Rektware ransomware removal instructions
What is Rektware?
Rektware is another ransomware-type virus discovered by GrujaRS. Once infiltrated, Rektware encrypts most stored files and adds the victim's ID as an appendix to the name of each compromised file. For instance, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "sample.jpg.Ujr3p1H". Following successful encryption, Rektware opens a pop-up window containing a short message.
The message essentially states that data is encrypted and that victims must contact Rektware's developers (via an email address provided) to restore it. The message states that all data will supposedly be restored free of charge. This can mean one of two things: 1) the statement is false and, after contacting these people, victims will be asked to pay a ransom [which is the actual purpose of all ransomware-type viruses], or; 2) this virus is being tested [is still in development] and the situation could change in future (an updated version that demands ransom payments will be released). Ransomware-type viruses typically use symmetric/asymmetric cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Restoring data without these keys is impossible. Cyber criminals hide them on remote servers and attempt to blackmail victims by demanding ransom payments for release of the keys. The purpose of all ransomware is to extort money from everyday users (there is no point in releasing file-encryption viruses that do not generate any value for these rogue developers). Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Rektware'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:
There are hundreds of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Rektware. For example, StorageCrypt, Kraken Cryptor, SAVEfiles, Scarab-Hitler, etc. They are developed by different cyber criminals, but have identical behavior - all encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the only differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Most employ algorithms (e.g., RSA, AES, and/or other) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Maintain regular data backups, but store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device. If not, malware is 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) spam email campaigns; 2) trojans; 3) third party software download sources; 4) free file hosting websites, and; 5) fake software update tools. Spam campaigns proliferate malicious attachments (in most cases, Microsoft Office documents) that, once opened, download and install malware. Trojans cause chain infections (one virus proliferates another). Unofficial software download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, and so on) and other third party software download sources present malware as legitimate software. Therefore, users are often tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Fake software updaters infect the system by misusing old software bugs or downloading and installing malware rather than the promised updates.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can'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 methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All 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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)|
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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 attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. If you think that the file is irrelevant or the sender is suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open it. Furthermore, remember to download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue applications and, thus, these tools should never be used. Keep operating system and installed software updated, but update your apps using 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 Rektware, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Rektware ransomware pop-up:
ContactID: - Send E-mail: email@example.com (FreeDecryptAllYourFiles)
Screenshot of files encrypted by Rektware (".[victim's_ID]" extension):
Rektware ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Rektware?
- STEP 1. Rektware virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Rektware ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Rektware 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 Rektware ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Rektware 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 Rektware 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.
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 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 Rektware 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.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 Rektware ransomware: