Remove Blackheel Virus (.a Files Ransomware) – HiddenTear Ransomware

Blackheel – General Info

The Blackheel mean a ransomware-type infection. The virus comes from the HiddenTear ransomware family. Blackheel was elaborated particularly to encrypt all major file types. When the file is encrypted people are not able to use them. Blackheel adds the “.a” extension for each file encrypted by it. For example, the file “myphoto.jpg“, when encrypted by Blackheel, will be renamed into “myphoto.jpg.a“. As quickly as the encryption is completed, Blackheel places a special text file into every folder containing the encrypted data.

The message given by Blackheel text file requesting for the ransom is absolutely the like the statements given by other ransomware representatives belonging to the HiddenTear type. It literally mentions that the info is encrypted and that the only way to bring back it is to use a an unique decryption key. Sadly, this is absolutely true. The kind of cryptography mechanism used by Blackheel is still not correctly examined. Still, it is definitely certain that each victim might be given the specific decryption key, which is totally distinct. It is difficult to restore the files without the key available.

Another trick of Blackheel is that the victims cannot access to the key. The key is stored on a specific server run by the frauds connected with Blackheel ransomware. To get the key and recover the important info people need to pay the ransom.

Nevertheless, regardless of the requested quantity, people need to stay away from paying the ransom. Cyber frauds are not fair, so they tend to completely disregard what their victims feel about the issue, even when the payment reaches their pockets. This is why paying the ransom generally does not provide any positive outcome and people simply waste their money for nothing.

We strongly advise that you do not contact these crooks and certainly do not transfer money into their accounts. It is said to admit that there are no utilities able to crack Blackheel ransomware and to recover the data data totally free. Hence, the just right decision is to recover the lost information from the available backup.

Virus Summary

NameBlackheel Ransomware
File Extension.a
TypeRansomware
FamilyHiddenTear
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts all the data stored on your system and requires a ransom to be paid on your part supposedly to recover your important files.
SymptomsFile encryption by the ransomware is performed by means of the AES and RSA encryption algorithms. Once the encryption is completed, the ransomware adds its special a extension to all the files modified by it.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Similar InfectionsViper, Fappy, Ugmh
Removal Tool   GridinSoft Anti-Malware

Keep in mind that the web is now overwhelmed with threats that look comparable to Blackheel ransomware. It is similar Viper and many other ransomware-type threats. Malicious programs of such kind are typically elaborated to encrypt crucial information and to state the need before the user to pay the ransom. The peculiarity of all such ransomware threats is that all apply a similar algorithm to create the special decryption key for information decryption.

Hence, as long as the ransomware is still being developed or has some hidden bugs, manually recovering the information is just not feasible. The only way to avoid the loss of your essential information is to routinely create backups of your important information.

Keep in mind that even if you create such backups, they must be put into a special storage utility not connect to your main computer. You may use the USB Memory Stick or external disk drive for this purpose, or refer to the help of the cloud storage. If you store your backup files on your common system they may be encrypted in addition to other files, so it’s absolutely not a good storage location.

How did ransomware infect my system?

There are numerous ways used by online frauds to distribute Blackheel ransomware. Even though it is uncertain how precisely Blackheel injects your system, there are some leaks through which it may penetrate the system:

  • integration with third-party apps, especially freeware;
  • spam e-mails from unknown senders;
  • websites rendering free hosting services;
  • pirated peer-to-peer (P2P) downloads.

Frequently Blackheel virus may exist as some legitimate software application, for instance, in the pop-ups instructing users to execute some crucial software updates. This is the typical trick used by online scams to persuade people into downloading and installing Blackheel infection manually, by ways of their direct participation in the installation process.

Furthermore, the criminals may refer to numerous email spam techniques to inject malicious codes into copmuter. So, they may describe to sending unsolicited spam e-mails with tricky notifications promoting users to download the attachments or click on certain download links, for example, the ones motivating users to open some photos, documents, tax reports or invoices.

Needless to mention, opening such documents or clicking on such dangerous links may seriously harm the PC. Fictitious Adobe Flash Player update notifies may result in Blackheel virus injection. When it comes to the cracked software, these illegally downloaded programs may also include destructive codes resulting in Blackheel secret installation. Finally, injection of Blackheel may happen by ways of Trojans that privately get injected into the system and install harmful utilities without the user’s authorization.

Is there any way to prevent the injection of Blackheel ransom virus?

Even though there is no 100% guarantee to avoid your computer from getting infected, there are some pieces of suggestions we want to share with with you. First off, be extremely careful when you surf the web and especially while downloading totally free apps. Stay away from opening suspicious email attachments, especially when the sender of the email is not familiar to you.

Remember that some freeware installers may contain other unwanted utilities in the bundle, so they may be destructive. Make certain that your current anti-virus and your entire operating system is always duly updated.

Of course, downloading pirated software is illegal and may result in essential damage to be made for your system. Hence, stay away from downloading cracked software. You are also strongly advised to reconsider your existing security software and potentially change to another security solution that can render better services of protecting your computer.

Below please find the quotation from the Blackheel text file:

All your data is backed up
You must pay 0.2 BTC to 19xxGz9WDmacNZ9P83v6QMmMgbCQxC1gnR 168 hours for recover it.
After 168 hours expiration we will leaked and exposed all your data.
In case of refusal to pay, we will contact the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR and notify them that you store user data in an open form and is not safe.
Under the rules of the law, you face a heavy fine or arrest and your base dump will be dropped from our server! You can buy bitcoin here,
does not take much time to buy hxxps://localbitcoins.com with this guide
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins
After paying write to me in the mail with your SERVER IP: blackheel@protonmail.com and you will receive a link to download your Decryption tool and key

Screenshot of files with “.a” extension added by the ransomware:
Blackheel Ransomware - encrypt files with .a extension

Use GridinSoft Anti-Malware to remove Blackheel ransomware from your computer

1.Download GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

  GridinSoft Anti-Malware

2. Double-click on the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-ag.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware
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

3. Press Install button for run GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

3.Once installed, GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware  Start

4. Wait for the GridinSoft Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for Win Speedup 2018 and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so we suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan

5. Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has completed, 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

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About Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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