Stampado Ransomware

Also Known As: Stampado virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Stampado ransomware removal instructions

What is Stampado?

A ransomware service called Stampado is new malware available on the dark market. This virus is advertised and sold on the 'dark web' - anyone can purchase a lifetime license and proliferate the virus without little effort. After infiltrating computers, Stampado encrypts various files and appends the name of each encrypted file with the .locked extension. Stampado then opens a ransom-demand window.

This opened window contains a message informing users of the encryption. It is stated that to decrypt files, victims must purchase a secret key. Stampado uses an asymmetric (AES-256) encryption algorithm, generating public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys during the locking process. Be aware that the decryption without the private key is impossible, and since it is stored on remote servers, cyber criminals attempt to sell this key to victims. The window contains two timers that signify time remaining until the next deletion of files, and the payment deadline. Stampado deletes random files every six hours - developers call this process "Russian Roulette". Furthermore, victims have only 96 hours to pay the ransom. After this period, the private key is supposedly deleted and decryption becomes impossible. The size of ransom is currently unknown. To receive payment instructions, victims must contact cyber criminals via an email address provided (this address often differs, and users who purchase a license must provide their email address). Victims are also allowed to attach one selected file, which will then be decrypted and returned - this supposedly guarantees that decryption is possible. Be aware, however, that many cyber criminals ignore victims, despite paymentments made. Therefore, never attempt to pay or contact these people - paying will not deliver any positive results and you will lose your money. Unfortunately, there currently are no tools capable of decrypting files compromised by Stampado. The only solution to this problem is to restore your system and/or files from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of Stampado ransomware (,,,,, or to decrypt their compromised data:

stampado ransomware pop-up main

A variant of Stampado ransomware called Zelta, uses email address for communication with victims and .locked extension for encrypted files:

zelta ransomware

This malware shares many similarities with CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, Locky, and many other ransomware-type viruses. Most use asymmetric algorithms to encrypt files. The only noticeable difference between them is the size of ransom. Furthermore, most ransomware is distributed using fake software update tools, malicious files attached to spam emails, peer-to-peer networks, and trojans. The key to computer safety is caution. Keep your installed applications up-to-date and have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed on your computer. Furthermore, never open any files sent from unrecognized/suspicious email addresses and download your desired files/programs from trusted sources (such as official download websites).

Update 23 July, 2016 - Fabian Wosar from Emsisoft have released a decrypter for this ransomware. Using this tool victim’s of this ransomware can regain control of their compromised data for free. Download it HERE.

Update 1 February 2017 - Security researchers from Avast have released a decrypter for Stampado ransomware. You can download it HERE.

stampado ransomware decrypter by avast

Files encrypted by Stampado ransomware (.locked extension):

Stampado encrypting victim's files

Stampado ransomware removal:

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Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Stampado virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Stampado ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Stampado ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Stampado are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Stampado, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encrypting ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Stampado ransomware.)

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Stampado ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Stampado virus QR code
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