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Royal ransomware is a cyber threat that mainly targets critical infrastructure enterprises, such as healthcare, transportation, and the financial sector. It encrypts and steals the data and then demands payment in a tact known as double extortion. If the organization doesn’t pay, they leak the stolen data into a dark web website.
It was first seen in 2022 and has been attacking organizations, including healthcare, since September 2022. In November 2022, Royal overtook LockBit as the most prolific ransomware operation.
Royal ransomware is very dangerous and can damage your business reputation and even make you lose clients. Learning how it works and how you can prevent it will ensure your business’s cyber security and avoid downtime due to the cyberattack.
What kind of malware is Royal?
Royal is ransomware, which is a type of malware that encrypts and locks the victims’ files and then requests a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Royal attacks all business sizes, however, small businesses are their main target.
It will enter the system via system vulnerabilities and look for shadow copy backup and then delete it. This process is silent, which makes the detection delay. After that, Royal ransomware will spread through the network fast, making it nearly impossible to stop.
Royal ransomware overview
- Royal virus
- Crypto Virus
- Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension
Ransom Demanding Message
Is There a Free Decryptor Available?
- No, there’s no public decryption key for the Royal ransomware
- Avast Win32:Trojan-gen
- Emsisoft Gen:Variant.Ransom.Royal.6 (B)
- Kaspersky HEUR:Trojan.Win32.DelShad.gen
- Microsoft Ransom:Win32/Royal.A!dha
- Can’t open files stored on the computer
- Ransom demand letter on the desktop
- Files have a new extension (e.g. filename1.royal)
Ransomware family, type & variant
- Royal is a variant that first used Zeon as a loader and then started to use its own custom-made file encryption program.
- Phishing calls
- Infected email attachments (phishing emails)
- Unsecured Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
- Pirated (cracked) software
- Files are encrypted and locked until the ransom payment
- Data leak
- Disable antivirus software
- Antivirus and anti-malware
- Updated software
- Updated operating system (OS)
- Don’t open an email attachment from an unknown source
- Do not download files from suspicious websites
- Don’t click on ads unless you’re sure it’s safe
- Only access websites from trustworthy sources
Royal ransomware malicious domains
How did Royal infect your computer
The primary method Royal uses to infect networks and computers is by tricking users into calling numbers on letters that pose as legit communications from other companies.
Then the criminals convince users into installing remote access software on their computers. After that, the threat actors (hackers) can not only encrypt the data but steal it as well.
Pirated software is also another way Royal actors use to install their encryption tools.
Royal encryption and ransom note
The Royal ransom note on the desktop alerts them about the data leak if the victims don’t pay their demand and set how they should contact the cybercriminals.
If you are reading this, it means that your system were hit by Royal ransomware.
Please contact us via:
In the meantime, let us explain this case.It may seem complicated, but it is not!
Most likely what happened was that you decided to save some money on your security infrastructure.
Alas, as a result your critical data was not only encrypted but also copied from your systems on a secure server.
From there it can be published online.Then anyone on the internet from darknet criminals, ACLU journalists, Chinese government(different names for the same thing), and even your employees will be able to see your internal documentation: personal data, HR reviews, internal lawsuitsand complains, financial reports, accounting, intelectual property, and more!
Fortunately we got you covered!
Royal offers you a unique deal.For a modest royalty(got it; got it ? ) for our pentesting services we will not only provide you with an amazing risk mitigation service,
covering you from reputational, legal, financial, regulatory, and insurance risks, but will also provide you with a security review for your systems.
To put it simply, your files will be decrypted, your data restoredand kept confidential, and your systems will remain secure.
Try Royal today and enter the new era of data security!
We are looking to hearing from you soon!
How does Royal work
After convincing the victim to click the infected link or download the malicious attachment, Royal will follow some steps to encrypt and leak the data.
1. Initial Access
Royal ransomware tricks victims into clicking or downloading malicious files sent communications that seem legit to enter business networks. That’s because phishing is the main method of Royal attacks.
