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Remove LeChiffre virus (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2019

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

LeChiffre ransomware – a dangerous threat that distributes through cracked RDPs and is injected into the system manually afterward

LeChiffre ransomware virus

Questions about LeChiffre virus

LeChiffre ransomware is a file-encrypting malware form that is known for attacking three banks and a pharma company in Mumbai in 2016. Instead of spreading automatically, this cyber threat needs to be injected into the targeted system by hand in order to run properly. Criminals are in search of vulnerable RDPs,[1] crack them, forcibly enter the login password from a remote server and then take manual actions to plant the malicious payload. Afterward, files end up with the .LeChiffre appendix and crooks drop the _How to decrypt LeChiffre files.html message which includes information on the encryption process and payment conditions. Hackers state that LeChiffre virus uses RSA 1024 and AES[2] algorithms to lock up files and if the victims want to unlock data they have to email the criminals via decrypt.my.files@gmail.com from public mail such as Gmail or Yahoo. Even though no particular ransom demands are provided in the ransom note, some victims have been talking on forums that LeChiffre ransomware urges for 1 Bitcoin that is around $400 to be transferred for exchange in the key.[3] 

Name LeChiffre ransomware
Type Ransomware
Appearance This cyber threat was first released in the mid-summer of 2015
Activity Security reports have been announcing in 2016 that LeChiffre virus attacked three banking companies and one pharma firm in India, Mumbai
Appendix Locked files appear to be renamed a little bit after the encryption process. The .LeChiffre appendix is added to each filename
Cipher(s) According to the ransom message, criminals employ the RSA 1024 and AES algorithms for successful data encryption
Ransom note All information regarding the encryption process and ransom conditions is provided in the _How to decrypt LeChiffre files.html message
Payment demands Users have reported that the malware demands for 1 BTC (approximately, $400-$450) to be transferred in exchange for the decryption software 
Special offer Hackers try to gather as many ransom payments as possible and try to give the users a look that they are reliable people. Regarding this purpose, the crooks claim that they will provide a free decryption key after 6 months post encryption if the victim does not want to pay
Crook's email The hackers provide the decrypt.my.files@gmail.com email address as a way for users to contact them 
Distribution It is known that the ransomware virus is mainly distributed through hacked RDPs and then injected manually in the computer system by the cybercriminals
Damage fix Once you have uninstalled LeChiffre ransomware from your Windows computer system, try using Reimage Reimage Cleaner software that might help you fix the damage
Data recovery Download Emsisoft decryption key or scroll down to the article to see other file restoring alternatives

LeChiffre ransomware provides a non-typical ransom note through which criminals try to convince the victims that they are not scammers. As evidence, they offer to send them 1-2 encrypted files that contain less than 5 MB of space but no relevant information. Additionally, the crooks offer to send the victims a free decryption tool after six months if the users do not want to transfer any money. However, there is no need to pay a ransom or wait as the free decryption software has already been released by Emsisoft researchers.

The encryption is made by encrypting the first and last 8192 bytes of the file and then attaching the malicious key to the file as a 32-byte blob. Continuously, LeChiffre ransomware developers might use remote servers to store both encryption and decryption keys so that the secret codes would be accessible only for the criminals themselves. After the encryption process is finished, LeChiffre ransomware leaves a note on the infected computer in the format of a .html or .txt file that usually looks like this:

Your important files (photos, videos, documents, archives, databases, dackups, etc.) which were crypted with the strongest military cipher RSA1024 and AES. No one can't help you to restore files without our decoder. Photorec, RannohDecryptor, etc repair tools are useless and can destroy your files irreversibly. If you want to restore files – send e-mail to decrypt.my.files @ gmail.com with the file “_secret_code.txt” and 1-2 encrypted files less than 5MB as *.doc *xls *jpg but not database (*.900 *.001 etc). Please use public mail yahoo or gmail.
You will receive decrypted samples and our conditions how you'll get the decoder. Follow the instructions to send payment.
P.S. Remember, we are not scammers. We don't need your files. If you want, you can get a decryptor for free after 6 month. Just send a request immediately after infection. Al data will be restored absolutelly. Your warranty decrypted samples.
Secret code:
%secret_code%

Continuously, LeChiffre virus is delivered through payload that looks like a usual executable file and ends up with a copy of itself (in the format of a .jpg component) in the Trash section. After that, the hackers can choose what type of files to encrypt no matter if it is all of them or just a specific number of data. Besides, the ransomware can lock all active data-storing sources not only the ones that are placed on the computer system directly.

LeChiffre virus
LeChiffre virus is a ransomware form that attacked banks and a pharma company in 2016

Nevertheless, LeChiffre ransomware replaces the sethc.exe executable in the C:\Windows/system32\sethc.exe with cmd.exe to open a backdoor on the infected machine system. The original sethc.exe file can be executed by the user clicking the SHIFT key on his keyboard for 5 times in a row when the criminals can call the placed cmd.exe file and launch specific commands automatically by gaining remote access to the machine with no login data required.

Another interesting thing about LeChiffre ransomware is that the malware records relevant data about the machine's geographic locations and provides the country code number on the left of the graphical user interface. Additionally, criminals initiate remote communication by using an HTTP protocol and deliver important information through a Command & Control server.

The name “LeChiffre” might have different relations. Cybersecurity specialists claim that the word is French and translated means “the number”, however, if we emphasize the word as a verb or noun “chiffer”/”chiffrement”, it means encrypting/encryption. Another theory says that LeChiffre ransomware was named after the name of the villain called “LeChiffre,” meaning “the Cypher”, featured in the first James Bond movie.[4] The latter franchise inspired many cybercriminals.

