ExecutionerPlus ransomware removal instructions
What is ExecutionerPlus?
Recently discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, ExecutionerPlus is a ransomware-type virus based on CryptoJoker. Once infiltrated, ExecutionerPlus encrypts most stored data and appends the "pluss.executioner" or ".destroy.executioner" extension to the name of each file. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpgpluss.executioner" or "sample.jpg.destroy.executioner". Immediately after encryption, ExecutionerPlus places an HTML file ("Readme.html") on the desktop. Note that this malware is still in development and, thus, might contain bugs.
The new HTML file contains text that provides no useful information, however, since this malware is still in development, the situation will probably change. It is currently unconfirmed whether ExecutionerPlus uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, CryptoJoker is designed to use the AES-256 algorithm. In any case, decryption requires a key generated uniquely for each victim. Developers store this key on a remote server and users are encouraged to "pay a ransom" to decrypt their data. ExecutionerPlus is unusual: unlike most other ransomware-type viruses, it does not demand a specific ransom amount. Alternatively, criminals instruct victims to mine cryptocurrency (typically, Bitcoins) using Coinhive - they are asked to mine for a certain period of time in exchange for their key. The amount of time required will probably depend on the victim's computer specifications (powerful computers mine faster and, thus, file decryption is likely to be quicker). This may very well be the beginning of new era of ransomware-type viruses that demand cryptocurrency mining by victims, rather than sending money. In any case, be aware that cyber criminals cannot be trusted. These persons often ignore victims, once payments are submitted (or whatever tasks are assigned). There is a high probability that victims will be deceived. For these reasons, we strongly advise you to ignore these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by ExecutionerPlus and you can only restore files/system from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are dozens of ransoware-type viruses similar to ExecutionerPlus. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Halloware, Shadow, Napoleon, and WantMoney. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are just two major differences: 1) size/type of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, restoring files manually (without developers' assistance) is impossible, unless the malware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws (e.g., stores the key locally, it is hard-coded, etc.) For these reasons, ransomware-type viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Note that backup files must be stored on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or an external storage, otherwise the ransomware encrypts those as well.
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 sent from suspicious email addresses - delete these emails without reading. We also strongly recommend that you download your applications from official sources only, preferably, using a direct link. In addition, keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters, so use an implemented "Update" function or at least a tool provided by the official developer. The key to computer safety is caution.
Update 29 August 2018 - Security researcher Michael Gillespie released a free decrypter for this ransomware - victims can use this toll to decrypt files encrypted by this ransomware completely free. Download it HERE.
The appearance of ExecutionerPlus ransomware pop-up (GIF):
Text presented in ExecutoinerPlus ransomware HTML file ("Readme.html"):
HEYKLOG & CRYPTONIC My Best Friend
Turkish Underground World ~
Guvenlik bir urun degil bir surectir.'
Screenshot of files encrypted by ExecutionerPlus ("pluss.executioner" or ".destroy.executioner" extensions):
ExecutionerPlus ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of ExecutionerPlus 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 ExecutionerPlus virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is ExecutionerPlus?
- STEP 1. ExecutionerPlus virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. ExecutionerPlus 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 ExecutionerPlus 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.
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 ExecutionerPlus 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 ExecutionerPlus 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 ExecutionerPlus 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 ExecutionerPlus ransomware.
Note that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
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 ExecutionerPlus ransomware: