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Endesa fake virus emails spread Cryptolocker/Locky ransomware

Endesa fake virus emails spread Cryptolocker/Locky ransomware

The customers of Endesa, the leading electric utility company in Spain, have been exposed to a large-scale social engineering campaign that installs a sample of crypto ransomware. This ongoing hoax relies on fake invoices sent to thousands of Endesa clients. Once opened, these bills automatically load a variant of CryptoLocker or Locky, which straightforwardly encrypts the user’s personal files.

A significant attribute of ransomware evolution is that the spreading of these crypto infections is becoming increasingly targeted. As mentioned above, the recent incident affects computer users in Spain, moreover, those who have a contractual relationship with the reputable electricity provider. Its customers have been receiving emails masqueraded as Endesa invoices for previously consumed services. The sender indicated in these bogus emails is ‘Factura electronica de Endesa’, whereas the genuine bills are supposed to be sent by ‘Endesa Online’. These phony incoming messages encourage users to download a file named ‘ENDESA_FACTURA.zip’. The archive contains an obfuscated JavaScript (.js) object, which ends up executing an instance of file-encrypting ransomware on the machine.

Fake email invoices sent on behalf of Endesa

The offending program circulating via this intricate scheme is reportedly an edition of the infamous CryptoLocker or a version of Locky, another widespread pest in the same malware cluster. What it does is it laterally scans the computer’s hard disk, removable devices and network shares for data elements with specific extensions. This way, it obtains a list of the victim’s personal files, including all types of Microsoft Office documents, different multimedia entities, images, databases and other valuable items. Once this list is readily available, the ransomware uses a combo of RSA and AES cryptosystems to encode the data.

Endesa_Factura.zip attached to the phishing email

The bad impact covers both the accessibility of the user’s data and the filenames. The mutilated files become appended with the .encrypted extension. Furthermore, the Trojan creates so-called ransom notes inside each folder with these files, dropping a copy on the Desktop, too. According to the extortionists’ demands, the user can redeem his or her sensitive information by sending a certain amount of Bitcoins to the private wallet mentioned in the notes. The size of the ransom may depend on the number of infected computers on a network – if that’s the case – but it’s usually in the range of 1-1.2 BTC.

Unfortunately but predictably, one cannot be certain that the criminals will provide the decryptor after they receive the buyout. To top it off, there is too much entropy in the cipher to retrieve the private decryption key with the generally available tools. In this predicament, restoring previous versions of files via VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) and the use of specially crafted forensic software might be of help.

Endesa fake email virus automatic removal

Extermination of this ransomware can be efficiently accomplished with reliable security software. Sticking to the automatic cleanup technique ensures that all components of the infection get thoroughly wiped from your system.

1. Download recommended security utility and get your PC checked for malicious objects by selecting the Start Computer Scan option

2. The scan will come up with a list of detected items. Click Fix Threats to get the virus and related infections removed from your system. Completing this phase of the cleanup process is most likely to lead to complete eradication of the plague proper. Now you are facing a bigger challenge – try and get your data back.

Methods to restore files with .encrypted extension

Workaround 1: Use file recovery software

It’s important to know that this Trojan creates copies of your files and encrypts them. In the meanwhile, the original files get deleted. There are applications out there that can restore the removed data. You can utilize tools like Data Recovery Pro for this purpose. The newest version of the ransomware under consideration tends to apply secure deletion with several overwrites, but in any case this method is worth a try.

Workaround 2: Make use of backups

First and foremost, this is a great way of recovering your files. It’s only applicable, though, if you have been backing up the information stored on your machine. If so, do not fail to benefit from your forethought.

Workaround 3: Use Shadow Volume Copies

In case you didn’t know, the operating system creates so-called Shadow Volume Copies of every file as long as System Restore is activated on the computer. As restore points are created at specified intervals, snapshots of files as they appear at that moment are generated as well. Be advised this method does not ensure the recovery of the latest versions of your files. It’s certainly worth a shot though. This workflow is doable in two ways: manually and through the use of an automatic solution. Let’s first take a look at the manual process.

  • Use the Previous Versions feature

    The Windows OS provides a built-in option of recovering previous versions of files. It can also be applied to folders. Just right-click on a file or folder, select Properties and hit the tab named Previous Versions. Within the versions area, you will see the list of backed up copies of the file / folder, with the respective time and date indication. Select the latest entry and click Copy if you wish to restore the object to a new location that you can specify. If you click the Restore button, the item will be restored to its original location.
    Previous Versions

  • Apply Shadow Explorer tool

    This workflow allows restoring previous versions of files and folders in an automatic mode rather than by hand. To do this, download and install the Shadow Explorer application. After you run it, select the drive name and the date that the file versions were created. Right-click on the folder or file of interest and select the Export option. Then simply specify the location to which the data should be restored.
    ShadowExplorer

Verify whether Endesa phishing virus has been completely removed

Again, ransomware removal alone does not lead to the decryption of your personal files. The data restore methods highlighted above may or may not do the trick, but the ransomware itself does not belong inside your computer. Incidentally, it often comes with other malware, which is why it definitely makes sense to repeatedly scan the system with automatic security software in order to make sure no harmful remnants of this virus and associated threats are left inside Windows Registry and other locations.

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