SDK Virus 🔐 (.SDK Files) Ransomware — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Sdk virus belongs to the Phobos ransomware family. Malware of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (photos, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file.
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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 Sdk virus?

☝️ A strictly correct designation for the SDK would be “a Phobos family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed according to the following pattern: .id[XXXXXXXX-XXXX].[sdk@africamail.com].SDK. As a part of the encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be altered to “report.docx.id[1ECD060E-A4F0].[sdk@africamail.com].SDK”.

The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the ransomware developers. You can obtain this decrypting software after contacting sdk@africamail.com, sdk@arcticmail.com through email. That is pretty much the scheme of the malefaction.

Sdk summary:
NameSdk Virus
Ransomware family1Phobos ransomware
Extension.SDK
Contactsdk@africamail.com, sdk@arcticmail.com
DetectionTrojan:Win32/Smokeloader.GHN!MTB, Trojan:Win32/RedLine.LD!MTB, Ransom:MSIL/TankixCrypt.PA!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .SDK extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Sdk virus

The note accompanying the Sdk ransomware states the following:

All your files have been encrypted!

All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail sdk@africamail.com
Write this ID in the title of your message -
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:sdk@arcticmail.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.

Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)

How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click \'Buy bitcoins\', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/

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 picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Sdk looks like. Each filename has the “.SDK” extension appended to it.

Sdk Virus - encrypted .SDK files

That is how encrypted “.SDK” files look.

How did Sdk ransomware end up on my PC?

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

There are currently three most popular ways for evil-doers to have the Sdk virus working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer file transfer.

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

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme. A Trojan is an object that gets into your computer pretending to be something different. For example, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some software. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful program that encrypts your data. Since the installation package can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The best way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer file transfer protocols like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. 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 objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of the Sdk virus?

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

Sometimes tamperers would unblock some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption tool. Since Sdk virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon arrive.

Sure thing, if the malefactors do the job of encoding someone’s critical data, the desperate person will probably comply with their demands. However, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports of ransomware developers just vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The best solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be not enough. The most important thing could be that one you were working upon when it all started. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system restoration.

Sdk 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 Nifr, Niwm, Tyos, and some others. The two main differences between them and the Sdk are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become blocked, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decrypt the arrested files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But naturally, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infection?

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

You can protect your system from ransomware infiltration within three easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email carefully. A fake email will surely contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or unknown software. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. But dubious programs are difficult to distinguish from trustworthy ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. Try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution 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 perfect shield for your PC.
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 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 Sdk 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 “.SDK” files?

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

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.SDK” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the “.SDK” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. 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.

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

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your computer off the actual threats. The ransomware that has infiltrated your device is probably still active and it scans your system periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the initial attack. As it has been said above, the Sdk virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Sdk malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare 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 encrypts any new files created or imported into your computer. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Some of the blocked data 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 images or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, cellphone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ file recovery programs4 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you can do it only after you remove the virus with an antivirus 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 SDK Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SDK Virus

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