Malware analyst Tomas Meskauskas was the person who originally described the Venom virus, which falls under the Zeppelin ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, text files, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, leaving the ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED.txt files in each folder with the encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
Subscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.
Venom virus: what is known so far?
☝️ A scientifically correct designation for the Venom would be “a Zeppelin family ransomware malicious agent”.
The renaming will be executed according to this pattern: venom. As a part of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be altered to “report.docx.venom.676-8D9-8E6”.
In every directory that contains the encrypted files, a ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED.txt file will be found. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting email@example.com through email. That is pretty much the scheme of the malefaction.
|Ransomware family1||Zeppelin ransomware|
|Ransomware note||ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED.txt|
|Detection2||MSIL/Spy.Agent.DSV, TrojanSpy:Win32/Delgent, Trojan.Ransom.Magniber|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .venom extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Venom virus|
The ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED.txt file coming in package with the Venom malware states the following:
ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED ***All your data has been compromised. Documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted. ***You cannot decipher them yourself! The only method for recovering files is by purchasing a unique private key. Only we can provide you with this key and only we can restore your files. ***The decryption key fee is charged only in bitcoins, we CAN assist in buying bitcoins by giving instructions on how and where to buy. ***In case of non-payment, all data will be put up for auction on the darknet. Beware of data leaks. ***To make sure we have a decryptor and it works, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and decrypt one not important file for free, DO NOT send files containing databases, any XLS / XML documents for the test. ***Beware of dishonest middlemen. as well as buying a decryption key through intermediaries increases the final cost of the key. ***Do you really want to restore your files? Write to email: email@example.com Your personal ID:- Attention! * 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.
In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Venom looks like. Each filename has the “.venom” extension appended to it.
How did my computer get infected with Venom ransomware?
There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.
Nowadays, there are three most popular ways for tamperers to have the Venom virus planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer networks.
If you open your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a malicious file enclosed in them. So it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse model3. A Trojan is an object that gets into your machine disguised as something legal. For example, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that corrupts your data. Since the installation package can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software developers’ 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 guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.
How do I get rid of the Venom virus?
It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the Venom virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.
Often tamperers would decrypt few of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Venom virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software developers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon arrive.
Sure thing, if the malefactors do the job of encrypting someone’s essential files, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After receiving the money, the racketeers may deliver the wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports of ransomware developers just disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.
The optimal countermeasure to 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 drive. Surely, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.
Venom 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 Wdlo, Bpqd, Kxde, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Venom are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: documents become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in every directory containing encoded files.
Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware specialists. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decoding code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.
How сan I avert ransomware attack?
Venom ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.
You can protect your system from its injection in several easy steps:
- Ignore any letters 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?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, check all elements of the suspicious letter carefully. A hoax letter will surely contain mistakes.
- Do not use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to distinguish from reliable ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try to find information about this software product 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 program will be a perfect shield for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.
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.
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 computer for Venom 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 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.
🤔 Are the “.venom” files accessible?
Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.venom” files first. Then you will be able to open 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. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.
🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Venom virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?
Of course not. Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real threats. The ransomware that has infected your PC is probably still functional and it scans your system periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Venom ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your computer in the future.
🤔 What should I do if the Venom ransomware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.
In such a case, you need to have a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or imported into your PC. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 And what should I do now?
Many of the blocked files might still be at your disposal
- If you sent or received your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
- You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply 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 media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
- Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a portable device, phone, memory stick, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware arrests 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 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;
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.
I need your help to share this article.
It is your turn to help other people. I have written this article to help people like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.Brendan Smith
How to Remove VENOM Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: VENOM Virus
Description: VENOM Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .venom 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.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
- Here are the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.