Complete .Barak file virus removal guide
Barak or otherwise called .Barak file virus is a recently set against target end users on the wild. It comes under Phobos ransomware family. Just as its predecessors, Barak ransomware aims to encrypt all personal data on the targeted computer and the connected networks/drives and then starts blackmailing users to pay ransom fee in Bitcoin for decryption software from the developers of Barak.
The .Barak file virus targets all personal pictures, videos, images, audios, databases, MS Office and other files. It encrypts them AES encryption algorithm and marks with .Barak extension. Soon after that the files become unusable, inaccessible. After the encryption, Barak delivers two ransom notes: info.txt and info.hta. The info.txt contains a very short message that informs users that the data are encrypted and that they need to contact the ransomware developers. It provides email addresses belong to the Crooks. The info.hta or pop-up window show more detailed instructions. The users are informed via this they can get a decryption tool from the ransomware developers. However, for this they are asked for payment in Bitcoin (0.31 BTC). They are offered for a test for the decryption service (up to 4 encrypted files with no more than 5MB in size and also they must not include valuable information). This is just a trick that the ransomware authors use like all bad actors behind ransomware viruses. They try their best to gain victims’ trust and prove that their decryption tool is reliable. What you should is just ignore the ransom message and never go with the instructions provided on it.
Risk with .Barak file virus infection, data recovery option
As it mentioned, .Barak file virus belongs to Phobos ransomware that constitutes about 9% or above worldwide infections of Cryptolockers. It targets corporations, public entities, government institutions and even regular PC users. Various possible propagation methods of this malware are RDP connections, spam email campaigns, untrustworthy downloading channels, fake software updaters and unofficial cracking tools. Following to infiltration, .Barak file virus prepares Window system for the file encryption. Various modules are attached with it to conduct a sequence of tasks before encryption process. These include:
- Deleting Volume Shadows Copies- These ones could be the data recovery option
- Establishing a network connection with C&C server -the hackers on the server can target stealing stored personal details and sensitive information
- Modifying window registry entries -to gain startups preference that can cause various system well performing related issues, random Windows start up and shut down, CPU damages, data loss and so on
- Executing various shell commands -that lead more dangerous malware infiltration
For all these reasons, you must not delay in removing the threat inside. In order to remove .Barak file virus, experts recommend you using some reputable antivirus tool which lefts no any residues belong to the threat behind the PC. As far as concerned to the data recovery, there is no any decryption tool available at present that decrypt the files for you, at least for free. The possible way is to use existing backup that is created before data encryption and placed some other locations not in connected with the infected device. Check recovery section below the post for other data recovery options.
A Quick Glance of .Barak file virus
Type: Crypto-virus, Data-locker, Ransomware
Ransom note: info.hta and info.txt
Ransom amount: 0.31BTC
Developer Contact: [email protected]
Symptoms: The infected files become inaccessible. An unusual extension is added in the file and a ransom note appears on the screen every now and then
Removal and File Decryption: In order to clean the PC, it is advised to scan the work-station with a powerful anti-malware tool. Once the malware is removed, the files stored in the PC hard-disk are safe. Now, you can take step to retrieve these files. Using the backup files is the easiest way to retrieve the files but unfortunately most of us don’t have the backup data. In such situation, use a data recovery tool. These days, recovery software is coming with special features to retrieve the damaged or locked files by ransomware.
Precautionary measures to prevent ransomware infection
.Barak file virus and large number of viruses of Phobos ransomware family are distributed using insecure RDP or (Remote Desktop) connections. Cybercriminals scan the weak connection and thus use a predetermined list of credentials to gain remote access to the host machine. Afterward, they inject malicious payload manually.
Other ransomware distribution methods include spam email campaigns, untrustworthy downloading channels, and fake software updaters/cracking tools. Scam email campaigns are used to send deceptive emails containing infectious files. Short emails are designed to convince users that the attachments are legit and important. Once opened, they are asked to enable macros command. One more click leads the malware infection. Untrustworthy downloading channels such as p2p networks, free file hosting sites and other third party downloaders or installers offer rogue applications. Fake software updaters/cracking tools infect computers by supposedly updating/activating software.
To prevent these situations, experts advice some tips, check them below:
- Disconnect from RDP after changing with strong passwords -it is not needed anymore
- Use only official websites and direct links for any software download
- Opening emails should be done only after checking their senders’ addresses
- Any suspicious senders’ emails should not be opened and nor the attachments provided on them
- Use some antivirus tool that checks regularly for updates require for the installed software and OS and prevents any major issues from happening in future
Remove .Barak file virus
To remove .Barak file virus, you can use some powerful antivirus tool or step-by-step instructions provided below. However, researchers recommend using the first option, especially when you do not have much believe on your IT skill and previous experience of removing threat, since the manual mode is risky to operation and there is risk as well of system damage even, if any mistakes happen during the process.
How to turn your encrypted files working once again?
Well, through the above explanations mentioned, you might have learned actually what happened to your files after encryption. Since the malware that has affected your files is now removed with suggested scanner, you would still require to turn your files working. And we are now going to discuss how to accomplish this task. Based on expert’s researches and their findings, there’s a number of possible methods or ways which a user can get through to restore their encrypted files to work. Even many of victimized users have tried these methods with their own infected computer and success rate is almost 95 percent. So, you can hope to have your files back, and in order to accomplish complete restore of your infected data, we suggest you check out some suggested methods here:
Methods 1: Restore encrypted files using a powerful data recovery software
Before you start to read the steps, you should know this method is appropriate to those users who have found no solutions to decrypt their files affected by ransomware. But still they are able to utilize their system and can install a software. According to experts, this method has very low difficulty level as it utilizes a program to do so.
Although this method is called to be the safest way to recover encrypted files, it still have some limitations. Technically, the encrypted data recovery solution looks through your system and its partitions to recover original files which are actually deleted by virus to replace with the encrypted one. In many cases, the user tend to copy the encrypted files on some external drive and re-install Windows OS that actually declines the chances of data recovery through this method. So, after you have managed to clean your system against malware effects, leave the files as they are and get through the steps to restore your files using one of the top most data recovery app called Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software.
Step 1: At first, download the app on your system by clicking the download button below.
Step 2: Click on the downloaded file through your browser to execute its installer.
Step 3: In the license agreement page, click to accept the terms and click Next button. Further, follow on-screen instructions to complete the installation, and click on Finish button finally.
Step 4: After the installation is done, the program will run automatically. At the first interface, select the file types now that you intend to recovery followed by clicking Next.
Step 5: Select the drives over which you need the software to run over and perform the recovery of encrypted files. Done? Click on Scan button.
Step 6: The software will now scan all selected drive to complete the restore process, however it may take some time depending upon volume of drives and number of files or directories were there previously. After the scanning process ends, you will be shown with a file explorer with preview of your data which you want to recover. Just select those which you need to be restored.
Step 7: Browse a location where you want the restored data to be saved.
Method 2: Encrypted file recovery with a lately created Windows backup
This method is technically for those who have a lately created Windows backup saved somewhere and is not affected by the ransomware. Using inbuilt system recovery services, the backup can restore the files which are included under the backup. This method is considered easier as well and leaves no software, thus considered as a very popular method to fight against emergencies caused by infectious malware. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Hit Win + R key combination and to execute Run command line.
Step 2: In the Run text field, type ‘ms-settings:windowsupdate’ and hit the OK button.
Step 3: You will be shown Windows update settings, but you have actually to click Backup option as shown in picture, and located in left pane.
Step 4: Click on ‘More Options’ to open Backup Options panel.
Step 5: As shown in the image below, select or click on “Restore files from a current backup.”
Step 6: In the next shown window, locate the backup where you have saved it, and click on restore button below as marked in the image.
Methods 3: Using Shadow Explorer Application
This file recovery solution is recommended to those who have their backup but is currently not working, still the files under backup are not yet deleted. In this case, Shadow Explorer is an application that can help you restoring your files from those backup files which are active, but still disabled by ransomware somehow. Under this circumstance, inbuilt Windows Backup and Recovery option will not work for you, rather the software will do the magic easily. To accomplish file recovery in this case, get through the steps here mentioned:
Step 1: Click the button below to download Shadow Explorer on your computer.
Step 2: Browser the location where you have downloaded the file. Double click and extract the zip file.
Step 3: Click to open ShadowExplorerPortable directory and double click on the file as shown in the image below.
Step 4: A drop down menu will appear on screen, so just select a desired Date and time according to your requirements on the top left of Shadow Explorer app, and choose the files in given interface that you want to restore using the software. Once the selection is done, Click on the button Export..
Methods 4: Using other decryptors
Well, this method might sounds a bit weird as every ransomware identity basically uses different enciphers and methods to encrypt files on targeted computers. But when the a ransomware which has actually infected your machine comes from a ransomware family for which a decryptor is officially working and available as well, then this might work for you. Technically, this method is just based on luck and analysis, still many users have reported this worked for them. So, if you have seen a ransomware has infected your computer, the very first thing you should do is to identity what kind of virus has actually affected your machine. In most of the cases, ransomware attacks are irreversible, still those infections basically comes from a parent ransomware which might be cracked earlier. For an instance, Scarab ransomware or Hiddentear ransomware are some families which can be decrypted. To check your luck if the present ransomware that has affected your machine is decryptable or not. To do so, follow the guidelines below:
Step 1: Check the Ransomware Database Here and check if decryptor is available for the malware
Step 2: In case you find no results, you can check an open source project called NoMoreRansom to find the ransomware details and decryptor, which has affected your machine. If found, download the decryptor on your computer’s local drive. This page is being regularly updated by its officials once a ransomware is discovered in world.
Step 3: Before you proceed with the downlaoded decryptor, make sure you have backup all your important files.
Step 4: Execute the decryptor to scan and restore your files easily.