Oxar is a file-encrypting Trojan that makes the files of the innocent victim unreadable. This cryptomalware appends ‘.locked’ as an extension to all files that it manages to compromise. Once the complex process of changing the core structure of your data ends, you may lose access to everything valuable to you like your photos, documents, notes, videos, etc. Just like all ransomware Trojans, Oxar will keep them encrypted until the victim feels he has no other choice but to pay the ransom. This decision is not supported by the cyber security industry for several different reasons, which will be explained later in the article.
What May Follow If Oxar Ransomware Finds a Way into Your System?
If this Trojan sneaks in, it will not reveal its presence immediately. It will first perform an encryption of all partitions of your hard disk. Depending on the amount of files you have there, the process may take between 15-20 mins and a few hours. Oxar uses a ‘strong’ encryption, which would be either RSA or AES. These ciphers are indeed difficult to break without the corresponding key. Helaas, this tool cannot be extracted from your system because it is simply not there. As soon as the encryption ends, Oxar automatically transfers the key towards distant hosts, which serve as Command and Control (C&C) servers. As of now, there is no data that some security researcher has managed to breach into these databases, but it may happen in the future. Oxar encourages the user to pay a ransom of 0.15 Bitcoins, which is currently equal to $108. The person has limited time to act – only 48 hours, which is a scare mechanism. The key is supposed to get destroyed when the timer reaches zero.
How Does the Infection with Oxar Begin?
The developers of this ransomware try to deploy it to the computers of the victims via a variety of clever tactics. The hackers most commonly rely on spam email campaigns to reach the unsuspecting PC users. With only a few clicks, the cyber criminals may send the payload of Oxar towards hundreds or even thousands of users at once. This process also involves very little operational costs and a high success rate, which explains why it is so preferred. While the spam emails is a single tactic, it can come in very different forms. The hackers may try to look as if the malicious message was coming from banks, financial platforms like PayPal, shipping companies like DHL or famous email providers. Gewoonlijk, the content of the letters mentions some unauthorized transactions or other information that may worry the recipient.
The email itself contains very little information, and the supplementary data is supposed to appear in the attached file. If you make the mistake to download or open it, you may infect your machine with Oxar. The problem may also happen if you install programs like Adobe or Java from random suspicious platforms like the majority of porn sites.
What to and Not to Do After You Lose Your Files Due to Oxar Ransomware?
The first and most important thing to remember is not to succumb to the pressure. No matter how the hackers threaten you, you should not pay the ransom. It is true that the sum is not that high in comparison to other file-encoding Trojans, but even if the hackers receive your money, they may not release the precious key. Or if they do, you should expect them to continue creating and spreading more ransomware, which means you may get infected by a similar cyber threat anytime in the future. The right action is to delete Oxar immediately. Since this parasite compromises various areas of the system, it will be best to eliminate it via special security software. When the removal is completed, you can use some free decryptor that may manage to break the ciphers. Another possibility is to use a data restoring tool, which may revert your PC to an earlier date. If you have a recent copy of your hard drives, you can safely import all of your files back to your device.
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 Oxar in Task Manager
1) Press CTRL+ESC+SHIFT at the same time.
2) Locate the “Processes” tab.
3) Locate the malicious process of Oxar, and end it’s task by right-clicking on it and clicking on “End Process”
Eliminate Oxar‘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 Oxar 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 Oxar Virus in the search field.
Win 8/10 users: Start Button –> Choose Run –> type regedit –> Hit Enter -> Press CTRL + F buttons. Type Oxar in the search field.
Automatic Removal of Oxar
Recover files encrypted by the Oxar 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. Echter, 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: