Scarab-Horsia Virus (.horsia@airmail.cc EXTENSION) Removal Guide

Scarab-Horsia

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

Manual Removal Guide
Recover Scarab-Horsia- Files
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Distribution of Scarab-Horsia Virus

Scarab-Horsia virus is a new data locker ransomware that has been released in attack campaigns against computer users worldwide. The threat could be utilizing widely used tactics of distribution to infect computer systems.

One of the easiest ways for the criminals to spread the payload of Scarab-Horsia ransomware is by attaching it to email messages that are later released in active attack campaigns. The method allows hackers to send the virus to large lists of potential victims. The attachments to malicious email spam messages usually have Word documents or other types of files which users open without hesitation. Once opened on a target host these compromised files trigger the ransomware payload and infect the device with Scarab-Horsia crypto virus. Other infection tactic related to emails is hyperlink inserted in the content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest.

Computer criminals behind this new ransomware can be using malicious sites or download portals to distribute malware of different kinds, including Scarab-Horsia 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 Scarab-Horsia 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 add-ons 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 Scarab-Horsia Ransomware Virus

The Scarab-Horsia virus is a new strain of the Scarab ransomware family. It may be created by the same hackers that were behind the original threat or an entirely different hacker or criminal group. Either way it has been found in a new attack wave and it follows the same behavior patterns.

The Scarab-Horsia infections may begin with an information gathering module that has the ability to extract sensitive data from the infected machines. The collected information is usually categorized into two main categories:

  • Private Data — It consists of data that can identify the victim users. The virus engine is capable into harvesting specific strings that can gain access to their name, location, interests, telephone number, messages, passwords and account credential to various services.
  • Anonymous Metrics — They are used by the hackers to optimize their attack campaigns. Obtained information includes strings such as the hardware components and certain values from the operating system settings.

If the Scarab-Horsia does indeed follow the behavior patterns of the original engine it would automatically continue with the stealth protection module. It uses the obtained data to bypass any protective measures that can interfere with the correct execution of the Scarab-Horsia code. Example target applications that can be bypassed or deleted include anti-virus products, sandbox environments or debug utilities. If this cannot be done the malware engine may opt to remove itself to avoid detection.

The next step in the infection process would be to launch various system settings. A prime example is the modification of the Windows Registry entries. They can impact both the operating system or the installed applications, as a result the users may experience serious performance issues.

If the Scarab-Horsia is instituted as a persistent threat it can be started automatically every time the computer boots. Other startup option actions can include the removal of the ability to startup the boot recovery options. Identified Shadow Volume Copies are deleted which makes file recovery difficult unless a professional application is used. Refer to our removal instructions below to learn more.

Once all prerequisite components have been installed the ransomware engine is started. It uses a strong cipher in order to affect the victim data. Like previous strains the Scarab-Horsia virus uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. Example data that is encrypted includes the following:

  • Archives
  • Documents
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Music

The resulting files are renamed with the .horsia@airmail.cc extension. The generated ransomware note is crafted in a file called HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT. It contains a message that coerces the victims into payng the criminal controllers a ransom decryption fee. An example message reads the following:

=======================================
________________________________
/ __/ / / __ / / __ / / __/ / __/ / __ /
/ __ / / /_/ / / _/ /__ / _/ /_ / __ /
\/ __/ \___/ \/\__\ \___/ \___/ \/ __/
=======================================
Your files are now encrypted!
Your personal identifier:
6A02000000000000***C4BFD00
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC.
Now you should send us email with your personal identifier.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Contact us using this email address: horsia@airmail.cc
If you don’t get a reply or if the email dies, then contact us to saviours@airmail.cc
Free decryption as guarantee!
Before paying you can send us up to 3 files for free decryption.
The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.).
How to obtain Bitcoins?
* The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price:
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
* Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins
Attention!
* Do not rename encrypted files.
* Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
* Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
=======================================

Remove Scarab-Horsia Virus and Restore PC

Please note that paying the requested ransom fee to cyber criminals does not really solve your problem with Scarab-Horsia crypto virus. In fact, you only encourage hackers to continue spreading ransomware of this kind. Instead, you must remove the threat immediately, and only then look for optional ways to recover your data.

WARNING! Manual removal of Scarab-Horsia ransomware 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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Scarab-Horsia Ransomware 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 below 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

Show Hidden Files

Some ransomware threats are designed to hide their malicious files in the Windows so all files stored on the system should be visible.

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

how to make hidden files visible in Windows 8 10 bestsecuritysearch instructions

4. Click Apply and then OK button

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

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

Recover Scarab-Horsia- Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with Scarab-Horsia ransomware virus should be removed from the infected PC before any data recovery attempts. Otherwise the virus may encrypt restored files. Furthermore, a backup of all encrypted files stored on external media is highly recommendable.

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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.

3. Using System Restore Point

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

restore-files-using-windows-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
    – Hit the “Restore” button

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.
  • 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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