Aleta Ransomware

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

Aleta ransomware removal instructions

What is Aleta?

Aleta is an updated version of a ransomware-type virus called BTCWare. Once infiltrated, Aleta encrypts data and appends the "[developers'_email].aleta" extension to the name of each encrypted file (for example, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg.[chines34@protonmail.ch].aleta"). To see the full list of email addresses used within these extensions, click here. Following successful encryption, Aleta creates an HTA file ("!#_READ_ME_#!.hta") and places it in each folder containing encrypted files.

The HTA file contains a message informing victims of the encryption. To restore files, victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals and pay a ransom. It is currently unknown whether Aleta uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, in either case, decryption requires a unique key. Criminals store this key on a remote server and make ransom demands for its release. The cost is unconfirmed and apparently depends on how swiftly the victim contacts Aleta's developers. Most ransomware developers demand the equivalent of between $500 and 1500 in Bitcoins. Never trust these people. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims once ransoms are paid. Paying does not guarantee that your files will ever be decrypted  and there is a high probability that you will be scammed. Never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Aleta. Therefore, you can only restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Aleta decrypt instructions

Aleta shares many similarities with Blocking, ONYONLOCK, YourRansom, RSAUtil, and dozens of other ransomware viruses. As with Aleta, these malware infections also encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only major differences are type of encryption algorithm used and size of ransom. Be aware, however, that most ransomware employs algorithms that generate unique decryption keys (for example, RSA, AES, etc.) and, therefore, unless the malware is bug-ridden, restoring files manually (without developer assistance, which is not recommended) is mostly impossible.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type viruses are usually distributed using fake software updaters, trojans, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (for example, torrents, eMule, etc.), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.), and spam emails (infectious attachments). Fake update tools exploit outdated software to infect systems. P2P networks and other unofficial software distribution sources often proliferate malicious executables by presenting them as legitimate software. Infectious attachments are usually delivered in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents (with macros) designed to download/install malware.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious/unrecognizable emails or download software from unofficial sources. Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite.

Text presented Aleta ransomware HTA file ("!#_READ_ME_#!.hta"):

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail chines34@protonmail.ch in body of your message write your ID
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Your ID -

Screenshot of files encrypted by Aleta ("[developers'_email].aleta" extension):

Files encrypted by Aleta

Aleta ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Aleta virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Aleta virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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 Aleta 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 Aleta 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 Aleta 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 Aleta 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 Aleta, 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 Aleta 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 Aleta 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.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Aleta 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 Aleta virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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