Remove Horse Virus (.[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse Files Ransomware) – Phobos Ransomware

Horse Virus Ransomware

The Horse stands for a ransomware-type infection. The virus comes from the Phobos ransomware family. Horse was elaborated particularly to encrypt all major file types. Once the file is encrypted people are unable to use them. Horse adds the “.[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse” extension for each file encrypted by it. For example, the file “myphoto.jpg“, as soon as encrypted by Horse, will be renamed into “myphoto.jpg.[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse“. As soon as the encryption is finished, Horse places a special text file into every folder containing the encrypted data.

The message given by Horse text file requesting the ransom is definitely the like the statements given by other ransomware virus representatives coming from the Phobos family. It actually discusses that the information is encrypted and that the only way to restore it is to use a a distinct decryption key. Sadly, this is absolutely true. The kind of cryptography mechanism used by Horse is still not correctly examined. Still, it is definitely certain that each victim may be given the specific decryption key, which is totally unique. It is impossible to bring back the files without the key available.

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

Nonetheless, irrespective of the requested quantity, people should stay away from paying the ransom. Cyber frauds are not fair, so they tend to totally disregard what their victims feel about the problem, even when the payment reaches their pockets. This is why paying the ransom generally does not provide any positive outcome and people just waste their money for nothing.

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

Virus Summary

NameHorse Ransomware
File Extension.[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse
TypeRansomware
FamilyPhobos
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 [ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse extension to all the files modified by it.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Similar InfectionsAim, Raga, Eking
Removal Tool   GridinSoft Anti-Malware

Keep in mind that the internet is now overwhelmed with threats that look comparable to Horse ransomware. It is similar Aim and many other ransomware-type threats. Malicious programs of such kind are typically elaborated to encrypt essential data and to state the demand prior to the user to pay the ransom. The peculiarity of all such ransomware threats is that all apply a comparable algorithm to produce the distinct decryption key for data decryption.

Thus, as long as the ransomware is still being developed or has some hidden bugs, by hand recovering the information is simply not feasible. The only method to avoid the loss of your essential files is to regularly create backups of your important information.

Remember 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 Flash Drive 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 along with other files, so it’s definitely not a good storage location.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

There are a number of methods used by online frauds to distribute Horse ransomware. Despite the fact that it is uncertain how precisely Horse injects your PC, there are some leaks through which it may infiltrate the system:

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

Typically Horse ransomware might exist as some genuine software, for example, in the pop-ups advising users to implement some essential software updates. This is the typical trick used by online frauds to persuade people into downloading and installing Horse infection manually, by methods of their direct participation in the installation process.

In addition, the criminals might refer to various email spam methods to inject harmful codes into Windows PC. So, they may refer to 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 video, files, tax reports or invoices.

Needless to mention, opening such files or clicking on such dangerous links may badly damage the PC. Fictitious Adobe Flash Player update alerts may result in Horse ransom injection. As for the cracked applications, these illegally downloaded programs may also contain destructive codes leading to Horse secret installation. Lastly, injection of Horse may take place by means of Trojans that secretly get injected into the system and set up malicious utilities without the user’s approval.

Is there any way to prevent the injection of Horse ransomware?

Although there is no 100% guarantee to prevent your computer from getting infected, there are some pieces of recommendations we want to share with with you. First of all, be very careful when you surf the web and particularly while downloading free apps. Stay away from opening suspicious email attachments, especially when the sender of the email is not familiar to you.

Bear in mind that some freeware installers may contain other unwanted utilities in the bundle, so they may be harmful. Make sure that your current antivirus and your entire operating system is always appropriately updated.

Naturally, downloading pirated software is illegal and may lead to necessary 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 possibly change to another security solution that can render far better services of protecting your system.

Below please find the quotation from the Horse text file:

info.hta:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, install ICQ software on your PC or mobile phone here hxxps://icq.com/windows/
Write to our ICQ @cavallograndecapo hxxps://icq.im/cavallograndecapo
Write this ID in the title of your message -
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click \'Buy bitcoins\', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
=========================================================

info.txt:

All your files have been ENCRYPTED!!!
Install ICQ software on your PC or mobile phone here
hxxps://icq.com/windows/
Write to our ICQ @cavallograndecapo
hxxps://icq.im/cavallograndecapo
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.

Screenshot of files with “.[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse” extension added by the ransomware:
Horse Ransomware - encrypt files with .[ICQ@cavallograndecapo].horse extension

Use GridinSoft Anti-Malware to remove Horse 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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One comment

  1. Hi, you may add to distribution ways other methods…
    We got this on industrial PC’s that never had opened an email client…
    I just start digging but in our case looks more like takeover control of admin account using brute force to scan over firewall

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