What is Armageddon ransomware? And how does it carry out its attack?
Armageddon ransomware is yet another file-encrypting virus derived from the HiddenTear open source platform. This new ransomware infection uses a RSA 2048 encryption algorithm in locking its targeted files. Unlike other ransomware threats, this one does not add any extension to the files it encrypts so you can’t really tell which file is encrypted and which ones are not.
The instant its malicious payload reaches a targeted machine, Armageddon ransomware will start to carry out its attack by using an information gathering module that can collect data from the system. The data collected is sent to a remote server where it is processed and used for the next module called stealth protection. It is the one that hides the ransomware from any security programs that can detect and stop its attack. It also modifies other system settings like the Windows Registry where it alters several registry keys like Run and RunOnce key so it can run on every system start automatically. After system modification, it scans the system for common user-generated files like documents, images, videos, database, audio files and many more. It then encrypts them using the RSA 2048 cipher and opens a program window that contains the ransom note stating:
“All your files on this computer have been encrypted: photo, videos, documents etc. Here is complete list of all of the encrypted files, and you can personally verify this.
Encryption was produced using a unique private key RSA-2048 generated for this computer. This key is random for each computer. To decrypt (return your files to normal state) your files need to obtain the private key.
The only copy of a private key, which will allow you to decrypt the files located on our secret server and will destroy itself after a time specified in the timer bellow. After that, nobody and never will be able to restore your files….
To obtain the private key for this computer, which will automatically decrypt files, you need to pay 100 USD / 100 EUR similar amount in another currency. You can buy Bitcoin here: coinbase.com/buy-bitcoin Click to select the method of payment and the currency. Any attempts to remove or damage this software will lead to the immediate destruction of the private key by the server.
Send $100 worth of bitcoin to this address:
Feedback: [email protected]”
How is the malicious payload of Armageddon ransomware disseminated online?
Armageddon ransomware spreads the web using several techniques although it most likely uses malicious spam email campaigns. These kinds of emails often pose as a legitimate email from well-known companies or groups. The infected file may be disguised as a document with macro scripts. Once this file is opened, the malicious scripts embedded in the file will run and install Armageddon ransomware in the system. Therefore, you must thoroughly inspect an email first before you download any attachment
Kill Armageddon ransomware from your computer with the help of the removal instructions laid out below.
Step 1: First, boot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking and afterwards, you have to terminate the malicious processes of Armageddon ransomware using the Task Manager and to open it, tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys.
Step 2: Go to the Processes tab and look for the malicious processes of Armageddon ransomware like Armageddon.exe and 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 by related to Armageddon ransomware and then Uninstall it/them.
Step 5: Close Control Panel and then tap Win + E to launch File Explorer.
Step 6: After opening File Explorer, navigate to the following directories below:
Step 7: From these directories, look for the malicious components of Armageddon ransomware such as Armageddon.exe and [random].exe and then delete all of them.
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: Close the File Explorer and 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 Armageddon ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 10: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Armageddon ransomware.
Step 11: Close the Registry Editor.
Step 12: Empty your Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using their Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Armageddon 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.
Once you’re done executing the steps given above, you need to continue the removal process of Armageddon ransomware using a reliable program like [product-name]. How? Follow the advanced removal steps below.
- 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.