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

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

SamSam ransomware – a family that threatens hospitals and organizations since 2016

SamSam virus
SamSam ransomware are known to rely on fake email messages

Questions about SamSam ransomware virus

SamSam ransomware is a virus that was first detected in June 2016 spreading via malicious email attachments and encrypting files with RSA-2048 cryptography. Since then malware has evolved. It uses new modules, interacts differently with each other and appends different file extensions. Currently, this ransomware family appends around 12 unique suffixes in order to make files useless. Following the successful encryption, the virus drops a ransom note with demands to pay the ransom in exchange for data recovery software.

Summary of the cyber threat
Name SamSam
Type Ransomware
Danger level High. Makes system changes and encrypts files
Release date June 2016
Cryptography RSA-2048
Appended extensions .weapologize, .AreYouLoveMyRansFile, .breeding123, .country82000, .disposed2017, .fucku, .happenencedfiles, .helpmeencedfiles, .howcanihelpusi, .iaufkakfhsaraf, .mention9823, .myransext2017, .noproblemwedecfiles, .notfoundrans, .prosperous66, .powerfulldecryp, .supported2017, .suppose666, .VforVendetta, .Whereisyourfiles, .wowreadfordecryp, .wowwhereismyfiles, .loveransisgood.
Ransom notes 0009-SORRY-FOR-FILES.html,
IF_WANT_FILES_BACK_PLS_READ.html, 
000-PLEASE-READ-WE-HELP.html,
000-No-PROBLEM-WE-DEC-FILES.html,
READ-FOR-DECCCC-FILESSS.html,
HELP_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.HTML,
001-HELP_FOR_DECRYPT_FILE.html,
006-READ-FOR-HELLPP.html,
PLEASE_READ_FOR_DECRYPT_FILES_[Number].html,
PLEASE-README -AFFECTED-FILES.html
Ransom Varies. Some versions ask to pay 1.7 Bitcoins for the computer; others demand 45 BTC for the whole network.
To uninstall SamSam ransomware, install Reimage and run a full system scan

SamSam ransomware was detected after it infected several hospitals in the United States[1] in 2016. MedStar hospital was in the worst position after this ransomware attack because it was required to pay 45 Bitcoins or $18,500 in exchange for the encrypted data. Fortunately, IT specialists in this hospital managed to remove SamSam virus and find backups of encrypted data and used them to recover affected files. Hence, cyber criminals did not receive the money. 

Therefore, the main targets of the malware are organizations and businesses. FBI has officially warned the corporations and businesses to increase their cyber security.[2] According to the latest information, malware relies on the targeted attacks and does not seem to infect random computers. The functionality of the virus requires attackers participation – he or she has to enter a specific password to begin the attack.[3]

SamSam virus is identified by major security program as Trojan.Ransom.SamSamMSIL/Filecoder_Samas.B!trBackdoor.Ratenjay.Gen!cMsil.Trojan.Dothetuk.Tccf, etc.[4] However, the virus is designed to bypass computer's security. Therefore, it's not enough to install reputable security software to avoid ransomware attack. The virus executable is dropped on the system when a victim opens a malicious email attachment.

SamSam ransomware are known to rely on fake email messages pretending to be notifications from UPS or similar delivery company. Once inside the system, ransomware encrypts files and provides a special email address (nullforwarding@qualityservice.com, etc.) to contact its developers. The data is typically encrypted with the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm, so there is no chance to guess the code needed for its decryption.

The virus has been updated a couple of times. Currenntly, it appends one of the following file extensions:

  • .weapologize;
  • .AreYouLoveMyRansFile;
  • .breeding123;
  • .country82000;
  • .disposed2017;
  • .fucku;
  • .happenencedfiles;
  • .helpmeencedfiles;
  • .howcanihelpusir;
  • .iaufkakfhsaraf;
  • .mention9823;
  • .myransext2017;
  • .noproblemwedecfiles;
  • .notfoundrans;
  • .prosperous666;
  • .powerfulldecryp;
  • .supported2017;
  • .suppose666;
  • .VforVendetta
  • .Whereisyourfiles;
  • .wowreadfordecryp;
  • .wowwhereismyfiles;
  • .loveransisgood.

Different variants of the virus might drop different versions of ransom notes. However, at the moment victims might receive one of these ransom notes in:

  • 0009-SORRY-FOR-FILES.html,
  • IF_WANT_FILES_BACK_PLS_READ.html,
  • 000-PLEASE-READ-WE-HELP.html,
  • 000-No-PROBLEM-WE-DEC-FILES.html,
  • READ-FOR-DECCCC-FILESSS.html, 
  • HELP_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.HTML,
  • 001-HELP_FOR_DECRYPT_FILE.html,
  • 006-READ-FOR-HELLPP.html,
  • PLEASE_READ_FOR_DECRYPT_FILES_[Number].html,
  • PLEASE-README -AFFECTED-FILES.html.

SamSam ransom payment website
SamSam ransomware delivers different versions of ransom notes. However, all of them provide the same instructions - victims have to pay the ransom in order to get back access to their files.

However, after opening any of the above-mentioned ransom notes, you should see such warning:

#What happened to your files?
All your files encrypted with RSA-2048 encryption. For more information search in Google “RSA Encryption.”
#How to recover files?
RSA is a asymmetric cryptographic algorithm, You need one key for encryption and one key for decryption
So you need Private key to recover your files.
It’s not possible to recover your files without private key
#How to get private key?
You can get your private key in 3 easy step:
Step1: You must send us 1,7 Bitcoin for each affected PC or 29 BitCoins to receive ALL Private Keys for ALL affected PCs.
Step 2: After you send us 1,7 Bitcoin, Leave a comment on our Site with this detail: Just write your “host name” in your comment.
* Your host name is: XXXXXXXXXXXX
[…]

However, paying the ransom is not recommended. Crooks are known for not giving working decryption software and putting victims into bigger problems. Therefore, it is recommended to remove SamSam ransomware instead of taking shady cyber criminals' offers to recover files. In some cases, malware fails to delete Shadow Volume Copies, and files can be restored with third-party tools, but first, you need to get rid of the virus.

SamSam removal requires using anti-malware software. Use professional tools like Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware to clean the affected device. However, if you cannot download or run security software, you should reboot the affected machine to Safe Mode with Networking as we have explained at the end of this article.

The chronology of SamSam ransomware

One of the first SamSam variants that appeared in the wild used to add .notfoundrans file extensions to all encrypted files and create a ransom note called 006-READ-FOR-HELLPP.html. Later on, the virus switched to using .wowreadfordecryp extension to every encrypted file.

Additionally, it leaves the ransom note called 000-WOW-READ-FOR-DECRYP.html. On January 4, 2017, virus emerged with a ransomware that adds .wowwhereismyfiles extensions to encoded records and drops a ransom note titled as 001-PLS-DEC-MY-FILES.html. Another variant spotted on the 1st of November 2017 is recognized from .helpmeencedfiles file extensions and HELP-ME-ENCED-FILES.html ransom note;

Just before New Year's Eve, Sam Sam attacks with a virus that renames files by adding .Whereisyourfiles file extensions and then leaves WHERE-YOUR-FILES.html ransom note on the system. On December 25, SamSam virus appeared as a virus that appends .happenencedfiles to files and leaves information about the data recovery options in 002-HAPPEN-ENCED-FILES.html file.

Less than a week earlier, on December 20, a variant adding .theworldisyours extensions and leaving CHECK-IT-HELP-FILES.html was spotted. December 15, 2016, reveals a new version that is recognized from .howcanihelpusir and READ-V-HLP-YOU.html ransom note.

The developers[5] of the original version seem to have sought inspiration from the famous Alan Moore's 1989 comic book character – V. During data encryption it attaches .VforVendetta file extension to the targeted files. However, it’s just one of the possible extensions that might damage pictures, documents, audio and video files.

In January 2017, a new version of the virus has been detected. It appends .powerfulldecrypt file extension to the corrupted files. This time the instructions are delivered in WE-MUST-DEC-FILES.html web page. What is more, SamSam launches when a trojan enters an operating system. According to the results of the analysis, security programs detect the virus under different trojan names. Some of them are Trojan[Ransom]/MSIL.Samas, Ransom.FileCryptor, and Ransom:Win32/FileCryptor. Update your security software not to get infected with this virus.

It didn’t take long for hackers to upgrade ransomware one more time. In the middle of January 2017, the new variant of SamSam was noticed appending a new file extension and delivering and the ransom note. Now it adds .noproblemwedecfiles file extension and informs about the necessity to pay the ransom in the 000-No-PROBLEM-WE-DEC-FILES.html file.

SamSam ransomware attack
SamSam virus displays data recovery instructions soon after file encryption.

