BTCWare PayDay ransomware removal instructions
What is BTCWare PayDay?
Malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, recently discovered a new variant of BTCWare ransomware - BTCWare PayDay. Once infiltrated, BTCWare PayDay encrypts stored files and appends filenames with the ".[developer's_email]-id-***.payday" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg.[Checkzip@india.com]-id-168.payday". Other variants of this ransomware use ".[email@example.com]-id-***.payday" extension for encrypted files. You can see the full list of email addresses below. After successfully encrypting files, BTCWare PayDay opens a new browser window displaying a ransom-demand message.
The message states that files are encrypted and encourages victims to contact BTCWare PayDay's developers (via an email address provided) if they wish to restore their data. It is currently unknown which algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) BTCWare PayDay uses. In any case, decryption requires a key generated uniquely for each victim. These keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals (BTCWare PayDay's developers) and victims are encouraged to pay a ransom to receive them. The cost is not specified and supposedly depends on how quickly the victim contacts cyber criminals. Developers of this type of virus usually demand the equivalent of between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins. It is also stated that victims are able to attach three selected files (up to 1 MB in total). These files are then decrypted and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible, however, cyber criminals should never be trusted. Research shows that these people commonly ignore victims after payments are submitted. There is a high probability that paying will not deliver any positive result and you will be scammed. Therefore, never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by BTCWare PayDay ransomware and you can only attempt to restore your files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are many variants of BTCWare identical to BTCWare PayDay including, for example, Wyvern, GRYPHON, Nuclear, and many others. In fact, all ransomware-type viruses are very similar. Most are developed by different cyber criminals, however, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and makes ransom demands. The only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, mostt of hese viruses employ algorithms (AES, RSA, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, restoring files manually (without involvement of developers - contacting these people is not recommended) is virtually impossible. The only slightly better scenario is ransomware being not fully developed and having bugs/flaws (for example, decryption keys accessible and stored locally). Ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, be very careful when browsing the Internet. Never open attachments received from suspicious emails. In fact, these emails should be deleted immediately, without reading. Download your software from official sources only. We strongly advise use of direct download links, since third party download/installation tools often include malicious apps. Furthermore, keep installed apps updated and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Bear in mind, however, that criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters and, thus, using these tools is very risky.
Screenshot of files encrypted by BTCWare PayDay (".[developer's_email]-id-***.payday" extension):
BTCWare PayDay ransomware removal:
- What is BTCWare PayDay?
- STEP 1. BTCWare PayDay virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. BTCWare PayDay 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 BTCWare PayDay 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.
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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 BTCWare PayDay 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 BTCWare PayDay 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 BTCWare PayDay 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 BTCWare PayDay 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 BTCWare PayDay ransomware: