What is Aurora ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
Aurora ransomware is yet another typical file-encrypting threat design to lock files in a targeted machine and extort money from victims. It mainly aims at English-speaking users and claims to use the RSA cipher in encrypting files but upon a thorough analysis, it seems to use the DES cipher.
The moment its payload is dropped in the system, it creates new malicious files that are needed for the next phase of the attack. Some of these malicious files take control of essential system processes so that Aurora ransomware can remain undetected until it has finished its attack. Moreover, it also exploits the auto-execute system functionality by setting some malicious values in the Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys. Once this happens, it achieves persistence on the infected device. After the alterations are made, Aurora ransomware scans the system to look for files to encrypt. Typical ransomware threats like this one usually target user-generated files like documents, videos, images, audio and many more. Once it finds these files, it encrypts them using the DES encryption algorithm and adds the .aurora extension to each one of the encrypted files. It then drops a text file named “HOW_TO_DECRPT_YOUR_FILES.txt” which contains the following message:
“===# aurora ransomware #===
SORRY! Your files are encrypted.
File contents are encrypted with a random key.
A random key is encrypted with RSA public key (2048 bit).
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any “decryption tools”.
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also, we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
In order to get private key, right here:
And pay 500$ on 3CwxawqJpM4RBNididvHf8LhFA2VfLsRjM wallet
If someone else offers you files restoring, ask him for test decryption.
Only we can successfully decrypt your files; knowing this can protect you from fraud.
You will receive instructions on what to do next.
===# aurora ransomware #===”
Although the ransom note might seem threatening that you might want to go ahead and pay the ransom demanded, you should know that paying the ransom does not really guarantee that your encrypted files will be restored. So it would only be a waste of money if you give in to the demands of the cyber crooks behind this ransomware threat. The best way to deal with this kind of threat is by immediately removing it from your system before it can damage more files. After removing it, that’s when you try alternative ways to recover your files.
How does Aurora ransomware proliferate?
Aurora ransomware proliferates via spam emails. It uses an obfuscated file and attaches it to spam emails. In most cases, the obfuscated attachment is a ZIP file or a document with macro scripts used to launch Aurora ransomware into the system.
For the removal of Aurora ransomware, refer to the following instructions.
Step 1: Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to launch the Task Manager.
Step 2: Go to Processes and look for the malicious process of Aurora ransomware then right click on it and select End Process or End Task.
Step 3: Close the Task Manager and open Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in appwiz.cpl and then click OK or press Enter.
Step 4: Look for dubious programs that might be related to Aurora ransomware and then Uninstall it/them.
Step 5: Tap Win + E to launch File Explorer.
Step 6: From there, navigate to the following directories listed below and look for the malicious components of Aurora ransomware like HOW_TO_DECRPT_YOUR_FILES.txt and remove them all.
Step 7: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use [product-name], this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then, by all means, go on to the next steps.
Step 8: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 9: Navigate to the listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by Aurora ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 10: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Aurora ransomware.
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: Empty your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Aurora ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
Complete the removal process of Aurora ransomware by using a trusted and reliable program like [product-name]. Refer to the following guidelines on how to use it.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the SafeMode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box wil show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.