PoisonFang Ransomware
Ransomware | 07/12/2018

How to remove PoisonFang Ransomware from the system?

About: PoisonFang Ransomware is a harmful program that encrypts user files such as music, video, pictures, documents and other files with a powerful AES encryption cipher. It displays a ransom note that demands cryptocurreny in exchange for the decryption k...  Read More  

| Ransomware | How to remove PoisonFang Ransomware from the system?

How to remove PoisonFang Ransomware from the system?


What is PoisonFang?

PoisonFang is a harmful program that is categorized as a ransomware. This piece of code was developed as an academic research project at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Omer Cohen and Tal Porat developed the Poisonfang Ransomware as part of a ransomware project.

As nothing is termed safe on the internet, cyber criminals managed to steal this project. PoisonFang ransomware is used by these criminals to threaten innocent computer users for ransom by encrypting their files.

This is a new threat which does not share any links with code from other popular ransomware. Poisonfang ransomware is distributed using Spam email attachments, malicious links, Torrents and Peer-to-peer networks etc. The attachments contained in the spam emails download the PoisonFang Ransomware virus payload into the system once it is opened.

Malicious links and fake websites can be used to infect the system with Poisonfang ransomware. Torrents can be used to embed the file into the software that you are trying to download or you can end up downloading a fake file.


PoisonFang Ransomware – Threat behavior

PoisonFang Ransomware is made without using code from other popular ransomware, but the ransomware engine was found to be modular in nature that allowed addition of code into the virus sequence. It enabled the hackers to customize their attacks for their intended targets.

Once the PoisonFang ransomware successfully installs the virus payload into the system, it starts gathering private and sensitive information related to the user and the system. The data collected contains usernames, passwords, address, locations, IP address, OS Version, etc.

The PoisonFang Ransomware encrypts user’s files with a strong AES encryption cipher. The User is shown a message which contains the details about its creators. It targets music, videos, documents, images, and other files. It creates a lock screen message that blocks access to the system.

The message informs the user that PoisonFang Ransomware was created by students in Israel. It also shows their contact emails. The users are left with no choice but to contact them if they want to decrypt their files. The ransomware program includes sections of payment and decrypt files which can be filled by the group that stole the PoisonFang Ransomware with their own ransom note that demands cryptocyrrency in exchange for the decryption key.

PoisonFang Ransomware developer Info

The information collected is used to bypass the security settings on the user’s system. PoisonFang Ransomware can disable or imitate the anti-virus signatures to make them believe that it is a legitimate program on the system.

After getting a free reign into the system Poisonfang ransomware can attach to other programs and system services, even the ones having administrative privileges. It can launch more processes and commands that can hog system memory. Once it does this, it becomes difficult to contain this infection from getting a strong foothold into the system.

PoisonFang Ransomware disables system services such as windows defender. It creates a protected memory space which stops any analysis from the security software. This ransomware performs security checks for the presence of certain files or strings in configuration files etc.

PoisonFang Ransomware is a threat that automatically starts with every system boot or reboot. It is persistent and disables the manual user recovery difficult by disabling the boot recovery menu to stay in the system for long. It deletes the system restore files and the shadow volume copies so as to not allow the user to recover their data.

The user should never send money to the hackers because they can’t be trusted to deliver the decryption key upon receiving the money. Encrypting your data is a breach of trust and these hackers have no moral code, so one should not fall into their trap.


How Did Your System Get Infected?

The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Threat Summary

Name – PoisonFang

Category – Ransomware

Targeted Operating Systems – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.0/8.1, Windows 10

Symptoms –Encrypts user files with a strong AES cipher, demands ransom in exchange for the decryption key, Gathers user information and system information, Bypass security settings to avoid detection, create new processes and services, modifies internet proxy settings to redirect internet traffic, deletes system restore files and shadow volume copies.


How to remove PoisonFang Ransomware from the PC?

PoisonFang Ransomware should be immediately removed from the system as it takes your files hostage. The user should never give in to these demands and remove PoisonFang Ransomware using the Ransomware removal guide given below.

Follow the PoisonFang ransomware removal steps to delete PoisonFang ransomware from the system and recover your files.


Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Vipre and Hitman Pro so that it remains safe.
  6. 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.

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