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

Written by Brendan Smith
The Saturn virus falls under the ransomware type of infection. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, documents, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its own extension to every file, creating the #DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.txt files in every folder which contains the encrypted files.
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What is Saturn virus?

☝️ A strictly correct description for the Saturn is “a ransomware infection”.

Saturn appends its own .saturn extension to the name of each encoded file. For instance, a file named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.saturn”. Just like the Excel file named “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.saturn”, and so forth.

In every folder that contains the encrypted files, a #DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.txt text file will be found. It is a ransom money note. It contains information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to buy the decryption tool from the racketeers. That is how they do it.

Saturn summary:
NameSaturn Virus
Extension.saturn
Ransomware note#DECRYPT_MY_FILES#.txt
Detection1Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5, Trojan:Win32/SmokeLoader.PA!MTB, Ransom.BlackCat
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .saturn extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Saturn virus

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

Saturn Virus - encrypted .saturn files

An example of encrypted .saturn files.

How did my computer get infected with Saturn ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most exploited methods for evil-doers to have the Saturn virus planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you open your inbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a ransomware item attached to them. Therefore, it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your PC disguised as something different. For instance, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some software. But what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that encodes your data. As the update file can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The best thing is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the threat 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. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How do I get rid of the Saturn virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your data, the Saturn virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware3 can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often racketeers would decode some of your files so you know that they indeed have the decryption tool. Since Saturn virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures engineers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware instruments are frequently upgraded, so the solution may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the evildoers succeed in encoding victim’s critical files, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about ransomware developers simply vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud storage or at least on an external drive. Surely, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that file 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 antivirus program after the OS restoration.

Saturn 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 Fatp, Powd, Bowd, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Saturn are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in every folder containing encoded files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding code to the victims in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware infiltration?

Saturn ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can armour your PC from its injection taking several easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown mailers with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious letter carefully. A hoax email will surely contain mistakes.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often spreaded as a part of cracked software, most likely under the guise of β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from reliable software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information about this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a powerful armor for your PC.
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.

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 β€œYes” 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 Saturn 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 β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

Frequently Asked Questions

πŸ€” How can I open “.saturn” files?Is it possible to openβ€œ.saturn” files?

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

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

It’s good if you have fΠ°r-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. 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. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

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

Absolutely not! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with active threats. The ransomware that has attacked your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Saturn virus 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.

πŸ€” What to do if the Saturn malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

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

πŸ€” And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted files can be found elsewhere.

  • 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 give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it 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 portable device, mobile, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use data recovery utilities6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the ransomware itself 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 SATURN Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SATURN Virus

Description: SATURN Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .saturn extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. Encyclopedia of threats.
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. 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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