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Remove SepSys ransomware (Easy Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

SepSys ransomware – a file locking virus that launches a ransom note soon after the encryption process is complete

SepSys ransomwareSepSys ransomware is a file locking virus that demands $100 in BTC for data decryption tool

SepSys ransomware is cryptomalware that was first identified by security researcher GrujaRS at the end of February 2020.[1] The malware attacks Windows machines exclusively and does not seem to have any connections to other file locking virus families, although the developers present themselves as “Silicon Venom.”

Soon after infiltration, the SepSys virus encrypts data with a symmetric[2] AES cipher, adding a .sepsys marker in the process. As a result, users are unable to access their files – although that is not the only symptom of the infection that is noticed right away. Right after the data encryption, README.html ransom note is dropped on the desktop, and also presented to victims. Allegedly, they need to “donate” $100 worth of Bitcoin to the provided Bitcoin wallet, and then email the attackers at iaminfected.sac@elude.in for the SepSys ransomware decryptor.

Name SepSys ransomware
Type File locking virus, cryptomalware
Developer Silicon Venom
Executable  destructy-1.0.exe, although it can also be named as anything else 
Cipher used  All personal files are encrypted with the help of symmetric encryption algorithm AES 
Ransom note README.htm is dropped on the desktop and all the folders where locked files are located
Contact After the payment, users are asked to email the attackers at iaminfected.sac@elude.in in order to retrieve decryption software 
Ransom size Malicious actors ask victims to pay $100 in Bitcoin 
Bitcoin wallet 3BL1TbL96gQFTR9EJFKX7JSp889oj2nJmj
File recovery Without paying criminals, recovering data is very difficult, although there may be a chance of retrieving at least some files with the help of the methods listed below
Malware removal It is imperative to get rid of the infection as soon as possible, as all the incoming files will be encrypted as well. To do that, employ anti-malware software like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and perform a full system scan (in Safe Mode if required)
System fix Malware can sometimes corrupt system files that may negatively impact Windows performance after its termination. To fix virus damage, use Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

SepSys virus developers most likely employ various distribution methods to infect as many users as possible – these may include spam emails, exploits, web injects, weakly protected RDP connections, software cracks, hacked sites, drive-by downloads, and others. To prevent malware from entering (as well as prompt SepSys ransomware removal), employ reputable security software that can recognize the threat.

According to Virus Total, over 30 different AV engines detect the main SepSys ransomware executable as malicious under the following names:[3]

  • Trojan.GenericKD.42682853
  • Trojan.Win32.Zudochka.ebg
  • Ransom:Win32/SepSys!MTB
  • Artemis!FD2E7CCA1605
  • W32/Ransom.FVG!tr
  • FileRepMetagen [Malware], etc.

The detection rate is predominately low (approximately 44% at the time of the writing), so there is a higher chance of users being infected. Unfortunately, there is no anti-virus that would protect you from all types of infections 100%, so precautionary measures should be practiced in order to avoid malware. As for now, you should remove SepSys ransomware and then fix the damaged Windows files with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to prevent computer instability.

SepSys ransomware virusSepSys ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts pictures, documents, videos and other data with AES

Encryption and operation

Once the malicious file destructy-1.0.exe is launched, the infection routine begins, and a variety of files are dropped on the desktop, as well as user and temp folders. Besides that, SepSys ransomware prepares the machine for a smooth encryption process.

For example, the malware deletes Shadow Volume Copies, which are responsible for the automatic Windows backup system, to prevent users from recovering their files easily. Additionally, the SepSys virus also modifies Windows registry in order to be launched every time a Windows machine is booted. In the background, it likewise establishes a connection with a remote C&C server for communication.

Just as similar ransomware viruses, SepSys targets the most commonly used files, such as .pdf, .doc, .mp4, .zip, .txt, .dat, xml, etc. Nevertheless, it skips system and executable files mostly, as the goal of developers is not to corrupt your system completely, as it serves as a tool for communication.

