Malware researchers have discovered a new dangerous malware know as the Aleta ransomware. This virus is still under investigation however it has already been used in several attack campaigns.
About The AletaAleta ransomware is a new malware variant which has just been reported by security researchers. As such it is still under an active investigation and we do not many details about it.
Upon infection it targets specific user data and appends the .aleta extension. The virus creates a ransomware note which shows the following message:
What Does Aleta Ransomware Do
The Aleta ransomware has recently been discovered by malware experts. This is a new iteration of the old BTCWare virus which was discovered not long ago.
The initial security analysis shows that the Aleta ransomware is capable of manipulating system and application-provided processes. Upon infection the virus can spawn, extract information and query all running applications and services on the infected host.
The significant code changes brought new stealth detection options – the malware is able to query the Internet cache settings. Experts state that this strategy is popular among experienced malware developers as they can hide the virus footprints in the internet cache or the index.dat file. In addition it can also scan for any running or installed security software.
Like other similar threats the Aleta ransomware can modify important configuration files, delete important data, execute various commands and also drop malicious files onto the target system.
The initiated remote network communication with the C&C servers can be used to spy on the victims at all times.
When a user gets on the virus location or opens its attachment, a copy of the malware executes automatically. Instantly, it starts injecting required commands in appropriate Windows processes such as svchost.exe and explorer.exe files. The virus may start by deleting any shadow volume copies or backups on the system; this happens by executing the vssadmin command in a hidden manner to evade being noticed.
When it succeeded in removing affected files history, the virus will likely add custom registry values with data in the Run and RunOnce Windows Registry subkeys. The data added is configured to execute the dharma ransomware programs and will start encrypting the following files:
- Adobe Reader, PDF
- VMware, Photoshop
- Microsoft Office files
After completion of the malicious encryption activities, the system explorer.exe goes into “Not Responding’ condition, the virus adds the email of the criminals and the dharma file extension to the affected files so that they cannot be open again.
How Does The Aleta Ransomware Infect Computers
The virus targets mainly English-speaking computer owners. At the moment the virus has compromised hosts in various countries like Germany and Belarus.
The infection methods include exploit kits, browser hijackers and infected software installers.
Remove Aleta Ransomware Fully and Restore Your Files
For the removal of this ransomware virus, recommendations are to use the instructions we have provided below. For fastest and most efficient removal however, you may want to download and scan your computer with an advanced anti-malware program. It will make sure to protect you in the future as well.
Booting in Safe Mode
1) Hold Windows Key and R
2) A run Window will appear, in it type “msconfig” and hit Enter
3) After the Window appears go to the Boot tab and select Safe Boot
Cut out Aleta in Task Manager
1) Press CTRL+ESC+SHIFT at the same time.
2) Locate the “Processes” Tab.
3) Locate the malicious process of Aleta, and end it’s task by right-clicking on it and clicking on “End Process”
Eliminate Aleta‘s Malicious Registries
For most Windows variants:
1) Hold Windows Button and R.
2) In the “Run” box type “Regedit” and hit “Enter”.
3) Hold CTRL+F keys and type Aleta or the file name of the malicious executable of the virus which is usually located in %AppData%, %Temp%, %Local%, %Roaming% or %SystemDrive%.
4) After having located malicious registry objects, some of which are usually in the Run and RunOnce subkeys delete them ermanently and restart your computer. Here is how to find and delete keys for different versions.
For Windows 7: Open the Start Menu and in the search type and type regedit –> Open it. –> Hold CTRL + F buttons –> Type Aleta Virus in the search field.
Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Hit Enter -> Press CTRL + F buttons. Type Aleta in the search field.
Automatic Removal of Aleta
Recover files encrypted by the Aleta Ransomware.
Method 1: Using Shadow Explorer. In case you have enabled File history on your Windows Machine one thing you can do is to use Shadow Explorer to get your files back. Unfortunately some ransomware viruses may delete those shadow volume copies with an administrative command to prevent you from doing just that.
Method 2: If you try to decrypt your files using third-party decryption tools. There are many antivirus providers who have decrypted multiple ransomware viruses the last couple of years and posted decryptors for them. Chances are if your ransomware virus uses the same encryption code used by a decryptable virus, you may get the files back. Jedoch, this is also not a guarantee, so you might want to try this method with copies of the original encrypted files, because if a third-party program tampers with their encrypted structure, they may be damaged permanently. Here are the vendors to look for:
Method 3: Using Data Recovery tools. This method is suggested by multiple experts in the field. It can be used to scan your hard drive’s sectors and hence scramble the encrypted files anew as if they were deleted. Most ransomware viruses usually delete a file and create an encrypted copy to prevent such programs for restoring the files, but not all are this sophisticated. So you may have a chance of restoring some of your files with this method. Here are several data recovery programs which you can try and restore at least some of your files: