Phantom Ransomware

Posted: August 7, 2020

Phantom Ransomware Description

The Phantom Ransomware is a file-locking Trojan that has no known connections to Ransomware-as-a-Services or other families. Infected users may find that their media files can't open, see HTA or pop-up ransom notes, or find Trojan-themed extensions on their files' names. Most anti-malware products should delete the Phantom Ransomware appropriately, but they don't negate secure backups for recovering any data.

China Gets a Ghost Haunting Its Files

A file-locking Trojan that's borrowing some pseudo-public components for its payload is responsible for an ongoing campaign against Chinese Windows users. The on-again and off-again attacks of the Phantom Ransomware are periodic throughout 2020. Although it's not a highly-creative specimen, malware researchers consider the Phantom Ransomware as being equally deadly to file data as well-known threats like Hidden Tear.

Core features of the Phantom Ransomware samples aren't much different from those of an average RaaS or Ransomware-as-a-Service. It includes an AES encryption-based feature that locks media in Windows environments and can target multiple formats, including documents, pictures, etc. Users also will see extensions referring to the Trojan as extra suffixes in files' names. There is no public decryption or unlocker for the Phantom Ransomware, although its security remains questionable and, potentially, breakable.

Users who experience the unmitigated impact of the Phantom Ransomware's payload will also see its HTA ransom notes. This message is very similar to the formatting of Trojans like the Globe Ransomware family or older versions of the Crysis Ransomware. The exception is in its language choices, which include English and, less typically, a Chinese copy. However, targeting Chinese speakers isn't a totally-new tactic for Trojans of this type, as malware researchers caught cases like the ChineseRarypt Ransomware, the Pojie Ransomware, or the ancient FilesLocker Ransomware previously.

Taking the Evil Spirits Out of File Data

The Phantom Ransomware is compatible with Windows systems only and uses unknown exploits for distribution and installation. In most campaigns by file-locker Trojans, malware researchers can connect attacks to unsafe victim Web-browsing behavior. Users may open an e-mail attachment and enable a corrupted macro, download a fake torrent, or browse the Web while running JavaScript indiscriminately. Poor password choices also are a provoking factor in these attacks.

Users should establish secure backups as a high-priority task for defense against all file-locking Trojans, whether or not they have a possible decryption solution. Paying ransoms to the Phantom Ransomware's threat actors or other criminals may or may not provide a due recovery option. Just as frequently, it can give attackers more opportunities for harm. Preferably, users should save backups to other devices and limit access to them with passwords.

Anti-malware utilities from most reputable companies should remove the Phantom Ransomware before it attacks or afterward, if necessary. The Trojan shows no notable features related to highly-advanced obfuscation or system persistence.

The Phantom Ransomware is a persistent apparition whose presence isn't a sign of crimes against the dead, but of the living being avaricious. A backup is more accessible to all Windows users than any priestly rituals and is a guarantee of putting this spirit down to rest.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to Phantom 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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Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

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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