WanaCry4 ransomware removal instructions
What is WanaCry4?
WanaCry4 is malware based on an open-source ransomware project called AutoIt. This virus was first discovered by malware security researcher, Karsten Hahn. Once infiltrated, WanaCry4 encrypts files using AES-256 cryptography and appends filenames with the ".encrypted" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.encrypted". Following successful encryption, WanaCry4 opens a pop-up window displaying a ransom-demand message.
The message informs victims of the encryption and encourages them to purchase a unique key to restore their files. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. As mentioned above, WanaCry4 employs the AES-256 encryption algorithm. Therefore, a unique decryption key is generated during the encryption process. Developers store this key on a remote server and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom to receive it. The cost is the equivalent of $1000 in Bitcoins. It is also stated that the ransom must be paid within 72 hours, otherwise all files will be permanently deleted. Bear in mind, however, that cyber criminals should never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying does not guarantee that your files will ever be decrypted and there is a high probability that you will be scammed. Therefore, never contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by WanaCry4 and 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:
There are numerous ransomware-type viruses, all of which are virtually identical to WanaCry4 including Scarab, Aleta, and GlobeImposter. These are just some examples from many. As with WanaCry4, these malware infections also encrypt stored files and makes ransom demands. The only major differences between these viruses are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm (symmetric/asymmetric) used. Ransomware-type viruses often use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys (for example, RSA, AES). Therefore, restoring files manually without involvement of the developers (not recommended) is mostly impossible.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious emails or download software from unofficial sources. Furthermore, never use third party tools to update installed applications and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. The key to computer safety is caution.
Text presented within WanaCry4 ransomware pop-up:
The only way you can recover your files is to buy a decryption key, Please send the mentioned about of money in bitcoins to the following address bitcoin:1rixKVYiwwtDheLLb7QHEmxF4Nb1Xt1Fq or all files will be deleted in 72 hours,,,,,, After payment Please Contact (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The payment method is: Bitcoins. The price is: $1000 = 0.44252226 Bitcoins
Click on the 'Buy decryption key' button.
Screenshot of files encrypted by WanaCry4 (".encrypted" extension):
WanaCry4 ransomware removal:
- What is WanaCry4?
- STEP 1. WanaCry4 virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. WanaCry4 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 WanaCry4 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.
Download remover for WanaCry4 virus
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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 WanaCry4 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 WanaCry4 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 WanaCry4 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 EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as WanaCry4 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 WanaCry4 ransomware: