What is Actin ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
Actin ransomware is a dangerous threat and is a new variant of Phobos ransomware. This crypto-virus was discovered at the end of May 2019. It appends the “.[ID].[[email protected]].Actin” extension to its targeted files. The moment it enters a system, this crypto-malware performs a series of unwanted activities which could result in the malware getting administrative privileges to read and write files in the infected computer. It also modifies the Windows Registry so it can achieve persistence that will make its removal a tad bit harder. After that, it quickly scans the entire drive of the affected PC for various file types such as:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .xqx, .zip
Before it starts the encryption, Actin ransomware will drop additional files into the system as well as modifies some entries in the Registry so it can run on every system boot. Once all of these things are covered, it will begin to encrypt the files and append the “.[ID].[[email protected]].Actin” suffix to each one of the affected files. After that, it places a file named “Info.hta” that contains the ransom note. It states:
“All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail [email protected]
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00-1104
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.”
In addition, it also opens a text file that contains a short message stating:
“!!! All of your files are encrypted !!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: [email protected]”
How does Actin ransomware proliferate online?
Actin ransomware seems to proliferate via spam emails that contain an infected attachment used to launch Actin ransomware. Once this infected attachment is opened, the malicious payload of Actin ransomware is dropped in the system. This is why you need to steer clear of any suspicious emails as well as suspicious downloads to avoid cyber threats like Actin ransomware.
Terminate Actin ransomware by following the removal guide provided 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 any suspicious-looking processes that could be related to Actin 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 Actin 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 Actin ransomware like HELP_BY_ACTIN.txt 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 Actin ransomware.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 14: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Actin 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 Actin 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 Actin 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.
- 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.