There are several different ransomware infections which append a random 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 character extension
to the end of all affected filenames (i.e. CTB-Locker, Crypt0L0cker, Maktub Locker, Alma Locker, Princess Locker, Locked-In, Mischa, Goldeneye, Cerber v4x/v5x and some Xorist variants).
Any files that are encrypted with Cerber v4x/v5x
will be renamed (encrypted) with 10 random characters followed by a random 4 character
hexadecimal extension appended to the end of the encrypted data filename (i.e. 1xQHJgozZM.b71c
) and leave files (ransom notes) named README.hta, README.html, _HEJDDP_README_.hta, _HELP_HELP_HELP_<random hexadecimal>.hta (i.e _5M6C2B8.hta) as explained here
. Any files that are encrypted with Cerber v5x
will also include a few new changes as explained here
The best way to identify the different ransomwares that use "random character extensions" is the ransom note (including it's name), samples of the encrypted files, the malware file itself or at least information related to the email address used by the cyber-criminals to request payment.
You can submit samples of encrypted files and ransom notes to ID Ransomware
for assistance with identification
. This is a service that helps identify what ransomware may have encrypted your files and then attempts to direct you to an appropriate support topic where you can seek further assistance. Uploading both
encrypted files and ransom notes together provides a more positive match and helps to avoid false detections.