What is UNIT09 ransomware? And how does it carry out its attack?
UNIT09 ransomware is a dangerous crypto-virus designed to corrupt important data in a computer and hold them hostage from the user. It is also known as MewWare Ransomware and uses a “.UNIT09” extension in marking the files it encrypts. This new crypto-virus was spotted a few days ago in the last week of January 2019. What makes this new ransomware threat a lot more dangerous than a typical ransomware is that aside from encrypting files it is also a data wiper.
Once its payload file named MewWare.exe is dropped in the system. It will perform a series of modifications in the system. These modifications involved the addition of the crypto-virus’ malicious components. These components are placed on various system folders and are used to employ two modules namely, data gathering and stealth protection. These modules are used to collect data from the system and use them to bypass any security programs installed. It also alters some existing entries in Windows Registry as well as creates new ones. This allows UNIT09 ransomware to execute its attack in an automatic manner each time the infected computer has started. Following these modifications, it scans the computer in search for files with these extensions:
.access, .bfc, .cab, .certs, .cfg, .cgm, .chm, .cnt, .cnv, .config, .cpl, .dat, .data, .dll, .dpc, .eftx, .elm .eps, .exe, .flt, .fnt, .gif, .hlp, .htm, .html, .inf, .its, .ja, .jar, .jfc, .jpg, .lex, .libraries,. manifest, .mid, .mml, .mmw, .mof, .msg, .msi, .mst, .pf, .png, .policy, .properties, .rll, .security, .src, .template, .thmx, .tlb, .ttf, .txt, .wav, .wmf, .wpg, .xml, .xrm-ms, .xsl, and many more.
After it finds its targeted files, UNIT09 ransomware encrypts them using the AES cryptography. Once the encryption is completed, it appends the .UNIT09 extension to the affected files. It then drops a file named “$! READ ME.txt” containing the following content:
“Dear <user_name>, Thanks for being a part of UNIT-109
But sadly its time to go. Send $ 10 in BTC to 1P9NNpNtbhsKaxr2oGkSaqUQb1kB4trS5U
Your files will be unrecoverable after 72 hours. Be quick;)
– [redacted 0x4D bytes, ending in “(keep going)”]”
If you are one of the unfortunate victims of UNIT09 ransomware, there is no sense in paying the ransom since the compromised files are overwritten by ransom bytes and cannot be recovered. So do not waste your time in negotiating with these crooks and obliterate this crypto-virus from your computer as soon as possible,
How does UNIT09 ransomware spread online?
UNIT09 ransomware may spread by hacking into unprotected Remote Desktop Protocol configurations, fake software updates, deceptive downloads, exploit kits, infected installers. In addition, it could also spread using malicious spam emails where a corrupted file is attached. This is why you must refrain from downloading files from unknown and suspicious sources and keep an eye for any deceiving emails disguised as invoices, receipts, and so on.
Make sure that you carefully follow the given removal guide below to successfully obliterate UNIT09 ransomware from your computer.
Step 1: Restart your PC and boot into Safe Mode with Command Prompt by pressing F8 a couple of times until the Advanced Options menu appears.
Step 2: Navigate to Safe Mode with Command Prompt using the arrow keys on your keyboard. After selecting Safe Mode with Command Prompt, hit Enter.
Step 3: After loading the Command Prompt type cd restore and hit Enter.
Step 4: After cd restore, type in rstrui.exe and hit Enter.
Step 5: A new window will appear, and then click Next.
Step 6: Select any of the Restore Points on the list and click Next. This will restore your computer to its previous state before being infected with the UNIT09 Ransomware. A dialog box will appear, and then click Yes.
Step 7: After System Restore has been completed, try to enable the disabled Windows services.
- Press Win + R keys to launch Run.
- Type in msc in the box and press Enter to open Group Policy.
- Under Group Policy, navigate to:
- User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System
- After that, open Prevent access to the command prompt.
- Select Disable to enable cmd
- Click the OK button
- After that, go to:
- Configuration\Administrative Templates\System
- Double click on the Prevent Access to registry editing tools.
- Choose Disabled and click OK.
- Navigate to :
- User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System>Ctrl+Alt+Del Options
- Double click on Remove Task Manager.
- And then set its value to Disabled.
Step 8: Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc at the same time. Proceed to the Processes tab and look for the malicious processes of UNIT09 Ransomware and end them all.
Step 9: Open Control Panel by pressing Start key + R to launch Run and type appwiz.cpl in the search box and click OK to open the list of installed programs. From there, look for UNIT09 ransomware or any malicious program and then Uninstall it.
Step 10: Tap Windows + E keys to open the File explorer then navigate to the following directories and delete the malicious files created by UNIT09 ransomware such as “$! READ ME.txt”, “MewWare.exe” “[random].exe”.
- %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Step 11: 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 12: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 13: Navigate to the paths listed below and delete all the registry values added by UNIT09 ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Close the Registry Editor and empty your Recycle Bin.
After you’re done with the steps given above, you need to continue the UNIT09 ransomware removal process using a reliable program like [product-name]. How? Follow the advanced removal steps below.
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.