After encryption, SepSys ransomware drops the following ransom note titled README.html:

ATTENTION! Your computer has been infected by sepSys!
Your files have been encrypted with a random key and no decryption tool can save them

To regain access to your files, please make a $100 donation to Silicon Venom

We only accept payments in Bitcoin (BTC). Check this out to learn more: hxxps://bitcoin.org/en/buy

Your donation should be sent to the following BTC wallet address: 3BL1TbL96gQFTR9EJFKX7JSp889oj2nJmj

Once you have paid, contact us at iaminfected.sac@elude.in to receive your unique password and instructions on how to use it

The sooner you pay the better! Your files will be permanently corrupted over time, so act quickly

We appreciate your cooperation.

While it is difficult to determine whether the SepSys ransomware decryptor will be deleted by the attackers, paying the ransom is discouraged by most security researchers and advisers. Keep in mind that they can simply not return the decryption tool as soon as you pay them – this is especially common with new ransomware strains that do not have an established name for themselves. In other words, the SepSys virus may be a quick-cash project for criminals.

Unfortunately, recovering data safely without paying criminals is only possible with backups – and most users do not have those ready. That is why it is crucial to backup files regularly – it can completely negate the ramification of the infection. If you had no backups, you could try using alternative recovery methods we list below, although keep in mind that chances of a successful outcome are low.

Note: make a copy of encrypted files before you remove SepSys ransomware virus, or you may corrupt the data permanently otherwise.

SepSys ransomware encrypted filesThe encrypted files are marked with .sepsys extension, which also removes the regular icons with blanks

Ransomware infection can be devastating – learn how to avoid it

Because many users who do get infected with ransomware have no clue about the malware, its operation, and other important factors, they often believe that they can regain access to files as soon as it is eliminated from the computer. Unfortunately, that is not how this type of malware works – the infection of the operating system and file encryption are two separate processes, although the virus is what allows the latter to happen. In other words, you will not regain access to your files, even after ransomware elimination.

Therefore, you should ensure that you do not get infected with this dangerous malware in the first place – here are some tips from security experts:[4]

  • Install reputable anti-malware software with real-time protection feature;
  • Backup your most important files regularly either on an external drive or online storage service;
  • Update your operating system and the installed applications as soon as security patches are released;
  • Employ additional security tools, such as Firewall and ad-block;
  • Disable Remote Desktop connection as soon as it is not needed anymore, protect it with a secure password, and never use a default TCP port 3389;
  • Don't click on links inside a spam email, and never allow an attachment to run macro function;
  • Stop visiting high-risk websites, including torrent, gambling, free online video streaming, etc.;
  • Never download software cracks or pirated software installers.

Get rid of SepSys file virus with the help of anti-malware software

As we mentioned before, file encryption and malware infection ate two separate issues that should be handled differently. In many cases, victims are confused about what to do soon after ransomware strikes, simply because they do not know much about it in the first place. Thus, SepSys ransomware removal and file recovery process depend on whether you had backups prepared. If you did – get rid of malware immediately and only then copy over files from backups. However, the majority of the infected do not have backups prepared – that is why the encrypted data should be handled differently. 

First of all, you should make a copy of all the encrypted files you care about, and only then remove SepSys ransomware from your computer, as the process may permanently damage data. To get rid of malware, you should employ reputable anti-virus software that can recognize the infection. In case you are unsuccessful in normal mode, enter Safe Mode as per instructions below and perform a full system scan from there. Once you are sure that the SepSys virus is gone, proceed with the file recovery methods listed below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego 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 Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove SepSys virus, follow these steps:

Remove SepSys using Safe Mode with Networking

To access Safe Mode with Networking, perform the following steps on Windows:

  • 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 SepSys

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

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

Remove SepSys using System Restore

System Restore might be useful when trying to eliminate SepSys ransomware virus:

  • 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 SepSys. 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 Intego and make sure that SepSys removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Make use of Data Recovery Pro

Data recovery software does not decrypt ransomware corrupted files but instead ties to obtain working copies from allocated space on the hard drive. The more you use your computer after the infection, the fewer chances are of a successful recovery.

  • 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 SepSys ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions Feature might suffice

This method is only functional if you were careful enough and prepared a System Restore point before ransomware infected your machine.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might be just what you need

ShadowExplorer might be successful if SepSys failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies from the system.

  • 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 currently available

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

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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