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

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware
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Ranion v1.07 emerged: new version of ransomware is not decryptable too

The sample of Ranion RaaS

Ranion is a ransomware-type cyber infection which is based on the HiddenTear open source project. On September, criminals introduced 1.06 version of the virus. On November, researchers detected v.1.07 variant which appends .ransom file extension.

The significant feature of the Ranion ransomware is that it also works as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). Though the ransom message of the original virus warns users not to use the malware other than educational purposes[1], now it is clear that it is only a lie. The virus is promoted as the “Better & Cheapest FUD Ransomware.”

The news broke out about the Ranion virus when a security specialist Daniel Smith found the malware in a dark web. At the beginning of its emergence, the yearly access to the malware source code costs 0,95 BTC (approximately $1000). Additionally, buyers get the decrypter, anonymous C&C dashboard that can be accessed via Onion. What is more, hackers offer free customizations as well.

Update November, 2017. Security experts discovered a new version of the Ranion ransomware. Malware is executed on the system from the ransom-cleaned.exe file. Just like the previous version, it also appends .ransom extension to each of the targeted files. Malware uses AES-256 encryption to lock the files. As a result, users are unable to open and use them.

However, cybercriminals offer a shady way to restore data. Following data encryption, the Ranion v1.07 ransomware creates the README_TO_DECRYPT_FILES.html file where crooks demand to pay 0.3 Bitcoins in 7 days. After the deadline, the decryption key is said to be deleted. Additionally, victims are also asked to send their ID number via theaccountant@Safe-mail.net email as soon as they transfer the money.

Paying the ransom is not recommended because it may lead to money loss. Crooks might ask for more money and never decrypt your files. Therefore, after the attack, its’ advised to obtain a security software and remove Ranion immediately.

Update September 12th, 2017. It seems that the break since its appearance on the web was not wasted. The developers have struck again with a new Ranion 1.06 ransomware version, which leaves .ransom extension at the end of the encoded data. It seems that it may come with a counterfeited Minecraft game as it executes via MineCraft Hack + Setup TuT.exe[2] file.

It may come as Trojan.RansomKD.DBAD6A3Win32.Trojan.WisdomEyes.16070401.9500.9979, or Backdoor.Ratenjay. Considering the latter, it is necessary to eradicate the infection as soon as possible since it manifests capabilities to function as backdoor, i.e. grant remote access to the device.

The current version displays README_TO_DECRYPT_FILES.html file on a Desktop with further instructions of data recovery. the latest version demands 0.1 BTC, i.e. approximately $431 in exchange to the files.[3] The perpetrator urges a victim to remit the payment within 7 days and contact them via ToEasyyy4u@protonmail.com. Despite the claims to retrieve the files, it is not recommended to pay the ransom, but instead eradicate Ranion 1.06 malware.

Operation peculiarities of the original version of the ransomware

The malware, which contains the allusion to the characters Sprites from the animated film “Spirited Away,” claims to be the cheapest rasomware-as-a-service. Any user, who is willing to take the risk and enter the business, is granted the payload file. Afterward, he will receive the instructions how to access his Command and Control server. Now the malware targets a relatively small number of file formats.

.txt, .rtf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .ods, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .bmp, .csv, .sql, .mdb, .db, .accdb, .sln, .php, .jsp, .asp, .aspx, .html, .htm, .xml, .psd, .cs, .java, .cpp, .cc, .cxx, .zip, .pst, .ost, .pab, .oab, .msg

Nonetheless, the cyber villains are planning to expand the list. Interestingly, that the penetrators also offer the utility of encrypting .exe files. Ranion ransomware is able to encode files on all disks. It is promoted as the virus which is not detectable by the majority of anti-virus applications[4].

However, since the virus has been published on the dark market and now security companies may forward the emergency updates to prevent the damage.

Furthermore, the infection does not differ much from other threats: it employs AES-256 algorithm[5]. Previous cases revealed that the cipher creates great obstacles for decryptors. The dashboard of Ranion malware disclosed information about users identification codes, usernames, and each unique AES decryption software. However, getting infected with ransomware is not a deadly verdict. 

Interestingly, the bidders do not need to share their profits with the authors of this Ranion RaaS in contrast to previous cases when the developers demand ¼ of the profits. It is likely that some of the cyber hackers have already purchased the rights to the malware and spread the infection. If you happen to be infected, remove Ranion right away. You can do it with malware removal utility or look up alternative methods below the article.

Malicious spam emails remain the main distribution strategy of the crypto-virus

Such category of threats is transmitted via spam emails[6]. Despite continuous alerts, the virtual community still falls for the trap opening counterfeited invoice, custom declaration forms, delivery emails. However, it is not difficult to prevent ransomware spreading in such case. Usually, such emails contain evident grammar and style mistakes.

Full credentials are missing, or the copied logos have altered elements. Additionally, Ranion hijack may occur due to visiting an infected domain which possesses exploit kits. Recently, EITest scripts have been gaining popularity in delivering exploit kits.

When a user visits a web page infected with them, the hijack by the ransomware becomes a matter of time. The exploit kits function on behalf of system vulnerabilities, so it is of utmost importance to update software regularly.

Removal instructions of the Ranion virus

Luckily, this cyber menace has not yet spread throughout the entire cyber space, but there are chances that it might have reached some users. If you happen to be one of the unlucky ones, start the automatic Ranion removal. For that purpose, Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware serves as a proper elimination tool.

Since the penetrators may customize the threat according to their own liking, it is likely that the modified version might paralyze a computer. If you cannot control it, follow below-indicated instructions. Only when you successfully remove Ranion virus[7], you may consider initiating data decryption procedure.

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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Ranion 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.
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Manual Ranion virus Removal Guide:

Remove Ranion using Safe Mode with Networking

If the PC screen is locked or other vital functions stopped working, enter Safe Mode and follow the instructions.

  • 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 Ranion

    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 Ranion removal.

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

Remove Ranion using System Restore

If the above-suggested method does not help, perform System Recovery.

  • 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 Ranion. 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 Ranion removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro

This program is specifically designed for locating damaged or lost files. It may also help you recover some of the encoded files.

Opting for Shadow Explorer

The key advantage of the program is that it recreates the files according to the patterns called shadow volume copies. They are created by the operating system. Luckily, few viruses are known to delete them. In short, you might stand a chance.

  • 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.

The official Ranion decryptor is not available yet

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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