S4B Virus πŸ” (.S4B Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith

The S4b virus falls under the Phobos ransomware family. Malware of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (images, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, leaving the info.txt files in every folder with the encrypted files.

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S4b virus: what is known so far?

☝️ S4b is a Phobos family ransomware malicious agent.

The renaming will be done by this scheme: id[xxxxx].[contact-email].s4b. In the process of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be altered to “report.docx.id[9ECFA84E-3449].[[email protected]].s4b”.

In each folder containing the encoded files, a info.txt file will be found. It is a ransom money note. It contains information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the S4b developers. You can get this decoding tool after contacting [email protected] via email. That is it.

S4b Overview:

Name S4b Virus
Ransomware family1 Phobos ransomware
Extension .s4b
Ransomware note info.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection Win32/Injector.CNJW Virus Removal, Win32/Patched.IP Virus Removal, Worm:Win32/Duptwux.A Virus Removal
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .s4b extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by S4b virus

The info.txt file coming in package with the S4b ransomware provides the following discouraging information:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: [email protected].
If we don\'t answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: [email protected] 

In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the S4b looks like. Each filename has the “.s4b” extension appended to it.

S4b Virus - encrypted .s4b files

That is how encrypted “.s4b” files look.

How did my machine catch S4b ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most popular ways for tamperers to have the S4b virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer file transfer.

  • If you access your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a harmful item enclosed in them. So it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
  • Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus model. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your PC disguised as something legal. For instance, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some software. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the update wizard can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.
  • As for the peer-to-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. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of ransomware?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your files, the S4b virus will most likely install Vidar Stealer on your PC to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Remove S4b with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove S4b as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for S4b Ransomware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The S4b was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The S4b has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “S4b” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching S4b Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching S4b Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing S4b and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Sometimes racketeers would decode several of your files to prove that they do have the decryption tool. As S4b virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures engineers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the criminals succeed in encoding someone’s critical files, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying to racketeers does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of malefactors simply vanishing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The best safety measure against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud storage or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be insufficient. Your most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system restoration.

S4b 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, Magaskosh, Nworansom, Rzew, and some others. The two main differences between them and the S4b are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: documents become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in each directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decode the arrested files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But naturally, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infiltration?

S4b ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour yourself from its infiltration within three easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable letter carefully. A hoax letter will surely have a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or unknown software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of β€œpatch” preventing the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to tell from reliable software, because trojans may also have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information on 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, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect defense for your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

πŸ€” Can I somehow access “.s4b” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.s4b” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

πŸ€” What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. The rest of the methods require patience.

πŸ€” Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the S4b virus?

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

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with actual threats. The malware that has infiltrated your PC is must be still active and launching checks periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has already been said, the S4b virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your system after some time.

πŸ€” What should I do if the S4b virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your system. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” What can I do right now?

Many of the encrypted files might still be at your disposal

  • If you sent or received your critical files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, cellphone, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery utilities2 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the virus with an antivirus program.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove S4B Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: S4B Virus

Description: S4B Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .s4b 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. 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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