Tips to Remove .adobe Ransomware
The victims of worst Ransomware attacks i.e. WannaCry & Petya may believe that the worst is over. However, you never know what may await you on the other side of this year.
The recent threat analysis report by security researchers reveal a significant rise in Ransomware attacks in the recent past. This rise can be attributed to the evolving software technologies. With the emerging threat landscape, even Ransomware is metamorphosing in the form of new variants of attacks.
Authors of Dharma Ransomware keep developing new variants of crypto virus that can leave your system vulnerable to critical data loss & breach. The recent outbreak of Dharma Ransomware variant allows cyber maniacs to easily gain access to your computer via spam email attachments.
The newly discovered member of this Dharma Ransomware family encrypts files by appending the .adobe file extension to them, hence making them inaccessible. A unique identification number & email address is also be added to the file names following the footsteps of previous versions. All encrypted files receive the new extension as a secondary one. For Instance, an image file called test.jpg becomes test.jpg.id-xxxxxxxx.[firstname.lastname@example.org].adobe where xxxxxxxx is alphanumeric id.
Victim is informed about the Ransomware attack via a ransom note that contains detailed instructions on how to allegedly restore encrypted files. Let us get some insights on this malicious malware threat.
.Adobe Ransomware- Threat Behavior
.Adobe Ransomware is a spinoff of Dharma Ransomware family, a data locker that made its first appearance in November 2018. The Ransomware leverages strong encryption cipher AES or DES to encrypt data.
It makes entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence & launch or repress processes in Windows environment. Such entries are typically designed in a way to launch virus automatically in each start of the Windows operating system.
The files targeted by the malice include:
- Audio files
- Video files
- Image files
- Backup files
- Banking credentials etc.
.adobe Ransomware also removes the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows Operating system to eliminate ways to restore your data.
After the encryption process is complete, this malware leaves a ransom note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt on your desktop as well as in each folder that contains locked files. The ransom note seeks a huge ransom in Bitcoins from the victims to restore the encrypted files. It also states that with time the price will keep increasing or something along those lines, to try and trick you with this scare tactic to pay now.
The ransom note reads as:
Victims are recommended to be careful while considering whether to pay the demanded ransom price or not. The Ransomware attack may be a mere trick to convince users into paying the money without fulfilling all their promises. Avoiding any contact with the culprits is the most viable option.
Users in turn are advised to maintain regular data backup and store them on a remote server or unplugged storage devices to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
.Adobe Ransomware – Distribution Tactics
The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –
- Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
- Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
- Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
- Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
Targeted Operating System: Windows
Symptoms: User’s files are encrypted. All locked files are appended with .adobe extension & a unique identification number & email address. These files hence cannot be accessed by the users.
How to avoid .Adobe Ransomware infiltration in the System?
Step A: Remove the Services Installed By .Adobe Ransomware from the System using Safe mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
- Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
- Select and click Restart.
- When the screen goes blank, keep tapping F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
- Click on the username and enter the password (if any).
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press and hold the Shift Key and simultaneously click on the windows icon present in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
- While the Shift key is still pressed click on the Power button and then click on Restart.
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings.
- When the Startup Settings screen appears which is the first screen to appear after restart, select and click on Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
- Click on the username and enter the password.
Once the system starts, ensure to use an account with administrative privilege to access Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
After the user enters admin credentials, Command prompt window is displayed wherein you are entitled to enter the below commands:
- Type the command “sc delete .Adobe Ransomware” in the command prompt and press Enter.
- Type “exit” to exit the command prompt and restart the system in safe mode with command prompt.
STEP B: Restore your system files and settings
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –
- Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
- Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
- Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
- Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
- Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Sophos and Vipre so that it remains safe.
- Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.