Malware may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. This may require tracking down dozens of files in different locations.
We recommend downloading Advanced System Repair to eradicate Malware for you (it should cut down the time to about 15 minutes).
What is Gotcha ransomware? And how does it execute its attack?
Gotcha ransomware is a new data-encrypting malware that was released by at large by an unknown hacking group. Based on the analysis of this ransomware, it is not related to any well-known ransomware group. It uses a combination of the AES and RSA encryption algorithms in encrypting the files in an infected computer. It also marks the encrypted file with the “.gotcha” extension.
As soon as it infiltrates a targeted machine, Gotcha ransomware will drop its malicious payload that will establish a connection to a remote server where it downloads its other components. These components will be used to execute two modules, namely the information gathering and stealth protection modules. The first module is used to obtain information from the system. The collected data is then used for the stealth protection module which avoids detection from any security programs like Firewall or antivirus program as well as sandbox environment and virtual hosts. It also modifies some entries in the Windows Registry, allowing it to run its attack automatically in every system boot. Once the system modifications are all applied, it scans the computer for files with the following extensions:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .xqx, .zip
It then applies both the AES 256 and RSA 2048 in encrypting its targeted files. Following data encryption, it appends the “.gotcha” extension to every affected file and drops a text file named “!GOTCHA!.txt” which contains the following content:
“!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We gotcha files encrypted using encryption AES256-bit and RSA2048-bit. It is impossible to use private key. If you are interested in getting your files, contact immidiately!
Send your email to:
[redacted 16 uppercase AZ]
IMPORTANT: INCLUDE YOUR ID IN BODY OR SUBJECT FOR FAST REPLY!
– Team GOTCHA!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!= IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
How does is the malicious payload of Gotcha ransomware distributed?
The malicious payload of Gotcha ransomware may spread online using the most common distribution method used by ransomware developers which is malicious spam email campaigns. Crooks usually attach an infected file with malicious scripts used to launch the crypto-malware in the computer. Thus, you need to be extra careful in opening emails and downloading attachments as it could contain the malicious payload of dangerous ransomware threats like Gotcha ransomware.
Obliterate Gotcha ransomware from your computer with the help of the removal guide laid out below.
Step 1: First, tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys in your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
Step 2: Under the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and look for any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Gotcha ransomware.
Step 3: After that, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Next, tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.
Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Gotcha ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Next, close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for Gotcha ransomware’s malicious components such as “!GOTCHA!.txt” and “[random].exe” as well as other dubious files and then delete all of them.
Step 8: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use Advanced System Repair, this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.
Step 9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 10: Navigate to the following path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Gotcha ransomware.
Step 12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Gotcha ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
Complete the removal process of Gotcha ransomware by using a trusted and reliable program like Advanced System Repair. Refer to the following guidelines on how to use it.
Perform a full system scan using asr. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, https://www.fixmypcfree.com/download.php?asr in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run asr to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.