DrWeb Ransomware

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

DrWeb ransomware removal instructions

What is DrWeb?

DrWeb is the name of legitimate anti-virus software, however, some cyber criminals also name their ransomware 'DrWeb'. It is possible that this is done to discredit the name of legitimate software. DrWeb ransomware belongs to the Dharma  family and was discovered by Jakub Kroustek. Cyber criminals use these programs to generate revenue by encrypting victims' data and forcing them to purchase a decryption tool. DrWeb renames all encrypted files by adding the ".drweb" extension. It also appends filenames with the victim's unique ID and developer's email address. For example, "1.jpg" might be renamed to a filename such as "1.jpg.id-1e857d00.[dr.web24@aol.com].drweb". It creates two ransom messages: one is displayed in a pop-up window and the other within a text file called "RETURN FILES.txt", which is placed in all folders that contain encrypted data.

"RETURN FILES.txt" contains just two email addresses (dr.web24@aol.com and dr.web247@aol.com), which should supposedly be used to contact cyber criminals, the developers of DrWeb ransomware. The ransom message in the pop-up window states that victims have seven days to contact them, after which the decryption keys are overwritten. Therefore, after seven days, victims will be unable to decrypt their files. To receive the cryptocurrency wallet address, victims must contact cyber criminals via one of the aforementioned email addresses and provide the unique ID, which is appointed to each victim individually. The email can contain one file, which DrWeb developers offer to decrypt free of charge. The pop-up window states that these cyber criminals will send a decryption tool and key, and instructions about how to use them as soon as they receive the ransom payment. People are encouraged not to try to decrypt files using any other tools and not to rename any. It is stated that such actions might cause permanent data loss or increase the cost of a decryption. We advise that you do not purchase decryption tools from cyber criminals who develop ransomware-type programs. They often ignore victims once they receive payment. To avoid possible financial loss, we recommend that you restore files using data backups. This is usually the only way to recover files, since most ransomware-type programs cause encryptions that are impossible to decrypt without using the correct tools. Unfortunately, only the ransomware developers hold these tools.

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

DrWeb decrypt instructions

DrWeb is similar to other programs of this type such as Qbtex, yG, and Codnat, and many more. They share two main similarities: 1) they prevent victims from accessing data by encryption, and; 2) they keep it in that state unless a ransom is paid. Main differences are commonly cryptography algorithm used for encryption and cost of decryption tool/key. Unless the ransomware-type program is in development or has bugs/flaws, it is virtually impossible to decrypt files without using the correct tool. Only cyber criminals (ransomware developers) have the tools required. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain backups and store them on an unplugged storage device or remove server such as Cloud.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Cyber criminals proliferate ransomware and other malware in various ways. They attempt to infect computers through spam campaigns, trojans, dubious software download sources, software 'cracking' tools and fake (unofficial) software updating tools. They use spam campaigns to cause computer infections through malicious files that they attach to emails. They send emails that contain Microsoft Office documents, executables (.exe and other files), archive files (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents, JavaScript files, and so on. If the attachment is opened, it downloads and installs ransomware (or another high-risk infection). If installed, a Trojan can proliferate other malicious programs, however, first, the computer must already be infected with it. Cyber criminals often use untrustworthy software download channels to distribute malware. They disguise infected files as legitimate and harmless, however, if downloaded and opened, these files install ransomware or other unwanted software. Untrustworthy sources to download software include third party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrents, eMule, and so on) etc. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. If used to activate paid software, they often cause download and installation of ransomware. Unofficial/fake tools that supposedly update software can also proliferate malware. They damage systems by downloading malicious programs rather than any updates/fixes, or by exploiting outdated software bugs and flaws.

Threat Summary:
Name DrWeb virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .drweb (this ransomware also appends filenames with victim's unique ID and developer's email address).
Ransom Demanding Message pop-up window, RETURN FILES.txt text files
Cyber Criminal Contact dr.web24@aol.com, dr.web247@aol.com
Detection Names (expIorer32.exe) Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
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.

To eliminate DrWeb 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 keep computers/operating systems safe, browse the web, download, install, and update software with care. Attachments (or web links) included in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened, at least not without studying them first. Software should not be downloaded using third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, or other tools mentioned above. Download from official, trustworthy websites and using direct links only. All installed software should be updated, however, this should be done properly, using tools that are provided by official software developers and not third party updaters. Various software 'cracking' tools are illegal and cause damage. They should not be used. Finally, have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. If your computer is already infected with DrWeb, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in DrWeb ransomware pop-up window:

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.)
When you make sure of decryption possibility transfer the money to our bitcoin wallet. As soon as we receive the money we will send you:
1. Decryption program.
2. Detailed instruction for decryption.
3. And individual keys for decrypting your files.
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 DrWeb text file ("RETURN FILES.txt"):

DrWeb text file

Text presented in DrWeb .txt file:

All your data is encrypted!
for return write to mail:
dr.web24@aol.com or dr.web247@aol.com

Screenshot of files encrypted by DrWeb (".drweb" extension):

Files encrypted by DrWeb

DrWeb ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb, 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 DrWeb 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 DrWeb 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

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

QR Code
DrWeb 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 DrWeb virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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