ANONCRACK Ransomware

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

ANONCRACK ransomware removal instructions

What is ANONCRACK?

ANONCRACK is malware based on an open-source ransomware project called Hidden Tear. This virus was first discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie. Once infiltrated, ANONCRACK encrypts stored data and appends filenames with the ".crack" extension (for example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.crack"). Ransomware-type viruses based on Hidden Tear use the AES encryption algorithm. Following successful encryption, ANONCRACK creates a text file ("PAGO.txt"), placing it on the desktop, and changes the desktop wallpaper.

The new text file and desktop wallpaper contain a message informing victims of the encryption and stating that they must purchase a decryption key to restore their files. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. AES is a symmetric encryption algorithm and, thus, a unique key is generated (to encrypt and decrypt files). Criminals store this key on a remote server and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of $30 in Bitcoins to receive it. They will then supposedly receive the key via email, however, cyber criminals cannot be trusted. Although the size of this ransom is rather low (ransoms usually fluctuate between $500 and $1500), you should not pay. Research shows that developers of ransomware-type viruses often ignore victims, once ransoms are paid. There is a high probability that paying will not deliver any positive result - you will lose your money and support cyber criminals' malicious businesses. We recommend that you ignore all requests to contact these people or pay a ransom. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files compromised by ANONCRACK 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:

ANONCRACK decrypt instructions

ANONCRACK is virtually identical to Onion3Cry, FlatChestWare, Nulltica, MoonCrypter, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. All have identical behavior - they encrypt stored data and make ransom demands. There are just two noticeable differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most ransomware uses algorithms (such as, RSA, AES, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws (for example, stores the decryption key locally), restoring files manually (without involvement of the developers, which is not recommended) is impossible. For these reasons, ransomware-type viruses such as ANONCRACK present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate ransomware in various ways, however, the most common five are: 1) spam emails; 2) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks; 3) unofficial software download sources; 4) fake software update tools, and; 5) trojans. Research shows that spam emails often contain various malicious attachments (usually JavaScript files or MS Office documents with macros) that, once opened/executed, download and install malware. P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) and other third party software distribution sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.) often proliferate malicious executables by presenting them as legitimate software. Fake software update tools exploit outdated software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Trojans simply open "backdoors" to allow other malware to infiltrate the system.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To avoid ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses - these emails should be deleted without reading. Download your software from official sources only. Note that third party downloaders/installers often include malicious apps and, therefore, we strongly recommend that you use direct download links. Keep installed apps up-to-date, but bear in mind that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters. Therefore, using third party update tools is very risky. Use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Poor knowledge of these threats and rushing steps are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to computer safety is caution.

Screenshot of ANONCRACK ransomware text file ("PAGO.txt"):

ANONCRACK text file

Text presented within the text file and desktop wallpaper:

Tu computador ha sido hackeado y encriptado by ANONCRACK ...!

¿COMO RECUPERAR TUS ARCHIVOS?

1. Realiza el pago de 30 USD ha esta direccion bitcoin : 1CvWhugm6QbHisVvhyRuKn81kQgVVs4ov8
2. Envia una captura del pago y nombre de tu PC ha este correo: anoncrack@protonmail.com
3. Una vez verificado tu pago, te enviaremos la KEY de DESENCRIPTACION
4. Disfruta de tus archivos personales

Tus amigos ANONCRACK ;)

Screenshot of files encrypted by ANONCRACK (".crack" extension):

Files encrypted by ANONCRACK

ANONCRACK ransomware removal:

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 ANONCRACK 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 ANONCRACK virus
1) Download and install   2) Run system scan   3) Enjoy your clean computer!

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 Reimage.

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 ANONCRACK 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 ANONCRACK 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 ANONCRACK 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 ANONCRACK, 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 ANONCRACK 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 ANONCRACK ransomware: