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Samas ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
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Samas ransomware analysis

Samas virus (also known as Samas DR ransomware) is one of the most persistent ransomware infections out there [1]. This parasite has been around since 2014 and over the past year has swindled at least 450,000 USD from the unsuspecting victims in North America and Europe [2]. Of course, the program had to come a long way to get to where it is at the moment and, looking from the technical perspective, this journey was interesting to follow. It gave the experts more insight about how the ransomware works and develops. In this article, we are going to overview the main stages of Samas ransomware evolution and give useful suggestions on how to prevent this virus from showing up on your computer. If you have come across this article while looking for Samas removal suggestions, you will not be disappointed either. At the end of the article, you will find expert recommendations for a safe virus extermination. Keep in mind that these recommendations are only meant to facilitate the virus removal, but the process itself should be carried out only using the specialized antivirus software, such as Reimage.

Most of you probably already know what a ransomware [3] is, but for those of you don’t, we can briefly say that ransomware is a computer virus that blocks access to the user’s personal data either by initiating a lock screen or by encrypting certain types of files using some sophisticated algorithm. Samas belongs to the latter, crypto-ransomware group. To be precise, it locks files by applying the RSA-2048 military-grade encryption [4] and then appends encrypted.RSA extension to the endings of the filenames. Later virus versions which also use some other extensions including .iloveworld; .helpmeencedfile; .whereisyourfiles; weareyourfriends, .theworldisyours, .encryptedyourfiles and .whereisyourfiles to render the victim’s personal data useless. The newest, Samas 2017, version relies on .weencedufiles file extension. Once the files are encrypted, the malicious payload drops a ransom note called PLEASE_READ_FOR_DECRYPT_FILES_{victim’s ID}, 001-READ-FOR-DECRYPT-FILES.html or READ-READ-READ.html on the victim’s computer, demanding to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption key. It is then up to the victim to decide whether it is worth paying or not, but the experts strongly suggest to remove Samas instead.

Talking about Samas virus versions, we should point out that although Samas origins go back to 2014, this virus did not begin taking a more defined form up until March 2016 [5]. Nevertheless, the experts now count around 60 different virus versions, most of which were created to attack specific institutions or campaigns. Indeed, Samas is not a typical ransomware in a sense that it specifically targets individual victims instead of infecting random home users computers. The hackers are well aware that public institutions including healthcare or law enforcement are more vulnerable to ransomware attacks and more willing to pay because they often have extensive amounts of documentation and client information to protect. Of course, such attacks are not always successful since most modern institutions these days backup their important data and store it somewhere safe, out of the reach of hackers. Nevertheless, the hackers have everything settled in case the victims decide to make the payment. They set up a Bitcoin account to which they can anonymously receive the ransom and place its address on the infected computers along with the ransom note. So far, there are around 19 different Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Samas and an unknown number of still undisclosed ones.

How do hackers deliver this ransomware on the targeted computers?

Samas ransomware is a complex cyber infection because it is ever changing and gets modified and adapted to each individual attack. The ransomware developers regularly switch its working directory, dropper files and think of new ways that would help the malware infiltrate computers more easily. Currently, the virus exploits pen-testing functionality in order to locate vulnerable networks and hack them with the help of reGeorg tunnelling tool. Besides, other virus versions may also employ data-stealing malware, use it to collect login credentials, gain administrative privileges and finally deploy the malicious payload on the computer. Such brute-force attacks are highly unpredictable. Therefore they are so successful in catching their victims off guard. Luckily, the risk of such attacks can be diminished quite significantly by implementing two-factor login authentication, keeping software up-to-date, disabling the macros function in all Microsoft Office programs and learning how to recognize email spoofing and phishing emails.

Samas removal: less panic and more action

While it is possible to remove Samas virus manually, it is an extremely risky and long procedure. Besides, the virus usually obfuscates itself and scatters its components throughout the infected computer, so it is likely that some of the malicious items will remain on the computer even if the base infection is removed from the device. Thus, Samas removal should be trusted to some professional anti-malware which will scan the entire system and eliminate components that endanger your files automatically.

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What to do if failed?
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 Samas ransomware. 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.

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

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

Manual Samas virus Removal Guide:

Remove Samas using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Samas removal may be interrupted by the virus blocking your antivirus. Luckily, you can decontaminate this malicious functionality by following these simple steps:

  • 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 Samas

    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 Samas removal.

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

Remove Samas using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

In order to remove Samas ransomware but the virus is blocks you from accessing your antivirus scanner, please follow the instructions provided here:

  • 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 Samas. 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 Samas removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

What are the chances of recovering files encrypted by Samas ransomware using Data Recovery Pro?

Though chances of recovering files encrypted by Samas ransomware are slim, you still may try using Data Recovery Pro to recover at least some of your files. 

Windows Previous Versions feature can help recover files encrypted by Samas

If your computer has been attacked by Samas, we suggest you try out Windows Previous Versions feature to recover your files. Just keep in mind that without System Restore function enabled, this feature will not work.

  • 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”.

Data recovery using ShadowExplorer

Unfortunately, Samas ransomware deletes all Volume Shadow Copies of the encrypted files, this way preventing data recovery with such tools like Shadow Explorer.

  • 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.

Samas decryptor

Currently, Samas decryptor is unavailable but you should check back with us later on.

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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  • Button4792

    450 grand is quite a sum. Even though its not as major as Locky or other ransomware collect… Still, these extortionists must be rich

  • Rhiannon

    Shadow explorer does not work for the recovery… luckily, Ive managed to restore some of my files using the Windows Previous Versions feature! Thanks!