BLACKSKULL Ransomware 🔐 TheShadowsHackers@gmail.com

Written by Brendan Smith

The Blackskull ransomware is a harmful program that encrypts all your data on a Windows PC (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, creating the Recover_Your_Files.html text files in every folder with the encrypted files.

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What is Blackskull virus?

Blackskull will add its extra .BlackSkull extension to every file’s title. For example, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.BlackSkull”. Just like the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.BlackSkull”, and so on.

In each folder that contains the encrypted files, a Recover_Your_Files.html file will appear. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting theshadowshackers@gmail.com by email. That is how they do it.

Blackskull Summary:

NameBlackskull Virus
Extension.BlackSkull
Ransomware noteRecover_Your_Files.html
Ransom$200 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Contacttheshadowshackers@gmail.com
DetectionWin32:Adware-DNA [Adw] Virus Removal, Win32:Secat [Trj] Virus Removal, Trojan:MSIL/FormBook.PRY!MTB Virus Removal
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .BlackSkull extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Blackskull virus

The Recover_Your_Files.html file accompanying the Blackskull ransomware provides the following frustrating information:

BlackSkull Ransomware


Oops, Your Files Have Been Encrypted !!!


What Happened To My Computer?
your important files are encrypted.
many of your documents, photos, videos, and other files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. maybe you are busy looking way to recover your files, but do not waste your time. nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.


Can I Recover My Files?
sure we guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily.
but you have not so enough time.
if you need to decrypt your files, yo need to pay.
you only have 2 days to submit the payment.
after that the price will be doubled or your files and computer will be destroyed

 

How Do I Pay?
payment is accepted in bitcoin only. for more information click
check the current price of bitcoin and buy some bitcoin. for more information,
click
and send correct amount to the address below
after your payment, click to to decrypt your files


Send $200 Worth Of Bitcoin To This Address


39g9nRoWSjakg8uYfFrEQLjUPwQQRVPXDc

In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Blackskull looks like. Each filename has the “.BlackSkull” extension added to it.

Blackskull Virus - encrypted .BlackSkull files

An example of encrypted .BlackSkull files.

How did my machine catch Blackskull ransomware?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for hackers to have ransomware settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer networks.

  • If you open your mailbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a viral file enclosed in them. So it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with letters like these.
  • Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file scheme. A Trojan is an object that gets into your computer disguised as something different. For instance, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the update file can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.
  • As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the danger 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 resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How to remove ransomware?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Blackskull virus will probably install Vidar Stealer on your computer to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Remove Blackskull with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Blackskull as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for Blackskull Ransomware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The Blackskull was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The Blackskull has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “Blackskull” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching Blackskull Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching Blackskull Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing Blackskull and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Often criminals would unblock few of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption program. As Blackskull virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. However, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the criminals succeed in encrypting someone’s essential files, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying to racketeers does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about racketeers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The best 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 drive. Obviously, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working on when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Blackskull, that work similarly. Examples of those are Bgjs, Bgzq, Dumbstackz, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Blackskull are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become blocked, their extensions changed, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decrypt the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the racketeers 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 naturally, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How do I avoid ransomware attack?

Blackskull ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can protect your computer from its injection taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown mailers with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the dubious email with caution. A fake letter will always contain mistakes.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked software, possibly as a “patch” to prevent the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. Try to find information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal solution is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 How can I open “.BlackSkull” files?Is it possible to open“.BlackSkull” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.BlackSkull” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.BlackSkull” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the “.BlackSkull” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Blackskull virus?

Absolutely not! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove actual viruses from your system. The virus that has attacked your computer is probably still functional and launching checks from time to time to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Blackskull virus 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 to do if the Blackskull ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or imported into your PC. To stop this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the encoded files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, phone, memory stick, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery programs1 to get your lost data back since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the virus with an antivirus program.

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References

  1. Here are Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2024.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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