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Danger level 6
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Normal system programs crash immediatelly
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

ChaCha Ransomware

There is nothing funny or entertaining about ChaCha Ransomware. In fact, if you face this malicious infection, your entire operating system could be encrypted, and you might be unable to do anything else but reinstall Windows. The best and only way to defeat this malware is by securing your system and ensuring that the malware does not slither in at all. Once it is in, it is unlikely that you can do much about anything. When our research team tested the threat, it encrypted everything on the infected operating system, and although it was semi-functional at first, it was not possible to even start the computer after some time had passed. Once that happens, you need to reinstall Windows. What about your personal files? If they were encrypted, and your system requires reinstallation, they are lost for good. Hopefully, backups exist outside the infected system, and you can use them to stand in place of the corrupted files as soon as you reinstall the system and have ChaCha Ransomware removed.

It is most likely that ChaCha Ransomware was created by amateurs because it does not work in the favor of its creators. File-encrypting infections are, in the majority of cases, created to encrypt files so that their creators could demand a ransom in return for decryption software or keys. In this case, although the demands exist, the victims are unlikely to face them. As soon as ChaCha Ransomware slithers in – which is most likely to happen when users open corrupted spam email attachments or when attackers find vulnerable RDP backdoors – the encryption process begins. As we mentioned earlier, the threat encrypts everything on the operating system, and that includes both personal files (e.g., documents or photos), as well as system files, and the files of downloaded applications. A unique extension consisting of random characters (e.g., “.AiBf3m”) is attached to the original names. Unfortunately, these extensions are not automatically removed and the files are not automatically restored once the malicious infection is deleted. Where the encrypted files are, a file named “DECRYPT-FILES.html” should be created too, and if you have the opportunity, you want to remove every single copy.

According to the message in the ransom note file, “0010 SYSTEM FAILURE 0010” error was detected, and your files were encrypted. To decrypt the files, a “private key” must be purchased. To learn more about the payment, you are instructed to email getmyfilesback@airmail.cc. Even if you get the chance to review this file, do NOT contact the creators of ChaCha Ransomware. They will demand money from you, and if you give in, your files are likely to remain encrypted anyway. To intimidate you further, the infection also plays an audio message that declares this: “User alert! User alert! Dear user your files have been encrypted.” Finally, a file named “123456789.bmp” is dropped to %TEMP% and used to replace your normal Desktop wallpaper. This image displays a message that states that your files were encrypted using RSA-2048 and ChaCha algorithms and that you need to open “DECRYPT-FILES.html.” All in all, decrypting files is unlikely to be possible, and you might not even get the chance to face the demands from cyber criminals if your system crashes.

In conclusion, if ChaCha Ransomware acts as we expect it, you will not get the chance to remove the malicious files and start rebuilding your operating system. Personal files will be encrypted along with system files, and that means that your computer is likely to become inoperable. When that happens, the only thing you can do is reinstall Windows. If you do that, you will not need to delete ChaCha Ransomware, as it will be eradicated during reinstallation. Our research team has created a removal guide that shows how to erase the components of the ransomware just in case you get the chance to do that. Of course, if your system’s files are affected, it is unlikely that you will be able to evade reinstallation anyway. Hopefully, backups exist, and you will be able to access your personal files after your system is fully restored.

ChaCha Ransomware Removal

  1. Delete the [unique name].exe file that launched the threat. A few possible locations:
    • %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
    • %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
    • %TEMP%
  2. In the %TEMP% directory, also Delete the file named 123456789.bmp and then reset your Desktop wallpaper.
  3. Delete every copy of the file named DECRYPT-FILES.html (should be located everywhere).
  4. Tap Win+R keys to launch Run.
  5. Type regedit into the dialog box and click OK to access the Registry Editor.
  6. Move to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers.
  7. Delete the value named BackgroundHistoryPath0.
  8. Move to HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop.
  9. Delete the value named Wallpaper.
  10. Close Registry Editor and then Empty Recycle Bin.
  11. Install a malware scanner and run it to see if there are malicious leftovers that require your attention.
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