Cryptes Ransomware

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

Cryptes ransomware removal instructions

What is Cryptes?

Discovered by malware security researcher Michael Gillespie, Cryptes is ransomware-type malware that stealthily infiltrates the system and encrypts most files. In doing so, it appends filenames with the ".crypted" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.cryptes"). Encrypted files immediately become unusable. Following successful encryption, Cryptes creates a text file ("HOW TO DECRYPT ALL MY FILES.txt"), placing a copy in all existing folders.

The new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact developers of Cryptes to pay a ransom. No additional information is provided, and thus it is currently unknown which cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) Cryptes uses. In any case, each victim receives a unique decryption key. Furthermore, these keys are stored on a remote server and users must pay a ransom for their release. The cost is not specified - all details are provided via email, however, criminals typically demand $500-1500 in Bitcoins or other cryptocurrency. Note that paying does not guarantee that your files will be restored. Research shows that ransomware developers are likely to ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. We strongly recommend that you ignore all requests to submit payments or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of restoring data encrypted by Cryptes free of charge. 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:

Cryptes decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Cryptes including, for example, Scarab, Dharma, SHRUG, DATASTOP, etc. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are typically just two major differences: 1) cost for the key, and; 2) type of cryptography used. These viruses typically use RSA, AES, or other similar 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 without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Developers often proliferate ransomware using fake software update tools, P2P (peer-to-peer) networks (eMule, torrents, etc.), unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and so on), spam email campaigns, and trojans. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. P2P networks and third party download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software. Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. Spam campaigns proliferate malicious attachments (typically MS Office documents) that, once opened, execute commands designed to download and install malware. Trojans open "backdoors" for other malware to infiltrate the system.

Threat Summary:
NameCryptes 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 Cryptes 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?

Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Think twice before opening email attachments. Files that seem irrelevant or have been received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. We also advise you to download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party download/installation tools should never be used, since they often include rogue apps. Keep installed applications up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with Cryptes, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Cryptes ransomware text file :

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail: dekode@qq.com
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails: supdecrypt@foxmail.com or supportdecryption@cock.li
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.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 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.)
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.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
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 Cryptes (".cryptes" extension):

Files encrypted by Cryptes

Cryptes ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Cryptes 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes, 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 Cryptes 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 Cryptes ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Cryptes virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Cryptes virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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