What is Ahihi ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
Ahihi ransomware is a file-encrypting virus created based on the open source platform known as HIddenTear. It was discovered at the beginning of January 2019 and is mostly focused on targeting English-speaking users although it does not necessarily mean that it can’t infect other users as well.
Once its malicious payload is executed, it will connect the system to a remote Command and Control Server where it downloads its other components. These components are then placed unto system folders and are used to execute the data harvesting module. This module is used to collect data from the system and use them for the second module called stealth protection. In this second module, is used to bypass security measures in the system. After that, it alters some entries in the Windows Registry allowing it to start its attack automatically in every system boot which will make it very difficult to remove. It then scans the entire computer in search for files with the following extensions:
.PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .SEON .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX .INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG .CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG
After finding its targeted files, it encrypts them using the AES encryption algorithm. Ahihi ransomware does not appear to add any extension to its encrypted files, making it hard to identify which files are encrypted and which ones are not. It also opens a text file named “README.txt” stating:
“’Your files have been encrypted. If you want to get your files back, please visit http://ripyon[.]me/decrypt and provide us the following information
Your computer name: [user-assigned device name]
Your username: [currently logged in account name]
Your token: [random characters]
CAUTION: DO NOT run this app again or your files will be encrypted permanently”
How is the malicious payload of Ahihi ransomware disseminated online?
Ahihi ransomware may use malicious spam email campaigns in disseminating its malicious payload along with social engineering tactics and a large number of sent messages. These malware-laden emails are often designed to look like they were sent by legitimate companies or individuals so you better double check any suspicious emails as they might contain the malicious payload of Ahihi ransomware.
Eliminate Ahihi ransomware from your computer using the removal guide provided below as well as the advanced removal steps that follow.
Step 1: First, tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys in your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
Step 2: Under the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for a process named “BangLuongThang02.exe” as well as any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Ahihi ransomware.
Step 3: After that, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.
Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Ahihi ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Next, close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for Ahihi ransomware’s malicious components such as BangLuongThang02.exe, README.txt , [random].exe and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.
Step 8: 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 9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 10: Navigate to the following path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Ahihi ransomware.
Step 12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the 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 Ahihi 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.
Make sure that you have eliminated Ahihi ransomware from your computer successfully as well as the its malicious components 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 it.
- 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 Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will 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.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.