GOLD Ransomware 🔐 (.GOLD File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Gold virus falls within the Xorist ransomware family. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt text files in every directory with the encrypted files.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb “Forewarned 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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Gold virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A strictly accurate denomination for the Gold would be “a Xorist family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

Gold will add its specific .gold extension to the title of each encoded file. For example, a file named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.gold”. Just like the Excel file named “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.gold”, and so forth.

In every directory with the encoded files, a КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt text file will appear. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is pretty much the scheme of the felony.

Gold outline:
Name Gold Virus
Ransomware family1 Xorist ransomware
Extension .gold
Ransomware note КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt
Detection Trojan:Win32/Smokeloader.GHN!MTB, Trojan:Win32/RedLine.LD!MTB, Ransom:MSIL/TankixCrypt.PA!MTB
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .gold extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Gold virus

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

Gold Virus - encrypted .gold files

That is how encrypted “.gold” files look.

How did Gold ransomware end up on my PC?

There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most exploited ways for hackers to have ransomware planted 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 companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is unknown to you, be wary of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a malware file attached to them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus model. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine disguised as something legal. For example, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that encrypts your data. As the installation file can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrents 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. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is finished.

How to remove the Gold virus?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Gold virus will probably deploy Vidar Stealer on your computer to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes tamperers would decode some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Gold virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware engineers have not yet found a way to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the decryption instruments are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon be available.

Understandably, if the malefactors do the job of encoding someone’s essential data, the hopeless person will probably fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After getting the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports about racketeers simply disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal countermeasure to 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. Obviously, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that one 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 anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Gold, that work similarly. For instance, Nifr, Boty, Niwm, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Gold are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become blocked, their extensions changed, ransom notes appear in every directory containing encoded files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decrypt the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avoid ransomware injection?

Gold ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour your PC from ransomware injection taking three easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown mailboxes with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter carefully. A hoax email will always contain mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often shared as an element of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful armor for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft2

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft3.

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 computer.

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 computer for Gold 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

FAQ

🤔 How can I open “.gold” files?Can I somehow access “.gold” files?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.gold” files are decrypted.

🤔 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. All other solutions require time.

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

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

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete the malware from your system. The ransomware that has infected your system is must be still functional and running scans every so often to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Gold ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your system after some time.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Gold virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to do the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your system. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What could help the situation right now?

Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Web, you can try to do 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 PC, a portable device, mobile, flash memory, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ data recovery utilities4 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you kill the virus with an anti-malware 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 GOLD Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: GOLD Virus

Description: GOLD Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .gold 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. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  3. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  4. Here’s the list of Best 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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