Phishing calls, where they convince the victim to download remote access, are the attack method Royal actors most use.
But other vulnerabilities, such as open RDP, are also used to access the network.
2. Command and Control
As soon as the Royal gets itself inside the network, they communicate with command and control (C2) infrastructure and download multiple tools to encrypt and steal the victim’s data.
3. Lateral Movement
Royal operators use RDP to move laterally across the network. It also deactivated antivirus protocols.
Royal actors exfiltrate data from victim networks using tools like Cobalt Strike and Ursnif/Gozi and a U.S. IP address.
Before encrypting data, Royal operators will delete shadow copies from the Windows Volume Shadow Copy service to prevent system recovery. After that, files from every folder will be encrypted by Royal ransomware.
Prevent Royal ransomware attacks
To prevent Royal ransomware attacks it’s important to understand cybersecurity and train your employees on security protocols and best practices.
1. Segment networks
Network segmentation can help prevent the ransomware from spreading through lateral movement.
2. Use strong passwords and apply multi-factor authentication
Make sure each account has a unique password randomly generated with numbers, letters, and special characters.
Adding multi-factor authentication will also prevent unauthorized access to your network.
3. Erase outdated and unused user accounts
Accounts from former employees can become vulnerabilities that allow external access.
4. Keep software updated
Software updates, especially operating systems (OS), add new security patches that will help block external and unauthorized access.
5. Schedule regular backups
Backups are the most secure and efficient way to recover data in case of incidents like ransomware.
Make sure to have at least one backup off-site and offline to prevent cyber threats.
6. Use a cybersecurity solution
Implement cybersecurity solutions to secure doors, close vulnerabilities, and train employees in cybersecurity best practices.
7. Have a recovery plan in hand
Data recovery plans are documents that work as guides on what to do in case of a disaster. This can help you restore your business faster and more securely.
See how to create a data recovery plan with our in-depth guide.
How to handle the Royal ransomware attack
The first step to recover from the Royal 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 local FBI field office and the Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3).
To report a ransomware attack you must gather every information you can about it, including:
- Screenshots of the ransom note
- Communications with Royal actors (if you have them)
- Sample of an encrypted file
You must not delete the ransomware, and keep every evidence of the attack. That’s important for digital forensics so experts can trace back to the hacker group and identify them. Is using the data on your infected system so that authorities can investigate the attack and find the responsible. A cyber attack investigation is not different from any other criminal investigation: it needs evidence to find the attackers.
After isolating the device and contacting authorities, you must follow the next steps to retrieve your data:
1. Contact your Incident Response Retainer
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 in the event of 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. The specific nature and structure of an incident response retainer 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.
2. Identify the ransomware infection
You can check which ransomware infected your machine by the file extension (some ransomware uses the file extension as their name), or it will be on the ransom note. With this information, you can look for a public decryption key. However, Royal doesn’t have it yet.
3. Remove the ransomware and eliminate exploit kits
Before recovering your data, you must guarantee that your device is ransomware-free and that the attackers can’t make a new attack through exploit kits or other vulnerabilities. A ransomware removal service can delete the ransomware, create a forensics document for investigation, eliminate vulnerabilities, and recover your data.
4. Use a backup to restore the data
Backups are the most efficient way to recover data. Make sure to keep daily or weekly backups, depending on your data usage.
5. Contact a ransomware recovery service
If you don’t have a backup or need help removing the ransomware and eliminating vulnerabilities, you should contact a data recovery service.
DO NOT PAY THE RANSOM. There’s no guarantee hackers will deliver the decryptor as you pay the ransom and you may end up financing terrorist groups. Contact responsible authorities (in the US it will be the FBI) and then work on ransomware data recovery.
SalvageData experts can safely restore your files and guarantee Royal ransomware does not attack your network again. Contact our experts 24/7 for emergency recovery service or find a recovery center near you.