Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
Spora ransomware removal instructions
What is Spora?
One of the main advantages of Spora to the developers is the ability to work offline (without an Internet connection). As mentioned above, the files are encrypted using RSA (an asymmetric encryption algorithm) and, thus, public (encryption) and private (decryption) keys are generated during the encryption process. Decryption without the private key is impossible. In addition, the private key is also encrypted using AES cryptography, making the situation even worse. As well as encrypting files, Spora disables Windows Startup Repair, deletes shadow volume copies, and changes BootStatusPolicy. The HTML file contains a ransom-demand message in Russian, which details the encryption and encourages victims to follow instructions provided on Spora's website. To restore files, victims must supposedly pay a ransom. The size of ransom depends on each individual situation and the victim's requirements. Full decryption (including immunity, removal and file restore) is approximately equivalent to between $79 and $280, however, victims may choose to only to restore files, remove them, or to receive immunity. In these cases, the price is reduced. Victims are also permitted to decrypt two files free of charge. The ransom must be paid in Bitcoins and victims have a limited amount of time (a deadline is given on Spora's website) to make payment, otherwise the decryption keys are permanently deleted. Spora's website is advanced as compared to other viruses of the same type. It provides each victim with an account containing a Bitcoin wallet. It also has features for decryption, transactions, contacting developers, etc. At time of writing, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Sporransomware. Therefore, the only solution is to restore your files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that have similar characteristics to Spora. Examples include CTB-Locker, Cerber, Locky, and many others. All encrypt files and makes ransom demands. There are just two major differences between ransomware-type viruses: 1) cost of decryption (which usually fluctuates between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins), and; 2) type of encryption algorithm (symmetric/asymmetric) used. Ransomware-type viruses are often distributed via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (for example, torrents, eMule, etc.), third party download sources (freeware download and free file hosting websites, ftp, etc.), infectious files attached to spam emails, fake software update tools, and trojans. Therefore, be cautious when downloading files/applications from unofficial sources and when opening files received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses. In addition, use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and keep your installed applications up-to-date. Cyber criminals are capable of exploiting software bugs/flaws to infect the system and, therefore, software should never be updated via third party tools. The key to computer safety is caution.
We also recommend you to read Emsisoft's article about Spora ransomware.
Ransom-demand message presented within Spora HTML file:
Все Ваши рабочие и личные файлы были зашифрованы
Для восстановления информации, получения гарантий и поддержки,
следуйте инструкции в личном кабинете.
1. Только мы можем восстановить Ваши файлы.
Ваши файлы были модифицированы при помощи алгоритма RSA-1024. Обратный процесс восстановления называется дешифрование. Для этого необходим Ваш уникальный ключ. Подобрать или "взломать" его невозможно.
2. Не обращайтесь к посредникам!
Все ключи восстановления хранятся только у нас, соответственно, если Вам кто-либо предложит восстановить информацию, в лучшем случае, он сперва купит ключ у нас, затем Вам продаст его с наценкой.
Если Вы не смогли найти Ваш ключ синхронизации
Screenshots of Spora ransomware website:
Text presented at the foot of Spora website Bitcoin wallet:
Letter of Guarantee
-----START SIGNING BITCOIN ADDRESS-----
-----END SIGNING BITCOIN ADDRESS-----
-----START LETTER OF GUARANTEE-----
We hereby confirm that we generated the address 1Gz5ocfBJkyBFaxPs16SNYHKXd2Ujb5fv9 in order to transfer all incoming amount to account ID: 2B5ABB84C2B8CC
This service will be only available for all bitcoins received within 30 days starting from January 11, 2017, 11:18 MSK with minimum amount of 0.0001 BTC.
This letter is digitally signed by our main account: 1SporaxoosUPYPEizY46t8yquLfzyABRm
-----END LETTER OF GUARANTEE-----
-----START DIGITAL SIGNATURE-----
-----END DIGITAL SIGNATURE-----
This is how the Spora ransomware website appears:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Spora ransomware (no extension):
File types targeted by Spora ransomware:
.xls, .doc, .xlsx, .docx, .rtf, .odt, .pdf, .psd, .dwg, .cdr, .cd, .mdb, .1cd, .dbf, .sqlite, .accdb, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .zip, .rar, .7z, .backup
Spora ransomware removal:
Quick menu: Quick solution to remove Spora virus
- What is Spora?
- STEP 1. Spora virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Spora ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Spora 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 Spora ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Spora 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 Spora 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.
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 protect your computer from file encryption 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 Spora ransomware.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 Spora ransomware: