SEX3 Virus (.SEX3 File) — How to Remove SATANA Ransomware?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Sex3 virus falls under the SATANA ransomware family. A harmful program of this type encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, leaving the !satana!.txt files in each directory which contains the encrypted files.
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Sex3 virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically correct denomination for the Sex3 would be “a SATANA family ransomware-type infection”.

Sex3 adds its specific .SEX3 extension to every file’s title. For instance, an image entitled “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.SEX3”. Likewise, the Excel sheet named “table.xlsx” will end up as “table.xlsx.SEX3”, and so on.

In every directory containing the encoded files, a !satana!.txt text document will be created. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this decrypting software after contacting geraashurakovv@mail.ru through email. That is it.

Sex3 overview:
NameSex3 Virus
Ransomware family1SATANA ransomware
Extension.SEX3
Ransomware note!satana!.txt
Contactgeraashurakovv@mail.ru
Detection2Crytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .SEX3 extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Sex3 virus

The !satana!.txt file coming in package with the Sex3 ransomware states the following:

The harddisks of your computer have been encrypted with an military grade encryption algorithm. There is no way to restore your data without a special key. You can purchase this key on the darknet page
E-mail: geraashurakovv@mail.ru - this is our mail
CODE: 14B4030A8A7F8B8D7B1101720567C27E this is code; you must send
BTC: 17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV  here need to pay 0,5 bitcoins
continue the normal download on your computer. Good luck! May God help you!

In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Sex3 looks like. Each filename has the “.SEX3” extension appended to it.

Sex3 Virus - encrypted .SEX3 files

An example of encrypted .SEX3 files.

How did Sex3 ransomware end up on my PC?

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

There are currently three most popular methods for hackers to have ransomware acting in your system. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services providers, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, beware of opening those emails. They are most 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 virus scheme3. A Trojan is an object that gets into your PC pretending to be something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful program that corrupts your data. Since the update package can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use 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 Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Sex3 virus?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your data, the Sex3 virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often criminals would decode some of your files so you know that they do have the decryption program. Since Sex3 virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decoding tools are frequently updated, so the solution may soon be available.

Understandably, if the evildoers do the job of encoding victim’s essential data, the desperate person will probably fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still risky. After obtaining the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about criminals simply vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal 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 storage. Surely, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.

Sex3 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 Zatp, Bowd, Tcvp, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Sex3 are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky users were able to decrypt the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decryption key to the victims in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How сan I avert ransomware infiltration?

Sex3 ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can protect your PC from its injection within several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailers with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email carefully. A hoax letter will surely contain mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as an element of cracked software, most likely under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But untrusted programs are difficult to distinguish from reliable software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful defense 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.

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 system for Sex3 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

FAQ

🤔 How can I open “.SEX3” files?Is it possible to open“.SEX3” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.SEX3” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Sex3 malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will remove actual threats from your computer. The virus that has attacked your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system every so often to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been mentioned above, the Sex3 malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your computer after some time.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Sex3 ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or imported into your computer. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What could help the situation right now?

Some of the blocked data can be found elsewhere.

  • If you sent or received your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You may 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 downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, phone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the ransomware itself 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 SEX3 Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SEX3 Virus

Description: SEX3 Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .SEX3 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. 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 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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