‘.aaa File Extension’ Ransomware

Posted: January 20, 2016
Threat Metric
Threat Level: 8/10
Infected PCs 28

‘.aaa File Extension’ Ransomware Description

The '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware is an estimated variant of CryptoWall Ransomware, a file encryptor that holds your computer's data for ransom. Like its ancestor and similar file encryptors, the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware makes automatic modifications of files that rearrange their data and make them inaccessible to their associated applications. Due to the inherent difficulty of reversing these attacks directly, malware experts always recommend using backups to protect your files; meanwhile, your anti-malware products can delete the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware from your computer.

The Trojans Extending Old Ransoms to New Victims

Although the threat industry changes their 'products' regularly as part of avoiding detection countermeasures, these updates rarely include significant diversions from previously-reliable attack methods. The '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware is a 2015-era example of a threat changing some external features while staying the same, regarding what attacks the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware can launch against a PC user. Like the CryptoWall Ransomware, the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware uses a multistage process of creating computer problems that the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware then sells the solutions for resolving.

Steps of a the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware infection go through the following phases:

  • The '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware installs itself through means concealing its motives, such as a corrupted e-mail attachment or an in-browser exploit. The '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware usually requires the intervention of a second threat, such as an exploit kit or a Trojan dropper, for achieving installation.
  • With a successful install, the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware scans your hard drive, searching for specific file formats. Possible formats targeted by the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware include Word DOC, MP3 audio and Excel XLS spreadsheets.
  • Once it identifies appropriate files, the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware modifies them by running them through a basic encryption routine, such as RSA-2048. Afterward, relevant applications can't read the encrypted files.
  • The files also are modified with an additional the '.aaa' extension type, although this change is cosmetic, not impacting the real file format.
  • The '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware also drops a ransom message in BMP image format in the same directories as any encrypted files. The instructions direct the victim to a premium payment option that theoretically lets them pay the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware's admin team for decrypting their data.

PC owners impacted by the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware infections should keep in mind that the con artists may not be willing or capable of restoring any encrypted files even after they pay them.

Getting Rid of a File-Ransoming Problem without the Ransom

Although it does include some superficial payload changes and changes in ransom note formats, the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware continues the core tactic and features of the CryptoWall Ransomware. PC users recovering from these attacks can use standard backups, ideally ones stored on removable drives or cloud servers, for restoring their data. Some decryptor tools provided by third-party PC security companies also have limited effectiveness against specific file encryptors.

Even though an '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware attack shows visible symptoms, it can't install itself, and may be being supported by less obvious threats than itself that provide different attack features. Malware experts have seen some cases of the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware infections including symptoms not relevant to its tactic (such as Windows blue screen errors) that could be caused by other threats. No matter what solution you prefer for saving your files, removing the '.aaa File Extension' Ransomware from your PC should include using anti-malware tools able to scan your system for all related threats, including such common culprits as backdoor Trojans and Trojan droppers.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to ‘.aaa File Extension’ Ransomware may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

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Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.

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