Onion3Cry Ransomware

Also Known As: Onion3Cry virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Onion3Cry ransomware removal instructions

What is Onion3Cry?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, Onion3Cry is malware based on an open-source ransomware project called Hidden Tear. Once infiltrated, Onion3Cry encrypts stored data using AES cryptography. During encryption, Onion3Cry displays a fake Windows Update window and appends names of compromised files with the ".onion3cry-open-DECRYPTMYFILES" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.onion3cry-open-DECRYPTMYFILES". Following successful encryption, Onion3Cry opens a pop-up window ("### DECRYPT MY FILES ###.exe"), placing it on the desktop.

The pop-up window contains a message that informs victims of the encryption and encourages them to contact Onion3Cry's developers to restore their data. Victims must make contact within 12 hours following decryption (the pop-up contains a countdown timer). As mentioned above, Onion3Cry employs AES cryptography (Hidden Tear employs this algorithm). This is symmetric cryptography and, thus, a unique key is used to encrypt and decrypt files. Cyber criminals store the key on a remote server and attempt to blackmail victims by demanding a ransom payment to receive it. The cost of Onion3Cry's decryption tool (with key embedded within) is currently unconfirmed, however, cyber criminals usually demand the equivalent of between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins. In any case, 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. In addition, you will support cyber criminals' malicious businesses. Never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Onion3Cry and 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:

Onion3Cry decrypt instructions

Onion3Cry is virtually identical to FlatChestWare, Nulltica, MoonCrypter, Battlefield, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these viruses are developed by differ cyber criminals, they have an identical purpose: to encrypt files and make ransom demands. In fact, there are just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, research shows that most ransomware employs symmetric/asymmetric algorithms (for example, AES, RSA, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed (and contains bugs or flaws), file decryption manually, without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Onion3Cry and other ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular system and data backups.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate ransomware in various ways, however, the most common are: 1) trojans; 2) fake software update tools; 3) spam emails; 4) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, and; 5) third party software download sources. Trojans are designed to open "gates" for other malware to infiltrate the system. Fake software updaters exploit outdated versions to infect systems. Spam emails might contain malicious attachments (for example, MS Office documents with macros, JavaScript files, etc.) that, once opened, download and install malware. Peer-to-peer networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) and other unofficial software download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.) present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and running malware. Cyber criminals can also hijack victims' computers and install malware manually, proliferate ransomware via computer networks, etc., however, these cases are very rare.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. To prevent ransomware infections, be extremely cautious when browsing the Internet. Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Bear in mind that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, using these tools is very risky. In addition, download your software from trusted sources only and (if possible) use a direct download URL rather than using third party downloaders/installers - as with fake updaters, these tools might include malicious applications. Carefully analyze each download/installation step (especially the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of all additionally-included programs). Never open files received from suspicious emails. In fact, these messages should be deleted without reading.

Text presented within Onion3Cry pop-up window ("### DECRYPT MY FILES ###.exe"):

ALL YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED
Our credibility at stake
To decrypt your files you need to buy the special software – «Black decryptor»
You can find out the details / buy decryptor + key / ask questions by email: onion33544@india.com
How to use bitcoin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz3UaCk577I
Unable to decode data without correct decoder ID - 388854
To recover yor data.

Screenshot of fake Windows Update displayed by Onion3Cry ransomware:

Onion3Cry fake udpate

Screenshot of files encrypted by Onion3Cry (".onion3cry-open-DECRYPTMYFILES" extension):

Files encrypted by Onion3Cry

Onion3Cry ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry, 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 Onion3Cry 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 Onion3Cry ransomware: