Complete Katafrack Virus Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

Katafrack Virus

An infection with the dangerous Katafrack Virus leads to serious security issues. Victims can restore and protect their computers by following our complete removal guide.

Remove Katafrack Virus and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Distribution of Katafrack Virus

The Katafrack Virus is a new virus which has been sighted in a limited attack campaign. At the moment the security researchers cannot determine the primary infection strategy. We presume that the most widely used tactics are going to be employed.

Among them are the email messages created in an automated way and sent to large lists of potential victims. The Katafrack Virus can be directly attached to the messages. This is one of the easiest way for the criminals to attempt the infection. However a lot of email hosting providers usually capture the signatures of the virus and as such discard such messages or label them as dangerous or spam. Other infection methods related to this one is the option of inserting hyperlinks in the body content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest. Redirects can redirect to hacker-controlled sites, infected payloads or other instances that can lead to an Katafrack Virus infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the Katafrack Virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind the Katafrack Virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious addons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware, but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of Katafrack Virus

The latest Ordinal strain has been detected as the Katafrack virus. The original code of the Ordinal malware family is based on the open-source Hidden Tear project. They both represent some of the most widely used hacker tools. The Hidden tear code is widely used by beginner hackers and criminals as there are hundres of tutorials and guides that give details on customizing the code.

The base engine is entirely modular and the virus engine can be updated at any time if such a component is found. The initial security analysis shows that it is a reconfigured versiion of certain Ordinal ransomware strains. The experts note that there are some initial defensive options included that guard the malware Katafrack virus from discovery by virtual machines, sandbox and debugging environments.

The criminals can customize the Katafrack virus by including additional components such as the following:

  • Additional Malware Delivery ‒ The Katafrack virus can be used to introduce other threats to the compromised machines as well.
  • Trojan Component ‒ Future Katafrack virus samples can include a Trojan module that gives the hackers the ability to spy on the users activities in real time, as well as record their mouse movement and keystrokes.
  • Code Execution ‒ The hackers can program the Katafrack virus to execute various malware code on the compromised machines either automatically upon infection or when certain conditions are met.
  • System Changes ‒ Any changes made to the machines can result in performance issues, application failure or the inability to start certain functions.
  • Persistent Installation ‒ The Katafrack virus can be installed in a way which counters manual user removal attempts.

Once all prerequisite steps have been complete the ransomware component is launched. It starts to encrypt target file type extensions based on a list of target file type extensions. In the most popular case this includes files such as: images, videos, archives, documents, music, backups, databases and configuration files. The ransomware note is generated in a file called READ-ME-TO-GET-YOUR-FILES-BACK.txt which reads the following:

Your files have been encrypted by Ordinal Ransomware
Below is the information you will need to decrypt your files
After that, you’ll be able to see your beloved files again.
Email: [email protected]
BTC Address: 1HMnuFLBUex2ykPMFtVs7cnP8aENbwyGjJ
ETH Address 0x06394880c86383eccFbf27788D578C46ed562526
Amount To Send: 0.02 BTC
Identification:ED5E41963F4264302747C645290BA858

As it is a more or less copy of the Ordinal ransomware the hackers have distributed samples that contain the same ransomware message. Certain versions of the Katafrack virus can also include a dangerous lockscreen instance that prohibits ordinary use of the computer until the malware is completely removed. Here is an example message:

KATAFRACK RANSOMWARE
Follow the instructions to unlock your data
YOU FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
All your files have been encrypted with AES-256 Military Grade Encryption
INSTRUCTIONS
Your files have been encrypted, the only way to recover your files is to pay the fee.
Once you have paid the fee all your files will be decrypted and return to normal.
Send the required fee (found below) to the Bitcoin address (found below). Once you have sent the required fee to the Bitcoin address send an email with your Identification key (without this we cant help you). It may take 12-24 hours for us to respond. You will recive a Decryption Program + Decryption Key. Ethereum is also accepted.
WHAT NOT TO DO
DO NOT RESTARTAURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RECOVER THE FILES YOUR SELF
DO NOT CLOSE THIS PROGRAM
DECRYPTION KEY WILL BE DELETED FROM OUR SERVERS IN 7 DAYS FROM TODAY
Bitcoin Address: 1HMnuFLBUex2ykPMFtVs7cnP8aENbwyGjJ
Ethereum Address: 0x06394880c86383eccFbf27788D578C46ed562526
Identification: F45EFF1799E2293l6485xxxxxxxxxx
Amount To Send: 0.02 BTC
Contact: [email protected]
Check Desktop For READ-ME-TO-GET-YOUR-FILES-BACK.txt File

Depending on the version a ransomware note can be created which features generic messages blackmailing the victims to pay a Bitcoin ransomware fee. We recommend that all users abstain from communicating with the hackers and use our full Katafrack Virus removal guide below to recover their data and delete the active infections.

Remove Katafrack Virus and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the Katafrack Virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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Katafrack Virus – Manual Removal Steps

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. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

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

Remove Katafrack from Windows

Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

run-window-windows

2. In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

appwiz-cpl-command-run-windows

3. The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

Remove Katafrack Virus From Your Browser

Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.
    add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    2. Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.
    remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
    options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
    restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
    search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    1. Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

    settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.
    delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.
    set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.
    manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    5. In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

1. Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.
manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

2. In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.
remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

3. Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.
search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.
internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit 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

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • How disturbing is this problem?

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    Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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