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Ransomware | 06/25/2019

.neras ransomware – A newbie Threat for Computer Users

About: This blog will help you to get rid of the newly discovered .neras ransomware. Apart from encrypting the files, it restricts the access to anti – virus in the affected system.

| Ransomware | .neras ransomware – A newbie Threat for Computer Users

Guide to remove .neras Ransomware  

The DJVU ransomware is back with its new variant – .neras ransomware. It is a dangerous crypto virus that encrypts the data and makes it unusable. Once, it infiltrates the system, it immediately search for the targeted files and locks them with .neras extension. In order to restore the files, you have to pay the demanded ransom amount.

Neras Ransomware

Threat Summary

Name Neras
Type Ransomware
Category Malware
Targeted OS Windows
Targeted Bowser Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox

 

Understanding .neras Ransomware

The methodology of .neras ransomware is similar to the DJVU family. It must be clear that Neras encrypts the data and blackmail the victims to pay ransom. It adds ‘.neras’ extension to the files and made them unusable. Unfortunately, it uses a powerful cryptography algorithm which generates a unique decryption key on the hacker’s server. The decryption key is exchanged for large amount of ransom, in the form of bitcoins. Hence, it is next to impossible to manually restore .neras files.

After successful encryption, the malicious ransomware scans every inch of the system for the targeted files. The targeted files are commonly found in most of the systems today. It includes the important productivity documents, images, audio files and what not! When the victim tries to open the .neras encrypted files, a ransom-demanding message is displayed on the screen. The dangerous neras ransomware targets all versions of windows, including Windows 7, Windows 8 and windows 10.

Apart from locking the files, it also deletes ‘Shadow Volume Copies’ that are found on the affected system. It is done to complicate the restoration of the encrypted files. In order to restore the corrupted data, the user gets ready to pay the demanded ransom.

Scroll down to know the possible gateways and threat behavior of this destructive ransomware.

 

Distribution Technique

The exact method used by developers to proliferate .neras ransomware is still a mystery. However, spam campaigns, Trojans, software crack and fake software update tools are a few devastating methods. Let us understand these methods in detail:

Spam campaigns, is a way to send a spam e-mail with malicious attachment. The malicious attachment could be in the form of MS Word document, PDF or Zip file. Unfortunately, these are used to spread other malicious malware in your system. A catchy subject line is written to make them look legitimate. Hackers trick the users into believing that these e-mails are from a shipping company. It informs about an undelivered package or a shipment made previously. As soon as the user clicks on the link or open the file, it leads to the installation of the nasty .neras virus.

Trojan ransomware, the malicious program which makes a back door entry in the system is designed to cause chain infections. Once installed, they download other malicious files in the system.

Software cracking is a way to freely activate the paid applications. However, hackers design them in a way that they instead of performing their task install malicious software in the system.

Once it infiltrates the system, it may cause great damage to the targeted files. Therefore it is necessary to scan the system with an antivirus on regular basis. Keep in mind, as soon as you detect .neras ransomware, focus on removing it completely from your system.

 

Threat Behavior

The dangerous neras ransomware infiltrates your system with or without your knowledge. After successful encryption, it restricts the access to the encrypted files. It appends ‘.neras’ extension so that the user cannot open the files anymore.

Unfortunately, the encryption algorithm used by .neras ransomware is not yet revealed. However, the cryptographies used are strong and creates a private key on the remote server. This is the decryption key for the locked files. Developers, use this key to blackmail the victim and to extort money from them.

When the victim user tries to open the corrupted files, the ransomware displays a ransom – demanding message on the screen. Large amount is demanded in the form of bitcoins – a crypto currency. The only way to get the key is by paying the asked ransom.

Ransom – Demanding Message:

Ransom Note

The ransom message notifies you on how to pay the ransom. Cyber criminals ask for $980 (in bitcoins). Lucky victims, who contact the hackers within 72 hours of the ransomware attack, get a discount of 50%. The amount of ransom reduced to $490 (in bitcoins).

Though you can use the decryptor tools to remove .neras ransomware, yet it does not work in most of the cases. In many cases, it is impossible to decrypt the files without the private key.

Keep in mind, it is not necessary than you will receive the decryption key after paying the ransom. Furthermore, the ransom amount helps these cyber criminals to commence their next malicious project.

 

Removal guidelines for .neras Ransomware

STEP A: Reboot your system to Safe Mode

Windows 7/ Vista/ XP

  1. Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
  2. Select and click  Restart.
  3. When the screen goes blank, Keep tapping  F8  Key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  4. With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Networking  option from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Networking.

5 Click on the username and enter the password (if any).

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Press and hold the Shift Key and simultaneously click on the windows icon present in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
  2. While the Shift key is still pressed click on the Power button and then click on Restart.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings.
  4. When the Startup Settings screen appears which is the first screen to appear after restart, select and click on Enable Safe Mode with Networking. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Networking.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password.

STEP B: Delete the malicious file in system Configuration setting

  1. Type “Msconfig” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. Click on “Services” Tab and click on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  3. Select .neras ransomware from the list of remaining services and disable it by removing the tick mark from the checkbox and click on Apply button.

Windows 7

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with .neras ransomware mentioned and remove the check mark.
  3. Click on Apply button and then click on OK.

Windows 10

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Take the mouse cursor to ‘Open task Manager‘ link and click on it.  This opens the Task Manager window.
  3. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with .neras ransomware mentioned and click on it.
  4. Then click on Disable button.

STEP C: Remove the suspicious file using Command Prompt

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:

  1. Type the command “sc delete .neras ransomware ” in the command prompt and press Enter.
  2. Type “exit” to exit the command prompt and restart the system in safe mode with command prompt.

 

STEP D: Restore system Files & Folders

Method 1 using Control Panel

  1. Click on the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. This will open the Start menu.
  2. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ button in the Start menu. This will open the control panel window.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click on the ‘View by:’ button on the top right. Select the Large Icon option
  4. In the control Panel window click on the ‘Recovery Icon’. This will open a window that will ask ‘Restore the computer to an earlier point in time’.
  5. Click on the ‘Open system restore’ button. This will open the ‘system restore ’window where you need to click on the Next Button.
  6.  Select the restore point that is prior the infiltration of .neras ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  7. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by .neras ransomware.

OR

Method 2 using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box and click on the command prompt to open the Command Prompt window. box and clicking on it.
  2. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.(Ensure that you in the system32 directory of Windows folder in C Drive)
  3. Now type rstrui and press Enter again.
  4. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of .neras ransomware. After doing that, click Next.
  5. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by .neras ransomware.

 

OR

Method 3 : Directly type 'rstrui' in the search box

  1. Type ‘Rstrui’ in the search box present on the task bar. This will open the System restore dialog box.

Continue to follow steps 4 & 5 of Method 2 to restore the System Files and settings.

 

Tips to prevent .neras Ransomware from your system

  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 Sophos and Bull Gaurd 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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