CRYPTONITE Ransomware 🔐 (lisezmoi.txt Ransom Note) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Cryptonite virus belongs to the Chaos ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (photos, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, creating the lisezmoi.txt text files in each directory containing encrypted files.
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What is Cryptonite virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate description for the Cryptonite would be “a Chaos family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed by the following scheme: %filename%.4 random characters. As a part of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.js91”, and the “visuals.xlsx” – to “visuals.xlsx.8kal”.

In each folder with the encrypted files, a lisezmoi.txt text file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting decrypt5058@proton.me via email. That is basically the scheme of the felony.

Cryptonite outline:
NameCryptonite Virus
Ransomware family1Chaos ransomware
Extension.4 random characters
Ransomware notelisezmoi.txt
Ransom$13457 in Bitcoin
Contactdecrypt5058@proton.me
DetectionVHO:Trojan.Win32.Packed, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.SW!MTB, Win32/Injector.CHWA
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .4 random characters extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Cryptonite virus

The lisezmoi.txt document coming in package with the Cryptonite malware provides the following dispiriting information:

Tous Vos fichiers ont été cryptés, Votre ordinateur à été infecté par le virus CRYPTONITE et vous ne serez pas capable de décryptés vos fichiers sans la clé de décryptage.

Pour obtenir la clé de décryptage de vos fichiers et supprimer le virus veuillez nous contacter sur notre adresse emails ci-dessous.

Contact: decrypt5058@proton.me

Vous devez payer une rançon et cette rançon ne peut être payée que en bitcoin à l\'adresse indiqué ci-dessous.

Montant: 13457,65$ = 0.51 btc
Adresse: 17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV

Chaque 24h deux fichiers seront sélectionner et supprimer au hasard, après 7j la rançon passe de 13457,65$ à 16000$

Chaque fichier que vous éssayerez de décrypter sans la clé endommagera le fichier et vous le perdrez à jamais.

In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Cryptonite looks like. Each filename has the “.4 random characters” extension added to it.

Cryptonite ransomware files

Cryptonite ransomware encrypted the files

How did my computer get infected with Cryptonite ransomware?

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

There are currently three most exploited ways for tamperers to have the Cryptonite virus settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer networks.

If you access your mailbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a malware item attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine disguised as something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. But what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that encrypts your data. Since the installation wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrent trackers 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 websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Cryptonite virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your data, the Cryptonite virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often racketeers would unblock few of your files so you know that they really have the decryption program. As Cryptonite virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the decryption instruments are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the malefactors do the job of encrypting victim’s critical data, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to racketeers does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports of criminals just disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have aan OS 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 not enough. 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 wise to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Cryptonite, that work similarly. For instance, Tury, Adlg, Tuow, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Cryptonite are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become blocked, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky victims were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware infection?

Cryptonite ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your system from its infiltration taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, check all elements of the suspicious email carefully. A hoax email will always have a mistake.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often distributed as a part of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal solution 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 armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

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 “Yes” 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 PC for Cryptonite 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 “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Can I somehow access “.4 random characters” files?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.4 random characters” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

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. The rest of the methods require patience.

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

Absolutely not! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove active viruses from your computer. The malware that has infiltrated your PC is most likely still active and it scans your system every so often to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the infection. As it has been said above, the Cryptonite virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your PC in the future.

🤔 What to do if the Cryptonite ransomware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

In such a case, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to do the cleaning. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your PC. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do 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 give those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, mobile, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities5 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, removing the original 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 virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental 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 CRYPTONITE Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: CRYPTONITE Virus

Description: CRYPTONITE Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .4 random characters 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. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/comparison
  5. Here are Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

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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