BadNews Ransomware

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

BadNews ransomware removal instructions

What is BadNews?

BadNews is a ransomware-type virus discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. It is an updated version of another ransomware infection called LockCrypt. After successfully infiltrating the system, BadNews encrypts most stored files, thereby making them unusable. Furthermore, this ransomware adds the " ID [victim's_ID].BadNews]" appendix to the name of each compromised file. For example, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg ID iHupX3tzhxqX.BadNews". Immediately after encryption, BadNews creates an HTML application ("How To Decode Files.hta") and places a copy in every existing folder.

The new HTML application opens a full-screen window and displays a ransom-demand message. Users are informed that data is encrypted and that they must purchase a decryption tool to restore it. It is currently not known whether BadNews uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography - this information is not given, however, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Developers of BadNews store all keys on a remote server, and victims are forced to pay a ransom in exchange for their keys (or rather, decryption tools with keys embedded within). The cost is currently unknown - the message states that all details are provided via email, however, costs typically fluctuate between $500 and $1500. Criminals demand that payments are submitted in a cryptocurrency (Bitcoins, Monero, etc.). Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often 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 contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking BadNews's encryption and restoring data 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:

BadNews decrypt instructions

BadNews is very similar to Cassetto, ExecutionerPlus, BlueEagle, Dharma, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Research shows that although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, their behavior remains the same - all encrypt files and make ransom demands. The cost of decryption and type of cryptography used are often the only differences. Most of these viruses employ algorithms such as RSA, AES, etc. that generate unique decryption keys. Unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws (the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring data manually is impossible. Therefore, ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, remember to store them on a remote server or external storage device. If not, backups are encrypted with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware is distributed in various ways, however, the most popular tools/methods are: fake software updaters, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, third party software download sources, spam email campaigns, and trojans. Fake updaters infect the system in two ways: 1) by misusing outdated software bugs/flaws or; 2) downloading and installing malware rather than the promised updates. P2P networks (torrents, eMule, etc.) and other unofficial download sources (free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and so on) present malware as legitimate software - this often tricks users into downloading and installing viruses. Spam email campaigns distribute malicious attachments which, once opened, download and install viruses. Trojans cause chain infections - these viruses open "backdoors" for other malware to infiltrate the system.

Threat Summary:
NameBadNews 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.

To eliminate BadNews 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. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet, and downloading, updating, and installing software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. If the file is irrelevant or has been sent by a dubious email address, it should never be opened. Furthermore, keep installed applications up-to-date, however, to achieve this, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. The same rule applies to software download/installation. It is important to download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue programs, and thus these tools should never be used. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with BadNews, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented by BadNews ransomware HTML application:


ID iHupX3tzhxqX

To get the decryptor you should:
Send 1 test image or text file to
In the letter include your personal ID (look at the beginningof this document).
We will give you the decrypted file and say price fordecryption all files
after payment you will receive a decryptor and instructions
We can decrypt one file in quality the evidence that we have thedecoder.


Only can decryptyour files
Do not trust anyone
Attempts to self-decrypting files will result in the loss ofyour data
Decoders for other IDs are not compatible with your ID data,because each user's unique encryption key

Screenshot of files encrypted by BadNews ("ID [victim's_ID].BadNews]" extension):

Files encrypted by BadNews

BadNews ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of BadNews 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 BadNews 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 BadNews 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 BadNews 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 BadNews 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 BadNews 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 BadNews, 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 BadNews 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 BadNews 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 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

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

QR Code
BadNews 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 BadNews virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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