Unikey Ransomware

Unikey Ransomware Description

The Unikey Ransomware is a ransomware Trojan based on the infamous HiddenTear open source ransomware platform. This ransomware engine, released in August of 2015 publicly, has allowed con artists to create ransomware variants with relative ease and at a low cost, resulting in countless HiddenTear variants such as the Unikey Ransomware being released to the public. The Unikey Ransomware includes various changes to the way it works and avoids detection, which makes it a sophisticated HiddenTear variant particularly, although its encryption method and basic components are still identical to HiddenTear. The most ordinary method that is being used to deliver the Unikey Ransomware to victims at this time is the use of spam email messages with the subject line 'important notice' that appear to be sent by social media companies (increasing the likelihood that victims of the attack will open the file attachment contained in one of these emails).

How the Unikey Ransomware Carries out Its Attack

The email messages being used to deliver the Unikey Ransomware to victims may include a Microsoft Word file as an attachment. This file, generally a DOCX file, will include a corrupted script or macro that will connect to a remote server and download the Unikey Ransomware onto the victim's computer. This will often bring a User Account Control prompt on the infected computer, which will require that the victim agrees to let the file be downloaded. As soon as the Unikey Ransomware enters the victim's computer, it will start scanning all removable memory devices and local hard drives, as well as directories shared on a network and other storage associated with the infected computer.

Unlocking the Way the Unikey Ransomware Attacks a Computer

The Unikey Ransomware will create a list of all the files that will be affected by the Unikey Ransomware. The Unikey Ransomware will use an AES 256 encryption algorithm to encrypt these files, making them inaccessible. The Unikey Ransomware also will delete the Shadow Volume Copies of all affected files and other possible recovery methods that could be used to regain access to the affected files. The Unikey Ransomware will mark all affected files by adding the file extension '.locked' to their files' names. After encrypting the victim's files, the Unikey Ransomware will display a ransom note. This ransom note is contained in a text file named 'READ_IT.txt' dropped on the infected computer. This file contains a text message that had been observed in a previous variant of HiddenTear that was observed in 2015. The following is the text of the Unikey Ransomware's ransom note:

'Files has been encrypted with hidden tear
Send me some bitcoins or kebab
And I also hate night clubs, desserts, being drunk.'

Dealing with the Unikey Ransomware Infection

Two variants of the Unikey Ransomware, GurxEr and the EyLamo Ransomware, were observed in the months leading up the July 2017. It is likely that the same group of people released the Unikey Ransomware and these others. However, it is important to understand that HiddenTear variants are extremely widespread due to the public nature of its release. Unfortunately, once the Unikey Ransomware encrypts the victim's files, the affected files will become unrecoverable. Because of this, it is important to take preventive measures to ensure that your data is protected against threats like the Unikey Ransomware. The best protection against the Unikey Ransomware and all other ransomware Trojans is to keep file backups on an independent memory device or the cloud. When computer users have the possibility of recovering all of the infected files from a backup copy, then the people responsible for attacks like the Unikey Ransomware lose any power they have over the victim, which would enable them to make ransom demands. Apart from file backups, PC security analysts also advise computer users to use a reliable security program and ensure that all spam email messages and unsolicited attachments are handled appropriately.

Do You Suspect Your PC May Be Infected with Unikey Ransomware & Other Threats? Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

SpyHunter is a powerful malware remediation and protection tool designed to help provide PC users with in-depth system security analysis, detection and removal of a wide range of threats like Unikey Ransomware as well as a one-on-one tech support service. Download SpyHunter's FREE Malware Remover
Note: SpyHunter's scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read more on SpyHunter. Free Remover allows you to run a one-off scan and receive, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal. Free Remover subject to promotional details and Special Promotion Terms. To understand our policies, please also review our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria. If you no longer wish to have SpyHunter installed on your computer, follow these steps to uninstall SpyHunter.

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.
If you still can't install SpyHunter? View other possible causes of installation issues.

Technical Information

File System Details

Unikey Ransomware creates the following file(s):
# File Name Size MD5
1 file.exe 482,816 090e2198ff65ee1eba3bc14b14f10d57

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This article is provided "as is" and to be used for educational information purposes only. By following any instructions on this article, you agree to be bound by the disclaimer. We make no guarantees that this article will help you completely remove the malware threats on your PC. Spyware changes regularly; therefore, it is difficult to fully clean an infected machine through manual means.

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