Wcry ransomware removal instructions
What is Wcry?
Wcry (also known as WannaCry, Wana Decrypt0r 2.0, WanaDecryptor or WNCRY virus) is a ransomware-type virus discovered by security reasearcher S!Ri. Once infiltrated, Wcry encrypts files using AES-128 cryptography. During encryption, this malware appends filenames with the ".wcry" extension (for example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.wcry"). Updated variants of this ransomware use .wncry extension for encrypted files (encrypted .bmp files receive .WNCRYT extension). Following successful encryption, Wcry opens a pop-up window with a ransom-demand message.
The message states that files are encrypted and can only be restored using a unique key. AES is a symmetric encryption algorithm and, therefore, a unique key is generated during encryption. This key is used to encrypt and decrypt files, and restoring files without it is impossible. Unfortunately, the key is stored on a remote server controlled by Wcry's developers. Victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of .1 Bitcoin (approximately, $100) to receive it within a given time frame (specified in the pop-up window), otherwise the cost doubles. Despite these demands, cyber criminals should never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims once the ransom is paid. Therefore, if you pay, you will probably be scammed. Never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Wcry. This problem can only be solved by restoring files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a pop-up message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses similar to Wcry. Examples include Serpent, Digisom, JobCrypter, Zyka, and many others. As with Wcry, these viruses encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only major differences are size of ransom and cost of decryption. The distribution methods are also identical. Cyber criminals proliferate ransomware by employing trojans, fake software update tools, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (torrents, eMule, etc.), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.), and spam emails (malicious attachments). Therefore, keep your installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. In addition, never download software from unofficial sources or open files received from suspicious emails. Poor knowledge and careless behavior is often the reason for computer infections. The key to computer safety is caution.
Update 19 May, 2017 - Security researcher Adrien Guinet has released a tool that is capable of decrypting files encrypted by this ransomware for free (works on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008 operating systems). Note that this tool doesn’t always work but is well worth a try. You can download this tool HERE. Video explaining how to use this tool can be found HERE.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Wcry (".wcry" extension):
Ransom-demand message presented within Wcry pop-up:
Your files have been safely encrypted!
Most of your files are encrypted with strong AES-128 ciphers.
To decrypt files you need to obtain the private keys, and it is the only possible way.
To obtain the keys you should pay with bitcoin.
The cost will double by the specified time.
1. Send 0.1 BTC to 1G7bggAjH8pJaUfUoC9kRAcSCoev6djwFZ You will be able to download the private key within 12 hours.
2. How to DECRYPT your files
1) Click “Start Decrypt”.
2) First, you should send a download request with your Bitcoin wallet address. (Important: You must know your actual wallet address from where your payment be sent.)
4) After 5~6 hours you will have the key and can decrypt your files. Go!
5) That’s all.
3. About Bitcoin
1) For more information about bitcoin, please visit hxxps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
2) Here are our recommendations to purchase bitcoins: -
Any attempt to corrupt or remove this software will result in immediate elimination of the private keys by the server.
Update 11 April, 2017 - Cyber criminal have updated the user interface of this ransomware, here’s how it looks like now:
Text presented in an updated variant of WCry ransomware:
What Happened to My Computer?
Your important files are encrypted.
Many of your documents, photos, videos, databases and other files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. Maybe you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but do not waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.
Can I Recover My Files?
Sure. We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily. But you have not so enough time.
You can decrypt some of your files for free. Try now by clicking .
But if you want to decrypt all your files, you need to pay.
You only have 3 days to submit the payment. After that the price will be doubled.
Also, if you don't pay in 7 days, you won't be able to recover your files forever.
We will have free events for users who are so poor that they couldn't pay in 6 months.
How Do I Pay?
Payment is accepted in Bitcoin only. For more information, click .
Please check the current price of Bitcoin and buy some bitcoins. For more information, click .
And send the correct amount to the address specified in this window.
After your payment, click . Best time to check: 9:00am - 11:00am GMT from Monday to Friday.
Once the payment is checked, you can start decrypting your files immediately.
If you need our assistance, send a message by clicking .
We strongly recommend you to not remove this software, and disable your anti-virus for a while, until you pay and the payment gets processed. If your anti-virus gets updated and removes this software automatically, it will not be able to recover your files even if you pay!
Update 12 May, 2017 - Cyber criminals have updated this ransomware. It now calls itself Wana Decrypt0r 2.0. The updated variant adds .WNCRY extension to encrypted files. And stores it’s ransom demanding note in @Please_Read_Me@.txt file. Here’s how it looks like now:
Here’s a screenshot of a wallpaper used by Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware:
Cyber criminals communicating with their victims through pop-up:
Text in this message:
You have a new message: I have already sent decryption keys to many customers who had sent me the correct amounts of bitcoin, and I guarantee the decryptions for such honest customers. Send me a message with your unique wallet address an hour before your payment. Then you will receive the decryption key more quickly.
