Bufas Ransomware

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

Bufas ransomware removal instructions

What is Bufas?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, Bufas is a part of the Djvu ransomware family. Since this is a ransomware-type program, it encrypts data stored on the victim's computer, rendering files inaccessible unless a ransom is paid. Victims are encouraged to purchase a decryption tool from the cyber criminals who developed Bufas. This ransomware adds the ".bufas" extension to each encrypted file. For example, "1.jpg" is renamed to "1.jpg.bufas". Additionally, it creates a ransom message in the "_readme.txt" file, which it stores in folders that contain encrypted data.

The ransom message is used to inform victims that their files were encrypted using the strongest encryption, and the only way to recover (decrypt) them is to purchase a decryption tool and key. These can be purchased for $980, however, Bufas's developers offer a discount of 50% for victims who contact them within 72 hours after encryption. They can be contacted via the mosteros@firemail.cc or gorentos@bitmessage.ch email address, or @datastore account on Telegram. They then provide information about how to make payment. Before paying, victims are permitted to send one file that they will decrypt and return free of charge. Cyber criminals offer this as 'proof' that they have a decryption tool. They promise to send the tool once the ransom is paid, however, we advise that you do not pay them. People who trust these criminals are usually scammed - they pay the ransom but receive no decryption tool, or anything else, in return. Files encrypted by ransomware-type programs can be decrypted only using tools held by specific ransomware developers. In most cases, there is no other way to decrypt data, however, programs that belong to Djvu ransomware family sometimes can be decrypted using an offline decryption tool. This is only possible, however, if there was no Internet connection or the server used by cyber criminals was not responding while Bufas was encrypting data. Avoid paying ransomware developers and restore your files from a backup if you have one.

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

Bufas decrypt instructions

There are many programs that are similar to Bufas including yG, Qbtex, and Codnat. These are just a few examples. Typically, cyber criminals use them to encrypt data and blackmail victims by forcing them to purchase a decryption tool. The main differences are usually cost of decryption and encryption algorithm that is used to lock data. Unfortunately, most victims do not have many options: pay the ransom and hope that cyber criminals will send them the tools required for decryption, or; use a data backup and restore everything from there. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain regular backups and store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, computers become infected with ransomware-type programs through spam campaigns, trojans, fake software updaters, software cracking tools and dubious software download channels. When ransomware developers use spam campaigns, they send emails that contain attached files and hope that people open them. Attached files are usually Microsoft Office or PDF documents, executables (.exe and other files), archives such as ZIP, RAR, JavaScript files, and so on. When opened, they cause download and installation of malicious programs. If installed, Trojans cause chain infections. One purpose of these programs is to proliferate malware. Fake software updaters infect computers by downloading and installing malicious programs rather than updating or fixing installed programs, or by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws. Software cracking tools operate in a similarly manner. Rather than allowing users to bypass paid activation, they often download and install malicious software. If used to download software, untrustworthy software download channels can also cause damage. These channels are various freeware download websites, free file hosting pages, Peer-to-Peer networks, and other such tools. Cyber criminals use them to trick people into downloading and opening malicious files that are disguised as harmless and legitimate. Once opened, however, they download and install ransomware or other malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Bufas virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .bufas
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt text file
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact mosteros@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch, @datarestore (telegram)
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 payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Additional Information This malware is designed to show fake Windows Update window, modify Windows "hosts" file (to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites) and inject AZORult trojan into the system.
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.
Removal

To eliminate Bufas 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?

Do not open attachments or web links that are presented in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and not the dubious sources mentioned above. Installed software or operating systems should be updated using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official developers only. Furthermore, using various software cracking tools is illegal and, besides, there are many cyber criminals who use them as tools to proliferate computer infections. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and enabled. If your computer is already infected with Bufas, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Bufas 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-2jkyb95pOj
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" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
mosteros@firemail.cc
 
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch
 
Our Telegram account:
@datarestore
 
Your personal ID:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Bufas (".bufas" extension):

Files encrypted by Bufas

Malware researcher Michael Gillespie has developed a decryption tool that might restore your data if it was encrypted using an "offline key". As mentioned, each victim gets a unique decryption key, all of which are stored on remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys", however, there are cases when the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If this is the case, Bufas will use an "offline encryption key", which is hard-coded. Cyber criminals change offline keys periodically to prevent multiple encryptions with the same key. Michael Gillespie continually gathers offline keys and updates the decrypter, however, the chances of successful decryption are still very low, since only a very small proportion of "offline keys" have so far been gathered. You can download the decrypter by clicking this link (note that the download link remains the same, despite the fact that decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys will include the one that was used to encrypt your data.

Screenshot of STOP/Djvu decrypter by Michael Gillespie:

STOP/Djvu ransomware decrypter by Michael Gillespie

As with most of ransomware from Djvu family, Bufas also 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 Djvu malware family also install a trojan-type virus called AZORult, which is designed to steal various account credentials. Moreover, 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

Bufas ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Bufas 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 Bufas 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 Bufas 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 Bufas 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 Bufas 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 Bufas 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 Bufas, 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 Bufas 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 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 Bufas 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
Bufas virus QR code
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Platform: Windows

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