ETH ransomware removal instructions
What is ETH?
First discovered by malware security researcher, Jakub Kroustek, ETH is a new variant of a high-risk ransomware infection called Dharma. After successful infiltration, ETH encrypts most stored files and appends filenames with the ".ETH" extension plus the developer's email address and victim's ID. For example, "sample.jpg" might be renamed to "sample.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].ETH". Once data is encrypted, ETH generates a text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"), which is placed on the desktop, and opens a pop-up window.
The text file and pop-up window contain similar messages stating that data is encrypted and that victims must contact ETH's developers if they want to restore it. It is also stated that victims must purchase a decryption tool/key to restore encrypted data. It is currently unknown which type of cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) ETH uses, however, decryption requires a unique key generated individually for each victim. Developers hide all keys on a remote server and so, to receive their decryption keys (together with decryption tools), victims must pay a ransom. The cost is not specified and supposedly depends on how quickly victims make contact with these cyber criminals. Detailed payment information is provided via email, however, in most cases, the size of ransom fluctuates between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency. 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 advise you never to contact these people and certainly do not send any money. There are currently no tools capable of cracking ETH encryption and restoring data free of charge. You can only 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 that share similarities with ETH (e.g., UNIT09, LockerGoga, ITLOCK, Cyspt, etc.). As with ETH, these viruses also encrypt data and make ransom demands. Ransomware-type viruses might differ in two ways: type of encryption algorithm used and size of ransom. Unfortunately, most use cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys (e.g., RSA, AES, and similar). Therefore, decryption without developers' involvement is mostly impossible. The only possible scenarios are ransomware not being fully developed or having certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is stored locally, is hard-coded, or similar). Viruses such as ETH present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on remote servers (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage devices (e.g., external hard drive, Flash drive). If not, backups are encrypted together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently not known exactly how cyber criminals proliferate ETH, however, ransomware developers typically use the following methods: trojans, software cracking tools, fake updaters, third party download sources, and spam email campaigns. Trojans are viruses that, once infiltrated, cause "chain infections" - they stealthily download and install other malware into the system. Software cracks are used to activate paid software without paying, however, cyber criminals often use them to proliferate malware, rather than activating software. In this way, users often infect their computers. Fake updaters infiltrate malware by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Third party download sources (peer-to-peer networks, free file hosting sites, freeware download websites, etc.) are used to present malware as legitimate software. Users are simply tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Similar rules apply to spam campaigns. Criminals send hundreds of thousands of emails with deceptive messages encouraging users to open attachments (links or files), which are often presented as bills, invoices, or other important documents. Opening them results in a malware infection.
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. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. Files/links that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. You are also advised to download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue applications, and thus these tools should never be used. Keep installed applications and operating systems updated, however, to achieve this, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. Furthermore, never use software cracking tools, since using pirated software is considered a cyber crime and you also risk infecting your computer. Have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times - this software can detect and eliminate malware before it does any harm. If your computer is already infected with ETH, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in ETH ransomware pop-up file:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:email@example.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.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
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 ETH text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented within this file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenshot of files encrypted by ETH (".ETH" extension):
ETH ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of ETH 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 ETH virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is ETH?
- STEP 1. ETH virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. ETH 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 ETH 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 ETH 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 ETH 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 ETH 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 ETH 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 ETH ransomware: