific .ssimpotashka@gmail.com extension to each encrypted file and provides ssimpotashka@gmail.com for contacting its developers. This version can also be called as Scarab-Amnesia. Please, do NOT pay the ransom in exchange for the data recovery software which is offered by virus developers as you can be left with nothing. According to previous cases, there is a high possibility that the decryption software provided by these cybercriminals will be useless.

Name Amnesia 
Type Ransomware
Encryption method AES 
Latest version Scarab-Amnesia
Ransom message HOW the TO the RECOVER The ENCRYPTED files.txt; How to recover encrypted fayly.txt
Extensions used to mark encrypted data .amnesia; .[lioghaly@india.com].TRMT; .am; .01; .02; .wncry; .scarab; .onion; .BAGI; .[byd@india.com].SON; .@decrypt2017; .[Help244@Ya.RU].LOCKED; .LOGOZ; .[black.mirror@qq.com].oled; .CRYPTOBOSS; .ssimpotashka@gmail.com
Danger level High
Main dangers Can permanently damage files, can lead to money loss
Decryption Available, but not for all versions. Can be found below
Distribution Spam email attachments
Elimination Reimage should be used for ransomware removal

Previously known versions of Amnesia virus have been appending the following file extensions to the compromised files: .am, .01, .02, .wncry (previously used by Wannacry virus), .scarab, .[lioghaly@india.com].TRMT, .onion, .BAGI, .[byd@india.com].SON, .@decrypt2017, .[Help244@Ya.RU].LOCKED, .LOGOZ, .[black.mirror@qq.com].oled, .CRYPTOBOSS.

The ransomware usually saves the ransom-demanding message in a note called HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT, although the name of this message depends on the virus' version. You can also find these .amnesia ransom notes in every folder where your affected files are saved:

  • IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS.TXT;
  • Instruction for recovery of files WannaCry.TXT;
  • Инструкция по расшифровке файлов WannaCry.TXT;
  • RECOVER-FILES.HTML;
  • Instruction for recovery of data.txt.

Following successful encryption and the ransom warning, virus automatically opens the ransom note either via Notepad or the default web browser. In the ransom note, criminals provide victim's ID and the email address which should be used for contacting. They demand using these email addresses:

  • s1an1er111@protonmail.com;
  • byd@india.com;
  • chines34@protonmail.ch;
  • lioghaly@india.com;
  • support@bitmessage.ch.

The criminals are typically urging the victim to contact them within 24 hours and include the personal ID. According to fraudsters, this is the only way to “switch off any removal of files.” Otherwise, they promise to delete 24 files each day. Criminals have also set a deadline until when the victim has to pay the ransom to eliminate amnesia file extension and other extensions from affected files. They want to receive the payment in Bitcoins within 72 hours starting from the minute that the computer got infected.

At first, it seemed that this virus was a new version of Cryptolocker and Globe ransomware[2]. However, further analysis revealed that virus origins’ aren’t associated with any of these infamous viruses. Therefore, the decryptor created for Globe is worthless when trying to decrypt files encrypted by the new ransomware virus. Recently, security experts discovered virus relation to Scarab ransomware and have even dubbed this malware Scarab-Amnesia.

However, victims can recover their files using data backups[3] created before ransomware attack or data recovery methods explained below the article. Before trying to import copies of data into a compromised computer or use the decryption tools, victims should clean the system from ransomware remains using anti-malware programs such as Reimage. Our team recommends using Amnesia ransomware removal tutorial that is provided below the article to complete the procedure successfully.

Decryption is now possible

The ransomware has been successfully analyzed, and malware analysts from Emsisoft managed to create a decryption tool that restores .amnesia file extension files for free.

The malicious virus works as a virtual extortion tool[4], which is distributed using various deceptive means. Once it manages to enter user’s computer system and execute itself, it scans every partition of the computer and encrypts every file that has a file extension that matches one from virus’ target list.

Sadly, the encryption that the malicious program uses is sophisticated, and there’s no way to initiate a reverse process without having the private key that ransomware removes from the system as soon as files get encrypted. This is exactly the piece of code that cybercriminals suggest buying for a certain price, and that is why they ask the victim to get in touch with them via an email provided in the email message.

They ask victims to buy Bitcoins worth certain amount of dollars (usually between $300-$2000) and transfer them to criminals’ virtual wallet. Security researchers do not recommend paying extortionists because criminals often forget their promises as soon as they receive the payment[5].

As a result, you can be left out without files and money, so better remove Amnesia ransomware without a doubt and use the decrypter to recover your files (the download link is provided below).

Most prevalent versions of Amnesia ransomware

.WNCRY file extension virus. This fake copy of WannaCry ransomware has been around for about two months. First discovered on June 20, the ransomware was spotted using English and Russian ransom note names: Инструкция по расшифровке файлов WannaCry.TXT and Instruction of recovery files WannaCry.txt (also spotted using Instruction for recovery of data.txt).

In the ransom note, criminals provide a message explaining how to decrypt corrupted files – pay a ransom in Bitcoins. The ransom must be paid within 72 hours. To get detailed data recovery instructions, criminals command writing to helper@bitmessage.ch.

We recommend you to remove .wncry file extension virus because it has no relations with the real WannaCry virus (also known as the .wncry virus). Besides, data encrypted by this Amnesia variant can be decrypted.

.onion file extension virus. The .onion file extension is associated with other ransomware families such as CrySiS/Dharma or Cry128. Amnesia ONION ransomware drops HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT, in which it states that files can be decrypted for 2 Bitcoins if the victim pays on the same day. If the victim decides to pay the ransom the next day, the price will rise to 4 Bitcoins.

Criminals suggest writing to k.matroski@aol.com after paying the ransom. We do not recommend doing so. Instead, remove the malware and try available decryption tools that were designed to decrypt your files for free.

TRMT ransomware virus. This ransomware uses .[lioghaly@india.com].TRMT file marker on encrypted files. Also, the virus completely distorts the original filename. The new version continues using identically named ransom note as .onion file extension virus does. The virus uses weak encryption method, so you might be lucky – test the decryption tools provided below the article to restore your data for free.

Amnesia2 ransomware. This version of the malicious program which spreads as a locker.exe file. You can download this file hidden in fake email attachments, illegal programs' versions or after clicking on a malicious ad. Once inside the system, Amnesia2 ransomware encrypts victim's files and appends one of these file extensions: .am, .01, .02. 

Recently, security researchers announced that discovered a new strain of this file-encrypting virus. However, cybercriminals who are working behind this ransomware do not provide information on how to contact them. Luckily, Amnesia2 is decryptable with one of the alternative tools that have been prepared to beat Amnesia ransomware.

The latest Amnesia2 ransomware version is not yet decryptable. In May 2018 it was successfully decrypted, but a version that was found in June have not. You can find decryption tools for previous versions down below.  Amnesia2 ransomware
Amnesia2 ransomware is a newest version of this virus that demands ransom for encrypted files

Ransomware spreads via spam emails

Ransomware viruses that operate similarly as Amnesia malware are usually distributed same techniques that haven’t changed a lot throughout the years. These viruses are proliferated using spam, malvertising, and more sophisticated tricks that involve usage of exploit kits and compromised websites.

The main method is spam email attachments often filled with malicious macro viruses. When you open the insecure file and download it to your computer, you can get various infections, including ransomware viruses, on your PC. 

The only way to fight against ransomware viruses is to rely on multi-layer protection means. These tips from NoVirus.uk[6] can help you to keep your computer safe:

  • Be careful when opening emails you received from unknown individuals and surely avoid URLs and email attachments added to strange messages because clicking them can summon a ransomware program.
  • Keeping an up-to-date anti-malware program on the system can also help you avoid virus’ attacks; however, security experts always advise users to create data backups even if the computer is protected with a good anti-malware software.
  • Always install software updates offered to you by your computer, but stay away from suspicious web ads that might attempt to trick you into installing dangerous programs!

Delete Amnesia virus and recover your files

Users should remove Amnesia ransomware without delay, and we recommend using professional malware removal software to complete such task. In other words, we suggest running a system scan with anti-malware or anti-spyware program to detect ransomware files placed all over the system.

Sometimes such viruses are programmed to prevent removal and even detection, so before you take any actions regarding Amnesia ransomware removal, we suggest restarting your PC in Safe Mode (see instructions provided below). We have prepared a full step-by-step guide for you below the article. You can use suggested methods for file decryption and recovering your systems' security.

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To remove Amnesia virus, follow these steps:

Remove Amnesia using Safe Mode with Networking

Remove the ransomware with the help of a guide we present below for rebooting your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

  • 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 Amnesia

    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 Amnesia removal.

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

Remove Amnesia using System Restore

Use System Restore feature for ransomware termination

  • 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 Amnesia. 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 Amnesia removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

To decrypt your files, you need to have a special key that is stored in cybercriminals' servers. In short, it is nearly impossible to get it from there if you're unwilling to pay a ransom. We do not recommend thinking about this option at all. If you have data backups, you can restore your files quickly, but if you don't, use one of the following methods.

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

Try Data Recovery Pro software

Data Recovery Pro can help when you need to restore certain files that were either deleted, corrupted, or encrypted. Although it might not restore all of your files, this tool is worth a try:

If you are keen on recovering individual files you can use Windows Previous Version feature

This feature can be used if only System Restore was enabled before the initial attack:

  • 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”.

The benefits of Shadow Explorer software

ShadowExplorer comes in handy in case the malicious virus fails to eliminate Volume Shadow Copies from the system. These copies can give access to your files again, and ShadowExplorer helps to use them to recreate 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 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.

Decrypt files locked by Amnesia virus using a decryption tool

As we previously mentioned, researchers from Emsisoft designed a program that can reverse the encryption procedure and decrypt your files encrypted by Amnesia malware. Download either Amnesia or Amnesia2 decrypter and use it to restore your files.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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