SamSam ransomware virus. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
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SamSam ransomware virus threatens healthcare sector

SamSam virus, alternatively known as Samas virus, mostly targets hospitals in U.S. Virus researchers has already noticed an increased amount or ransomware attacks to health sector this year and expect that this new file-encrypting virus might attack other institutions such as schools or governmental organizations. SamSam ransomware differs from other viruses in the same category for two reasons. First, it spreads using a different technique. Usually, ransomware travels via malicious email campaigns and malvertising, but Samas looks for vulnerabilities in servers. Second, it encrypts files without communication with a Command and Control server. For file encryption virus uses RSA-2048 and encodes all types of files, leaving necessary files and folders for keeping a computer running. To encrypted data virus might add different file extensions, because ransomware has several versions. If you notice these file extensions added to the corrupted files, your PC is infected with this malware:

  • .canihelpyou;
  • .iloveworld;
  • .goforhelp;
  • .only-we_can-help_you;
  • .encryptedAES;
  • .encedRSA;
  • .encryptedRSA;
  • .justbtcwillhelpyou;
  • .btc-help-you;
  • .btcbtcbtc.

After the attack, you should not think about data recovery but concentrate on SamSam removal. Of course, hackers in the ransom note claim differently and try to scare victims. However, take our advice and initiate ransomware removal with a reputable anti-malware program such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or other strong software.

The example of ransom note delivered by SamSam virus

When SamSam virus finishes file encryption, it drops one of these ransom notes on the desktop

  • HELP_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.HTML;
  • 001-HELP_FOR_DECRYPT_FILE.html;
  • PLEASE_READ_FOR_DECRYPT_FILES_[Number].html.

Hackers ask to pay from 1 to 1.7 Bitcoins per computer for data recovery. However, ransomware can attack computer networks, so the size of the ransom might increase enormously. For example, the first victim of the SamSam, MedStar Hospital, was asked to pay 45 Bitcoins that equals to 22.417 GBP. Luckily, the hospital had backups and recovered lost files from them. For this reason, specialists suggest disconnecting infected computer from the network before the virus hasn’t spread and caused more damage. If you do not have backups, paying the ransom might seem like the only option to restore damaged files, because there are no free tools that can decrypt files locked by SamSam ransomware. However, if you consider paying the ransom, we have to warn you, there are no guarantees that hackers deliver you a necessary private key or decryption tools. Cyber criminals might disappear after receiving payment. Save your money and remove SamSam from your PC. Sooner or later virus researchers might create a free and safe file decryptor.

Transmission methods and techniques

Ransomware viruses usually travel via infected email attachments or malware-laden ads. However, SamSam malware uses different distribution technique. It uses JexBoss tool to scan servers and look for vulnerabilities. Once it finds, virus drops a malicious file and starts the attack. The virus can steal credentials and gather information about computers connected to the network. As we mentioned earlier, the ransomware can infect not only a single computer but the entire network as well. So big businesses, corporations or governmental institutions are the main targets of the ransomware. The only way to protect computers is to strengthen their security and use updated software.

Instructions to remove SamSam virus

Ransomware belongs to one of the most dangerous types of the cyber threats, so their removal is difficult as well. Do not consider manual SamSam removal, because you can delete necessary files instead of malicious ones, and create more damage to your PC. For virus elimination you should employ strong and reputable anti-malware programs such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Ransomware usually blocks antivirus programs, so victims cannot update or install them simply. However, you have to reboot PC to Safe Mode with Networking and access malware removal tools. Then you have to run a full system scan, and the program will remove SamSam from the PC. When virus elimination is over, you can try to restore corrupted files from backups.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall SamSam ransomware virus. 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 SamSam Virus Removal Instructions:

Eliminate SamSam 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.

  • 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 SamSam

    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 SamSam completely.

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

Eliminate SamSam 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 SamSam 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 SamSam.

Bonus: Restore your files

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

Unfortunately, there is currently no SamSam decryption tool that could help restore corrupted files. However, we do not recommend paying the ransom and purchasing file decryption key from the criminals. Hackers might provide malicious decryption tool and cause more damage to computer’s system. We offer few methods that could be used to encrypt corrupted files.

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

Retrieve the data with Data Recovery Pro

Data  Recovery Pro is designed for locating missing files and folders in the computer. The program was designed for system wreckage cases, when some files are lost or damaged. However, this tool might help you to recover files after the ransomware attack.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro (https://novirus.uk/download/data-recovery-pro-setup.exe);
  • Install Data Recovery on your computer following the steps indicated in the software’s Setup;
  • Run the program to scan your device for the data encrypted by SamSam ransomware;
  • Recover the data.

The benefit of Windows Previous Version feature

This function allows reverting Windows to the previous build, so you will gain to copy some files. However, you can use this function if the System Restore function was enabled before SamSam attack. Also, you this method do not unlock all corrupted data. It allows recovering only important documents.

  • Right-click on the encrypted document you want to recover;
  • Click “Properties” and navigate to “Previous versions” tab;
  • In the “Folder versions” section look for the available file copies. Choose the desired version and press “Restore”.

Data recovery with a help of ShadowExplorer 

ShadowExplorer is a software created for recovering files using the Volume Shadow Copies. However, this method is useful only then, if the SamSam ransomware failed to remove Shadow Copies. Ransomware-type viruses usually delete them as soon as they get inside the system.

  • 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.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from SamSam 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

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters

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Source: http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-samsam-ransomware-virus.html

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