What is Orion ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Orion ransomware is a new file-encoding virus that was discovered as of late. It either adds a string of 14 random characters and an email address ([email protected]) or the “.orion” as its extension in marking the files it encrypts and according to security experts, it is a variant of Major ransomware as its code snippets have similarities to the aforementioned ransomware threat.
Like a typical ransomware threat, Orion ransomware will start to carry out its attack by dropping more malicious files in the computer which aides it in its attack. These malicious files may be dropped in Windows system folders. It could also launch and repress processes in the Windows environment so that it can freely execute its attack without any interruptions from programs installed in the system. Moreover, modifications in the Registry could also be done in order to achieve persistence. After these changes are made, it will scan the system looking 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 .DOCX .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
When it finds all the files, it will encrypt them right away using a strong cipher and adds the .orion extension or a random 14-character string on every encrypted file. Following data encryption, it drops a file called “READ_ME.txt” which contains the following content:
“All your important files are encrypted.
To recover encrypted files, you need:
- Buy bitcoins. The easiest way to buy bitcoins is the LocalBitcoins site. You must register, click “Buy Bitcoins” and select a seller by payment method and price. https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
You can also find other places to buy bitcoins and a beginner’s guide here:
write to google how to buy bitcoin in your country?
to guarantee the availability of our key
we can decrypt three files for free.
- Send bitcoins to the address you receive in the mail. After payment, we will send a decryption program
Do not try to decrypt your files using third-party programs, decoders. You only damage your data and lose them forever.
Only we can decrypt your data!
Contact email address [email protected]
[email protected] [email protected]”
How is the payload file of Orion ransomware distributed online?
Like the other variants of Major ransomware, Orion ransomware could infect your computer when you download suspicious applications or files or when you click corrupted links and such. It’s the same thing for Orion ransomware. The main distribution methods for this ransomware are as follows:
- Exploit kits
- Spam emails with infected attachments
- Ads that are malware-laden
- Illegal and bogus downloads
- Fake software updates
- Macro-enabled corrupted document files
As you can see, there are many ways in which this malware can spread so you have to be careful in downloading attachments or downloading software from shady sites, or carelessly clicking links.
Kill Orion ransomware from your infected computer with the help of the following removal guide.
Step 1: First, tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys in your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
Step 2: After opening 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 Orion 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 Orion 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 Orion ransomware’s malicious components like READ_ME.txt and [random].exe as well as 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 Orion 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 Orion 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 Orion 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 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.