OMFL ransomware extorts victims after encrypting their files
- OMFL ransomware extorts victims after encrypting their files
- Contents of _readme.txt explained
- Ways to prevent crypto-virus infections
- Guide to OMFL ransomware virus removal
- Decrypt OMFL files
- Frequently Asked Questions
OMFL ransomware is a malicious computer virus, recognized as the 272nd version of STOP/DJVU. This ransomware scans all computer folders and encrypts personal files stored in them, then appends .omfl extension to their original names. Finally, the virus creates _readme.txt ransom notes that explain file recovery procedure. The note suggests that the only way to decrypt .omfl files is contacting the criminals and paying ransom to them. In other words, the developers of this ransomware convert victim’s personal files into unreadable format to keep them hostage until a ransom is paid. The virus specifies the ransom price – it ranges from $490 to $980. The attackers ask to receive in in cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin). For further information, they leave two email addresses for victim to contact them – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This ransomware-type malware mainly infects computers disguised as a software crack. Short summary of damage that OMFL virus causes on the system:
- Deletes Volume Shadow Copies to make victim’s attempts to recover data for free impossible.
- Adds a list of domains to Windows HOSTS file to block access to certain computer-related websites.
- Installs password-stealing Trojan on the system, named AZORULT.
- Begins encrypting all data stored on the computer.
Before the data encryption itself, OMFL virus first connects to its Command&Control server to request a new encryption key (also called “the online key”). This key is RSA public key used to encrypt files on a computer. To decrypt them, private decryption key is needed.
Sometimes failure to connect to the C&C server happens. In such situation, the virus is set to use a hardcoded-offline encryption key that is included in the malicious code itself. That said, the same offline key is used for all victims on whose computers the connection to C&C failed. In simple terms, this gives hope to restore files someday. To learn more about this, please read our STOP/DJVU decryption/repair article.
The aim of this virus’ creators is to take control of victim’s files, preventing any access to them for the victim. The cybercriminals know that computer users keep valuable information, such as family memories, schoolwork or work documents and projects on their home computers often, and seek to force these users to pay a ransom for fast .omfl file decryption.
Contents of _readme.txt explained
In _readme.txt notes, OMFL file virus developers provide details regarding the decryption software pricing. They rush the victim to contact them, because if the ransom-payment conditions will be met in 3 days, the decryption tools will cost $490. In case of delay, the price rises to $980. The payment procedure involves purchasing cryptocurrency worth the specified sum. The note also suggests including one encrypted file to the email for test decryption. The criminals offer to decrypt it for free.
Ransomware attack is a catastrophe for those who do not have any data backups. More than that, the ransom price demanded by the criminals is simply hefty. We do not recommend paying the ransom under any circumstances. There are more than enough reasons not to:
- Criminals might forget you after receiving money.
- Even if you receive a decryption tool, it can be faulty and only repair part of your files.
- Do not support cybercrime industry by transferring your hard-earned money to criminals.
- This virus installed password-stealer on your computer to grab your saved login details. That said, even if you pay up, stolen details can be used for evil operations, such as attempts to scam you or phish money from you.
You have been infected with one of the most widespread ransomware-type viruses that originate from STOP/DJVU family. We do not recommend paying the ransom. There are many tools you can use to repair part of virus damage. You can find a list of them below the article.
OMFL ransomware virus is a close copy of other STOP/DJVU variants, such as BOOA, IGDM, NOBU, or EPOR. Viruses from this malware group generally fall into two categories: old (decryptable) and new (hard to decrypt). The virus that infected your computer belongs to the second category.
Victims infected with this ransomware are advised to scan with RESTORO software to remove BOOA ransomware virus damage on the Windows OS.
After removing the virus, change passwords for logins saved in your browsers. This ransomware tends to install AZORULT malware on the system.
|ame||OMFL ransomware virus|
|Type||Ransomware; Crypto-virus; File locker|
|Other versions||EPOR, WEUI, LISP, SGLH, IGDM, BOOA|
|Criminal firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
|Decryption tools||Try to decrypt .omfl files using Emsisoft decryptor for STOP/DJV. Alternatively, try repairing them using Media_Repair tool. For full recovery, data backups are needed.|
|Distribution||Copyright-protected peer-to-peer downloads (torrents), infectious web domains, malspam (infected attachments and phishing links)|
|Removal||Remove this ransomware and additional malware using robust anti-malware tools. For virus damage repair, scan with RESTORO.|
Scan your system for FREE to detect security, hardware and stability issues. You can use the scan results and try to remove threats manually, or you can choose to get the full version of software to fix detected issues and repair virus damage to Windows OS system files automatically. Includes Avira spyware/malware detection & removal engine.
Ways to prevent crypto-virus infections
OMFL ransomware distribution is based on torrent files that are often downloaded via various peer-to-peer download agents, such as uTorrent. To be specific, the criminals create fake software cracks or keygen files, or simply name the malicious executable as one. Then they upload such files to shady torrent websites.
