Table of Contents
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware which encrypts data within a system and demands that the user pay money to decrypt it.
The malware comes from the name "ransom" as in the ransom someone would demand for releasing something (such as a hostage) or to return property after seizing it, especially money. The word "ransomware" is a portmanteau of "Ransome(v.)" with "malware".
How Does Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware spreads mainly by spam email and filesharing websites. When a user opens a file that is infected with ransomware, the system then becomes encrypted and unusable.
It is also important to note that when ransomware encrypts data on a machine, it can automatically connect to remote servers in order to download more of the malware onto the computer. This occurs via two different methods:
1) The first method relies on lengthy and complex passwords for higher level encryption, which take longer for experts to unlock. These type of passwords are very difficult if not impossible to crack without paying off the demands dictated by attackers.
2) The second method relies on short passwords which are easy enough for experts to unlock without paying off the demands. These types of passwords usually give an attacker full access to the infected machine and can be used to identify the computer's location, making it easier for attackers to approach individuals for a ransom payment.
The goal is never only to lock up data and prevent its use, but also to get money from victims in exchange for giving them access back into their systems, which are then used as servers for spreading more malware.
How Does Chaos Ransomware Work?
Chaos Ransomware works by creating a unique list of random username, email address, and password combinations. This list is then used to create an encryption key that the malware uses to lock up the data on an infected machine. However, this encryption key is only generated when the user enters specific random characters into their browser or email client. Chaos Ransomware's creators set up servers in order to host these randomized systems so they can spread ransomware without having to keep up with individual users' machines as they are compromised.
Chaos Ransomware does not contain any file-encrypting functions or other malicious program files on the system it infects; instead it solely relies on its randomized list of credentials for spreading itself via internet connections.
How to Remove Chaos Ransomware
You can remove Chaos Ransomware from your Windows system by following these steps:
1) Log into the administrator account on your Windows system.
2) Press CTRL, ALT, and DEL simultaneously to bring up a list of programs. Click Task Manager and then click Processes tab (or Details tab). Look for a process called explorer.exe and then right-click it and select End Process options.
3) Find the file named "ChaosRansomware" in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\SysWOW64 or %UserProfile%\AppData folder (it may be randomly named with various extensions such as .chrma). This is the ransomware module that encrypts data. Note that the name of the file may not be exact, and that it may have a different extension. For example, "ChaosRansomware\1". Once you have identified this file, delete it.
4) Shut down your system. Then restart your system. When the PC boots up, press F8 to access "Advanced Boot Options", then select Safe Mode with Networking and try to remove Chaos Ransomware manually from the system (Do not use Windows System Restore). Remember that if the cybercriminals change their malware files easily, manual removal may be difficult.
5) Use your Anti-Malware software - and then check for the existence of this ransomware in a scan result or report.
Note that if you have an old version of Windows installed (6, 7, 8) on your PC and you have NOT updated it for a long time or have not performed a clean install, your system may be affected by this ransomware. So please download and install the latest version of your Anti-Malware software to check for its existence.
How to Protect My Computer From Ransomware
Here are some general tips that you can use to help protect your computer from ransomware:
1) Ensure that all software and anti-malware applications are up to date.
2) Make sure you have a firewall enabled on your machine.
3) Turn on Windows SmartScreen filter.
4) Make sure you're using a reputable anti-virus program - have it updated regularly, or consider switching to a different program.
5) Consider disabling USB device sharing on shared computers like the one in your office so that data doesn't get spread anywhere else across the network, even if it's not connected directly to your system.
6) Run regular backups of the most important and most reliant files in case the malware deletes them or encrypts them.