DataWait Ransomware

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

DataWait ransomware removal instructions

What is DataWait?

DataWait is high-risk ransomware-type virus designed to infiltrate computers by encrypting stored data. This virus was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam and is a variant of SAVEfiles ransomware. Once a computer is infected with DataWait, it locks files and renames them by adding the ".DATAWAIT" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" becomes "sample.jpg.DATAWAIT" after encryption. It also creates a "!readme.txt" text file containing a ransom-demand message.

According to the message in "!readme.txt", DataWait has encrypted all files, including photos, documents, etc. To retrieve (decrypt) them, DataWait victims are encouraged to purchase a decryption tool that will generate a unique decryption key. According to DataWait developers, only they can provide victims with the tool required for successful decryption. To receive it, victims must contact cyber criminals via the email address and provide a unique ID so they can be identified. DataWait developers offer victims free decryption of 1-3 files as a 'guarantee' that they can be trusted. They even offer a decryption tool with a 50% discount for victims who contact them within 72 hours after file encryption. Note that cyber criminals should not be trusted, even if they offer free decryption of some files, or other "favours". Generally, cyber criminals ignore victims even if they purchase tools required for decryption, pay the required ransom, and so on. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of decrypting DataWait-encrypted files free of charge. It is not known whether DataWait developers use a symmetric or asymmetric cryptography algorithm. If a backup was created prior to the DataWait infection, we recommend that you use it to restore your files.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

DataWait decrypt instructions

There are many ransomware-type viruses available online. For example XUY, DelphiRansomware, Adobe, and so on. They are all very similar - developers use them to encrypt files and make ransom demands. Typically, the only differences are the cryptography algorithm used and the ransom sum required for decryption. Unfortunately, these ransomware viruses are difficult or even impossible to crack, unless the virus is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws that remain unfixed. For this reason, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and store them on an unplugged storage device or remote server.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how cyber criminals proliferate the DataWait virus, however, there are some common methods: spam email campaigns, trojans, third party software download sources, and fake software updaters. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns by sending emails with malicious attachments. This method often tricks people into opening malicious attachments, which are usually executable files, archive files (such as RAR), PDF files, Microsoft Office documents, etc. When downloaded and opened, these malicious attachments infect computers with viruses. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other viruses, thus causing chain infections. Free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and other third party software download sources often present malicious files (executables) as legitimate. This is done to trick people into downloading and installing malicious programs. Fake software updating tools are also used to proliferate viruses. These updaters infect systems by downloading malware rather than the updates or exploiting outdated software bugs and/or flaws.

Threat Summary:
NameDataWait 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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To protect your computer from ransomware infections, browse the web, download, install and update software with care. Avoid opening attachments that are presented in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses. If the email seem irrelevant, do not open any attachments. Download software using official, trustworthy sources and direct links. Avoid using third party downloaders, installers and other similar software. These tools are often used to proliferate rogue applications or other unwanted software. Never use unofficial tools to update installed software, since this might result in inadvertent installation of unwanted software or even viruses. Use tools (functions) that are provided by official developers only. It is also important to have anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed (and active). Having this software installed can prevent computer infection by viruses. If your computer is already infected with DataWait, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in DataWait ransomware text file :

=============!ATTENTION PLEASE!===============

Your databases, files, photos, documents and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .DATAWAIT
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an decrypt software and unique private key.
After purchase you will start decrypt software, enter your unique private key and it will decrypt all your data.
Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.
You need to contact us by e-mail send us your personal ID and wait for further instructions.
For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files - you can send us a 1-3 any not very big encrypted files and we will send you back it in a original form FREE.
Discount 50% avaliable if you contact us first 72 hours.


E-mail address to contact us:

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:

Your personal id:

Screenshot of files encrypted by DataWait (".DATAWAIT" extension):

Files encrypted by DataWait

DataWait 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 DataWait 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 DataWait 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 DataWait 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 DataWait 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 DataWait, 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 DataWait 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 DataWait 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.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
DataWait 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 DataWait virus on your mobile device.
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