Nano Ransomware

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

Nano ransomware removal instructions

What is Nano?

Nano is a high-risk ransomware-type virus discovered by Jakub Kroustek. This malware is designed to encrypt most stored data (thereby making it impossible to read) and append filenames with the ".Nano" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.Nano". Once encryption is complete, Nano generates a text file ("#RECOVERY_FILES#.txt") and places a copy in every existing folder.

As usual, the new text file contains a message informing victims of the encryption. Users who want to restore data are encouraged to contact Nano's developers via an email address provided. No additional information is provided. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether Nano uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography - this information is not provided, however, decryption certainly requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals - after contacting these people, victims are encouraged to pay ransoms for their release. The cost is currently unknown. All details are provided via email, however, research shows that, in most cases, costs fluctuate between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins, Monero or another cryptocurrency. No matter what the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Paying delivers no positive result and users are scammed. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Nano's encryption and restoring data 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:

Nano decrypt instructions

There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Nano including, for example, SAVEfiles, StorageCrypt,Kraken Cryptor, and Scarab-Hitler. These viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. There are typically just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most employ cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually (without developers' interference) is virtually impossible. Ransomware is one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups, however, remember to store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or an unplugged storage device. If not, ransomware encrypts backups together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

To proliferate ransomware, developers often employ spam email campaigns, trojans, fake software updaters, and third party software download sources. Spam emails deliver malicious attachments that, once opened, stealthily download and install viruses. Trojans cause chain infections - one virus distributes another. Fake updaters misuse outdated software bugs/flaws or download and install malware rather than updates. Third party download sources (free file hosting sites, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, and so on) present viruses as legitimate applications. Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. Ultimately, 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, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. If the file is irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address, it should never be opened. Furthermore, download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third parry downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. The same applies to software updates. It is very important to keep installed applications updated. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also paramount. If your computer is already infected with Nano, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Nano ransomware text file ("#RECOVERY_FILES#.txt"):

Hello!
All your files have been ENCRYPTED
Do you really want to restore your files?
Write to our email - Nano18@airmail.cc
and tell us your unique ID

ID: -

Screenshot of files encrypted by Nano (".Nano" extension):

Files encrypted by Nano

Update 27 December, 2018 - Michael Gillespie has recently released a decryption tool capable of restoring data encrypted by this ransomware for free. This tool restores encrypted files with the following extensions: ".animus", ".Aurora", ".desu", ".ONI", ".aurora", ".Nano". You can download this tool by clicking this link.

Screenshot of this decryption tool:

AuroraDecrypter by Michael Gillespie

Nano ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Nano 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 Nano 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 Nano 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 Nano 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 Nano 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 Nano 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 Nano, 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 Nano 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 Nano ransomware: