INFO Ransomware (.INFO File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Info virus belongs under the Dharma ransomware family. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (images, text files, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, leaving the FILES ENCRYPTED.txt files in every folder which contains 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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What is known about the Infovirus?

☝️ A strictly correct designation for the Info is “a Dharma family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed by the following scheme: id-xxxxx.[contact_email].info. As a part of encryption, a file named, for instance, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[infobase@onionmail.com].info”.

In each directory containing the encoded files, a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt text file will be found. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the Info developers. You can obtain this decrypting software after contacting infobase@onionmail.com through email. That is it.

Info overview:
NameInfo Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.info
Ransomware noteFILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contactinfobase@onionmail.com
Detection2Win32/RiskWare.PEMalform.B, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.PBX!MTB, MSIL/Kryptik.AEXH
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .info extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Info virus

The FILES ENCRYPTED.txt document accompanying the Info malware provides the following frustrating information:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email infobase@onionmail.com or infobase@msgsafe.io

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

Info Virus - encrypted .info files

That is how encrypted “.info” files look.

How did my machine catch Info ransomware?

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

Nowadays, there are three most exploited methods for tamperers to have the Info virus settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a malicious file enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan file scheme3. A Trojan is a program that gets into your machine disguised as something else. For example, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some program. However, what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the 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 websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Info virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Info virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware4 can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often tamperers would unblock some of your files so you know that they do have the decryption program. As Info virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the hackers do the job of encrypting victim’s critical data, the hopeless person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about racketeers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The best safety measure 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 disk. Of course, that might be not enough. The most important thing could be that file you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system restoration.

Info is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Bbyy, Nnuz, Bbzz, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Info are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become inaccessible, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in every directory containing encoded files.

Some fortunate users were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware specialists. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware injection?

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

You can protect your computer from ransomware injection within several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious letter carefully. A hoax email will always have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. But potentially dangerous programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also 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 objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful shield 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 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 PC for Info 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 “.info” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.info” 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 “.info” 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.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Info virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with active viruses. The virus that has attacked your system is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Info ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your system after some time.

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

In such a case, 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 starts automatically as the system launches and encodes any new files created or brought into your computer. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run automatically. 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 at your disposal

  • If you exchanged your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, mobile, flash memory, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery utilities7 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the video below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you can do it only after you eradicate 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 INFO Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: INFO Virus

Description: INFO Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .info 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. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  7. Here’s the list of the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

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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