What is SPCT ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?

SPCT ransomware is a data-encrypting malware which happens to be the latest variant of Matrix ransomware. It uses a “.SPCT” extension to mark its encrypted files, hence the name SPCT ransomware. This new variant still uses the same pattern in executing its attack as with other previous variants of Matrix ransomware. In other words, nothing much has changed except for the extension it uses to mark files. And even though the name of its ransom note is different, the contents are still the same.
Once it executes its attack, SPCT ransomware will drop its malicious payload in the system. This payload is the one that connects the computer to a remote server controlled by the attackers. It is where it downloads its other components that will be used in its attack.
Modifications are also made in the Windows Registry where SPCT ransomware alters registry keys and sub-keys like Run and RunOnce in order to achieve a persistent attack in the system. And since its attack is now persistent, SPCT ransomware can automatically run on every system boot. After that, it starts encrypting its targeted files using both the AES 128 and RSA 2048 ciphers. Once the encryption is done, it adds the .SPCT suffix to all the affected files and opens a file named “!README_SPCT!.rtf” which contains a lengthy ransom note. Here are some parts of the ransom note:
“HOW TO RECOVER YOUR FILES INSTRUCTION
ATENTION!!!
We are realy sorry to inform you that ALL YOUR FILES WERE ENCRYP‘I‘ED
by our automatic software. it became possible because of bad server security.
ATENTIION!!!
Please don‘t worry. we can help you to RESTORE your server to original
state and decrypt all your files quickly and safely!
INFORMATION!!!
Files are not broken!!!
Files were encrypted with AES-128+RSA-2048 crypto algorithms.
There is no way to decrypt your files without unique decryption key and special software. Your unique
decryption key is securely stored on our server. For our safety, all information about your server and your
decryption key will be automaticaly DELETED AFTER 7 DAYS! You will irrevocably lose all your data!
Please note that all the attempts to recover your files by yourself or using third party tools will result only in
irrevocable loss of your data!
Please note that you can recover files only with your unique decryption key, which stored on our side. If you
will use the help of third parties, you will only add a middleman.
HOW TO RECOVER FILES???
Please write us to the e-mail (write on English or use professional translator):
[Redacted]
You have to send your message on each of our 3 emails due to the fact that the message may not reach
their intended recipient for a variety of reasons!
In subject line write your personal ID:
[Redacted]
We recommed you to attach 3 encrypted files to your message. We will demonstrate that we can recover your
files.”
How does SPCT ransomware proliferate?
In most cases, cyber criminals aim to infect as many users as possible in order to increase ransomware payments. To achieve that, not only do they use social engineering tactics but also exploit kits to proliferate. One of the most common exploit kits used by cyber crooks is the Rig exploit kit which helps in identifying system vulnerabilities and takes advantage of them to install the ransomware.
Eliminate SPCT 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 any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to SPCT 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 SPCT 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 SPCT ransomware’s malicious components such as !README_SPCT!.rtf, [random].exe and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.

  • %TEMP%
  • %WINDIR%\System32\Tasks
  • %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\
  • %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
  • %USERPROFILE%\Desktop

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\
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

 Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by SPCT 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 SPCT 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 SPCT 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:

  1. Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
  2. 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.
    1. To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
    2. Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
    3. Press and hold both R key and Windows key.

    1. If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
    2. Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
    3. After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
    4. Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.

    1. After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.

 

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