Another version of SamSam was found in the beginning of March. It uses .iaufkakfhsaraf file extension and drops the ransom note, called as: IF_WANT_FILES_BACK_PLS_READ.html.

On June 2017 the ransomware has been updated one more time. The recent variant is executed from the wound2.exe file. It appends .moments2900 file extension to the affected data and then drops a ransom note called .READ-FOR-DECCCC-FILESSS.html.

On August 2017, security experts detected newly-released versions that attached .country82000, .supported2017, .prosperous666, and .disposed2017[6] extensions. To contact their victims, these viruses used PLEASE-README -AFFECTED-FILES.html file. 

After a month, the malware developers struck again with a new variation which leaves its distinctive mark – .myransext2017 file extension. Furthermore, the demands are presented in 005-DO-YOU-WANT-FILES.html file. No other changes are recorded The malware is likely to spread via spam emails and infected applications as well as trojans.

On October 2017, malware researchers noticed another variant of Sam Sam spreading on Web. This time ransomware travels as a friendly2.exe file. On the affected device it should act the same as previous versions of the virus. It encrypts files using sophisticated algorithm and demands to pay the ransom.

The significant changes made in the latest versions of this ransomware are related to file extension used by it to mark affected files. This time, SamSam locks files with .loveransisgood, .fucku and .areyoulovemyrans extensions.

Malicious spam emails are not the only method used for spreading ransomware

Developers of the ransomware use targeted attacks, so they do not spread thousands of spam emails with malicious attachments. They launch perfectly crafted emails aimed at specific company or organization. Beware that it can try to infiltrate your computer as an invoice, an important notification from your boss and similar document. 

This threat has been distributed using other methods too. The most shocking discovery is that this virus has been relying on vulnerability found in JBoss application. Alternatively known as WildFly,[7] it helped the virus infect the entire network and invade several computers at the same time. 

When spreading with the help of this method, the virus uses a special tool called JexBossooks to look for JBoss vulnerabilities. Once the vulnerabilities are detected, it drops Trojan:BAT/Samas.B [8] and Trojan:BAT/Samas.C.[9] to steal personal credentials. After obtaining such data, the hackers launch their ransomware as a psexec.exe file and initiate the attack of the ransomware. 

Therefore, to avoid ransomware attack, you have to:

  • Be careful with received emails and do not rush opening any attached files;
  • Install all software and OS updates to avoid exploitation of vulnerabilities;
  • Download updates and security patches from the official websites.

Instructions on how to remove SamSam ransomware virus from the computer

As we have discussed, the main features of this file-encrypting malware, completing SamSam ransomware removal might seem a troublesome and arduous job. However, if you employ the anti-malware program, the elimination process does not take long.

We suggest eliminating the virus with one of these programs Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Security programs cannot only delete all ransomware-related files but keep your computer protected from cyber threats in the future. 

For it to maintain its functionalities flawlessly, you need to update the software daily. If you cannot remove SamSam virus because of the inability to launch the security program or access other important OS programs, take a look at the recovery guidelines below.

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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 SamSam 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove SamSam virus, follow these steps:

Remove SamSam using Safe Mode with Networking

In some cases, ransomware prevents users from accessing or running security programs. Thus, you have to reboot your computer to the Safe Mode with Networking as shown below to start its removal. Then repeat system scan.

  • 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 SamSam

    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 SamSam removal.

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

Remove SamSam using System Restore

System Restore method can also help you disable the virus in order to run automatic ransomware removal. For that, use the following 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 SamSam. 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 SamSam removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove SamSam 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 SamSam ransomware, you can try decrypting them only after you remove the ransomware. For that, make sure you choose one of the following methods:

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

Recover your files encrypted by SamSam virus with the help of Data Recovery Pro

If you are infected with SamSam virus, you can try using Data Recovery Pro to recover your encrypted files. This application is widely known for helping people revive their accidentally deleted files and similar data.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to recover separate files encrypted by SamSam ransomware

If you have files that are very important to you, you can try recovering them with the help of Windows Previous Versions feature. However, to use it, you need to make sure that System Restore function was enabled before the appearance of SamSam.

  • 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”.

SamSam decrypter

At the moment, there is a SamSam decrypter available on the Internet, however, since Google SafeBrowsing considers it dangerous, we cannot share a link to it here. We will update the article as soon as a 100% safe and official decrypter appears. Be patient!

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

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References

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