Victims choose to download these files themselves by trying to bypass paying for legitimate software licenses. Many victims reported installing this ransomware via Adobe Photoshop cracks or KMSPico. Needless to say, you should refrain from downloading illegal software copies as this can clearly lead to much bigger financial and non-financial losses.
Ransomware operators also like to distribute these viruses via email spam campaigns. To spread these viruses, criminals hide the malicious payloads in a form of email attachments or attach as link. To hide a suspicious link, the attackers often use link shortening services.
In these pandemic times, criminals leverage the fact that many people shop online. That said, the scams are frequently based on parcel delivery theme. Do not rush to open a parcel tracking email from DPD, DHL, UPS or another parcel delivery company, because this might be a scam. Look for suspicious details, such as email address mistakes, typo or grammar failures, and logos. If anything looks a bit off, contact the parcel delivery company via phone.
We provide several simple tips to avoid getting infected with crypto-malware or any kinds of virus in general.
- Refrain from participating in peer-to-peer file sharing scheme. This involves accessing or distributing various torrent downloads. This infringes copyrights of software developers and increases risks of being infected with various malware.
- Stay away from suspicious emails. Remember that email links or attachments that you weren’t waiting for can hide a malicious file or a convincing phishing page behind them.
- Create data backups regularly. Remember – this is only useful if you store them on external storage device, for example, a high-capacity hard drive.
Guide to OMFL ransomware virus removal
Remove OMFL ransomware virus from your computer to avoid further damage. We strongly recommend reading professional instructions prepared by our team. In addition, you can try the recommended software for virus damage repair.
Once OMFL ransomware removal is complete, scroll down to the file decryption tutorial. These are confirmed and currently known tools used to restore files encrypted by various STOP/DJVU versions. If you get a response that you were affected with offline key, you might need to keep checking back for updates every few months to see if decryption key is available.We also recommend reporting Internet crime incident via provided authority pages below.
OUR GEEKS RECOMMEND
Our team recommends a two-step rescue plan to remove ransomware and other remaining malware from your computer, plus repair caused virus damage to the system:
OMFL ransomware Removal Guidelines
Method 1. Enter Safe Mode with Networking
Step 1. Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking
Before you try to remove OMFL ransomware virus, you must start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. Below, we provide the easiest ways to boot PC in the said mode, but you can find additional ones in this in-depth tutorial on our website – How to Start Windows in Safe Mode. Also, if you prefer a video version of the tutorial, check our guide How to Start Windows in Safe Mode on Youtube.
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- First of all, turn off your PC. Then press the Power button to start it again and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. This launches the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Use arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate down to Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Open Windows Start menu, then press down the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then select Restart option.
- This will take you to Windows Troubleshoot screen. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. Tip: If you can't find Startup Settings, click See more recovery options.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Networking. In this case, it is the F5 key.
Step 2. Remove files associated with the virus
Now, you can search for and remove OMFL ransomware files. It is very hard to identify files and registry keys that belong to the ransomware virus, Besides, malware creators tend to rename and change them repeatedly. Therefore, the easiest way to uninstall such type of a computer virus is to use a reliable security program such as INTEGO Antivirus. For virus damage repair, consider using RESTORO.
Compatibility: Microsoft Windows
See Full Review
RESTORO is a unique PC Repair Tool which comes with an in-built Avira scan engine to detect and remove spyware/malware threats and uses a patented technology to repair virus damage. The software can repair damaged, missing or malfunctioning Windows OS files, corrupted DLLs, and more. The free version offers a scan that detects issues. To fix them, license key for the full software version must be purchased.
Method 2. Use System Restore
In order to use System Restore, you must have a system restore point, created either manually or automatically.
Step 1. Boot Windows in Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Instructions for Windows XP/Vista/7 users
- Shut down your PC. Start it again by pressing the Power button and instantly start pressing F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly in 1-second intervals. You will see Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Using arrow keys on the keyboard, navigate down to Safe Mode with Command Prompt option and press Enter.
Instructions for Windows 8/8.1/10/11 users
- Launch Windows Start menu, then click the Power button. On your keyboard, press down and hold the Shift key, and then choose Restart option with the mouse cursor.
- In Startup Settings, press the right key between F1-F9 to enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt. In this case, press F6 key.
Step 2. Start System Restore process
- Wait until system loads and command prompt shows up.
- Type cd restore and press Enter, then type rstrui.exe and press Enter. Or you can just type %systemroot%system32restorerstrui.exe in command prompt and hit Enter.
- This launches System Restore window. Click Next and then choose a System Restore point created in the past. Choose one that was created before ransomware infection.
- Click Yes to begin the system restoration process.
After restoring the system, we recommend scanning the system with antivirus or anti-malware software. In most cases, there won't be any malware remains, but it never hurts to double-check. In addition, we highly recommend checking ransomware prevention guidelines provided by our experts in order to protect your PC against similar viruses in the future.
Alternative software recommendations
Removing spyware and malware is one step towards cybersecurity. To protect yourself against ever-evolving threats, we strongly recommend purchasing a Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which provides security based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Includes ransomware protection. See pricing options and protect yourself now.
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Decrypt OMFL files
Fix and open large OMFL files easily:
It is reported that STOP/DJVU ransomware versions encrypt only the beginning 150 KB of each file to ensure that the virus manages to affect all files on the system. In some cases, the malicious program might skip some files at all. That said, we recommend testing this method on several big (>1GB) files first.
- Create a copy of encrypted file to a separate folder using Copy > Paste commands.
- Now, right-click the created copy and choose Rename. Select the OMFL extension and delete it. Press Enter to save changes.
- In the prompt asking whether you want to make the changes as file might become unusable, click OK.
- Try opening the file.
STOP/DJVU decryption tool usage guide
STOP/DJVU ransomware versions are grouped into old and new variants. OMFL ransomware is considered the new STOP/DJVU variant, just like FATP, FATE, TCBU, POZQ, ZATP, ZATE (find full list here). This means full data decryption is now possible only if you have been affected by offline encryption key. To decrypt your files, you will have to download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP DJVU, a tool created and maintained by a genius security researcher Michael Gillespie.
Note! Please do not spam the security researcher with questions whether he can recover your files encrypted with online key - it is not possible.
In order to test the tool and see if it can decrypt OMFL files, follow the given tutorial.
- Download the decryption tool from Emsisoft.
- Click the little arrow next to your download and choose Show in Folder.
- Now, right-click the file and choose Run as Administrator. If asked, enter administrator's password.
- In UAC window, click Yes.
- Click Yes to agree to software terms in both windows.
- The tool will automatically include C:// disk as a location to decrypt. The file recovery tool will prepopulate the locations to scan, including connected data storage drives or network drives. Click Add folder if you wish to add additional locations.
In Options tab, you can choose to keep encrypted file copies. We recommend leaving this option selected, especially if you do not know if the decryption tool will work.
- Click Decrypt to start restoring OMFL files. You will see the progress in the Results tab. Here, you can see messages from the tool, such as whether the decryption procedure is successful, or you need to wait for an update.
You might also be informed that online key was used to encrypt your files. In such case, the decryption tool won't work for you, and the only way to recover your files is to use a data backup.
Meanings of decryptor's messages
The OMFL decryption tool might display several different messages after failed attempt to restore your files. You might receive one of the following messages:
Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID: [example ID]
This message typically means that there is no corresponding decryption key in the decryptor's database.
No key for New Variant online ID: [example ID]
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
This message informs that your files were encrypted with online key, meaning no one else has the same encryption/decryption key pair, therefore data recovery without paying the criminals is impossible.
Result: No key for new variant offline ID: [example ID]
This ID appears to be an offline ID. Decryption may be possible in the future.
If you were informed that an offline key was used, but files could not be restored, it means that the offline decryption key isn't available yet. However, receiving this message is extremely good news, meaning that it might be possible to restore your OMFL extension files in the future. It can take a few months until the decryption key gets found and uploaded to the decryptor. We recommend you to follow updates regarding the decryptable DJVU versions here. We strongly recommend backing up your encrypted data and waiting.
Report Internet crime to legal departments
Victims of OMFL ransomware should report the Internet crime incident to the official government fraud and scam website according to their country:
- In the United States, go to the On Guard Online website.
- In Australia, go to the SCAMwatch website.
- 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.
- In Canada, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- In India, go to Indian National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
- In France, go to the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information.
If you can't find an authority corresponding to your location on this list, we recommend using any search engine to look up "[your country name] report cyber crime". This should lead you to the right authority website. We also recommend staying away from third-party crime report services that are often paid. It costs nothing to report Internet crime to official authorities.
Another recommendation is to contact your country's or region’s federal police or communications authority.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can only open OMFL files if you have the decryption key, or if you were affected by offline encryption type.
To figure out whether you were affected by offline encryption, please go to C:/SystemID/PersonalID.txt and see if the string inside of it ends in t1. You can also try using Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP/DJVU.
Please follow the guidances provided by the official OMFL decryption tools and believe what they say. If they say it is impossible to decrypt, it really is so. There is no magic tool or human capable of decrypting your files hiding somewhere. Encryption is a technique created to be nearly impossible to decrypt without a special private key (held by the criminals).
We advise scanning with anti-virus, anti-malware, malware removal tools or software like RESTORO to eliminate virus damage on the system. If you do not trust using a single tool, try running one after another. However, we do not recommend keeping several security programs on a computer at once as they can interfere with each other's work.
Beware of fake OMFL decryption tools circulating around the web. Cyber criminals are uploading them to various shady websites, also might be promoting them via suspicious Youtube videos. These programs can infect your computer even more heavily (Trojans, miners, etc.). We suggest being extremely cautious around the web. If there will be an official STOP/DJVU decryption tool available, it will be widely discussed in public media.
Norbert Webb is the head of Geek’s Advice team. He is the chief editor of the website who controls the quality of content published. The man also loves reading cybersecurity news, testing new software and sharing his insights on them. Norbert says that following his passion for information technology was one of the best decisions he has ever made. “I don’t feel like working while I’m doing something I love.” However, the geek has other interests, such as snowboarding and traveling.