XTBL ransomware removal instructions
What is XTBL?
Recently discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, XTBL is ransomware-type virus designed to stealthily infiltrate the system and encrypt most stored files. In doing so, this malware adds the ".xtbl" appendix to the name of each encrypted file. Once files are encrypted, using them becomes impossible. Immediately after encryption, XTBL generates a text file ("IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS.TXT") and places a copy in each existing directory. This file contains a ransom-demand message.
The ransom-demand message is virtually identical to the one presented by Scarab ransomware. Therefore, it is safe to assume that XTBL is an updated variant of this virus. The message states that files are encrypted and that decryption requires a key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unknown whether XTBL uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Unfortunately, cyber criminals hide all keys on a remote server and users are encouraged to purchase them - they must submit payments by contacting developers via an email address provided. The cost is not specified but supposedly depends on how quickly victims contact the cyber criminals. It is stated that the ransom must be paid in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The size of ransom typically fluctuates between $500 and $1500, but whatever the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. Never attempt to contact these people and certainly do not submit any payments. There are currently no tools capable of decryption of files compromised by XTBL ransomware. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
XTBL shares many similarities with Spartacus, NMCRYPT, SkyFile, CYBERRESEARCHER, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Although the developers responsible for this rogue software are different, all of these viruses encrypt data and makes ransom demands. In most cases, they have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Most employ algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES, etc.) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless malware has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring files without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups, however, note that backup files must be stored on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage devices (e.g., external hard drive, Flash drive, etc.) If not, backups are encrypted together with regular files.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and reckless behavior. The key to safety is caution. To prevent infection, be extremely cautious when browsing the Internet. Think twice before opening email attachments. If the files seem irrelevant or have been sent from a suspicious email address, do not open them and delete the email immediately. We also recommend that you avoid using third party download/installation tools, since they are often used to spread rogue programs. Instead, download your software from official sources using direct download links. In addition, keep installed applications up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Remember to use implemented update functions or tools provided by the official developer only, since criminals spread malware using fake updaters.
Text presented in XTBL ransomware text file ("IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS.TXT"):
*** IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS ***
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Your files are now encrypted!
-----BEGIN PERSONAL IDENTIFIER-----
-----END PERSONAL IDENTIFIER-----
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC.
Now you should send us email with your personal identifier.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Contact us using this email address: email@example.com
Free decryption as guarantee!
Before paying you can send us up to 2 files for free decryption.
The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files 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 select the seller by payment method and price:
| * Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
| * Do not rename encrypted files.
| * Do not try to decrypt your data using third 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.
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenshot of files encrypted by XTBL (".xtbl" extension):
XTBL ransomware removal:
- What is XTBL?
- STEP 1. XTBL virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL 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 XTBL ransomware: