Vulston Ransomware

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

Vulston ransomware removal instructions

What is Vulston?

The Vulston computer infection was discovered by Michael Gillespie. It is a high-risk ransomware-type program that encrypts data and blocks access to files unless a ransom is paid. Vulston changes the name of each encrypted file by adding the ".vulston" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.vulston". It also generates a ransom message within a text file called "mensagem.txt", which can be found in every folder that contains encrypted files.

The ransom-demand message within the "mensagem.txt" text file states that all infected computer files are encrypted and cannot be decrypted (retrieved) without using a specific decryption key. The cost of the key (ransom size) is 0.18 of Bitcoin. Vulston's victims are encouraged to purchase the required sum of Bitcoins and transfer it to the Bitcoin wallet address provided. When the transaction is complete, victims are required to contact cyber criminals via the vuleston@gmx.com email address and request decryption keys by providing the assigned ID. The developers promise to send a decryption key with instructions on how to use it. Victims are urged to contact cyber criminals within three three days, otherwise the decryption keys are automatically deleted (permanently) and users with infected computers will lose their data. Only Vulston developers have the decryption tool/key, which could potentially help the victims. Most cyber criminals use cryptography algorithms that generate unique keys. They store the keys on remote servers (controlled only by them). Therefore, decryption without the involvement of ransomware developers is impossible. Despite this, do not trust any cyber criminals, since they generally ignore victims even if their demands are met and ransoms are paid. In this way, people are scammed. Unfortunately, there are currently no free tools available to decrypt files. The best way to restore your files is to use a data backup that was previously created.

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

Vulston decrypt instructions

The number of ransomware-type infections is increasing daily, however, most are designed to serve the same purpose: to encrypt data and make ransom demands. Phobos, Seon, and Nostro are just some examples of other viruses similar to Vulston. Typically, the only differences are the cryptography algorithms used for encryption and the cost of decryption tools/keys. Unfortunately, most cyber criminals design their ransomware infections to be 'uncrackable' and only they can provide victims with decryption tools/keys. In some cases, these malicious programs are not fully-developed, have bugs/flaws, and thus possible to 'break', however, you are advised to create regular data backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices (otherwise backups might be encrypted with regular data).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known exactly how Vulston developers proliferate this ransomware, however, these programs are often proliferated via email (spam) campaigns, trojans (malicious programs), third party software download sources, and fake software updaters. Spam campaigns deliver malicious attachments (or web links) that, if opened, download and install malware. These attachments are usually Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, archive files (such as ZIP, RAR), executable files, and so on. Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections: once installed, they proliferate even more viruses. Various untrustworthy software download channels (freeware download websites and free file hosting sites) and P2P networks (such as eMule, torrents, etc.) are often used to present malicious software as legitimate. In this way, people are tricked into downloading and installing malware. Fake software updaters usually infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of the outdated software or by downloading and installing malware rather than the expected updates.

Threat Summary:
NameVulston 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 Vulston 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?

Browse the web, download, install, and update software carefully. Emails that contain attachments that are sent from unknown/suspicious addresses should be ignored and not opened. Carefully analyze each email attachment (or web link) and open it only when you are sure that it is safe. Do not download or install software using third party downloaders or installers. These tools are often monetized by promoting untrustworthy/rogue applications. Download software using official, trustworthy sources and using direct links only. Update installed software properly using tools provided by official software developers, and not third party updaters. Have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and enabled at all times - these tools can detect threats before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with Vulston, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Vulston ransomware text file "mensagem.txt":

At this moment your files are encrypted
and they can not be decrypted without the key's that are set for your computer.
To receive the decryption keys you have pay 0.18 BITCOIN

You can get bitcoin very easy on this site: www.localbitcoins.com
You have to create an account and to buy 0.18 BITCOIN from a seller located in your city.
Then you have to send the amount at this BTC adress: 1L4da3SCbo9w3Y1F3HoVxjyn7yTTXcWhUw
After that, contact me at this email adress: vuleston@gmx.com
With this subject: KEYS FOR ID ********mensagem.

After the payment you will receive the key's to decrypt your files and a tutorial

The key's that are older than 3 days will be automaticaly deleted.
If you don't want to lose your files, please contact me in this 3 days.

Screenshot of files encrypted by Vulston (".vulston" extension):

Files encrypted by Vulston

Vulston ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Vulston 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 Vulston 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 Vulston 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 Vulston 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 Vulston 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 Vulston 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 Vulston, 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 Vulston 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 Vulston ransomware: