Vapor Ransomware

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

Vapor ransomware removal instructions

What is Vapor?

Vapor is a ransomware virus designed to encrypt victims' files and make ransom demands. Vapor developers use an AES cryptography algorithm to encrypt files. Once files are locked, they become unusable. Vapor renames each encrypted file by adding the ".Vapor" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.Vapor", and so on. This virus is also designed to display a ransom demand pop-up window with a timer.

The pop-up window informs Vapor victims that all private data, files, cookies, applications and other information has been encrypted with strong (AES) encryption. According to Vapor developers, the only way to decrypt files is to contact them via the deadhacksteam@gmail.com email address. Note that criminals generally use a Gmail account. This shows their ignorance and lack of experience, since using a public email service (such as Gmail) to make ransom demands is a great way to get caught. Victims are required to provide a unique client ID so that cyber criminals can recognize the individual (a client ID is provided in the pop-up window). According to Vapor developers, once the victim makes contact, they will send a key for successful decryption. Note that they will not provide this free of charge. Furthermore, they urge victims to contact them within 48 hours. If this does not happen, the files will supposedly be deleted when 48 hours has elapsed, or when the computer is restarted or the ransomware process is killed. Clicking the "I GIVE UP" button will also result in permanent data loss. Therefore, the only option Vapor victims are provided with to retain data stored on their computers is to contact cyber criminals within the time frame. Note that ransomware developers cannot be trusted. They ignore victims even if they receive ransom payments (usually in Bitcoins). Unfortunately, at present, there are no tools capable of decrypting Vapor-encrypted files free of charge. Cyber criminals generate unique decryption keys for victims and store them on remote servers that they control. In such cases, the best solution is to restore files using existing backups.

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

Vapor decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type viruses are very similar and serve the same purpose. Some examples of other viruses of this type are Bear, DataWait, and BlackHat. These infections encrypt files and make ransom demands. Generally, the only differences between them are the ransom amount and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt files. Unfortunately, these infections cannot be cracked (unless the virus is not fully developed or contains flaws/bugs). Therefore, victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals and risk being scammed. Ransomware viruses are just one reason why we recommend that you maintain backups regularly and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how cyber criminals proliferate the Vapor virus, however, it is likely that they use spam email campaigns, trojans, fake software updaters, or untrustworthy software download sources. Spam campaigns are used to proliferate viruses by tricking people into opening malicious attachments. Cyber criminals send emails with attachments (or links) that, once opened, download and install viruses. The attachments are usually Microsoft Office documents, archive files, executable files, PDF files, and so on. Trojans infect systems simply by proliferating other viruses - they are malicious programs that cause chain infections. If a trojan is installed, it is likely that this is how the ransomware infection was caused. Fake software updaters are tools that download and install infections rather than the updates, or exploit bugs/flaws of outdated software. Various untrustworthy software download sources can also be used to infect computers. Typically, these are free file hosting and freeware download websites, various peer-to-peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), and other unofficial sources. Cyber criminals use them to present various executables (or other malicious files) as legitimate and trick people into downloading and installing viruses.

Threat Summary:
NameVapor 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 Vapor 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?

Be careful when browsing the web, downloading, installing, and updating software. Emails that contain attachments (files or links) and are sent from unknown/suspicious addresses should be carefully studied. Do not open an attachment (file or link) if you suspect that the email is irrelevant or suspicious. Do not download/install software using third party downloaders or installers, since these tools are often monetized by promoting untrustworthy/rogue applications. Download software using official, trustworthy sources and using direct links only. Keeping software updated is important, however, this should be done using tools or functions provided by official software developers only (this does not include various third party updaters). Have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and enabled at all times - this increases the chance that viruses are detected before they can do any harm. If your computer is already infected with Vapor, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Vapor ransomware pop-up window:

Vapor Ransomware
You Have Been Caught.

You Cannot Run
You Cannot Hide
You Aren't Safe Here.

What happened To Me?

All your private data, files, cookies, application and much more as been encrypted into a strong encryption!
The only way to get it back is by sending a support email at this email:
deadhacksteam@gmail.com

Please make sure your Client ID is included so we can recognise you and send back the key.
When its done, enter the key into the key box and enjoy your day / night.

You have 48 hours to send the email, if the timer runs out your files will be deleted.
If you restart the PC or kill the program, you will never be
able to get your files back since they will be re-encrypted if you re-launch the program.
Basically closing the program in anyway will result in loosing the key.

- Good Luck, Good Time.
- DeaDHackS Team!

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

Files encrypted by Vapor

Vapor ransomware removal:

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

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