Shark ransomware / virus (Free Instructions) - Sep 2017 update

Shark virus Removal Guide

What is Shark ransomware virus?

CryptoMix developers update Shark malware

An image of the Shark ransomware virus

Shark ransomware defines two types of crypto-malware. The first one operates as “Ransomware-as-a-Service” (RaaS)[1] program. The second variation shares the name with the CryptoMix Shark crypto-virus. Speaking of Raas, it has become a trend in the Dark Web. Developers of these malicious programs may offer users to participate in their affiliate campaigns and become official distributors of their fraudulent creations, as in the case of Petya & Mischa RaaS[2].

The above-mentioned sample, CryptoMIx Shark, version follows the manner of another virus, CryptoMix Arena, from the same family as it uses 11 public RSA-1024 keys to encode the AES key which is responsible for encrypting users data.[3] This feature allows the malware to operate offline.

Other improvements are not significant: the demands are presented in the _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT. The very message contains scarce information and provides three email addresses: shark01@msgden.com, shark02@techmail.info, or shark003@protonmail.com. Take a look at data recovery instructions. The CryptoMix Decrypter might help you restore affected data.

Speaking of RaaS features, Shark malware is an example of these freely-customizable inventions. According to the service providers, with this free tool, the aspiring hackers can select specific file types they want to target, choose particular folders to encrypt, set the amount of ransom they want to receive for the data decryption and even select the target country.

The Shark ransomware builder package itself consists of three files ReadMe.txt, Payload Builder.exe, and Shark.exe which can only be received directly from the Shark Project’s official page. The finished ransomware is said to be undetectable by the virus-fighting software which already implicates the supposed success.

Nevertheless, in case you got infected, do not panic. You might need to take a few extra steps to decontaminate the virus manually, but we can assure you that professional antivirus software like ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes can remove Shark virus from your computer without much difficulty. The image of CryptoMIx- Shark-ransomwareCryptoMix Shark version now is capable of functioning offline

If you have been taking interest in ransomware programs you probably know that their creators are only interested in maximizing their profits. They lock their victim’s files and ask them to pay for the recovery. Even after the payment is made the users are often left stranded without their data and robbed of their money as well.

Thus, it seems that RaaS is also a part of a new plan the scammers came up with to spread their malicious program around the web even wider and earn more illegal profit. The builder also turns out to be paid.

Every 20% of the funds that every Shark-based ransomware collects from its victims will be sent to its original creators. The security experts presume, though, that the Shark developers actually snatch a larger share of the generated profit and the ransomware beginners are exploited simply as virus distributors.

So, either you have become a victim of the already modified virus version or have been involved in its distribution, we strongly suggest you to perform Shark removal immediately. Such dangerous and fraudulent programs do not deserve a place on your computer, and if you use them to generate profit yourself, you should reconsider your priorities.

Prevention tips

Concerning as it sounds, it is virtually impossible to protect your computer from the Shark malware infection a full 100%. But you can decrease this risk by following these steps:

  • Acquire a professional and acknowledged antivirus utility that could prevent you from visiting insecure domains or downloading infected software on your computer.
  • Try to refrain from visiting websites that look suspicious yourself; do not rely on your antivirus only and stay cautious at all times. If you ever end up on a potentially insecure domain, do not download software or fill any surveys and quit the site immediately.
  • Keep away from the spam section in your inbox. Do not open emails received from unfamiliar senders. Most importantly, do not download the added attachments.

Eliminate Shark ransomware from Windows

There is no free decryptor to unlock the crypted data. Paying up does not guarantee that you will have your files back, and there is no other way to break the virus. So what is there left for you to do? The plan is simple – remove Shark from your computer as soon as possible.

The more you extend the period of the virus residing on your PC, the more damage you risk inflicting on your system and your files. Thus, run a scan with a reputable antivirus utility and if it does not initiate, follow a special tutorial at the end of the article.

After completing the indicated steps, scan your system again and clean it from this malicious ransomware. After you perform Shark removal, proceed to data recovery. Take a look at some of our suggested solutions. All users, not only British or German[4], should be wary of the threat.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Shark virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Boot the computer in Safe Mode to get access to the security program and remove Shark malware.

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Shark using System Restore

  • 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 Shark. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Shark removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

What is Data Recovery Pro?

This tool is created for the purpose of restoring damaged or lost files. However, it may come in handy in dealing with Shark Decrypter.

  • 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 Shark ransomware;
  • Restore them.

ShadowExplorer option

If you encounter ransomware which does not have a decrypter yet, you might find this tool useful as it uses shadow volume copies to create the copies of your files. However, this tool is only useful if a file-encrypting threat does not delete these copies in advance.

  • 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.

Shark Decrypter

IT experst have not yet created a specific decryption tool for this ransomware variant, but earlier created CryptoMix decrypter by Avast might be of assistance.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References
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