Ransom.MegaCortex is a detection by Symantec and Norton antivirus application for a virus called MegaCortex Ransomware. This threat primarily targets business networks and connected workstations. Ransom.MegaCortex infects the entire network by exploiting Windows domain controllers to spread the ransomware virus. It is also observed that this ransomware uses a combination of Emotet and Qakbot Trojan to gain access on targeted computer system.
Ransom.MegaCortex spreads over the internet via spam email campaign that exploits Windows vulnerabilities. Victims typically execute the virus once they open malicious file attachment that pretends to be from a legitimate contact.
Once execute on the computer, Ransom.MegaCortex will drop the following files on local hard drive:
Then, it will encrypt files on the infected computer and appends the filename with .aes128ctr string, rendering it useless. Ransom.MegaCortex demands monetary payment in order for users to regain access on infected files.
Ransom.MegaCortex will display a ransom note containing procedures on how victims can proceed with the file decryption. Here are the excerpts from !!!READ_ME!!!.txt file.
Your companies cyber defense systems have been weighed, measures and have been found wanting. The breach is a result of grave neglect of security protocols.
All of your computers have been corrupted with MegaCortex malware that has encrypted your files.
Ransom.MegaCortex Decryption Tool
As of this time, there is no available tool that can restore files infected with Ransom.MegaCortex (.aes128ctr). We will update this section as soon as the decryption tool is on hand.
How can you remove Ransom.MegaCortex?
To totally remove Ransom.MegaCortex from the computer and get rid of relevant viruses, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scan the system with suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.
Execute the steps in exact order to ensure complete removal of Ransom.MegaCortex. If you have locally installed anti-virus, you can also scan the computer with it. Just make sure to update first the security program to obtain the most recent database. In that way, the security application can properly identify all malicious files and objects that are infected with Ransom.MegaCortex.
Instant Remover : Get rid of Ransom.MegaCortex using Anti-malware Tool
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the link below. Save the file on your hard drive.
2. Once the download completes, double-click on the file MBSetup.exe to run the program.
3. Select desired installation package whether for Personal Computer or Work Computer.
4. On next window, click Install button to proceed.
5. Just proceed with the succeeding prompts until it start to execute the installation procedure.
6. Installation process will take less than a minute. It should run automatically after completing the setup.
7. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware interface appears, please select Scan on the menu. The program will check for any available update before proceeding. Do not skip this step. Virus scan may take a while, please wait for the process to finish.
8. When scanning is done, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will display the list of identified threats. Remove all and restart the computer to finalized the scan process.
Infection of ransom virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that runs each time Windows starts. To prevent the malicious files from loading, Windows operating system must run with minimal process and it can be done through SafeMode With Networking.
If there is still sign of infection, you may proceed to a more complex removal guide below. Be sure to follow the steps in exact order to completely eliminate the threat.
Stage 1 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking
Windows 8 Guide
1. Click Windows Start icon at the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup and then, click on Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings and then, click Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows 10 Guide
1. Click on Windows logo and select Power icon when options pop-ups.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear, select the Troubleshoot button.
4. On next window, please choose Advanced Option.
5. On Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings and then, click Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boot on Startup Settings, press function key F5 or number 5 on keyboard.
Stage 2 :Scan with Norton Power Eraser
1. Download Norton Power Eraser from the link below. Save the file on your hard drive.
2. Once the download completes, double-click on the file NPE.EXE to run the program.
3. You will be prompted with End User License Agreement. Please click on Accept to continue.
4. Norton Power Eraser will check for the most recent version. Then, the main window will appear. Click on Scan for Risks to the scan and removal process for Ransom.MegaCortex.
5. By default, Norton Power Eraser was configured to perform rootkit scan. This is essential to get rid of Ransom.MegaCortex or other relevant malware. To accomplish this, you will need to restart the computer. Please click Restart button.
6. After restarting Windows, the program will check for possible database update and then, proceeds with the scan. It may take a while, please wait for the scan process to complete.
7. Once scanning is done, Norton Power Eraser will display a list of threats including Ransom.MegaCortex. Review identified threats and remove/repair them from the PC by clicking on Fix Now button.
8. If you are prompted to restart the computer in order to complete the virus removal process, please click on Restart Now.
Stage 3 :Run Sophos Virus Remover to ensure that no more Ransom.MegaCortex is left on the PC
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file to your Desktop so that we can access the file easily.
2. After downloading, navigate to the file location and double-click it. This will start the instllation procedure. User Account Control will prompt if you want to run the program, click Yes to continue.
3. On initial launch of the program, it will display a Welcome Screen as shown in the image below. Click Next to start the installation procedure.
4. Next, you need to accept the license agreement before Sophos Virus Removal Tool can be installed onto the computer. Choose 'I accept the terms in the license agreement'. Then, click Next button.
5. On the next prompts, please click appropriate button to proceed. At the end of the installation process, it will display InstallShield Wizard Completed. Just leave the Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool with a check mark. Then, click Finish.
6. The tool will download necessary updates so Internet connection is required at this point. Lastly, Sophos Virus Removal Tool displays the welcome screen.
7. Click on Start Scanning button to begin checking the system for presence of rootkit and virus. The tool reveals items that were found linked to Ransom.MegaCortex. It also detects and removes other malicious files.