Danger level:  
  (97/100)

Arena ransomware. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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Arena ransomware actively attacks computers worldwide

Arena ransomware (Dharma/CrySiS variant)

Arena ransomware is a file-encoding virus that cyber criminals use as a virtual extortion tool. During the encryption, malware encrypts files and appends .aren file extension to their names. The malicious program was initially created by Dharma ransomware gang, although CryptoMix developers used the same file extension to mark encrypted files for the virus released at the beginning of September 2017.

The initial ransomware version belongs to Dharma/CrySis ransomware group. After infecting the system, it starts encrypting victims files, adding .id-[ID].sindragosa@bigmir.net].arena file extensions to them. New variants of CrySiS/Dharma Arena change the sindragosa@bigmir.net email with macgregor@aolonline.top or chivas@aolonline.top email in the file extension. Once the virus finished modifying the data, it creates a ransom note called FILES ENCRYPTED.txt.

The ransom note is a terse message from the criminals. It says that files were locked and in order to get them back, the victim has to write to the provided email. The criminals are supposed to reply with data recovery instructions (guidelines on how to buy Bitcoins and pay the required sum of money to fraudsters).

However, we STRONGLY recommend you NOT to pay the ransom since there are several reports on Twitter from victims who paid the ransom. According to them, criminals do not provide any data recovery means after receiving the ransom. Therefore, you shouldn’t risk losing your money!

Instead, you should remove Arena virus as quickly as possible. Use tested and verified anti-malware tools such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. You can also find complete removal guidelines below the article that will help you to run your security software in case the ransomware attempts to block it.

New Arena version emerges in September 2017

Victims attacked by .arena file extension virus should know that there are two variants of the said virus available. The one we previously described belongs to CrySiS/Dharma ransomware family, although the new variant belongs to CryptoMix ransomware strain.

CryptoMix Arena is known to be using _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT name for the ransom note, and it also tends to mark files differently. It doesn’t add victim’s ID or criminals’ email address to file names and ultimately corrupts the original file name, replacing it with a hexadecimal string. The encrypted file will have a simple .arena file extension appended after the hexadecimal string. Also, CryptoMix authors suggest writing to ms.heisenberg@aol.com.

Both ransomware versions are extremely dangerous, and their elimination is the most important thing to do after discovering the malware on the system. Arena removal is an essential task to complete if you want to continue using your computer safely.

Distribution of both ransomware variants

Both Arena variants are actively distributed via malicious spam (also known as malspam). In other words, it means that the ransomware can come packed in a malicious file added to an email you might receive. Please be extremely careful when opening virtual messages and refrain yourself from clicking on suspicious-looking links or files added to them.

CryptoMix ransomware variants are also known to be pushed via RIG-V exploit kit, which means that you can be redirected to a malware-serving domain by browsing through untrustworthy websites and clicking on questionable links or ads. The exploit kit planted in compromised websites can scan your PC for software vulnerabilities and exploit them to drop the ransomware on the system.

To protect yourself, keep your operating system as well as programs installed on it up-to-date. You can simply enable automatic software updates. In addition, create a data backup. Finally, protect your PC from malicious attacks with a decent anti-malware software.

Remove Arena ransomware virus

You must remove Arena virus precisely to prevent it from damaging your computer system even more severely. To clean your computer professionally, install a reliable malware removal tool and make sure to run it in Safe Mode with Networking to eliminate the malware for good.

Since ransomware authors reportedly do not provide data recovery tools after receiving the ransom, you should even consider the option of paying them. Try the provided data recovery options once you are done with Arena removal.

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Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall Arena ransomware. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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Manual Arena Virus Removal Instructions:

Eliminate Arena using Safe Mode with Networking

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

If you want to delete Arena ransomware, firstly prepare your computer for this task. This way, the ransomware won't interfere with processes of your security software.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove Arena

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove Arena completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate Arena using System Restore

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of Arena and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of Arena.

Bonus: Restore your files

Using the tutorial provided above you should be able to eliminate Arena from the infected device. novirus.uk team has also prepared an in-depth data recovery guide which you will also find above.

There are a couple of methods you can apply to recover data encrypted by Arena:

Check for available Volume Shadow Copies

Viruses that belong to ransomware category usually delete Volume Shadow Copies, but you can always double-check whether these data copies are present on your computer using programs like ShadowExplorer. If you manage to detect some Volume Shadow Copies, you can use them for data recovery.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Install Shadow Explorer on your computer following the instructions in the software’s Setup Wizard;
  • Run the program. Navigate to the menu on the top-left corner and select a disk containing your encrypted files. Look through the available folders;
  • When you find the folder you want to recover, right-click it and select “Export”. Also, choose where the recovered data will be stored.

Impossible to recover .arena file extension files

At the moment, no third-party decryption tools are available. However, you shouldn't buy the ones offered by cybercriminals as some tweets on Twitter state that criminals do not provide data recovery tools at all.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from Arena and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall

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Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-arena-ransomware-virus.html

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