EKING File Virus Removal. Phobos Ransomware

Written by Brendan Smith

What is .eking file infection?

Also referred to as PHOBOS ransomware, it modifies your documents by means of encrypting them and demanding the ransom to be paid allegedly to restore access to them. id[XXXXXXXX-XXXX].[Sacura889@tutanota.com].eking indicates decphob@tuta.io as a channel for contacting the ransomware authors.

The PHOBOS ransomware is active again through its new cryptovirus bearing the name of .eking. This particular virus family modifies all popular file types using adding the .eking extension, thus making the data absolutely unavailable. The victims cannot open their important documents anymore. The ransomware also assigns its unique identification key, just like all previous representatives of the virus family. As soon the file is encrypted by the ransomware, it obtains a special new extension becoming the secondary one. The file virus also generates a ransom note providing the users who want instructions allegedly to restore the data.

Eking Threat Main Facts

Name.id[XXXXXXXX-XXXX].eking file virus
Extension.eking file virus
DetectionPWS:Win32/Prast!rfn, Trojan:Win32/Danabot.KM!MTB, Python/Agent.KR
Contactsdecphob@tuta.io, chinadecrypt@fasthelpassia.com, savemyself1@tutanota.com, crioso@protonmail.com, wiruxa@airmail.cc, yongloun@tutanota.com, anygrishevich@yandex.ru, qirapoo@firemail.cc, dozusopo@tutanota.com, unlockfile@firemail.cc, files@restore.ws, Sacura889@tutanota.com
Short DescriptionThe ransomware modifies the documents on the attacked device through encryption and asks for the ransom to be paid by the victim supposedly to recovery them.
SymptomsThe file virus encrypts the data by adding the .eking extension, also generating the one-of-a-kind identifier. Note that the [Sacura889@tutanota.com].eking extension becomes the secondary one.
Distribution MethodSpam, Email attachments, Compromised legitimate downloads, Attacks exploiting weak or stolen RDP credentials1.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by .eking file virus
Eking deletes shadow copies of files, disables the recovery and repair functions of Windows, at the boot stage, disables the firewall with commands, launches the mshta.exe application to display ransomware requirements:
vssadmin.exe vssadmin delete shadows /all /quiet
WMIC.exe wmic shadowcopy delete
bcdedit.exe bcdedit /set default recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe bcdedit /set default bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
netsh.exe netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state off
netsh.exe netsh firewall set opmode mode=disable
mshta.exe "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\info.hta"
mshta.exe "%PUBLIC%\desktop\info.hta"
mshta.exe "C:\info.hta"
Eking Startup
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\exec.exe

.eking File Virus – Phobos Ransomware

What Is It and How Did I Get It?

The .eking ransomware is most commonly spread using a payload dropper. It runs the malicious script that eventually installs the file virus. The threat circulates actively on the web, considering the facts about the ransomware mentioned in the VirusTotal database. The .eking ransomware may also promote its payload files through popular social networks and via file-sharing platforms. Alternatively, some free applications hosted on many popular resources may also be disguised as helpful tools, whereas they may lead to the malicious scripts that injected the ransomware. Your personal caution to prevent the .eking virus attack matters a lot!

The popular source of .eking ransomware are abandonware and freeware (including cracked software). Such software can be distributed both via peering networks and sites. Usually, you are offered to install many potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) in the process of such apps installation. But that’s also a perfect carrier for any ransomware, including .eking.

Despite old and cracked programs, .eking ransomware also uses keygens as a carrier. Keygens are software that generates a license key for different programs (depends on which program this keygen is supposed to “activate”). Many keygens are out of whack but still available to download, and the ransomware is usually injected into such keygens.

Another frequent source of .eking ransomware injection is spam e-mails. They usually contain an attachment and the text where the victim is offered to open this file. The reasons to do so may be very different: in April 2020, the most often “reason” was important news about your jobless claim, and it has a trend to be changed month-to-month. Of course, the attached file contains no information but .eking ransomware, which will start encryption immediately after you open the file.

The files and programs downloaded via peering networks (also known as torrent-trackers) can carry many dangers. It’s hard to detect any changes implemented in the file before you download it. Hence, it’s straightforward to inject any malware, including .eking ransomware. And the same hard task is to detect a user who distributes contaminated files through a peering network. So, be very careful with seedings, and always check your downloading with an anti-malware program.

The .eking ransomware has one bug which can allow you to reach some of your files. Ransomware has significant troubles when trying to encrypt a large file (about 1 GB). You can try to open such file, as usual, just removing a specific .eking extension from the file name

You can also try to open MP3, MP4, AVI, and other music/video file formats. The .eking ransomware encrypts only the first 150 kilobytes of the file. Hence, music and video, which are usually much bigger than 150 KB, can be opened. Try different software to do so (WinAmp can do this).

The same bug may help you to get your archives back. There is a possibility that some of the files inside of this archive will be encrypted, but the majority is about to be ok. The restoration process is the same: remove the .eking extension and try to open it commonly.

Windows updates can set to default many system files, which were changed by .eking ransomware. To avoid possible wipeout, ransomware modifies hosts file, adding Microsoft update server in it. Hence, after this operation, your Windows loses the ability to get an update.

The easiest and effective method of your data protection from .eking ransomware attack is backup usage. It’s recommended to create backups every month, but if you don’t have a lot of data on your PC, you can do it less often or even upload a copy of your data to cloud storage without creating a full backup.

But backups are not a panacea because .eking ransomware can counteract them. The majority of .eking victims who stored their backups on the PC, and were using proprietary Windows backup creating tool (so-called “restore point”), got their backups disabled or even deleted after the ransomware attack. But the ransomware cannot do so with the backups created in another way, so use another software instead of Windows tools.

Another method that can be used by ransomware is backup contamination. The .eking ransomware may encrypt different parts of the backup, but a much worse situation is when ransomware injects its .exe file. Anyway, all these actions make your backups useless for system restoration.

You can see many advertisements on the Internet where you are offered ransomware decryption help. Nobody can ensure the intentions of one who is posting this ad and the possibility of real effect after all manipulations they did. They may help you but also may steal your data or ask for payment for their work (which is usually much bigger than anti-malware software price).

Due to several reports we got, .eking ransomware cannot encrypt the files that are located away from the disk where the ransomware is located.

Eking ransomware can also change your registry files. It adds its own .exe file to the RunOnce registry key, so its activity couldn’t be interrupted with reboots or shutdowns.

But this action can be avoided. It would help if you launched the Windows safe mode. It allows the launch of only proprietary programs when the system starts, so .eking ransomware and any other program added to the start-up list will not be launched. That’s a recommended procedure if you will use a backup from an external drive: if ransomware was running when you connected your USB drive, there is a big chance that your backup and all other files on the USB will be encrypted, too.

Another target of the .eking ransomware is the host file. It adds the Microsoft update server to this file. Hence, your PC cannot get an update. Windows updates can be critical for the ransomware because any update can set to default different system files that were changed by ransomware.

Despite the update server, .eking ransomware can also add different sites to this file. The most popular are anti-malware forums, sites-advisors (like this one), or even anti-malware vendors’ sites. Hence, you’ll lose the ability to get advice or find the solution (like below) for the ransomware decryption.

.eking ransomware is a infection that encrypts your data and presents a frustrating ransomware notice. Below is the screenshot depicting the ransomware note:

.eking virus demanding message in a pop-up window

[decphob@tuta.io].eking virus demanding message in a pop-up window

It says the following:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail decphob@tuta.io.
Write this ID in the title of your message ********-****
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of 
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Jabber client installation instructions:
Download the jabber (Pidgin) client from https://pidgin.im/download/windows/
After installation, the Pidgin client will prompt you to create a new account.
Click "Add"
In the "Protocol" field, select XMPP
In "Username" - come up with any name
In the field "domain" - enter any jabber-server, there are many them, for example - exploit.im
Create a password
At the bottom, put a tick "Create account"
Click add
If you selected "domain" - exploit.im, then a new window should appear in which you will need to re-enter your data:
User password
You will need to follow the link to the captcha (there you will see the characters that you need to enter in the field below)
If you don't understand our Pidgin client installation instructions, you can find many installation tutorials on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pidgin+jabber+install.
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.

The worst idea is to contact this fraudster. Ransomware distributors will try any method to force you to pay them. And, finally, showing your e-mail address to crooks can lead to unpredictable actions.

Ransomware distributors can force you to pay in different ways. They may show you kindness, offering to decrypt several files “to prove that we really have a decryption tool”. Then, if you didn’t pay, they start menace you with phrases like “.eking ransomware is undecryptable,” “your files will be lost forever,” and so on.

But that’s no matter if you paid or not because ransomware distributors will add your e-mail address to their database, which will be sold later to advertising agents or other crooks. So, your e-mail will be flooded with different spam.

There are several reports about the different malware distributed with the decryptor, which is offered to use by ransomware distributors. That may be an additional reminder about the meanness of these crooks.

Remove eking File Virus (Phobos)

Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft2

The is an excellent way to deal with recognizing and removing threats – using Gridinsoft Anti-Malware. This program will scan your PC, find and neutralize all suspicious processes3.

Download GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

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 PC.

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 system for Eking 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 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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

How to decrypt .eking files?

You can download and use this decrypter that Kaspersky released if you were hit by .eking extension.

You can download and use this decrypter that Avast released or this decrypter that Kaspersky released if you were hit by .eking extension.

What the next?

If the guide doesn’t help you to remove Eking virus, please download the GridinSoft Anti-Malware that I recommended. Also, you can always ask me in the comments for getting help. Good luck!

User Review
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Comments Rating 5 (2 reviews)


  1. How To Change Remote Desktop (RDP) Port: https://howtofix.guide/change-remote-desktop-port-on-windows-10/
  2. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  3. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/

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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