Waifu Ransomware

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

Waifu ransomware removal instructions

What is Waifu?

First discovered by malware security researcher Jakub Kroustek, Waifu is an updated variant of high-risk ransomware called Dharma. As with its predecessor, Waifu stealthily infiltrates systems and encrypts most stored data, appending filenames with the ".[Darknes@420blaze.it].waifu" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.[Darknes@420blaze.it].waifu"). Once encryption is complete, Waifu opens a pop-up window and creates a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"), placing a copy on the victim's desktop.

The new text file and pop-up window deliver a message stating that data is encrypted and that users must pay a ransom to restore it. To submit payment, they are encouraged to contact Waifu's developers and follow the instructions. The message provides no details regarding the encryption. Therefore, it is currently not confirmed whether Waifu uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. It is impossible to restore data without a key. Cyber criminals hide them on a remote server and blackmail victims for their release. The cost is also not specified and supposedly depends on how fast victim contacts these people. Note, however, that payment must be paid in Bitcoins and, in most cases, ransoms fluctuate between $500 and $1500. 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. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments or even contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Waifu 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:

Waifu decrypt instructions

Waifu is virtually identical to GandCrab 5.0.2, Koolova, RektwareQinynore, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. Note that although the developers are different, all of these viruses have identical behavior - they encrypt data and demand payments. Research shows that ransomware-type viruses usually have just two major differences: size of ransom, and type of encryption algorithm used. They employ cryptographies (e.g., RSA, AES, or similar) that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to restore data manually, without involvement of developers, but contacting these people is not recommended. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or similar). We strongly recommend that you maintain regular data backups, however, store them on a remote server or a storage device that is not plugged in to your main system, otherwise viruses such as ransomware can damage backups together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

There are many ways that ransomware-type viruses are distributed, however, the five most popular are: 1) trojans; 2) fake software updaters; 3) peer-to-peer [P2P] networks; 4) unofficial software download sources, and; 5) spam email campaigns. Trojans cause chain infections - one virus proliferates another. Fake software update tools infect systems by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. P2P (such as eMule, torrents, etc.) and other third party download sources (e.g., fake software update tools, free file hosting websites, and so on) present malware as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing viruses. Spam campaigns proliferate viruses by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than promised updates.

Threat Summary:
NameWaifu 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 Waifu 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?

In most cases, lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Think twice before opening email attachments. Files that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Furthermore, download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party download/installation set-ups should not be used, since they often include rogue apps. The same rule applies to software updates. It is important to keep installed programs updated, however, this should be achieved through implemented features or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also extremely important, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before any damage is done. If your computer is already infected with Waifu, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Waifu ransomware pop-up window:

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 Darknes@420blaze.it
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:Darknes_reserve@qq.com
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 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (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 Waifu text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Waifu text file

Text presented within this file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email Darknes@420blaze.it or Darknes_reserve@qq.com

Screenshot of files encrypted by Waifu (".[Darknes@420blaze.it].waifu" extension):

Files encrypted by Waifu

Waifu ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Waifu 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 Waifu 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 Waifu 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 Waifu 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 Waifu 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 Waifu 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 Waifu, 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 Waifu 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 Waifu 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
Waifu 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 Waifu virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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