Screenshot of @Please_Read_Me@.txt file:
Text presented in this file:
Q: What's wrong with my files?
A: Ooops, your important files are encrypted. It means you will not be able to access them anymore until they are decrypted.
If you follow our instructions, we guarantee that you can decrypt all your files quickly and safely!
Let's start decrypting!
Q: What do I do?
A: First, you need to pay service fees for the decryption.
Please send $300 worth of bitcoin to this bitcoin address: 12t9YDPgwueZ9NyMgw519p7AA8isjr6SMw
Next, please find an application file named "@WanaDecryptor@.exe". It is the decrypt software.
Run and follow the instructions! (You may need to disable your antivirus for a while.)
Q: How can I trust?
A: Don't worry about decryption.
We will decrypt your files surely because nobody will trust us if we cheat users.
* If you need our assistance, send a message by clicking on the decryptor window.
Here's how files appear after they have been encrypted by Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware (.WNCRY extension):
Here's how Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware looks like (GIF):
Wcry ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is WannaCry virus?
- STEP 1. Isolating the infected device.
- STEP 2. Identifying the ransomware infection.
- STEP 3. Searching for ransomware decryption tools.
- STEP 4. Restoring files with data recovery tools.
- STEP 5. Creating data backups.
Isolating the infected device:
Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.
Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.
The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:
Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result:
Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window:
Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable".
Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.
As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:
Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device and select "Eject":
Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.
Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.
Identify the ransomware infection:
To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).
This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).
Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).
This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).
The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.
Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):
Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):
If your data happens to be encrypted by a ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, cryptowallet addresses, etc.).
Search for ransomware decryption tools:
Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cyber criminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.
Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.
Restore files with data recovery tools:
Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data).
Step 1: Perform a scan.
Hover your mouse over the partition you wish to scan and select "Scan". You can also select a specific folder, or click shortcut icons to scan the Desktop or Recycle Bin:
Wait for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundreds gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:
Step 2: Recover data.
Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data. Note also that the trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is only capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license:
Step 3: Save the scan session (optional).
We recommend that you save the scanning session once you have completed recovery, in case you decide to recover additional files later. Simply click the "Save Scan Session" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose the location for the file to be saved. This will save a lot of time, since you will not need to re-scan the storage drive the next time you wish to restore something. Bear in mind, however, that data removed after the scanning session has finished will not be listed:
Create data backups:
Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.
Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.
Data backups: The most reliable backup method is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach. Therefore, you should consider using an application to create data backups locally.
We recommend using the EaseUS Todo Backup application. The "Home" edition of EaseUS Todo Backup is usually more than adequate for regular users, however, the "Business" edition is more suitable for companies and large computer networks. The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides extensive data protection features. You can easily create backups, and encrypt and compress them for enhanced protection and storage saving purposes. It also allows you to set backup schedules, create bootable devices, and restore the system if a crash occurs. You can easily choose where to store the created backup: locally; uploaded to an external drive; FTP; cloud storage, or elsewhere. In summary, EaseUS Todo Backup is an all-in-one tool, which provides all features required to properly backup your data.
Creating a data backup:
The backup process is virtually identical regardless of the item (file, partition, entire system) you wish to backup. Taking the File Backup feature as an example:
Step 1: Choose which item to backup.
Click on the "Menu" icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to reveal the menu and select "File Backup":
Select the files you want to backup. You can also enter a name and description of the backup that will be created:
Step 2: Change the default settings.
The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides a variety of additional options that can be added/modified while creating the backup. For example, you can encrypt data (add a password), select the compression rate (how much the backup should be compressed), performance (how many system resources should be allocated), add an email notification (you receive an email once the process is complete) and so on.
To open the options window, click the "Backup options" button in the lower-left corner of the screen:
Select the settings you want to change and click "Save". You can also reset your changes by clicking "Reset to initial settings":
Step 3: Select the backup destination.
As mentioned above, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to choose where backups are saved - locally or externally.
Click the "Browse..." button and select the location you want the backup to be saved:
Step 4: Safety measures and process completion.
Depending on the location you have chosen, there are a number of measures you should or should not take. If you are uploading to an internet-connected location (for example, Cloud storage, FTP, etc.), be sure to maintain your internet connection, otherwise you will have to start again. The same applies to external storage devices - do not unplug them until the process is complete.
The progress bar displays estimated time remaining until completion. Large backups (hundreds of gigabytes) can take hours to create (depending on storage device speed, internet connection, etc.). Therefore, the application also allows you to optionally choose what the system should do (shut down, sleep or hibernate) once the process has finished:
The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.