What is SkyStars ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
SkyStars ransomware is a new file-encrypting virus discovered as of late. It is designed to leave files corrupted and inaccessible to victims by locking them and then demands ransom from its victims. It adds a “.SKYSTARS” extension in every file it encrypts. Based on the analysis done by security experts, it appears that SkyStars ransomware is a new variant of the BlackMoon banking Trojan.
The instant it infects a computer, SkyStars ransomware will drop a Trojan executable file which is used to initiate the attack. This dangerous file is then used to perform a series of tasks in the system which allows the crypto-malware to stay invisible from any antivirus programs. Aside from that, they also make some modifications in some registry entries so that SkyStars ransomware can run every time a victim starts the computer, the crypto-malware can run automatically. It then begins to look for the 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
Once the aforementioned files are found, SkyStars ransomware will begin the encryption by employing the AES encryption algorithm. After the encryption is completed, it appends the .SkyStars extension on every affected file. It also drops a file named “SKYSTARSRANSOMWARE.txt” which reads:
“YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!
As you can see, there are no further details provided in the ransom note of SkyStars ransomware except for the email address you have to contact in order to decrypt your files. However, reaching out to the crooks behind this crypto-virus is definitely not recommended as crooks tend to demand a huge ransom. And besides, even if you pay the ransom, there really is no guarantee that these crooks will give you the encryption key or the decrypter used for file recovery.
How is the payload file of SkyStars Ransomware distributed online?
The payload file of SkyStars ransomware may be disseminated using various methods but it could mostly spread via malicious spam email campaigns. Typically, cyber criminals will attach an infected file in emails. This malicious file may be a PDF file, ZIP file or a document with macro scripts used to run SkyStars ransomware in the system. This is why before you download and open any attachment, you must double check the email first to verify if it’s safe to open.
You can wipe out SkyStars ransomware from your computer by following the removal steps provided below and the advanced steps that follow.
Step 1: First, you have to stop the malicious process of SkyStars ransomware by opening the Task Manager. To do that, simply tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
Step 2: Under the Task Manager, switch to the Processes tab and find suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to SkyStars 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 SkyStars 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 SkyStars ransomware’s malicious components such as SKYSTARSRANSOMWARE.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 SkyStars 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 SkyStars 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 SkyStars 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.