Velso Ransomware

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

Velso ransomware removal instructions

What is Velso?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, Velso is a ransomware-type virus designed to stealthily infiltrate the system and encrypt most stored data. In addition, this malware adds the ".velso" extension to the name of each compromised file. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.velso". Henceforth, files become unusable. Following successful encryption, Velso places a text file ("get_my_files.txt") in every existing folder.

The new text file contains a very short message stating that users who want to restore their files should contact Velso's developers via an email address provided. No additional information is given. It is currently unknown whether Velso uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, however, decryption requires a unique key. Criminals store this key on a remote server. When contacting these criminals, users are encouraged to pay a ransom in exchange for the key. The cost is currently unknown, however, cyber criminals typically demand $500-$1500 in a type of cryptocurrency (most likely Bitcoins). These people cannot be trusted. Research shows that developers of ransomware-type viruses ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying does not guarantee that your files will ever be restored - and you will probably be scammed. You are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of file decryption compromised by Velso and you can only restore everything from a backup.

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

Velso decrypt instructions

Velso is virtually identical to Lime, MoneroPay, Krypton, PLANETARY, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these examples are developed by different cyber criminals, they have identical behavior. All encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the only major differences are size of ransom and type of cryptography used. Unfortunately, research shows that most ransomware employs algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, etc.) or is still in development, file decryption without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware-type viruses are one of the main reasons for keeping regular data backups. Note, however, that backup files must be stored on remote server (for instance, Cloud) or unplugged external storage. If not, the backups are encrypted as well.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type viruses are proliferated in various ways, however, the most popular five are: 1) trojans; 2) fake software updaters; 3) spam emails; 4) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, and; 5) third party software download sources. Trojans work very simply - they merely open "backdoors" for malware to infiltrate the system, whilst fake software updaters exploit outdated software bugs/flaws to infect the system. Spam emails often contain malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, JavaScript files, and so on) that, once opened, execute code that stealthily downloads and installs malware. P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) and other unofficial download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and others) present malicious executables as legitimate software. As a result, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware .

Threat Summary:
NameVelso 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.

To eliminate Velso virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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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 main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent this situation, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. It is extremely important to keep installed applications up-to-date, however, since criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters (and unofficial downloaders/installers), software should be updated using implemented functions or tools provided by developers. Your software should be downloaded from official sources only. In addition, never open files received from suspicious email addresses - these emails should be deleted without reading.

Text presented in Velso ransomware text file ("get_my_files.txt"):

Hello. If you want to return files, write me to e-mail
Your userkey: 5A/CljSFPSSEF+M59X04Ir2HFpSAkRwNppyGkF/5jJWpCsmIBnHP8A==

Screenshot of files encrypted by Velso (".velso" extension):

Files encrypted by Velso

Velso ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Velso 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 Velso 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 Velso 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 Velso 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 Velso 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 Velso 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 Velso, 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 Velso 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 Velso 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 since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Velso 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 Velso virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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