CryCipher Ransomware

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

CryCipher ransomware removal instructions

What is CryCipher?

Discovered by GrujaRS, CryCipher is another ransomware-type computer infection that cyber criminals have developed to encrypt data stored on victims' computers and urge them pay ransoms. I.e. to blackmail people with computers infected by this ransomware. Once it infiltrates the system, CryCipher generates the "Readme_now.txt" file and automatically opens it. CryCipher also renames each encrypted file by adding the ".locked" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.locked".

The "Readme_now.txt" file is automatically opened and contains a message stating that all CryCipher files have been encrypted. It also contains an email address (pay.ransom@protonmail.com) and a unique ID number. These must be used when contacting cyber criminals who then provide further details about how to retrieve the files. They usually provide a Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) wallet address to transfer specific ransom payments. Cyber criminals/ransomware developers promise that they will provide victims with decryption tools once they receive the money. Unfortunately, most cyber criminals cannot be trusted and ignore victims once ransom payments are received. Therefore, do not contact these people or pay any cryptocurrency ransom. Note that most ransomware developers create these malicious programs using cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that usually cannot be 'cracked' without using a specific tool. Therefore, files can only be decrypted using tools available from the ransomware developers (in this case, CryCipher). Unfortunately, there are no free tools currently capable of decrypting CryCipher encryption. The only free solution in this case is to use a data backup (if one was created before encryption) and restore files from there.

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

CryCipher decrypt instructions

There are many ransomware-type programs, most of which are quite similar (for example, Frend, _Write_To_Emails_, Cryptotes, etc.). Typically, these malicious programs encrypt data and display ransom demand messages. Common differences between them are cost of the tool (or key) that must be used for successful decryption and the cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, most of these malicious programs are impossible to 'crack' without using a tool that only specific ransomware developers can provide. In rare cases, they might be cracked when without the involvement of cyber criminals but only if the ransomware is still in development, contains bugs/flaws, etc. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is not known which specific method is used to proliferate CryCipher ransomware, however, cyber criminals usually employ spam (email) campaigns, fake software updaters, dubious software download tools/channels, Trojans and software cracking tools. Spam campaigns are used to infect computers through malicious attachments presented in emails that cyber criminals end to many random people. They send attachments that are usually Microsoft Office documents, archive files such as RAR, ZIP, executable files (.exe), PDF documents, or they present website links that, once opened, lead to a malicious attachment. The main goal is to trick people into opening the attachments by presenting the email as important, legitimate, etc. If opened, the files cause download/installation of malicious programs (such as ransomware). Fake software updaters infect systems by exploiting flaws, bugs of installed, outdated software or by downloading and installing malicious programs rather than the (promised) updates or fixes. Many dubious software download sources are used to infect computers. Some examples are P2P (Peer-to-Peer) networks, third party downloaders/installers, freeware download websites, free file hosting web pages, and so on. They are used by cyber criminals who present malicious files as legitimate. By downloading and executing them, people manually cause infections. Trojans are malicious programs that cause chain infections. Once installed, they proliferate ransomware and other high-risk malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
NameCryCipher 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 CryCipher 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?

To prevent file encryption by ransomware-type (or other) programs, do not open attachments (or web links) that are included in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses. Use official and trustworthy sources/channels to download software. Avoid using third party software download tools, unofficial websites, and so on. Furthermore, keep the operating system and software updated, however, this should be done using only implemented functions or tools provided by the official software developers. Avoid using software cracking tools. Activations that are performed using these tools are classed as illegal actions/cyber crime. Furthermore, using them can cause serious damage to the system (infect it with ransomware or other malware). Have a reputable/trustworthy anti-spyware or anti-virus suite installed and keep it enabled. This software can detect various computer infections before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with CryCipher, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in CryCipher ransomware text file "Readme_now.txt":

Your personal files have been encrypted, send an email to pay.ransom@protonmail.com to recover them. Your ID: -

Screenshot of files encrypted by CryCipher (".locked" extension):

Files encrypted by CryCipher

CryCipher ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of CryCipher 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 CryCipher 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 CryCipher 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 CryCipher 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 CryCipher 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 CryCipher 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 CryCipher, 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 CryCipher ransomware.

Note that the 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 CryCipher 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
CryCipher 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 CryCipher virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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