BrightNight ransomware (virus) - Recovery Instructions Included
BrightNight virus Removal Guide
What is BrightNight ransomware?
BrightNight ransomware infection can result in permanent data loss if users do not have backups
Ransomware is a dangerous malware that can cause serious damage
BrightNight ransomware is a piece of malicious software that encrypts personal files such as photos, videos, and documents, rendering them inaccessible. It is a type of malware that encrypts victims' files and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key in order to extort money from them.
Once the BrightNight ransomware infects a system, it appends the encrypted files with the .BrightNight extension, the attackers' email, and a unique ID assigned to the victim. The attackers then demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key, which is the only way to regain access to the encrypted files.
The consequences of a BrightNight ransomware attack can be disastrous for users. It can be a traumatic experience to lose access to personal files, including cherished memories such as family photos and videos.
|TYPE||Ransomware, cryptovirus, data-locking malware|
|DISTRIBUTION||Email attachments, peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms, malicious ads|
|FILE RECOVERY||If no backups are available, recovering data is almost impossible. We list alternative methods that could help you in some cases below|
|MALWARE REMOVAL||Scan your machine with anti-malware software to eliminate the malicious files|
|SYSTEM FIX||Malware can seriously tamper with Windows systems, causing errors, crashes, lag, and other stability issues. To remediate the OS and avoid its reinstallation, we recommend scanning it with the RestoroIntego repair tool|
The ransom note
BrightNight ransomware drops a ransom note README.txt on the affected machine:
!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: Tpyrcne@onionmail.org
In case of no answer in 24h, send e-mail to this address: Tpyrcne@cyberfear.com
Your System Key –
Attackers frequently demand payment in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin because it allows them to remain anonymous. However, for some victims, obtaining these cryptocurrencies can be a significant challenge. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attackers will provide the decryption key required to restore the encrypted files. Unfortunately, many victims paid the ransom but were unable to recover their data, leaving them with no choice but to accept permanent data loss.
Paying the ransom has a broader impact because it encourages cybercriminals to continue their illegal activities. It encourages them to create and distribute more malware, putting other people and businesses at risk of becoming victims of similar attacks. To help individuals and organizations protect themselves from such threats, it is critical to avoid paying the ransom and instead focus on preventative measures such as backup solutions, robust cybersecurity practices, and education.
It is very risky to pay the ransom because cyber criminals can't be trusted
Other methods are used by cybercriminals to spread ransomware and infect systems. Social engineering is a common technique that involves tricking users into performing actions that allow malware to infiltrate their systems. Clicking on malicious links, downloading infected attachments, or providing sensitive information such as login credentials are all examples of this.
Drive-by downloading is another method used by threat actors, which involves infecting a legitimate website with malicious code that downloads and executes ransomware on the user's system when they visit the site. This can happen if users click on a pop-up or banner ad on the site, which redirects them to another page containing malware.
Furthermore, attackers can distribute ransomware via infected USB drives or other external storage devices. They can install malware on a USB drive and leave it in a public place for an unsuspecting user to pick up and insert into their system, infecting their device unknowingly with ransomware.
Finally, cybercriminals can distribute ransomware via social media platforms. They can create bogus profiles or use compromised accounts to share links to malicious websites or malware-infected attachments. Users who click on these links or download these files may end up with ransomware on their systems.
Start the removal process
It is critical to disconnect the affected machine from the local network in order to effectively address the situation. This can be accomplished at home by unplugging the ethernet cable. However, disconnecting from the network at work may be more difficult. Instructions for corporate environments are available at the bottom of this post.
Attempting to recover data before removing the malicious files may result in permanent data loss or encryption of the files. It is critical to first remove the malware and then attempt data recovery. Ransomware removal is a difficult process that should not be attempted by inexperienced individuals. Manual removal necessitates advanced IT skills and should only be attempted by professionals.
Use anti-malware tools like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes to scan your system. This security software should find all the related files and entries and remove them automatically for you. In some cases, malware does not let you use antivirus in normal mode, so you need to access Safe Mode and perform a full system scan from there:
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Click Restart.
- Press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Repair corrupted system files
It is not uncommon to experience performance, stability, and usability issues following a malware infection, which may necessitate a full Windows reinstallation. Malicious viruses can corrupt or delete DLL files, modify critical sections of the Windows registry, and more. Antivirus software is incapable of repairing malware-damaged system files.
Manually repairing such damage can be difficult and time-consuming. That is why RestoroIntego was created. This maintenance tool is intended to repair many of the problems caused by malware infections, such as Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, and damaged DLLs. Your computer may become completely unusable if you do not have such a tool. By using this maintenance tool, you may be able to avoid the need for a full Windows reinstallation.
Try recovering data with third-party software
If you haven't backed up your files prior to the attack, chances are that only the hackers possess the decryption key that can unlock them. Data recovery software may be worth a try, but it is important to note that third-party programs may not always be successful in decrypting the files.
Regardless of the situation, attempting data recovery is recommended. Before proceeding, it is essential to copy the corrupted files and store them in an external storage device such as a USB flash drive. However, it is crucial to ensure that the BrightNight ransomware has been removed before attempting data recovery.
Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:
- Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
- Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.
Install data recovery software
- Download Data Recovery Pro.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.
- As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
- Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.
- Press Next.
- At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.
- Press Scan and wait till it is complete.
- You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
- Press Recover to retrieve your files.
Getting rid of BrightNight virus. Follow these steps
Isolate the infected computer
Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.
The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.
- Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
- Go to Network and Internet
- Click Network and Sharing Center
- On the left, pick Change adapter settings
- Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable
- Confirm with Yes.
If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.
Find a working decryptor for your files
File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.
There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.
While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.
Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.
Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:
- No More Ransom Project
- Free Ransomware Decryptors by Kaspersky
- Free Ransomware Decryption Tools from Emsisoft
- Avast decryptors
If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.
Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future
One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.
Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:
- Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Use cloud storage services.
The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.
Using Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:
- Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
- Select Help & Settings > Settings.
- If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
- Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
- Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
- Press Start backup.
After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).
Using Google Drive
Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.
You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.
- Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to be installed.
- Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password.
- Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
- Once done, pick Next.
- Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
- Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.
Report the incident to your local authorities
Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.
Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:
- USA – Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3
- United Kingdom – ActionFraud
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Australia – ScamWatch
- New Zealand – ConsumerProtection
- Germany – Polizei
- France – Ministère de l'Intérieur
If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.
- ^ What is encryption? Data encryption defined. Ibm. Data Protection.
- ^ What Is a Drive by Download. Kaspersky. Resource Center.
- ^ Blue screen of death. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.