Spora ransomware eventually redirects its victims to its payment website. The page, according to the feedback of its visitors, looks much better than those of many universities. That is to say, the virus is actually malicious, yet seems to be nearly flawless. It displays the highest degree of perfection ever seen in the software of its tribe. That does not excuse it for being malicious: awesome but deadly it remains.
Spora is an encryption virus. It deploys a complex scrambling campaign. The AES algorithm itself cycles a target piece of data lots of times, each time modifying the data in such a way that it can readily withstand any brute force attack. To make things worse, the key capable of restoring the data in its readable format undergoes no less complex treatment with RSA system. The data is stored in the .key file, which is itself encrypted in a way that is even more complicated.
Upon completing those sophisticated routines, the infection drops a ransom note. The message is available on the desktop and in every folder that contains the affected data. So far, the note addresses its users in Russian only. However, the infection distribution area is highly unlikely to be limited to Russia only. Its payment website features English interface so that the infecting campaign is ready to target users worldwide.
Unlike most of its counterparts, the Spora extortion virus does not add any extra extension to the files it encrypts. The victims typically call such viruses according to the extensions they observe added to the affected data. In this case, the users concerned learn they deal with the ransomware in question from its message. The ransom note and follow-up communication repeatedly mention the name of Spora, which is the Russian word for spore.
The infection is rather selective in choosing the files to decrypt. Nevertheless, it targets most common files as it scans the affected system memory for the extensions like doc, docx, xls, jpg. Spora is overcautious in terms of ensuring the system remains intact as its encryption avoids any folders that may contain system files.
The users learn from the payment site by Spora the decryption option. They may opt between full decryption and several partial recovery options. While the IT security is looking for the ultimate way of ransom free recovery for the malicious encryption virus, kindly proceed with the steps below, if you need to get rid of Spora ransomware and its encryption impacts.
Automatic removal of Spora ransomware
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 Spora virus
Spora 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, Spora 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. Spora virus 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 Spora ransomware, 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 Spora 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