The Duck virus falls within the Phobos ransomware family. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, text files, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, creating the info.txt files in every folder containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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What is known about the Duckvirus?
☝️ A strictly correct designation for the Duck would be “a Phobos family ransomware infection”.
The renaming will be done by the following pattern: id[xxxxxx].[contact_email].duck. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.id[9ECFA84E-3316].[email@example.com].duck”.
In every directory containing the encrypted files, a info.txt text 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 instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this tool after contacting firstname.lastname@example.org by email. That is how they do it.
|Ransomware family1||Phobos ransomware|
|Detection2||Win32/TrojanDownloader.FlyStudio.AY, Trojan:Win32/Vundo!AU, Trojan:Win32/Redline.MKW!MTB|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .duck extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Duck virus|
The info.txt file accompanying the Duck malware states the following:
!!!All of your files are encrypted!!! To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: email@example.com In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org Our online operator is available in the messenger Telegram: @supprecovery
In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Duck looks like. Each filename has the “.duck” extension added to it.
How did my machine catch Duck ransomware?
There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.
Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for malefactors to have ransomware working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection 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 strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a ransomware file attached to them. So 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 computer pretending to be something different. For example, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. Since the installation package 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 optimal way 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 Web. 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 objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.
How do I get rid of the Duck virus?
It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Duck virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware4 can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Sometimes racketeers would decode some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption tool. As Duck virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.
Sure thing, if the hackers succeed in encoding someone’s essential files, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about criminals just disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.
The best countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all started. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.
Duck is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Mmvb, Eewt, Mmdt, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Duck are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: files become inaccessible, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in each directory containing encoded files.
Some fortunate victims were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How сan I avert ransomware attack?
Duck ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.
You can armour your computer from ransomware attack within three easy steps:
- Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes 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 even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the questionable email carefully. A hoax letter will surely have mistakes.
- Avoid using cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often spreaded as a part of cracked software, most likely under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try searching for information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect armor for your PC.
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.
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 Duck 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 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.
🤔 Is it possible to open “.duck” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.duck” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?
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.
🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Duck virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?
Of course not. The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.
With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual threats. The virus that has attacked your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system every so often to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Duck malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your PC after some time.
🤔 What actions should I take if the Duck virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to have a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or brought into your computer. To block this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 And what should I do now?
Many of the encrypted files might still be within your reach
- If you sent or received your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
- You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those images back to you.
- If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them 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 portable device, mobile, flash memory, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can employ data recovery utilities7 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the virus 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;
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How to Remove DUCK Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: DUCK Virus
Description: DUCK Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .duck 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.
- You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective 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.