REBUS Ransomware

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

REBUS ransomware removal instructions

What is REBUS?

First discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, REBUS is a ransomware-type virus that originates from the Scarab malware family. Immediately after encryption, REBUS encrypts most stored data. In addition, it renames files using the "[32_random_digits_and_letters].REBUS" pattern. For instance, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "89A4m9D328112834GFB6F88A4CAE75E1.REBUS". Compromised files become unusable and indistinguishable. Following successful encryption, REBUS generates a text file ("REBUS RECOVERY INFORMATION.TXT") and places a copy in every existing older.

As usual, the new text file contains a message stating that data is encrypted and that users must purchase a decryption tool to restore it. The cost is not specified - all details are provided via an email. It is currently not known whether REBUS uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals (developers of REBUS). Therefore, to retrieve their keys (or rather, decryption tools with keys embedded within) victims must pay a ransom. Despite these demands, cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that they often ignore victims once ransoms are paid. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. We strongly advise not to contact these people or submit any payments. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by REBUS free of charge. Therefore, 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:

REBUS decrypt instructions

The Internet is full of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with REBUS. Aurora, Embrace, and CryptoConsole are just some examples from a long list. Note that all of these viruses have identical behavior (they encrypt data and make ransom demands) even though they originate from different developers. There are typically just two major differences: type of cryptography used and cost of decryption. Unfortunately, most of these viruses employ RSA, AES, and other algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. 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 data manually is impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups, however, remember to store them on a remote server or an unplugged storage device, otherwise backups are encrypted together with regular files.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware is proliferated in various ways, however, the most popular five are: 1) spam emails; 2) third party software download sources; 3) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks; 4) fake software update tools, and, 5) trojans. Spam emails often include malicious attachments (e.g., JavaScript files, MS Office documents, etc.) that, once opened, execute scripts designed to download and install malware. Unofficial download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) and P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters exploit outdated softwares bugs/flaws or simply download and install malware rather than updates. Trojans are probably the simplest of all - they merely open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system.

Threat Summary:
NameREBUS 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 REBUS 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?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Make sure that received email attachments are relevant and have been sent from a trustworthy email address. If not, delete the email immediately and certainly do not open any file. In addition, download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are used to proliferate rogue apps, and thus should never be used. The same applies to updating software. Installed apps must be kept up-to-date, however, rather than using third party updaters, use implemented update functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution.

Text presented in REBUS ransomware text file ("REBUS RECOVERY INFORMATION.TXT"):

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED!

Your personal ID

Your documents, photos, databases, save games and other important data was encrypted.
Data recovery the necessary decryption tool. To get the decryption tool, should send an email to:

rebushelp@airmail.cc or rebushelp@protonmail.com

If you dont get reply in 24 hours use jabber:

rebushelper@exploit.im

Letter must include Your personal ID (see the beginning of this document).

In the proof we have decryption tool, you can send us 1 file for test decryption.
Next, you need to pay for the decryption tool.
In response letter You will receive the address of Bitcoin wallet which you need to perform the transfer of funds.

If you have no bitcoins

* Create Bitcoin purse: hxxps://blockchain.info

* Buy Bitcoin in the convenient way

hxxps://localbitcoins.com/ (Visa/MasterCard)
hxxps://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/ (Visa/MasterCard)
hxxps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin (the instruction for beginners)

- It doesn't make sense to complain of us and to arrange a hysterics.

- Complaints having blocked e-mail, you deprive a possibility of the others, to decipher the computers.
Other people at whom computers are also ciphered you deprive of the ONLY hope to decipher. FOREVER.

- Just contact with us, we will stipulate conditions of interpretation of files and available payment,
in a friendly situation

- When money transfer is confirmed, You will receive the decrypter file for Your computer.


Attention!
* Do not attempt to remove a program or run the anti-virus tools
* Attempts to decrypt the files will lead to loss of Your data
* Decoders other users is incompatible with Your data, as each user unique encryption key

Screenshot of files encrypted by REBUS ("[32_random_digits_and_letters].REBUS" filename pattern):

Files encrypted by REBUS

REBUS ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of REBUS 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 REBUS 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 REBUS 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 REBUS 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 REBUS 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 REBUS 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 REBUS, 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 REBUS 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 REBUS ransomware: