Coot Ransomware Description
Ransomware threats are incredibly popular in the world of cybercrime, as one can make some cash quickly with very little risk of repercussions. Most creators of ransomware threats do not build them from scratch, as this would require a lot of skill and time. Instead, they would take the code from an already existing file-locking Trojan and alter it to fit their needs before propagating it and causing headaches to innocent users. This is the case with today's ransomware threat called the COOT Ransomware. Once malware experts spotted the COOT Ransomware and studied it, they discovered that it belongs to the infamous STOP Ransomware family.
Its Distribution Method is Not Clear
It is not clear what propagation methods have the creators of the COOT Ransomware used in this campaign. It is being speculated that they are using mass spam emails as an infection vector for propagating the COOT Ransomware. This is done by attaching an infected file to a fraudulent message, which is urging the user to open the unsafe attachment. If the users fall for this trick, they will give the COOT Ransomware access to their system. Once this threat manages to worm its way into the targeted host, it will scan all the data, which is present. This is done so that the COOT Ransomware locates the files, which it was programmed to target for encryption. To guarantee maximum damage, the COOT Ransomware goes after a long list of file types that are likely to be present on any user's computer. Next, the COOT Ransomware will start locking the targeted data by applying an encryption algorithm. When this data-locking Trojan encrypts a file, it also alters its name by adding a '.coot' extension at the end of the filename. For example, a file named 'fire-fun.jpg' originally will be renamed to 'fire-fun.jpg.coot' after the COOT Ransomware completes its encryption process.
The Ransom Note
When this step of the attack is through, the COOT Ransomware will drop a ransom note by the name '_readme.txt.' In the note, the attackers state that all users who contact them within 72 hours of the attack taking place will have to pay $490. However, users who fail to do that will have to pay double the amount - $980. There have been two email addresses provided where the attackers expect to be contacted for further details – ‘email@example.com' and ‘firstname.lastname@example.org. To prove that their decryption key works, the attackers offer the victim to send them one file, which will be decrypted free of charge.
Do not attempt to get in touch with cybercriminals, as there is nothing good that can come of it. A much safer solution would be to download and install a reputable anti-virus application and use it to remove the COOT Ransomware from your computer safely.
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Security Doesn't Let You Download SpyHunter or Access the Internet?Solutions: Your computer may have malware hiding in memory that prevents any program, including SpyHunter, from executing on your computer. Follow to download SpyHunter and gain access to the Internet:
- Use an alternative browser. Malware may disable your browser. If you're using IE, for example, and having problems downloading SpyHunter, you should open Firefox, Chrome or Safari browser instead.
- Use a removable media. Download SpyHunter on another clean computer, burn it to a USB flash drive, DVD/CD, or any preferred removable media, then install it on your infected computer and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.
- Start Windows in Safe Mode. If you can not access your Window's desktop, reboot your computer in "Safe Mode with Networking" and install SpyHunter in Safe Mode.
- IE Users: Disable proxy server for Internet Explorer to browse the web with Internet Explorer or update your anti-spyware program. Malware modifies your Windows settings to use a proxy server to prevent you from browsing the web with IE.