'.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware

Posted: June 1, 2018

'.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware Description

The '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware is a file-locking Trojan from the STOP Ransomware family and uses secure encryption for keeping you from opening your files, such as text documents. Saving backups on devices that this threat can't access will prevent any permanent loss of your file data. Any anti-malware product that detects other members of the STOP Ransomware's family also may delete the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware from your computer safely.

When 'Stop' for Trojans Means 'Go'

Far from coming to a halt, the STOP Ransomware family, and its associated RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service) business is continuing to experience profit and live deployment by different threat actors over the past several months. Recent variants of the file-locking Trojan include the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware, which began infecting PCs by unverified vectors in the last days of May. The Trojan may be exploiting e-mail attachments, brute-force RDP attacks, or browser-based threats like the Nebula Exploit Kit.

Although malware experts aren't verifying any extreme changes in the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware update, it does include a full, and secure file-locking feature, as is the case with the other versions of the STOP Ransomware. This dual-layered, AES and RSA encryption routine may impact JPG pictures, Adobe PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and other media throughout the infected PC. Users may, as the Trojan's name indicates, search their folders for any files containing '.CONTACTUS' extensions for detecting the locked content.

The '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware also creates a small variation of the ransoming message that malware experts also find in use with the first STOP Ransomware. The mostly-identical note contains an edit of the address for contacting the threat actor but keeps the same size of the ransom for a decryption service: equivalent to six hundred USD. A time limit also may intimidate the victim into paying before considering the no-refunding consequences.

Putting a Real Stop to Novel Incursions from Trojan Families

Ransomware-as-a-Service models benefit from many hands of threat actors who could exploit different infection strategies at will. Risky network or password management, opening suspicious torrents or e-mail attachments, and keeping unsafe macros or scripts enabled by default can increase your PC's risk of a security compromise. Malware experts don't anticipate a decryption solution available for the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware's family, for free, which can make any files that it locks non-usable permanently.

Due to the frequently irreversible nature of damages from file-locking Trojans, users always should reserve extra copies of their files on a dedicated backup drive, which can consist of a detachable USB, CD, DVD or cloud server. While malware researchers see no evidence for the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware or most threats of its classification damaging the operating system, most formats of media are at risk. Your anti-malware programs also may remove the '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware or quarantine its executable without allowing any attacks to take place.

The '.CONTACTUS File Extension' Ransomware is an expensive mistake for users who forget backing up their work, but a profitable business model for criminals. The more reliably its victims protect their computers and files properly, the less frequent campaigns like this file-locker Trojan's will be.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to '.CONTACTUS 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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