Cryptedx Ransomware

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

Cryptedx ransomware removal instructions

What is Cryptedx?

Discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, Cryptedx is a ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates the system and encrypts stored data. In addition, Cryptedx adds the ".cryptedx" extension to the name of each encrypted file. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.cryptedx". From this point, files become unusable. Immediately after encryption, Cryptedx creates a text file ("HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt") and places it in all folders. It also changes the desktop wallpaper and opens a pop-up window.

The text file, wallpaper, and pop-up contain a similar message informing victims of the current situation and instructing them what to do next. It essentially states that files are encrypted and that the victim must pay a ransom of $100 in Bitcoins to restore them. It is currently unknown whether Cryptedx uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. Yet, in both cases, decryption requires a unique key. All victims are assigned unique personal keys, which are hidden on a remote server, thus allowing cyber criminals (Cryptedx's developers) to make ransom demands. These people cannot be trusted. Research shows that many ransomware developers ignore victims, after payments have been submitted. Therefore, paying will deliver no positive result and you will simply be scammed. As well as losing your money, you will support cyber criminals. For these reasons, all requests to contact these people or pay any ransom should be ignored. There are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Cryptedx and you can only restore everything from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Cryptedx decrypt instructions

The Internet is full of ransomware-type viruses similar to Cryptedx. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) TripleM, Dangerous, RETIS, and Dangerous. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the only major differences are size of ransom (which typically fluctuates between $500 and $1500) and type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, research shows that most of these viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys (for instance, RSA, AES, and so on). Therefore, unless the malware is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring files manually (without the help of developers) is impossible. These viruses are one of the main reasons for keeping regular data backups, however, backup files must be stored on external (unplugged) storage or a remote server (e.g., Cloud). If not, the malware encrypts the backups as well.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type viruses are proliferated in various ways, however, the most common five are: 1) spam emails; 2) peer-to-peer (P2P) networks; 3) third party software download sources; 4) fake software update tools, and; 5) trojans. Spam emails might contain infectious attachments that typically come in format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these attachments stealthily download/install the malware. P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) and other unofficial download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and so on) present malware as legitimate software and, therefore, users get tricked into downloading and installing viruses . Meanwhile, fake updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws. Trojans merely open "backdoor" for malware to infiltrate the system. Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are lack of knowledge and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
NameCryptedx virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.
Removal

To eliminate Cryptedx virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses - delete these emails without reading. In addition, download your applications from official sources only and use direct download links, since third party downloaders/installers often include dubious programs. Keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite, however, software should be updated using implemented update functionality or tools provided by the official developer. Remember, fake updaters are often used to proliferate malware.

Screenshot of pop-up displayed by Cryptedx:

Cryptedx html file

Text presented in Cryptedx ransomware pop-up and text file ("HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt"):

Attention! All your files are encrypted!
To restore your files and access them,
please send a mail to www@lass.33mail.com

You have 5 attempts to enter the code.
When that number has been exceeded,
all the data irreversibly is destroyed.
Be careful when you enter the code!
WTF !

Screenshot of Cryptedx desktop wallpaper:

Cryptedx wallpaper

Screenshot of files encrypted by Cryptedx (".cryptedx" extension):

Files encrypted by Cryptedx

Cryptedx ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx 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 Cryptedx, 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 Cryptedx ransomware.

Note that 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 Cryptedx ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Cryptedx virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Cryptedx virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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