If you see the ransom note or files encrypted with the .LeChiffre appendix added to each filename, it is actual proof that LeChiffre ransomware has attacked your computer. We do not recommend paying the ransom[5]. You cannot trust the cybercriminals – there’s no guarantee that they will put any efforts to help you get the files back. Plus, a decryptor for this ransomware has been created already. 

However, you can also restore your files in case you have backup copies of them[6]. If you have such copies of your files, all you need to do is to remove the LeChiffre ransomware from your computer. Keep in mind that you should store backups on an EXTERNAL backup drive, because some viruses can reach your online data cloud storage and infect files that are stored there, too. Also, after you force the virus to vanish, you can try to fix the damage that has been left by the malware by employing a tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner .

LeChiffre ransomware
LeChiffre is a ransomware infection that urges for 1 BTC as the ransom price

LeChiffre ransomware attacked banks and a pharma company in Mumbai. The newer version uses a password-guessing technique

Since the appearance of the ransomware in mid-summer 2015, the authors have not departed the ransomware market. Unfortunately, the virus has been continuously developed. Small business with a wider network of servers happens to be the preference of LeChiffre malware.

Additionally, news reports regarding LeChiffre virus activities have been flooding the cybersphere back in 2016 when the malware aimed to attack the Indian banks and a pharma company.[7] The criminals have demanded a ransom of 1 BTC on every infected machine which could have related in huge monetary losses (up to millions of dollars) if the ransom demands would have been taken seriously.

It has been also known that the newer version of LeChiffre ransomware utilizes a password-guessing technique. In other words, if you have been using a standard and a weak code such as “password123″[8], the cyber villains easily hack into the server remotely and then download the main payload of the ransomware. Therefore, netizens are advised to use long passwords comprised of characters and numbers. Password managers may also be a solution.

Distribution techniques for ransomware viruses

Security experts from Virusai.lt[9] claim that ransomware viruses spread through different channels. Some cybercriminals find ways how to distribute the malware via Remote Desktop Ports that do not have password protection or include weak passwords that are very easy to guess.

Crooks also prefer disguising their threats in spam emails. Users are deceived with the fake notifications supposedly sent from delivery companies such as FedEx/DHL, banking companies, or even law enforcement institutions. Once a suspicious message with the intention to infect users is received, people are encouraged to click on an infectious link or open a questionable attachment, mostly, an executable or word document.

Continuously, ransomware can be distributed through exploit kits, various outdated services, and products, other malicious threats such as trojans, or on p2p networks such as The Pirate Bay that provide various software cracks and have very low protection. 

Avoid clicking on suspicious hyperlinks, downloading bogus products from the Internet, opening unknown emails and you will have a great chance of avoiding ransomware viruses. Besides, get an antivirus program that will ensure full system protection during your computing work.

Remove LeChiffre ransomware and restore files

According to the note of .LeChiffre file extension virus, you can get your files back for free after 6 months. This is unlikely to happen. There is no guarantee that the crooks will return the undamaged or all files after this period. Do not waste time and initiate automatic LeChiffre ransomware removal. Install and update your security applications, e.g. Reimage Reimage Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Only when the full elimination is completed, you can proceed to file recovery steps. In case, you encounter any problems and cannot remove LeChiffre ransomware, the below instructions will help you regain access. You can boot your machine in Safe Mode with Networking or activate System Restore to disable malicious changes.

Once LeChiffre is completely gone, you can start thinking about data recovery possibilities. Below you will find a few methods that might help you to restore your files back to their primary states. Additionally, we have added the original decryption tool released by Emsisoft at the end of this article that you might want to give a try to.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove LeChiffre virus, follow these steps:

Remove LeChiffre using Safe Mode with Networking

To disable all malicious processes on your Windows computer system, complete the following guidelines.

  • 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 LeChiffre

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

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

Remove LeChiffre using System Restore

To boot your machine via System Restore and reverse the system back to its primary state, follow these steps.

  • 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 LeChiffre. 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 Reimage Cleaner and make sure that LeChiffre removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove LeChiffre 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 LeChiffre, you can use several methods to restore them:

Run Data Recovery Pro to restore some documents

If you did not have the back-up copies, this program, which locates missing and damaged files, might help you find the solution with the file restoring process.

  • 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 LeChiffre ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature for data restore

If you have enabled the System Restore function in the past, you should give this method a try. Follow all instructions carefully to reach the best results possible.

  • 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”.

Employ Shadow Explorer to unlock some individual files

The key advantage of the software is that it may recover the files according to the patterns of shadow volume copies. They are automatically created by every operating system. However, if the ransomware virus erased the copies of your encrypted data, this method might not be work.

  • 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.

Gladly, cybersecurity specialists have released an official decryptor for .LeChiffre files. You can find the tool released by Emsisoft here.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from LeChiffre and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner , SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References

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  1. HoaAo says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 7:17 am

    crazy, ransomware is spread in a speed of light. these cyber criminals totally gone wild!

  2. Laima says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 7:19 am

    glad someone is working hard to invent decryptors. thanks for sharing such useful information with us!

  3. uBrt says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 7:20 am

    This virus attacked the bank that I have account in. Gladly, none of my funds were stolen or something!!

  4. Parisi says:
    January 29th, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Good article, I have always been thinking why some people store backup copies of their files on disks.

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