Cammora Ransomware

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

Cammora ransomware removal instructions

What is Cammora?

First discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, Cammora is a new variant of high-risk ransomware called Garrantydecrypt. Once infiltrated, Cammora encrypts most stored data and appends filenames with the ".cammora" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.cammora"). After successful encryption, Cammora generates a text file ("#RECOVERY_FILES#.txt") and places a copy in every existing folder. This file contains a ransom-demand message.

The message states that data is encrypted and can only be restored using a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unknown whether Cammora uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In any case, each victim receives a unique key necessary to restore data. File decryption without the key is impossible. Cyber criminals (ransomware developers) store all keys on a remote server. Therefore, to receive their keys and decrypt data, victims are encouraged to contact these people and pay a ransom. The cost is not specified in the text file - it supposedly depends on how quickly victims contact cyber criminals. In most cases, the size of ransom fluctuates between $500 and $1500, and must be paid in Bitcoins, DASH, Ethereum, Monero, or another cryptocurrency. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. People who pay often receive nothing in return and they are simply scammed. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments or contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Cammora encryption and restoring data 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:

Cammora decrypt instructions

The internet is full of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Cammora. Heets, VegaLocker, Jupstb, and KARLS - these are just some examples from many. Although the developers are different, all of these viruses have identical behavior - they infiltrate computers and encrypt data. In most cases, ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most employ cryptographies such as RSA, AES, and others that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without the involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on a remote server or an unplugged storage device. Locally stored backups are encrypted together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is currently not confirmed exactly how developers proliferate Cammora. In most cases, however, these viruses are distributed using trojans, fake software update tools, cracks, unofficial software download sources, and spam email campaigns. Trojans are malicious applications that, once infiltrated, download and install additional malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the promised/expected updates. Cracking tools bypass paid software activation, however, developers use them to proliferate malware - users often end up infecting their computers rather than gaining access to paid features. Criminals misuse unofficial download sources by presenting malicious apps as legitimate. In this way, they often trick users into downloading and installing malware manually. Spam email campaigns proliferate viruses via malicious attachments. These emails are delivered with deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached links/files, thus resulting in malware infiltration (by opening attachments, users trigger the infections).

Threat Summary:
NameCammora 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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when downloading, installing, updating software, and browsing the internet. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Furthermore, avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since most proliferate rogue apps. Similar rules apply to software updates. It is important to keep installed programs and operating system up-to-date, however, this should be achieved only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Never use software cracking tools for the following reasons: 1) software piracy is a cyber crime, and; 2) risk of computer infections is extremely high. Think twice before opening email attachments. If you belive that the received file/link is irrelevant or the sender seem suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open anything. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also very useful, since these tools typically detect and eliminate viruses before the system is damaged. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with Cammora, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Cammora ransomware text file ("#RECOVERY_FILES#.txt"):

All your files have been encrypted!
Now you should send us email with your personal identifier.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
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.
Contact us using this email address
And tell us your unique ID

Screenshot of files encrypted by Cammora (".cammora" extension):

Files encrypted by Cammora

Cammora 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:
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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 Cammora 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 Cammora 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 Cammora 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 Cammora 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 Cammora, 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 Cammora 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 Cammora 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 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Cammora 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 Cammora virus on your mobile device.
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