Pdff ransomware removal instructions
What is Pdff?
Pdff is high-risk ransomware-type virus discovered by Michael Gillespie. Immediately after infiltration, this malware encrypts most stored data and appends filenames with the ".pdff" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.pdff". Pdff then generates a text file ("_openme.txt"), which contains a ransom-demand message. The file is placed in each existing folder. During encryption, Pdff displays a fake Windows Update pop-up and runs a number of processes under different names.
The new text file essentially states that data is encrypted and that victims must purchase a decryption tool and a unique key necessary to restore files. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. Although it is currently unknown whether Pdff uses a symmetric or asymmetric encryption algorithm, in all cases, a unique decryption key is generated individually for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by Pdff's developers. Therefore, they are able to blackmail victims - to receive their keys, each victim must pay a ransom. The cost is not specified within the text file - all details are provided via email. It is also stated that victims will receive a 50% discount if they contact developers within 72 hours following encryption. These cyber criminals typically demand $500-1500 in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. Remember that these people cannot be trusted. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, users are scammed and paying gives no positive results. We strongly advise that you ignore all requests to contact these people or submit payments. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring data encrypted by Pdff 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:
The internet is full of ransomware-type viruses similar to Pdff including Ahihi, INDRIK, and Vulston - these are just some examples from many. Although the developers differ, all of these viruses have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the cost of decryption and type of encryption algorithm used are the only major differences. These viruses typically use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, decryption without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. We strongly advise you to maintain regular data backups and store them on unplugged storage devices or remote servers. Locally stored backups are often encrypted together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown exactly how developers proliferate Pdff. In most cases, however, these viruses are distributed using spam email campaigns, trojans, fake software update tools, and unofficial software download sources. Spam emails are typically delivered with malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, PDFs, file archives, executables, and so on). Once opened, they immediately infect the system. Trojans cause so-called chain infections. Therefore, they infiltrate the system and start installing other viruses. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than promised updates/fixes.
|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?
Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the internet and downloading, installing, and updating software. Think twice before opening email attachment. If the email is irrelevant or has been sent from an unrecognizable/suspicious email address, do not open any attached link/file that. Furthermore, download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Furthermore, having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times is also paramount, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any harm. If your computer is already infected with Pdff, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Pdff ransomware text file ("_openme.txt"):
----------------- ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED ---------------------
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files documents, photos, databases and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees do we give to you?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can download video overview decrypt tool:
Don't try to use third-party decrypt tools because it will destroy your files.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
Pdff ransomware displaying a fake Windows Update pop-up while encrypting data:
Pdff ransomware processes ("updatewin.exe", "1.exe", "C191.tmp.exe") in Windows Task Manager:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Pdff (".pdff" extension):
Update January 17, 2019 - Michael Gillespie has updated his STOPDecrypter which is now capable of restoring data with the following extensions: ".djvu", ".djvuq", ".djvur", ".djvut", ".djvuu", ".pdff", ".tfude", ".tfudeq", ".tro", ".udjvu", ".tfudet". You can download the decrypter by clicking this link.
Screenshot of the STOPDecrypter:
However, as Michael himself says, there are some notes that must be taken,
This decrypter currently only works for personal ID 6se9RaIxXF9m70zWmx7nL3bVRp691w4SNY8UCir0 (the offline key used if the malware failed to get a key from its server), or if you have the key.
If you were provided a key by kNN or myself, you may enter it via the Settings -> Set Djvu Key option; note that entering anything incorrect to this will destroy data, so don't try to be "clever". For "Personal ID", it will accept either the 40 character string at the end of files (not the one in braces, the string just before that), or the 43 character string in the ransom note. The bruteforcer will also explicitly reject this variant, as there is no way of bruteforcing the key at the present time; so don't even waste your time trying to fool it (the feature is for the .puma* variants, and isn't really a "bruteforce" anyways).
The decrypter will only attempt to decrypt a file with a known ID (either the hardcoded one or one you provide with a key); any others will be reported and logged, with instructions to archive it in hopes of future decryption.
If the decrypter detects IDs it could not decrypt, it will display them, along with your MAC addresses for easy archiving (assuming it is ran from the infected PC). It is also logged for you.
Pdff 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 Pdff?
- STEP 1. Pdff virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Pdff 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 Pdff 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 Pdff 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 Pdff 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 Pdff 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 Pdff 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 Pdff ransomware: