The Ballacks virus falls under the VoidCrypt ransomware family. Ransomware of this type encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, leaving the ReadthisforDecode.txt text files in each folder with the encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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What is Ballacks virus?
☝️ A scientifically accurate description for the Ballacks would be “a VoidCrypt family ransomware infection”.
The scheme of renaming is this: [victimID].[contact_email].ballacks. During the encryption, a file named, for instance, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.[MJ-SD8497052316](Lemordewn@gmail.com).ballacks”.
In every folder containing the encrypted files, a ReadthisforDecode.txt file will be found. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. You can get this decoding tool after contacting Lemordewn@gmail.com via email. That is basically the scheme of the crime.
|Ransomware family1||VoidCrypt ransomware|
|Detection2||Trojan.MalPack.ME, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.SF!MTB, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.SE!MTB|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .ballacks extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Ballacks virus|
The ReadthisforDecode.txt document accompanying the Ballacks malware states the following:
Your Files Are Has Been Locked Your Files Has Been Encrypted with cryptography Algorithm If You Need Your Files And They are Important to You, Dont be shy Send Me an Email Send Test File + The Key File on Your System (File Exist in C:/ProgramData example : RSAKEY-SE-24r6t523 pr RSAKEY.KEY) to Make Sure Your Files Can be Restored Get Decryption Tool + RSA Key AND Instruction For Decryption Process Attention: 1- Do Not Rename or Modify The Files (You May loose That file) 2- Do Not Try To Use 3rd Party Apps or Recovery Tools ( if You want to do that make an copy from Files and try on them and Waste Your time ) 3-Do not Reinstall Operation System(Windows) You may loose the key File and Loose Your Files Your Case ID :- OUR Email :Lemordewn@gmail.com in Case of no answer: Lemordewn@gmail.com
In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Ballacks looks like. Each filename has the “.ballacks” extension appended to it.
How did my computer get infected with Ballacks ransomware?
There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
There are currently three most popular methods for tamperers to have the Ballacks virus acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer networks.
If you access your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a malware file enclosed in them. Thus it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file scheme3. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something else. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update wizard can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software developers’ official websites.
As for the peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never know what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.
How to remove the Ballacks virus?
It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Ballacks virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Sometimes racketeers would unblock some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Ballacks virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.
Understandably, if the tamperers succeed in encrypting victim’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. Despite that, paying to racketeers does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about racketeers just disappearing after getting the money without even writing back.
The optimal safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external disk. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.
There are other ransomware products, besides Ballacks, that work similarly. For instance, Qqmt, Oopu, Oodt, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Ballacks are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes are found in each folder containing encrypted files.
Some fortunate people were able to decrypt the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How do I avoid ransomware attack?
Ballacks ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.
You can protect yourself from ransomware attack within several easy steps:
- Never open any emails from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious email carefully. A hoax email will always contain a mistake.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as an element of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. Try searching for information about this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such programs at all.
- And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.
Download Removal Tool.
You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:
Run the setup file.
When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.
An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Press “Install” button.
Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.
Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for Ballacks infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
Click on “Clean Now”.
When the scan has completed, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.
🤔 Can I somehow access “.ballacks” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.ballacks” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.ballacks” files ASAP. How can I do that?
It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. The rest of the methods require patience.
🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Ballacks virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?
No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove active malware from your system. The virus that has infiltrated your system is must be still active and launching checks from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Ballacks ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your system after some time.
🤔 What actions should I take if the Ballacks malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
In such an unfortunate situation, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or brought into your PC. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 And what should I do now?
Some of the encrypted data can be located elsewhere.
- If you exchanged your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to send those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
- Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, mobile, flash memory, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can employ data recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the ransomware itself with an antivirus program.
Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:
- In the United States: On Guard Online;
- In Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
- In the United Kingdom: Action Fraud;
- In Australia: SCAMwatch;
- In New Zealand: Consumer Affairs Scams;
- In France: Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information;
- In Germany: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik;
- In Ireland: An Garda Síochána;
To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.
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How to Remove BALLACKS Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: BALLACKS Virus
Description: BALLACKS Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .ballacks extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- Encyclopedia of threats.
- You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
- Here’s the list of the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.