The RansomAES Ransomware is one of the many encryption ransomware Trojans active currently that are based on HiddenTear, an open source encryption ransomware platform that has spawned countless variants. The RansomAES Ransomware seems to have been created by con artists based in Korea and targets computer users with a Korean keyboard layout (although there is nothing that prevents the RansomAES Ransomware from targeting other computer users). The RansomAES Ransomware is typically delivered to victims through the use of corrupted spam email, commonly using file attachments containing embedded macros to install the RansomAES Ransomware onto the victim's computer. Currently, the link from where the RansomAES Ransomware is downloaded seems to have been disabled, meaning that the RansomAES Ransomware's distribution campaign may have been halted temporarily.
There's Nothing New on the RansomAES Ransomware Attack
There is very little to differentiate the RansomAES Ransomware from the many other encryption ransomware Trojans that are in action currently. The RansomAES Ransomware scans the victim's computer as soon as it is installed, creating lists of the files that it will encrypt during the attack. The RansomAES Ransomware targets the user-generated files, such as audio, video, texts, databases, and numerous other document types. The RansomAES Ransomware will use the AES encryption to make the victim's files inaccessible, making it impossible with current technology to recover the affected files. The RansomAES Ransomware takes the victim's files hostage until the victim pays a ransom. The file types that threats like the RansomAES Ransomware target in their attacks include:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .xqx, .zip.
The RansomAES Ransomware encrypts the files and marks them with the file extension '.RansomAE,' which is added to the end of the files' names. The RansomAES Ransomware will deliver two ransom notes once the victim's files have been encrypted; one in the form of a text file and the other in the form of an HTA application. The first of these ransom notes is contained in a file named 'READ ME.txt,' which is dropped on the infected computer's desktop. This file's contents read as follows:
'개인 ID KEY:
당신의 파일이 암호화되었습니다! 당신에 확장자: .AES 이메일로 요청드리면 복구해드립니다. email@example.com 또는 firstname.lastname@example.org'
Below is the text of the above ransom note translated into English from the original Korean:
'Personal ID KEY:
[128 RANDOM CHARCTERS]
Your files have been encrypted! You will receive the extension: .AES
Send us an email, and we will repair the files.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org'
The second ransom note appears in a pop-up window and also instructs the victim to communicate with the con artists via email.
Dealing with the RansomAES Ransomware Infection
If the RansomAES Ransomware infection has compromised your computer, you should remove the affected files and replace them with intact backup versions. Because of this, the best protection against the RansomAES Ransomware and similar threats is to have file backups, which should be kept on external devices. A security application that is fully up-to-date should be used to perform a full scan of the affected computer and can prevent the RansomAES Ransomware from being installed in the first place.