Raldug Ransomware

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

Raldug ransomware removal instructions

What is Raldug?

Raldug is another variant of high-risk ransomware called Djvu. As with its predecessor, Raldug encrypts stored data, thereby making it unusable. Additionally, Raldug appends filenames with the ".raldug" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.raldug"). Raldug also places the "_readme.txt" text file in each existing folder.

The purpose of most ransomware infections is to blackmail victims. This is the case with Raldug. The text file states that data is encrypted and recovery requires a unique decryption tool/key that victims must purchase. Unfortunately, this information is accurate. It is currently unconfirmed whether Raldug uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, however, each victim receives a unique decryption key. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by Raldug developers. To receive their key, each victim must pay a ransom of $980. Victims who contact these people within 72 hours after encryption will receive a 50% discount, and thus the cost drops to $490. Be aware, however, that these people cannot be trusted. Ransomware developers often ignore victims once payments are submitted. Therefore, payment usually gives no positive result. We strongly recommend that you ignore all requests to submit payments or even contact these people. Raldug is undecryptable ransomware - there are no tools capable of cracking its encryption and restoring files 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:

Raldug decrypt instructions

Raldug has very similar characteristics to dozens of other ransomware-type infections such as Carcn, Btix, and _Crypted. As with Raldug, most of these infections compromise data (typically, by encryption) and make ransom demands. Note that most ransomware infections employ cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. We strongly recommend that you maintain regular backups, however, store them on a remote server or unplugged storage devices - locally stored backups are encrypted together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals typically proliferate ransomware using unofficial software download sources, spam email campaigns, trojans, and fake software updaters/cracks. Free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (eMule, torrents, etc.) and other unofficial software download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manually downloading and installing malware. Spam campaigns are used to send hundreds of thousands of emails containing malicious attachments and deceptive messages encouraging users to open them. Attachments are often presented as invoices, bills, receipts, and other "important documents" to give the impression of legitimacy, however, opening them leads to malware infection. Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and continually inject additional malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the updates. Cracks work in an identical manner - their purpose is to activate paid software, however, criminals use them to proliferate malware and users are much more likely to infect their computers, rather than gaining access to paid features. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name Raldug virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .raldug
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt text file.
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact merosa@india.com, merosa@firemail.cc
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand a ransom payment (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Additional Information Displays fake windows update pop-up, modifies Windows hosts file to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites.
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, injects AZORult trojan into the system.
Removal

To eliminate Raldug 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?

Email attachments that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. Keep installed applications up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Software piracy is considered a cyber crime. Furthermore, the risk of infections is extremely high. Therefore, never attempt to crack installed applications. Lastly, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. This will detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with Raldug, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Raldug ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

ATTENTION!

Don't worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents 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 you have?
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 get and look video overview decrypt tool:
hxxps://we.tl/t-1LFQOfI0Se
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
merosa@india.com

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
merosa@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:

-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Raldug (".raldug" extension):

Files encrypted by Raldug

As with most of ransomware from the Djvu family, Raldug displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

Djvu ransomware family fake update

IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from the Djvu malware family also install a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Furthermore, this malware family is designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users from accessing malware security websites and seeking help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:

Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

Raldug ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Raldug 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 Raldug 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 Raldug 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 Raldug 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 Raldug 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 Raldug 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 Raldug, 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 Raldug 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 Raldug 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
Raldug 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 Raldug virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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