What is Golden Axe ransomware? And how does it carry out its attack?
Golden Axe ransomware is a new file-encrypting malware created to lock important files in a computer and add five random characters to each one of the affected files. It spreads the web using a malicious executable file named “Flash_Player.exe”. Once this file is executed in a targeted computer, it will launch Golden Axe ransomware.
The instant Golden Axe ransomware is installed in the system, it begins to carry out its attack by connecting to a remote Command and Control server controlled by the attackers. It downloads its other components from this remote server and places them on several system folders. These components are used to either repress or launch system processes. It also scans the system to obtain information. The information obtained is sent to the remote server. Moreover, it also modifies some registry keys and sub-keys in the Windows Registry allowing the crypto-virus to run automatically in every system boot. After the system modification, it will encrypt targeted files using a sophisticated encryption algorithm. It then appends five different characters to every encrypted file and drop its ransom note in three different formats namely, “#instructions-ID#.txt”, “#instructions-ID#.vbs, and “#instructions-ID#.jpg” – all of which contain the same message stating:
“*** UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNTIL DECRYPT YOUR FILES DO NOT DELETE THIS INSTRUCTIONS FILE ***
# What Happened?
All your files, documents, photos, databases, and other important files are encrypted by ‘Golden Axe’ ransomware!
It means you will not be able to access them anymore until they are decrypted.
Recovery process impossible without purchasing your special decryption package from us!
# Free Decryption Guarantee!
We will decrypt one of your files before you making payment to show our honesty.
Pick up and attach one of your random encrypted files less than ~1 megabytes in the first contact with us.
* Make sure you will send the file as clear. Not archived, compressed or etc…
# How to contact with you?
Send your message with your ‘DATA’ block on the blow of this file to our email address –
and wait for our response.
Write in email message what you think necessary.
Do not forget, write to us in English or get help for a professional translator.
Also do not forget!
When we does not reply your email after 24 hour, send your message to our backup email –
# How to Purchase Decryption Package?
We will send you next step instructions about payment and decryption in the email.
The decryption price base on how fast you contact with us!
We accept only cryptocurrency named Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment method.
# How to Purchase Bitcoin?
Use the global and trusted Bitcoin exchange website – https://localbitcoins.com for fast and easy Bitcoin purchase.
For more information search about ‘How to buy Bitcoin’ on the internet.
* DO NOT MODIFY, MOVE OR RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES. THIS CAUSES A CORRUPT YOUR FILES!
If you are one of the unfortunate victims of Golden Axe ransomware, you must not pay the ransom demanded by its creators for you will only end up wasting your money for nothing. The best way to deal with this kind of cyber threat is by eliminating it from your computer the soonest that you can and to try alternative methods for file recovery.
How does Golden Axe ransomware proliferate?
As pointed out, Golden Axe ransomware proliferates via a malicious executable file named Flash_Player.exe. This file may spread using several techniques – it could spread as a fake flash player update, or it could be attached to emails. Thus, you need to be cautious on what you download online.
Obliterate Golden Axe ransomware with the help of the removal guide below.
Step 1: Tap the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time to open a menu and then expand the Shutdown options which is right next to the power button.
Step 2: After that, tap and hold the Shift key and then click on Restart.
Step 3: And in the Troubleshoot menu that opens, click on the Advanced options and then go to the Startup settings.
Step 4: Click on Restart and tap F4 to select Safe Mode or tap F5 to select Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 5: After your PC has successfully rebooted, tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
Step 6: Go to the Processes tab and look for the processes named “Flash_Player.exe” as well as any suspicious-looking processes that could be related to Golden Axe ransomware and then end their processes.
Step 7: Exit the Task Manager and open the Programs and Features section under Control Panel by pressing the Windows key + R, then type in “appwiz.cpl” and then click OK or tap Enter.
Step 8: From there, look for any suspicious-looking programs that could be related to Golden Axe ransomware and then uninstall it.
Step 9: Close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to open File Explorer.
Step 10: Now navigate to the following locations and look for the malicious components created by Golden Axe ransomware like #instructions-ID#.txt, #instructions-ID#.vbs, #instructions-ID#.jpg, Flash_Player.exe, and [random].exe and then make sure to delete them all.
- %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 listed paths below and look for the registry keys and sub-keys created by Golden Axe ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Golden Axe ransomware.
Step 15: Close the Registry Editor and empty your 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 Golden Axe 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.
To ensure the removal of Golden Axe ransomware from your system including the malicious components it has created on your system, follow the advanced 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.
- 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.