What is SpyHunter ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
SpyHunter ransomware us a dangerous threat that can lock valuable files in a computer and leave them inaccessible. It also happens to be the latest variant of GarrantyDecrypt ransomware and seems to copy the name of a legitimate anti-spyware program even though there is no relation.
Once SpyHunter ransomware infiltrates the system, it connects it to a remote server. After that, it creates and downloads more malicious files and places them on system folders. Following the infiltration, it proceeds to make modifications in the Windows Registry by modifying some existing registry keys like RunOnce as well as create new ones to allow it to run on every system boot automatically. Just like its predecessors, SpyHuner ransomware also employs two modules namely, data harvesting and stealth protection modules. The first module is used to gather information from the computer and use it for the second module which is the one that bypasses any security programs installed in the system that could interfere with the attack. It then scans the computer for files with specific formats such as:
.3g2, .3gp, .7z, .accdb, .aes, .ARC, .asc, .asf, .asm, .asx, .avi, .backup, .bak, .bat, .brd, .bundle, .c, .cgm, .cmd, .cpp, .crt, .cs, .csproj, .csr, .csv, .db, .dbf, .dch, .der, .dip, .djvu, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotx, .dwg, .edb, .eml, .flv, .frm, .gif, .gpg, .gz, .htm,.html, .hwp, .Iay6, .ibd, .iso, .jar, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .jse, .key, .lay, .lbd, .log, .m2ts, .max, .mdf, .mdp, .mid, .midi, .mkv, .mml, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .myd, .myi, .nef, .ocx, .odg, .odp, .odp, .ods, .odt, .onetoc2, .ost, .otg, .otp, .ott, .PAQ, .pas, .pdf, .pern, .pfx, .php, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .pst, .pub, .py, .pyc, .pyd, .pyo, .rar, .raw, .rm, .rpa, .sb2, .sch, .sh, .sin, .sldm, .sldx, .slk, .snt, .sql, .sql, .sqlite3, .sqlitedb, .stc, .std, .sti, .stw, .suo, .svg, .swf, .sxc, .sxd, .sxi, .sxm, .sxw, .tar, .tar, .tbk, .tiff, .txt, .uop, .uot, .vb, .vbe, .vbproj, .vbs, .vcd, .vdi, .vdmk, .vmx, .vob, .vsd, .vsdx, .wks, .wma, .wncry, .wrav, .xdata, .xlc, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .zip
Based on the sample files gathered in the active campaign on SpyHunter ransomware, just like other variants of GarrantyDecrypt ransomware, this one does not use typical encryption algorithm since it uses a random private RSA 348 key and then proceeds to use RSA 4096. It then adds the .spyhunter suffix to every compromised files. After the encryption is completed, it releases a file named “$HOWDWCRYPT$.txt” which contains the following ransom note:
“All your files are encrypted by Enigma SpyHunter5s!
Our company SpyHunter is guaranteed to decrypt your files.
Creating and removing viruses is our vocation.
We will provide you with professional support.
You have 72 hours to contact us.
Email us at :
Your unique ID”
How is the malicious payload of SpyHunter ransomware distributed online?
It isn’t clear yet how exactly the malicious payload of SpyHunter ransomware is distributed online but it may use several techniques in doing so. It could spread among fake software or fake software update or any other third party downloads. It could also use exploit kits or social engineering tactics like spam emails. This is why you have to be extra cautious on what you download online as it might lead you to harmful threats like SpyHunter ransomware.
Wipe out SpyHunter ransomware from your computer using the given removal guide below.
Step 1: First, you have to stop the malicious process of SpyHunter 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 a process named SpyHunter5.exe as well as any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to SpyHunter 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 SpyHunter 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 SpyHunter ransomware’s malicious components such as SpyHunter5.exe, $HOWDWCRYPT$.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 SpyHunter 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 SpyHunter 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 SpyHunter 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.