BitPaymer Ransomware

Also Known As: BitPaymer virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

BitPaymer ransomware removal instructions

What is BitPaymer?

BitPaymer is a ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, S!Ri. Immediately after infiltration, BitPaymer encrypts most stored files and appends filenames with the ".locked" extension (i.e., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.locked"). Updated variants of this ransomware use ".LOCK" extensions for encrypted files. Compromised data immediately becomes unusable. Furthermore, BitPaymer creates a text file for each encrypted file. For example (a text file named "sample.jpg.readme_txt" would be created for "sample.jpg").

The new text files contain identical messages informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact contact BitPaymer's developers to receive decryption instructions. Note that the text files have the "[file_type].readme_txt" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg.readme_txt"). Therefore, to open them, users must rename the files (e.g. "sample.jpg.readme_txt" must be renamed to "sample.txt"). It is currently unknown whether BitPaymer uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography - this information is not provided, however, each victim receives a unique key, which is necessary to restore their data. All keys are hidden on a remote server controlled by BitPaymer's developers. After contacting these people, users are encouraged to pay a ransom in exchange for release of their keys. The cost is also currently unknown. All details are supposedly provided via email, however, ransoms typically fluctuate between $500 and $1500, with payment required using cryptocurrencies. No matter what the cost, do not pay. Research shows that many ransomware developers ignore victims, after payments are submitted. Therefore, paying usually gives no positive result and users are scammed. Never attempt to contact these people and certainly do not pay any ransom. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking BitPaymer's encryption and restoring files 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:

BitPaymer decrypt instructions

The Internet is full of ransomware-type viruses similar to BitPaymer. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) REBUS, LittleFinger, PAIN LOCKER, Embrace, and Dont_Worry. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, they have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are typically just two major differences: 1) cost of decryption, and; 2) type of cryptography used. Most of these viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys (e.g., RSA, AES, and similar). Therefore, decrypting data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is virtually impossible. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed or having certain bugs/flaws (the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar). Ransomware such as BitPaymer presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device, otherwise backups are encrypted together with regular files.

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 are probably the simplest. Most open "backdoors" for other high-risk viruses to infiltrate the system. Fake software updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing viruses rather than updates. Spam emails are delivered with malicious attachments, such as MS Office documents, JavaScript files, and similar. Once opened, these files execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks (eMule, torrents, etc.) and unofficial download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, etc.) present malicious executables as legitimate software. Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Think twice before opening email attachments. If files seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious email address, do not open/download them. These emails should be deleted without reading. Furthermore, download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders often include rogue apps, and thus should never be used. The same rule applies to software updates. Keep installed programs updated. To achieve this, however, use implemented update features or tools provided by the official developer only. It is also recommended that you have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running.

Text presented in BitPaymer ransomware text file :

Your network has been penetrated.
All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm.
Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted.
No free decryption software is available in the public.
DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN - files may be damaged.
DO NOT RENAME the encrypted and readme files.
DO NOT MOVE the encrypted and readme files.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.
This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of the certain files.
To get info(pay-to-decrypt your files) contact us at:
ClaudiaBarnengham@protonmail.com, StephenJoffe@protonmail.com, StephenJoffe@tutanota.com
BTC wallet:
1BWj247jtipKr1wuFciKypeidZVwZWHCi9
KEY:-

Screenshot of files encrypted by BitPaymer (".locked" extension) together with the created text files:

Files encrypted by BitPaymer

BitPaymer ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer, 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 BitPaymer 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 BitPaymer ransomware: