If .arena is added to a filename, it won’t be readable to any software. Its content is strongly modified. It is the new variant of the ransomware called CryptoMix that has introduced the changes. The virus has applied a strong military-grade encryption. The resulted content is gibberish.
The infection has been around since the end of August 2017. So far, it is among the top cyber threats of the year.
CryptoMix includes a number of modifications. IT experts distinguish between the releases by the extensions added to the files which have their contents scrambled by the ransomware. Currently, .arena is among the most common suffixes for the affected files.
The scammers propagate the ransomware with the scheme that used to circulate the earlier versions of CryptoMix virus. This features a spam email that often has its subject line and body blank. The empty fields, however, does not mean the attack aims at random victims. The spam specifies names of the persons as a part of the archive attached. That means the hackers know at least how to address the users concerned. Besides, they use a number of cracked emails. Those emails belong to real persons that may be treated as explicitly trusted contacts by a number of users.
The executable has a certificate that typically disclosed its origin. It is believed that .arena ransomware comes from Russian hackers.
The encryption by the infection spares a couple of file formats. This ensures the system remains functional so that the users can read the ransom note, typically named as follows: _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT. Its message says you need to write an email to [email protected] (or another email address) as your files have been encrypted for security reasons. In response, the sender is to get the hacker’s Bitcoin wallet ID and the ransom amount payable.
For the .arena ransomware post-encryption measures, kindly consult the guidance below.
Automatic removal of .arena File Virus
The benefits of using the automatic security suite to get rid of this infection are obvious: it scans the entire system and detects all potential fragments of the virus, so you are a few mouse clicks away from a complete fix.
- Download and install recommended malware security suite
- Select Start Computer Scan feature and wait until the utility comes up with the scan report. Proceed by clicking on the Fix Threats button, which will trigger a thorough removal process to address all the malware issues compromising your computer and your privacy.
Restore files locked by .arena File Virus
new Locky variant aka .arena File Virus represents a unique category of malicious software whose attack surface reaches beyond the operating system and its components, which is why removing the virus itself is a part of the fix only. As it has been mentioned, it encrypts one’s personal information, so the next phase of the overall remediation presupposes reinstating the files that will otherwise remain inaccessible.
Launch data recovery software
Similarly to the rest of its fellow-infections, .arena File Virus most likely follows an operational algorithm where it erases the original versions of the victim’s files and actually encrypts their copies. This peculiarity might make your day, because forensics-focused applications like Data Recovery Pro are capable of restoring the information that has been removed. As the virus further evolves, its modus operandi may be altered – in the meanwhile, go ahead and try this.
Take advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Service
This technique is based on using the native backup functionality that’s shipped with Windows operating system. Also referred to as Volume Snapshot Service (VSS), this feature makes regular backups of the user’s files and keeps their most recent versions as long as System Restore is on. Arena File Virus ransomware hasn’t been found to affect these copies therefore the restoration vector in question is strongly recommended. The two sub-sections below highlight the automatic and manual workflow.
- a) Use Shadow Explorer
Shadow Explorer is an applet that provides an easy way of retrieving previous versions of files and folders. Its pro’s include an intuitive interface where the computer’s entire file hierarchy is displayed within one window. Just pick the hard disk volume, select the object or directory to be restored, right-click on it and choose Export. Follow the app’s prompts to get the job done.
- b) Use file properties
Essentially, what the above-mentioned Shadow Explorer tool does is it automates the process that can otherwise be performed manually via the Properties dialog for individual files. This particular approach is more cumbrous but just as effective as its software-based counterpart, so you can proceed by right-clicking on a specific file, which has been encrypted by .arena File Virus, and selecting Properties in the context menu. The tab named Previous Versions is the next thing to click – it displays available versions of the file by date of the snapshot creation. Pick the latest copy and complete the retrieval by following the prompts.
Data backups work wonders
Ransomware like .arena File Virus isn’t nearly as almighty and destructive in case you run regular file backups to the cloud or external data media. The virus itself can be completely removed in a matter of minutes, and the distorted information can then be just as easily recovered from the backup. Luckily, this is a growing trend, so ransom Trojans are hopefully going to become less subversive in the near future.
Verify thoroughness of the removal
Having carried out the instructions above, add a finishing touch to the security procedure by running an additional computer scan to check for residual malware activity