Wcry Ransomware

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

Wcry ransomware removal instructions

What is Wcry?

Wcry (also known as WannaCry, Wana Decrypt0r 2.0WanaDecryptor 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:

Wcry decrypt instructions

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):

Files encrypted by Wcry

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.)
3) Sleep
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:

wcry ransomware updated variant

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 <Decrypt>.
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 <About bitcoin>.
Please check the current price of Bitcoin and buy some bitcoins. For more information, click <How to buy bitcoins>.
And send the correct amount to the address specified in this window.
After your payment, click <Check Payment>. 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 <Contact Us>.

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:

WanaCrypt0r 2.0 ransomware pop-up

Here’s a screenshot of a wallpaper used by Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware:

Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 desktop wallpaper

Cyber criminals communicating with their victims through pop-up:

wcry ransomware cyber criminal communication

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:

wana decryptor ransom demanding message @Please_Read_Me@.txt

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 <Contact Us> on the decryptor window.

Here's how files appear after they have been encrypted by Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware (.WNCRY extension):

wana decryptor 2.0 encrypted files

Here's how Wana Decrypt0r 2.0 ransomware looks like (GIF):

wana decrypt0r ransomware 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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":

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.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Wcry 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 Wcry 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 Wcry 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 Wcry 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 Wcry, 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 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 EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Wcry 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 Wcry 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 pcrisk.com 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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
WannaCry virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of WannaCry virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Malwarebytes

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Malwarebytes:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.