What is BlackHeart ransomware? And how does it carry out its attack?
BlackHeart ransomware is a new crypto-malware discovered at the end of April 2018. This new crypto-malware is also known as BlackRouter ransomware. It spreads as malicious files named “SF.exe”, “TR.exe” or “BLACKROUTER.exe”. Based on the analysis done on this threat, it is proven that all of the aforementioned files carry the malicious payload of BlackHeart ransomware. Moreover, its source code also showed that this file-encrypting malware is a variant of the recently released Spartacus ransomware.
The moment is infiltrates a system, it will begin to carry out its attack by modifying system files as well as the Windows Registry so it can run on every system boot. Such modifications could also result in the inability to start some software in the system or some Windows functions – needless to say, the computer’s overall performance will be greatly affected. After that, BlackHeart ransomware will begin to encrypt files. Just like Spartacus ransomware, it also targets files with these 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
Following data encryption, BlackHeart ransomware marks the encrypted files with either .BlackRouter or .pay2me file extensions and drops a file named “ReadME-BLackHeart.txt” that contains the following message:
“All your data has been locked us. You want to return? Contact to:
[email protected] Your Personal key:
In addition, this crypto-malware also institutes a lock-screen instance that contains this message:
“Personal Key: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXx
Warning: Please Don’t Restart or Shutdown Your PC, if do it Your Personal Files Permanently Crypted.
For Decrypt Your Personal Just Pay 200$ or 0.024 BTC. After Pay, You Can send a personal key to EMail:
BTC Transfer Address: XXXXXXXX”
How are the malicious files of BlackHeart ransomware disseminated?
The malicious files of BlackHeart ransomware, namely, SF.exe, TR.exe, and BLACKROUTER.exe, are distributed using spam emails. Cybercrooks often disguise the malware-laden emails to lure users into opening them and downloading the infected attachment. So it’s better if you delete any suspicious-looking emails the moment you spot them.
Refer to the removal guide provided below to wipe out BlackHeart ransomware and its malicious components from the infected PC.
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 BlackHeart 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 gpedit.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 BlackHeart Ransomware such as “SF.exe”, “TR.exe” or “BLACKROUTER.exe” 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 BlackHeart 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 BlackHeart ransomware such as SF.exe, TR.exe, BLACKROUTER.exe, aut3.tmp, aut4.tmp, jrw.gif, and ReadME-BLackHeart.txt.
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 BlackHeart ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Close the Registry Editor and empty your Recycle Bin.
You have to continue the BlackHeart ransomware removal process using a reliable program like [product-name] once you’re done with the steps given above. 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
- 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 SafeMode 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.