SURT Virus (.SURT Files of Ransomware) — How to remove virus?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Surt virus falls under the ransomware type of malicious agent. A harmful program of this type encrypts all user’s data on the computer (photos, documents, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, leaving the SURTR_README.txt text files in every folder with the encrypted files.
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What is known about the Surt virus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate designation for the Surt is “a ransomware-type malicious agent”.

The pattern of renaming is the following: [DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.SURT”.

In each directory containing the encoded files, a SURTR_README.txt notebook document will appear. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting decryptmydata@mailfence.com, decrypter@msgsafe.io by email. That is how they do it.

Surt overview:
NameSurt Virus
Extension.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT
Ransomware noteSURTR_README.txt
Contactdecryptmydata@mailfence.com, decrypter@msgsafe.io
Detection1VBS/Kryptik.OW, Spyware.Agent.MSIL, Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.PV!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Surt virus

The SURTR_README.txt file coming in package with the Surt malware provides the following discouraging information:

What happened to your files?
Unfortunately, your server was compromised,
using a security hole in your server.
All your files are encrypted with a military algorithm .
in order to contact us you can email this address

DecryptMyData@mailfence.com

use this ID( 0uUO3jsQBIbkZu ) for the title of your email.

if you weren\'t able to contact us within 24 hours please email :

Decrypter@msgsafe.io

Only we can decrypt your files.
Please do not contact separate fraudulent sites.
You can use freeand even paid software on the Internet,
but it is uselessand will cause you to lose filesand timeand money.

In the screenshot below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Surt looks like. Each filename has the “.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT” extension added to it.

Surt Virus - encrypted .[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT files

That is how encrypted “.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Surt ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware injection.

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

If you open your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a ransomware item attached to them. Thus it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is an object that gets into your PC pretending to be something else. For instance, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful agent that corrupts your data. As the installation file can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the Surt virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Surt virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes racketeers would decode some of your files to prove that they really have the decryption tool. As Surt virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the hackers succeed in encoding victim’s critical files, the hopeless person will probably fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about hackers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The best solution 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 drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. The most crucial thing could be that file you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.

Surt 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, Rigj, Mljx, Mljx, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Surt are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some lucky users were able to decrypt the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the hackers mistakenly send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware infiltration?

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

You can defend yourself from its injection in several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailers 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?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the suspicious email with caution. A fake letter will always contain mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often distributed as an element of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, untrusted programs are difficult to tell from reliable ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try to find information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, 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 software will be a perfect defense for your personal computer.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

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 system.

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 Surt 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

🤔 Can I somehow access “.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT” files?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT” files ASAP. How can I do that?

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. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

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

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

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual viruses. The virus that has attacked your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Surt ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your system in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Surt virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation code.

If that happened, you need to have a memory stick 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 encrypts any new files created or imported into your PC. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the encoded files might still be within your reach

  • If you sent or received your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. 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 to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files as well.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, phone, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can employ data recovery utilities5 to get your lost data back since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you can do it only after you kill the ransomware itself with an anti-malware 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 SURT Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SURT Virus

Description: SURT Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .[DecryptMyData@mailfence.com].SURT 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. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
  5. 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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