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GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware – a file locking virus that uses random 5 symbols after data encryption

GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware
GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware is a file locking virus that employs a sophisticated encryption algorithm to lock data and demands ransom for its release

GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware is a sub-variant of GandCrab v5 and showed up mid-October 2018. Malware usually breaks in via spam emails or by using weak RDP,[1] as well as exploit kits (such as Fallout EK)[2] and then uses a strong encryption algorithm to lock up data. Files do not get corrupted, but instead, a file extension of five random characters is added, preventing users from accessing them. GandCrab 5.0.3 virus then leaves a ransom note [5 random characters]-DECRYPT.txt behind, explaining what victims should do next. Additionally, the wallpaper is also swapped to a brief message from malware authors. To retrieve personal files, users are asked to pay a ransom of $400-2400 in Bitcoin or Dash cryptocurrency. While malware is not decryptable, users can use a vaccine[3] to prevent GandCrab 5.0.3 file encryption entirely, as long as it is applied before the infection.

Summary
Name GandCrab 5.0.3
Type Ransomware
Related versions Gandcrab 5.0.1GandCrab v5.0.2GandCrab 5.0.4
Cipher used Salsa20 and RSA-2048
Extension .[5 random characters]
Ransom note [5 random characters]-DECRYPT.txt
Distribution Exploit kits, phishing emails, weak RDP, etc.
Elimination Use Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner to eliminate the virus 

Since version 5 release in late September, GandCrab ransomware grew rampant with new version releases, resulting in 4 sub-variants coming out in a short period of time. All cyber threats are using Salsa20 and RSA-2048 to encode data, and a random combination of characters as a file extension. According to cybercriminals, such method allows them to obfuscate and complicate GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware removal process.

The main file dropper is JavaScript file called GandCrab 5.0.3 downloader.js, which once executed, launches another two executables – dsoyaltj.exe and Wermgr.exe. These processes provide malware administrative rights which can then modify Windows Registry and other vital settings.

After file encryption,  GandCrab 5.0.3 virus drops ransom note into each of the affected folders and includes the following message:

—= GANDCRAB V5.0.3 =—
Attention!
All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: {5 random letters}
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.
The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:
———————————————————————–
| 0. Download Tor browser – https://www.torproject.org/
| 1. Install Tor Browser
| 2. Open Tor Browser
| 3. Open link in TOR browser http://gandcrabmfe6mnef.onion/[unique_ID]
| 4. Follow the instructions on this page
On our page you will see instructions on payment and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.
ATTENTION!
IN ORDER TO PREVENT DATA DAMAGE:
• DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES
• DO NOT CHANGE DATA BELOW

Once users enter the provided URL, they can see further details on how to process the payment and allegedly receive the decryptor. However, experts[4] do not recommend contacting criminals, as loss of money is likely. Instead, users should ignore the warnings and the ransom note, and remove GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware from their computers. To make sure that the process is smooth, users should reboot in Safe Mode with Networking to temporary disable the virus and perform system scan using Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or another trusted security software.

Only after GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware is eliminated, victims can proceed with file recovery. Those who keep backups are in luck – it assures a 100% data recovery. Users who did not prepare a backup should not give up just yet, and try third-party software. We provide all the instructions below, so please check them out.

Practice safe internet browsing habits to avoid ransomware attacks

Internet security is often underestimated by users, as they are extremely careless when it comes to it. Furthermore, negligence might be initiated by a simple lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, those who do not know how malware is distributed and how it infects computers are usually the victims.

Ransomware is one of the most wide-spread cyber threats when it comes to money extortion. Thus, users should always back up their systems, as no security measures can guarantee 100% protection. Nevertheless, several actions can significantly reduce the risk of infection, such as:

  • Prompt Windows and other software updates;
  • Powerful security software;
  • File-sharing, torrent, and similar dangerous site avoidance;
  • Strong passwords, frequently changed;
  • Caution when opening spam emails, their links and attachments.

Eliminate GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware from your computer safely

There are many people, who get infected with a virus and suddenly ask “What should I do now?”. Users should come to a conclusion that the infection already happened, but it can be dealt with. The very first step is GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware removal, regardless of what cybercriminals imply. There is no point in trusting their words, as they already use unfair methods to infect machines and hijack all personal files.

To remove GandCrab 5.0.3 virus, you should first enter Safe Mode with Networking, as explained below. After the boot, download and install reputable security software, and then perform a full system scan. Manual virus elimination is impossible for regular users, so do not waste your time (additionally, it can result in system failure, and then a complete reinstall of Windows will be needed).

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

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove GandCrab 5.0.3 virus, follow these steps:

Remove GandCrab 5.0.3 using Safe Mode with Networking

To temporary disable the virus and remove it, enter 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 GandCrab 5.0.3

    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 GandCrab 5.0.3 removal.

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

Remove GandCrab 5.0.3 using System Restore

System Restore can also be helpful when it comes to GandCrab 5.0.3 removal:

  • 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 GandCrab 5.0.3. 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 GandCrab 5.0.3 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove GandCrab 5.0.3 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

While no official decrypto is yet released, do no to pay ransom to criminals, as you might lose it as well. Instead, try third-party software.

If your files are encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.3, you can use several methods to restore them:

Make use of Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool that might be able to help you get your files back.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.3 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature

This option is only available if you had System Restore feature enabled before the attack occurred.

  • 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”.

Recover your files encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.3 with ShadowExplorer

Most of ransomware viruses attempt to remove Shadow Volume Copies. However, some of them fail to do so. If you are lucky, you will be able to recover all of your data.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from GandCrab 5.0.3 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References