GhostCrypt Ransomware is a ghost that creeps up on you and spooks you without any warning. The distribution of this malicious threat is extremely clandestine, but the threat itself does not hide once installed. On the contrary, it shows up and takes all of your attention. Truth be told, it is difficult to ignore this infection because it encrypts your personal files, making them inaccessible. Although this devious threat does not affect system files – due to which, the operations on your computer will not be disrupted – it uses a special algorithm to change your personal files. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm is used to replace data of your files to make them unreadable. Although a key should be created to make decryption possible, our researchers are not sure that this ransomware creates one. This is not the only thing we will discuss in this article before we show how to delete GhostCrypt Ransomware.
Have you heard of the Hidden Tear Project? It was created by Turkish security researchers to test the possibilities of ransomware; however, the source code has been exploited since then to create real ransomware infections, and GhostCrypt Ransomware is one of the several variants. Needless to say, this infection belongs to cyber criminals, not security experts. This threat can be compared with Enigma Ransomware, CryptoHitman Ransomware, TrueCrypter Ransomware, and other infamous threats that use the AES encryption method. Using this method, the malicious ransomware “locks” your personal files (e.g., .avi, .bmp, .doc, .html, .jpeg, .jpg, .mov, .mp3, .pdf, .zip, etc.) and holds them hostage. To explain what is happening, this devious threat creates a text file – READ_THIS_FILE.txt – which suggests that your files were encrypted by CryptoLocker. CryptoLocker is one of the best-known ransomware threats, and its name is used to make it more difficult to research the real culprit. Here are a few excerpts from the TXT file.
Files have been encrypted by CryptoLocker.
In order to get hands on your files again and decrypt them you must pay 2 BTC (Bitcoin).
Once we will receive the payment the decryption key will be issued to you and your files will be decrypted.
The READ_THIS_FILE.txt file also provides the steps that you are required to follow to allegedly get your files back. You are asked to download Bitcoin Wallet, register for a Bitcoin account, and purchase 2 Bitcoins, which is around 899 USD or 802 EUR. The ransom is extremely big, and it is unlikely that many users will rush to pay it. Well, paying this ransomware is not what we recommend anyway. Our researchers have observed this infection, and it seems that it does not create unique indicators for its victims or even decryption keys. All of this means that it is unlikely that this GhostCrypt Ransomware will be able to decrypt your files, even if you pay the humongous ransom. Well, if you do not have the option to pay the ransom, what should you do with the files that are encrypted (these files will either have the “.CWall4” or “.Z81928819” extension attached to them)? First, you should assess the situation. Are the files encrypted by this threat truly irreplaceable? Maybe you have them backed up, let’s say, in an external drive? In this case, you do not need to worry about losing them! If you need to get the files decrypted, it is worth looking into using third-party decryption tools.
The removal of GhostCrypt Ransomware is not the easiest task, and we cannot help you much if you decide to erase this threat manually. This threat does not actually install itself onto your computer, and it is activated via a launcher file that is most likely to be disguised as something else. For example, if this ransomware was launched with a spam email attachment, it is possible that you can find it in the Downloads folder. Go to your User folder and open the Downloads subfolder. If you find unfamiliar files, delete them. Of course, the malicious ransomware could have been dropped anywhere on your system, and it might be difficult to detect it. If you are having trouble, use an automated malware remover to erase all malicious components from your operating system. Of course, the most important reason to implement anti-malware software is to prevent the entrance of other malicious ransomware threats or other kinds of malware in the future.