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Elbie is a type of file-encrypting ransomware that renames files by appending the victim’s ID, email address, and the “.Elbie” extension to their filenames. Elbie belongs to the Phobos family of ransomware, similar to the 8base ransomware.
SalvageData experts recommend proactive data security measures, such as regular backups, strong cybersecurity practices, and keeping software up to date, to protect against malware attacks. And, in case of a malware attack, contact our malware recovery experts immediately.
What kind of threat is Elbie?
Elbie is ransomware, which is a type of malware that encrypts files, making them inaccessible to victims until they decrypt them with a decryption key provided by the criminals after the ransom demands payment.
The Elbie ransomware was first reported on May 24, 2023, by Cisco Talos, and the gang has financial motivations. Its origin is still unknown at the time of the publication of this article. One of the dangers of the Elbie ransomware is that it attacks computer users and organizations alike, not having a primary target, making everyone online a potential victim.
Everything we know about Elbie ransomware
- Elbie virus
- Crypto virus
- Files locker
- Avast Win32:Phobos-D [Ransom]
- AVG Win32:Phobos-D [Ransom]
- Emsisoft Trojan.Ransom.PHU (B)
- Kaspersky HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Generic
- Malwarebytes Generic.Malware.AI.DDS
- McAfee Ransom-Phobos!9E79576CBD90
- Microsoft Ransom:Win32/Phobos.PM
- Social engineering
- Exploit Kits
- Pirated Software
- All files are encrypted
- Open door for new infections
- Data leakage
Elbie Ransomware methods of infection and execution
The ransomware is distributed through various methods, including phishing emails, drive-by downloads, software cracking tools/installers for cracked software, and fake installers. Since the gang does not choose their victims, individual users who download pirated software are at as much risk of infecting their computers with Elbie ransomware as small and medium-sized businesses.
Elbie ransomware uses a payload to run the malicious script that installs the file virus. A payload is malicious software designed to execute unauthorized actions on a target system. Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system and communicates with a remote server to generate a unique key for the specific computer.
Elbie ransomware then encrypts files on the victim’s computer using AES-256 combined with RSA-1024 Asymmetric Encryption as an encryption method. After that, the ransomware appends the victim’s ID, email address, and the “.Elbie” extension to their filenames (FILENAME.id[12 alpha-numeric].[[email protected]].Elbie).
The ransomware then generates two ransom notes: “info.hta” and “info.txt” which inform victims that all their files are encrypted and cannot be decrypted without a tool that can be provided only by the attackers.
Do not pay the ransom! Contacting a ransomware recovery service can not only restore your files but also remove any potential threat.
Elbie ransomware Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)
Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) are artifacts observed on a network or in an operating system that indicate a computer intrusion with high confidence. IOCs can be used for early detection of future attack attempts using intrusion detection systems and antivirus software.
They are essentially digital versions of evidence left at a crime scene, and potential IOCs include unusual network traffic, privileged user logins from foreign countries, strange DNS requests, system file changes, and more. When an IOC is detected, security teams evaluate possible threats or validate its authenticity. IOCs also provide evidence of what an attacker had access to if they did infiltrate the network.
These are some IOCs associated with the Elbie ransomware:
- File name: ieinstal.exe
- Ransom note file names: info.hta, info.txt
- File extension: .Elbie
- Email addresses: [email protected], [email protected]
Elbie ransom note
The two ransom notes Elbie drops have different content. The “info.hta” has more details on what happened, while the “info.txt” only gives the contact information.
Sample of Elbie’s “info.hta” ransom note:
Sample of Elbie’s “info.txt” ransom note:
How to handle an Elbie ransomware attack
The first step to recovering from an Elbie ransomware attack is to isolate the infected computer by disconnecting it from the internet and removing any connected device. Then, you must contact local authorities. In the case of US residents and businesses, it is the FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3).
To report a malware attack you must gather every information you can about it, including:
- Screenshots of the ransom note
- Communications with threat actors (if you have them)
- A sample of an encrypted file
However, if you prefer to contact professionals, then it’s best to leave every infected machine the way it is and ask for an emergency ransomware removal service. These professionals are equipped to quickly mitigate the damage, gather evidence, potentially reverse the encryption, and restore the system.
Restarting or shutting down the system may compromise the recovery service. Capturing the RAM of a live system may help get the encryption key, and catching a dropper file, i.e. file executing the malicious payload, might be reverse-engineered and lead to decryption of the data or understanding how it operates.
You must not delete the ransomware, and keep every evidence of the attack. That’s important for digital forensics experts to trace back to the hacker group and identify them. It is by using the data on your infected system that authorities can investigate the attack. A cyber attack investigation is not different from any other criminal investigation: it needs evidence to find the attackers.
1. Contact your Incident Response provider
A cyber Incident Response is the process of responding to and managing a cybersecurity incident. An Incident Response Retainer is a service agreement with a cybersecurity provider that allows organizations to get external help with cybersecurity incidents. It provides organizations with a structured form of expertise and support through a security partner, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively during a cyber incident.
An incident response retainer offers peace of mind to organizations, offering expert support before and in the aftermath of a cybersecurity incident. An incident response retainer’s specific nature and structure will vary according to the provider and the organization’s requirements. A good incident response retainer should be robust but flexible, providing proven services to enhance an organization’s long-term security posture.
If you contact your IR service provider, they can take over immediately and guide you through every step in the ransomware recovery. However, if you decide to remove the malware yourself and recover the files with your IT team, then you can follow the next steps.
2. Identify the malware infection
Identify if it’s the Elbie ransomware that has infected your machine by the file extension (for example: “Filename.Elbie”) or check if it’s named in the ransom note’s contents. You can also use a ransomware ID tool, all you need is to input some information about the attack. With this information, you can look for a public decryption key.
3. Use a backup to restore the data
The importance of backup for data recovery cannot be overstated, especially in the context of various potential risks and threats to data integrity.
Backups are a critical component of a comprehensive data protection strategy. They provide a means to recover from a variety of threats, ensuring the continuity of operations and preserving valuable information. In the face of ransomware attacks, where malicious software encrypts your data and demands payment for its release, having a backup allows you to restore your information without succumbing to the attacker’s demands.
Make sure to regularly test and update your backup procedures to enhance their effectiveness in safeguarding against potential data loss scenarios. There are several ways to make a backup, so you must choose the right backup medium and have at least one copy of your data stored offsite and offline.
4. Contact a malware recovery service
If you don’t have a backup or need help removing the malware and eliminating vulnerabilities, contact a data recovery service. Paying the ransom does not guarantee your data will be returned to you. The only guaranteed way you can restore every file is if you have a backup. If you don’t, ransomware data recovery services can help you decrypt and recover the files.
SalvageData experts can safely restore your files and prevent Elbie ransomware from attacking your network again, contact our recovery experts 24/7.
Prevent the Elbie ransomware attack
Preventing malware is the best solution for data security. is easier and cheaper than recovering from them. Elbie ransomware can cost your business’s future and even close its doors.
These are a few tips to ensure you can avoid malware attacks:
- Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. This can help prevent vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.
- Use strong and unique passwords for all accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This can help prevent attackers from gaining access to your accounts.
- Be cautious of suspicious emails, links, and attachments. Do not open emails or click on links or attachments from unknown or suspicious sources.
- Use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software and keep it up-to-date. This can help detect and remove malware before it can cause damage.
- Use a firewall to block unauthorized access to your network and systems.
- Network segmentation to divide a larger network into smaller sub-networks with limited interconnectivity between them. It restricts attacker lateral movement and prevents unauthorized users from accessing the organization’s intellectual property and data.
- Limit user privileges to prevent attackers from gaining access to sensitive data and systems.
- Educate employees and staff on how to recognize and avoid phishing emails and other social engineering attacks.