If your documents, pictures, or files are encrypted with a [email@example.com].phoenix extension, then your computer is infected with the Phobos ransomware.
Phobos is a file-encrypting ransomware, which encrypts the personal documents found on victim’s computer, then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment in Bitcoin is made. The instructions are placed on the victims desktop in the phobos pop-up window or the info.txt and info.hta files.
There is no decryption tool available for the [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware. However, you can try to search these sites for updates:
This guide was written to help you remove the infection itself from your computer, and if a 100% proven method to recover the encrypted files is found we will update this guide.
We cannot help you recover your files and we can only recommend that you use ShadowExplorer or free file recovery software to restore your documents.
- 1. How did the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware get on my computer?
- 2. What is [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware?
- 3. Is my computer infected with [email@example.com].phoenix extension?
- 4. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted by [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware?
- 5. How to remove the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware (Virus Removal Guide)
- 6. How to prevent your computer from becoming infected by [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware
1. How did the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware get on my computer?
The [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware is distributed via spam email containing infected attachments or by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system and installed software.
Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware.
This ransomware was also observed attacking victims by hacking open Remote Desktop Services (RDP) ports. The attackers scan for the systems running RDP (TCP port 3389), and then attempt to brute force the password for the systems.
2. What is [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware?
- Ransomware family: Phobos Ransomware
- Extensions: [email@example.com].phoenix
- Ransom note: info.txt and info.hta
- Ransom: From $500 to $1500 (in Bitcoins)
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
This Phobos ransomware variant restricts access to data by encrypting files with the [email@example.com].phoenix extension. It then attempts to extort money from victims by asking for “ransom”, in form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency, in exchange for access to data.
This ransomware targets all versions of Windows including Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. When this ransomware is first installed on a computer it will create a random named executable in the %AppData% or %LocalAppData% folder. This executable will be launched and begin to scan all the drive letters on your computer for data files to encrypt.
Phobos ransomware searches for files with certain file extensions to encrypt. The files it encrypts include important productivity documents and files such as .doc, .docx, .xls, .pdf, among others. When these files are detected, this infection will change the extension to [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix, so they are no longer able to be opened.
Phobos ransomware changes the name of each encrypted file to the following format: [email@example.com].phoenix.
Files targeted are those commonly found on most PCs today; a list of file extensions for targeted files include:
.sql, .mp4, .7z, .rar, .m4a, .wma, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .t13, .t12, .qdf, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .bc7, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvpl, .hplg, .hkdb, .mdbackup, .syncdb, .gho, .cas, .svg, .map, .wmo, .itm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqge, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .hkx, .bar, .upk, .das, .iwi, .litemod, .asset, .forge, .ltx, .bsa, .apk, .re4, .sav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .dbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt
Once your files are encrypted with the [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix extension, the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware will create the info.txt and info.hta ransom notes in each folder that a file has been encrypted and on the Windows desktop.
When the infection has finished scanning your computer it will also delete all of the Shadow Volume Copies that are on the affected computer. It does this so that you cannot use the shadow volume copies to restore your encrypted files.
3. Is my computer infected with [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix Ransomware?
When Phobos ransomware infects your computer it will scan all the drive letters for targeted file types, encrypt them, and then append the [email@example.com].phoenix extension to them. Once these files are encrypted, they will no longer able to be opened by your normal programs. When this ransomware has finished encrypting the victim’s files, it will create a Phobos pop-up ransom note, the info.txt and info.hta files which include instructions how to recover the files.
This is the message that the Phobos pop-up window will display:
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, write us to the email firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this email: email@example.com
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of firstname.lastname@example.org
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 decryption 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 10Mb (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.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Jabber client installation instructions:
Download the jabber (Pidgin) client from https://pidgin.im/download/windows/
After installation, the Pidgin client will prompt you to create a new account.
In the “Protocol” field, select XMPP
In “Username” – come up with any name
In the field “domain” – enter any jabber-server, there are a lot of them, for example – exploit.im
Create a password
At the bottom, put a tick “Create account”
If you selected “domain” – exploit.im, then a new window should appear in which you will need to re-enter your data:
You will need to follow the link to the captcha (there you will see the characters that you need to enter in the field below)
If you don’t understand our Pidgin client installation instructions, you can find many installation tutorials on youtube – https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pidgin+jabber+install
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.
!!! All of your files are encrypted !!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: email@example.com.
If we don’t answer in 48h., send email to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of email@example.com
4. Is it possible to decrypt files encrypted with the [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware?
No. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to recover the files encrypted by this ransomware because the private key which is needed to unlock the encrypted files is only available through the cyber criminals.
Do not pay any money to recover your files. Even if you were to pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will regain access to your files.
If you’ve already paid the ransom, immediately contact your bank and your local authorities. If you paid with a credit card, your bank may be able to block the transaction and return your money.
You can also contact the following government fraud and scam reporting websites:
- In the United States, go to the On Guard Online website.
- In Australia, go to the SCAMwatch website.
- In Canada, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- In France, go to the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information
- In Germany, go to the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik website.
- In Ireland, go to the An Garda Síochána website.
- In New Zealand, go to the Consumer Affairs Scams website.
- In the United Kingdom, go to the Action Fraud website.
If your country or region isn’t listed here, we recommend that you contact your country or region’s federal police or communications authority.
5. How to remove the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware (Virus Removal Guide)
It’s important to understand that by starting the removal process you risk losing your files, as we cannot guarantee that you will be able to recover them. Malwarebytes and HitmanPro can detect and remove this infection, however these programs cannot recover your documents, pictures, or files. Your files may be permanently compromised when trying to remove this infection or trying to recover the encrypted documents. We cannot be held responsible for losing your files or documents during this removal process.
STEP 1: Use Malwarebytes to remove [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware
Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the mb3-setup-consumer-x.x.x.xxxx.exe file to install Malwarebytes on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process. To install Malwarebytes on your PC, click on the “Agree and Install” button.
Click on “Scan Now”.
Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for adware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine Selected”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
Reboot your computer.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 2: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to the their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30 day trial to enable the clean up.
You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts.
When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
Click on “Activate free license”.
Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 3: Restore the files encrypted by [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware with recovery software
Option 1: Restore your files encrypted by [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware with ShadowExplorer
[email@example.com].phoenix will attempt to delete all shadow copies when you first start any executable on your computer after becoming infected. Thankfully, the infection is not always able to remove the shadow copies, so you should continue to try restoring your files using this method.
- You can download ShadowExplorer from the below link:
SHADOW EXPLORER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “ShadowExplorer”)
- Once you have downloaded and installed ShadowExplorer, you can follow the below video guide on how to restore your files while using this program.
Option 2: Restore your files encrypted with the [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix extension with File Recovery Software
When the files are encrypted with the [email@example.com].phoenix, this ransomware first makes a copy of them, encrypts the copy, and then deletes the original. Due to this you can use file recovery software such as:
You can follow the below guide on how to use Recuva:
- EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free
How to prevent your computer from becoming infected by [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware
To protect your computer from the [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware, you should always have an antivirus installed on your computer and always have a backup for your personal documents. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert which will prevent any file encrypting malware from running.
Your computer should now be free of the [firstname.lastname@example.org].phoenix ransomware infection. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove [email@example.com].phoenix ransomware from your computer, please do one of the following: