Within the last three days, there seemed to be a rise in activity from a comparatively undiagnosed ransomware virus called SynAck.
This specific ransomware was initially discovered in the beginning of August and malware specialists instantly confirmed they were seeing a brand new ransomware family.
SynAck activity was never at frightening\worrying amounts, but still this virus infected several victims every single day during August.
A massive increase in activity was identified in September when almost 100 individuals utilized the ID-Ransomware website to identify what ransomware had contaminated their computers.
After examining virus files from August reports, infosec experts had observed three different SynAck variations, grouped in accordance with the ransom notes they created on affected machines.
The SynAck ransomware never employs a payment website hosted on the Dark Web. However, it requires victims to email virus creators or send messages through a BitMessage ID.
The ransomware also lacks a custom-made desktop wallpaper to indicate its existence, and the sole option to realize that SynAck has contaminated your computer is by the ransom note created on the desktop, named something like RESTORE_INFO-(B7V6ASS6).txt.
Additionally, SynAck creates and adds specific extensions at the end of files it encrypted. These extensions represent 10 random characters. For example Flowers.jpg.BuhVJQiuoh.
Industry specialists think the team behind SynAck makes use of RDP brute force strikes to gain access to remote PCs and install each malware sample by hand. Affected people noted ransomware problems with enterprise networks and Windows Server machines.
The Bitcoin wallet mentioned in the message carries around 98 Bitcoins, that is over 425,000 USD now. Money frequently goes in and out of the wallet that can indicate a potential Ransomware-as-a-Service scheme where an additional team needs its cut and forwards the rest of the money to individuals who run and distribute the virus.
You can try several methods to try to restore files if they are encrypted by the SynAck virus.
Automatic removal of SynAck 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 SynAck File Virus
new Locky variant aka SynAck 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, SynAck 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. SynAck 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 SynAck, 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 SynAck 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