Omerta Ransomware

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

Omerta ransomware removal instructions

What is Omerta?

Omerta is a ransomware-type virus discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie. As with most ransomware, Omerta infiltrates the system and encrypts most stored data. During encryption, Omerta renames files using the "[random_characters].[XAVAX@PM.ME].omerta" pattern. For example, at time of research, a file called "1.jpg" was renamed to "-f-^F![,_REWOSdfeEOm#r;!DSAEiJcdRskJ@Dm{&DuA#FD@eW%;dEdFf`ED-GqD{}+!(FDW1D+-FsdbfKN-F&d={KSD&[QWEKNSd.kfEnS#skp#;OPsER^'.[XAVAX@PM.ME] (2).omerta". Encrypted data immediately becomes unusable and indistinguishable. After successful encryption, Omerta generates a text file ("READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK.TXT") and places a copy in each existing folder.

The new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact Omerta's developers if they want to restore it. It provides no details regarding the encryption itself. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether Omerta uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Furthermore, developers hide all keys on a remote server and victims must pay a ransom to retrieve them. The cost is not specified - all details are supposedly provided via email. Note, however, that in most cases, the cost fluctuates between $500 and $1500 and must be paid in a type of cryptocurrency (in this case, Bitcoins). Victims are also allowed to attach up to three selected files (up to 10Mb in total, non-archived). These files are decrypted and returned as a 'guarantee' that restoring files is possible. Despite these threats and demands, cyber criminals can never be trusted. Research shows that these people are likely to ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. Therefore, you are strongly advised to decline all requests to contact these people and submit payments. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Omerta's encryption and restoring data free of charge. There is only one solution: to restore everything from a backup.

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

Omerta decrypt instructions

Omerta is virtually identical to dozens of other ransomware-type viruses, such as CyberSCCP, Qnbqw, Leen, and Excuses. Note that although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt files and demand ransom payments. They typically have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, they are likely to use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, etc.), restoring data manually is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device (external hard drive, Flash drive or other). If not, malware encrypts backups together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, cyber criminals often use spam emails (malicious attachments), peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (eMule, torrents, etc.), third party software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and other), fake software update tools, and trojans. Infectious attachments (which are usually delivered in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents) execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks and unofficial download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing viruses. Fake software updaters infect the system by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware. Trojans are the simplest of all - most open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate the system.

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, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Study all received email attachments carefully before opening. Files that seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address should never be opened - these emails should be deleted immediately. We also strongly recommend that you avoid using third party download/installation tools, since developers monetize them by promoting PUPs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus should never be used. Furthermore, keep installed applications up-to-date. To achieve this, however, 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. If your computer is already infected with Omerta, we recommend running a scan with Reimage Repair Tool for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Omerta ransomware text file :

__________________________________________________
| |
| *** IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS *** |
|___________________________________________________|

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: XAVAX@PM.ME

Free decryption as guarantee!
Before paying you can send us up to 3 files for free decryption.
The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived), and files should not contain
valuable information (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.).
________________________________
| |
| Attention! |
| |
| * 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. |
| |
|________________________________________|

Screenshot of files encrypted by Omerta ("[random_characters].[XAVAX@PM.ME].omerta" filename pattern):

Files encrypted by Omerta

Omerta ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Omerta virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Reimage Repair is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Omerta virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Reimage Repair 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 Reimage Repair.

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 Omerta 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 Omerta 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 Omerta 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 Omerta 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 Omerta, 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 Omerta 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 Omerta ransomware: