The Colambia virus falls within the Zeppelin ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, documents, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, leaving the !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT files in each folder containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
Subscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.
Colambia virus: what is known so far?
☝️ A strictly correct denomination for the Colambia is “a Zeppelin family ransomware-type malicious agent”.
The renaming will be executed by this pattern: .colambia.[victimID]. In the process of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.colambia.D74-C53-02C”.
In every directory containing the encoded files, a !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT text document will be created. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to buy the decryption tool from the Colambia developers. You can obtain this tool after contacting email@example.com by email. That is basically the scheme of the crime.
|Ransomware family1||Zeppelin ransomware|
|Ransomware note||!!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT|
|Detection2||TrojanDownloader:Win32/Waledac.C, Win32:SMSSend-ADN [Trj], Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.PCG!MTB|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .colambia extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Colambia virus|
The !!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!.TXT document accompanying the Colambia ransomware provides the following discouraging information:
!!! ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!! All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted. You are not able to decrypt it by yourself! The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files. To be sure we have the decryptor and it works you can send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and decrypt one file for free. But this file should be of not valuable! Do you really want to restore your files? Write to email: email@example.com Reserved email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1. Visit hxxps://tox.chat/download.html 2. Download and install qTOX on your PC. 3. Open it, click \"New Profile\" and create profile. 4. Click \"Add friends\" button and search our contact - 126E30C4CC9DE90F79D1FA90830FDC2069A2E981ED26B6DC148DA8827FB3D63A1B46CFDEC191 Your personal ID: - Attention! * Do not rename encrypted files. * Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss. * Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Colambia looks like. Each filename has the “.colambia” extension appended to it.
How did my computer get infected with Colambia ransomware?
There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.
There are currently three most popular methods for malefactors to have the Colambia virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer file transfer.
If you open your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a malicious file enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with letters like these.
Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan file model3. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine disguised as something different. For example, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some software. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. As the update package can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The best way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.
As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent 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 objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.
How to remove the Colambia virus?
It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Colambia virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.
Sometimes criminals would decode some of your files so you know that they do have the decryption tool. Since Colambia virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.
Understandably, if the hackers do the job of encoding someone’s essential data, the hopeless person will most likely fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about racketeers simply vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.
The optimal solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external storage. Surely, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.
There are other ransomware products, besides Colambia, that work similarly. For instance, Oori, Ooxa, Ggew, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Colambia are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in each directory containing encoded files.
Some lucky people were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How do I avoid ransomware attack?
Colambia ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, so as any similar malware.
You can defend your computer from its attack in several easy steps:
- Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter with caution. A fake letter will always contain mistakes.
- Never use cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often shared as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” to prevent the license check. But untrusted programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try to find 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, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect armor for your PC.
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 system.
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 computer for Colambia 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 Can I somehow access “.colambia” files?
Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.colambia” files first. Then you will be able to open them.
🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?
If the “.colambia” 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. All other solutions require time.
🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Colambia malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?
No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with active viruses. The ransomware that has infected your computer is most likely still active and launching checks periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Colambia ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide hackers with easy access to your system after some time.
🤔 What should I do if the Colambia malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
In such a case, 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 starts automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or imported into your PC. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What can I do right now?
Some of the blocked files can be found elsewhere.
- If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those images back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
- Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a notebook, cellphone, flash memory, etc.
HINT: You can use file recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you kill the ransomware itself with an anti-malware program.
Also, you can contact the following official 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.
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this guide to help people like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How to Remove COLAMBIA Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: COLAMBIA Virus
Description: COLAMBIA Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .colambia 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 top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.