More information is needed. Are there any obvious file extensions appended
to or with your encrypted data files (i.e. several random hexadecimal characters, words or email addresses)? If so, what is the extension and is it the same for each encrypted file or is it different?
Did you find any ransom notes
and if so, what is the actual name of the note? These infections are created to alert victims that their data has been encrypted and demand a ransom payment. Check your documents folder (C:\ProgramData, C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data) for an image the malware typically uses for the background note or a randomly named .html, .txt, .png, .bmp, .url
file. Most ransomware will also drop a ransom note in every directory/affected folder where data has been encrypted.
Did the cyber-criminals provide an email address to send payment to? If so, what is the email address?
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.
If there are no obvious extensions appended to your file names, no ransom notes, no demands of payment and your data is not actually encrypted, then you most likely are dealing with fake ransomware
, a fake web page in your browser
, some version of a Tech Support Scam
or something else.
If you are dealing with actual ransomware, 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.