Best Security Search
Ransomware

Remove ATLAS Ransomware and restore .ATLAS files

The Review

80%

ATLAS is a data locker malware associated with the CHIP ransomware family. Cyber criminals are disseminating the ATLAS ransomware payloads aiming to exploit PC weaknesses and corrupt particular data. The threat is designed to drop a ransom message in a file called ATLAS_FILES.txt so hackers can blackmail victims for a ransom payment.

This article informs about the damages of ATLAS ransomware infection and guides victims through the removal and decryption process.

ATLAS Ransomware Infection Flow

The infection process with ATLAS ransomware is initiated by an executable file that can automatically carry out different tasks. ATLAS ransomware may write new files and start them as a way to ensure its sustainability in the system. It is also likely to gather information about the infected machine contact a remote server controlled by crooks and send them the report.

Furthermore, the threat may add new values in specific registry keys as RUN and RUNONCE. By writing multiple new entries under these keys, ATLAS ransomware makes certain that the malicious files will be terminated each time the victim logs on the PC. The following four keys in the Windows Registry are probably contaminated:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

The main goal of the ransomware is to locate certain files predefined in its encryption target data list and make them out of reach. For the purpose, it enforces a combination of two encryption algorithms – AES and RSA-512. During the encryption process all target files are encoded in such a way that they can be accessed only via the decryption key possessed by the hackers. The encrypted files are completely renamed and have appended the malicious suffix .ATLAS after their original extensions. As regards the file types object of enciphering they may be video files, audio files, Adobe .PDF files, databases, virtual drives, Microsoft Office documents.

Once ATLAS finishes the encryption process, it drops a file named ATLAS_FILES.txt which displays the ransom message. The whole ransom text reads:

YOUR ID: *********************************
Hello! All Your files are encrypted!
For more specific instructions, please contact us as soon as possible:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Attention: DO NOT USE ANY PUBLIC DECRYPTERS!
YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR FILES!
Kind regards, Support Team.
YOUR ID: *********************************
YOUR ID: *********************************
YOUR ID: *********************************
YOUR ID: *********************************
YOUR ID: *********************************

How to remove ATLAS ransomware

The removal process should start by loading the system in Safe Mode so all malicious files and objects associated with ATLAS ransomware will be ignored and only the essential executable modules will be loaded. Safe Mode provides minimal access to features, however, we should inform that in some cases hackers can create the ransomware files in a way that they can execute even if the system is booted in this mode. And as long as the files are running on the system their removal could be a complex task even for tech-savvy users. What many security specialists recommend is the help of an anti-malware tool for best results.

Upon removal the .ATLAS encrypted files should be copied and stored as a backup. Then alternative data recovery approaches as these mentioned in step six may help to restore some .ATLAS files.

Summary of .Wallet File Virus

 


Name
ATLAS Ransomware

File Extension
.ATLAS

Ransom
Varies

Easy Solution
You can skip all steps and remove ATLAS ransomware with the help of an anti-malware tool.

Manual Solution
ATLAS ransomware can be removed manually, though it can be very hard for most home users. See the detailed tutorial below.

Distribution
Spam emails, malicious URLs, malicious attacments, exploit kits, freeware.

ATLAS Ransomware Removal

STEP I: Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network
This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently.

    1) Hit WIN Key + R

Windows-key-plus-R-button-launch-Run-Box-in-Windows-illustrated

    2) A Run window will appear. In it, write “msconfig” and then press Enter
    3) A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named “Boot
    4) Mark “Safe Boot” option and then go to “Network” under it to tick it too
    5) Apply -> OK

Or check our video guide – “How to start PC in Safe Mode with Networking

STEP II: Show Hidden Files

    1) Open My Computer/This PC
    2) Windows 7

      – Click on “Organize” button
      – Select “Folder and search options
      – Select the “View” tab
      – Go under “Hidden files and folders” and mark “Show hidden files and folders” option

    3) Windows 8/ 10

      – Open “View” tab
      – Mark “Hidden items” option

    show-hidden-files-win8-10

    4) Click “Apply” and then “OK” button

STEP III: Enter Windows Task Manager and Stop Malicious Processes

    1) Hit the following key combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
    2) Get over to “Processes
    3) When you find suspicious process right click on it and select “Open File Location
    4) Go back to Task Manager and end the malicious process. Right click on it again and choose “End Process
    5) Next you should go folder where the malicious file is located and delete it

STEP IV: Remove Completely ATLAS Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of ATLAS requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete ATLAS ransomware with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

STEP V: Repair Windows Registry

    1) Again type simultaneously the Windows Button + R key combination
    2) In the box, write “regedit”(without the inverted commas) and hit Enter
    3) Type the CTRL+F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable
    4) In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Further help for Windows Registry repair

STEP VI: Recover Encrypted Files

    1) Use present backups
    2) Use professional data recovery software

      Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery – a specialist tool that can restore partitions, data, documents, photos, and 300 more file types lost during various types of incidents and corruption.
      Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic – a Microsoft Partner program that is very powerful. It can recover not only local files but also deleted emails and connected drives.
    3) Using System Restore Point

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Select “Open System Restore” and follow the steps


restore-files-using-system-restore-point

    4) Restore your personal files using File History

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Type “restore your files” in the search box
      – Select “Restore your files with File History
      – Choose a folder or type the name of the file in the search bar

    restore-your-personal-files-using-File-History-bestecuritysearch

      – Hit the “Restore” button

STEP VII: Preventive Security Measures

    1) Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
    2) Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
    3) Secure your web browser.
    4) Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
    5) Disable macros in Office documents.
    6) Use strong passwords.
    7) Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
    8) Backup regularly your data.
For a faster solution, you can run a scan with an advanced malware removal tool and delete ATLAS Ransomware completely with a few mouse clicks.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova is computer security enthusiast. She is a member of Best Security Search team and enjoys presenting the latest news on cyber-security and cyber-threat issues.