Spartacus ransomware removal instructions
What is Spartacus?
Spartacus is a ransomware-type virus recently discovered by malware security researcher, Bart. This malware is designed to encrypt most stored files and append filenames with the ".[MastersRecovery@protonmail.com].Spartacus" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[MastersRecovery@protonmail.com].Spartacus"). Once files are encrypted, using them becomes impossible. Spartacus is also designed to delete Shadow Volume Copies. After these actions, Spartacus opens a pop-up window and creates a text file ("READ ME.txt"), placing a copy in every existing folder.
The pop-up window and new text file contain similar messages informing victims of the encryption. To restore data, users must contact developers via an email address provided. They are encouraged to pay a ransom, after which they receive further decryption instructions. It is currently unknown whether Spartacus uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, Spartacus appears to employ a hard-coded string similar to a private RSA key (this algorithm generates two keys - public [encryption] and private [decryption]). Regardless of the encryption algorithm used (AES, RSA, or others), decryption requires a unique key that is evidently generated individually for each victim. In fact, since Spartacus has a hard-coded key, the situation is rather confusing - it might be a decryption key or merely an attempt to trick malware security researchers. The idea of viruses such as Spartacus is to extort victims - criminals hide keys on remote servers and encourage users to purchase them. Spartacus's ransom-demand states that the cost depends on how soon the victim makes contact with these people. In addition, users are able to attach five selected files (up to 10MB in total), which are supposedly restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible. Be aware, however, that cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that these people often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. We strongly advise you to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransom. This rule applies to all ransomware-type infections. As mentioned above, Spartacus contains a type of hard-coded key. Therefore, although there are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by this malware, the situation might change. For now, however, your compromised data can only be restored from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Spartacus shares many similarities with RSA2048Pro, CYBERRESEARCHER, ScorpionLocker, My Decryptor, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, all have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, size of ransom and type of used cryptography are the only major differences. Most of these viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring files without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. These viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. It is, however, extremely important to store backup files on an unplugged storage device (e.g., Flash drive, external hard drive, etc.) or remote server (e.g., Cloud). If not, backups are encrypted together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Never open email attachments that seem irrelevant or have been sent from suspicious email addresses. Delete these emails immediately, without reading. Furthermore, download your desired applications from official sources only (using direct download links), rather than using third party downloaders/installers. These tools often spread rogue programs and should never be used. It is also extremely important to keep installed software up-to-date and have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times. Criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters and, therefore, apps should be updated using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only.
Text presented in Spartacus pop-up window:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with vni4r PC. If you want try restore them, write us to e-mail: MastersRecover@protonmail.com and send personal ID KEY: -
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how you write to us. Auer payment w decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. Total size of file must be less than 10Mb (no should not contain valuable information (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click "Buy bitcoins", and safe payment method and price.
Write us the e-mail: will send you the archived), and files the seller by
Do not rename encrypted files. Do not try decrypt your data using party software, it may cause permanent data loss. Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Screenshot of Spartacus text file:
Text presented within this file:
All your data has been locked us. You want to return? Write email MastersRecovery@protonmail.com
or MastersRecovery@cock.li Your personal ID KEY: -
Screenshot of files encrypted by Spartacus (".[MastersRecovery@protonmail.com].Spartacus" extension):
Spartacus ransomware removal:
- What is Spartacus?
- STEP 1. Spartacus virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus virus
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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 Spartacus 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.
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 Spartacus ransomware: