CALUM Ransomware πŸ” (.CALUM File) β€” Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Calum virus falls within the Phobos ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (images, text files, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the info.txt text files in every folder with the encrypted files.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb β€œForewarned is forearmed” describes the situation as accurately as possible. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware is exactly the tool that is always useful to have in your armory: fast, efficient, up-to-date. It is appropriate to use it as an emergency help at the slightest suspicion of infection.
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Calum virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A strictly correct designation for the Calum would be “a Phobos family ransomware malicious agent”.

The renaming will be done according to the following scheme: id[xxxxxxx].[contact_email].Calum. After the encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be altered to “report.docx.id[1E857D00-2473].[annali1984@cock.li].Calum”.

In every folder with the encrypted files, a info.txt text document will be found. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. You can get this tool after contacting annali1984@cock.li through email. That is it.

Calum abstract:
NameCalum Virus
Ransomware family1Phobos ransomware
Extension.Calum
Ransomware noteinfo.txt
Contactannali1984@cock.li
Detection2Win32:FileInfector-C [Heur], Trojan:Win32/Raccoon.RH!MTB, Trojan:Win32/Vundo.OD
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .Calum extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Calum virus

The info.txt file coming in package with the Calum ransomware states the following:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: annali1984@cock.li.
If we don\'t answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: annali1984@protonmail.com 

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

Calum Virus - encrypted .Calum files

An example of encrypted .Calum files.

How did my computer get infected with Calum ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most exploited methods for hackers to have ransomware acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer networks.

If you open your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a harmful file attached to them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan horse scheme3. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine pretending to be something else. For example, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that encodes your data. Since the installation file can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Calum virus?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Calum virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware4 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes criminals would decode few of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. Since Calum virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware instruments are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the criminals succeed in encrypting victim’s essential data, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about malefactors simply disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The best solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud drive or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that one you were working upon when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also advisable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.

Calum is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Mmvb, Eewt, Oflg, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Calum are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate people were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect 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 injection?

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

You can protect your computer from its injection within three easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious letter carefully. A fake letter will always contain mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked software, possibly under the guise of β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal way is not to use such software.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect shield for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.

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 system.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click β€œYes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Calum 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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

πŸ€” Can I somehow access “.Calum” files?

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

πŸ€” I really need to decrypt those β€œ.Calum” files ASAP. How can I do that?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

πŸ€” Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Calum virus?

No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove actual malware from your PC. The malware that has infected your PC is must be still active and launching checks from time to time to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Calum ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide malefactors with easy access to your system after some time.

πŸ€” What to do if the Calum ransomware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” And what should I do now?

Many of the encoded files might still be at your disposal

  • If you exchanged your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, phone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities7 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but remember: you can do it only after you kill the virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

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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Brendan Smith
How to Remove CALUM Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: CALUM Virus

Description: CALUM Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .Calum extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  7. Here are the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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