DDOS ransomware removal instructions
What is DDOS?
Discovered by Jakub Kroustek, DDOS is yet another ransomware from Dharma family. DDOS is designed to stealthily infiltrate the system and encrypt most of stored files. While encrypting, DDOS renames each file by appending ".DDOS" extension, as well as victim's unique ID and developers' email address. In example, encrypted "1.jpg" file would be renamed to something like "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].DDOS". As with other ransomware from Dharma family, DDOS also opens a pop-up window and drops a text file ("RETURN FILES.txt") on victim's desktop.
The created text file contains a short message stating that files are encrypted and encouraging users to contact the developers. Meanwhile, the pop-up window provides way more details. It says that data recovery requires a unique decryption key. Unfortunately, this is true. Developers state that data has been encrypted an asymmetric encryption algorithm RSA-1024. This means that each victim gets two unique keys: public (encryption) and private (decryption). Now the problem is that cyber criminals store all keys in a remote server and in order to receive one's key each victim has to pay a ransom. It is also noted that the payment must be submitted within 7 days after the encryption, otherwise the key will be overwritten by someone else's key. In other words, it will be permanently deleted and the decryption will become impossible. The price is not specified - such details are provided via email. Yet we should still mention that ransomware developers usually ask for $500-$1500 and they demand to pay in Bitcoins, Monero, DASH, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies, because it allows these persons to remain anonymous. Victims are also allowed to attach one selected file (up to 1MB [non-archived] in size). The attached file will be restored and sent back as a proof that the decryption is actually possible and that these persons can be trusted. Yet you should never do that. Research results show that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. For this reason, paying usually gives no positive result and users simply get scammed. All encouragements to contact these persons and especially submit payments should be ignored. Unluckily, there are no tools capable of restoring data encrypted by DDOS for free. The only possible solution is to restore everything from a backup, if there is one created.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are dozens of ransomware infections that share many similarities in-between. DrWeb, SYSTEM FAILURE, Bufas - these are only few examples from a long list. As with DDOS, listed examples also encrypt data and make ransom demands. Infections of this type usually have only two major differences: price for the decryption and type of encryption algorithm used. The problem is that such infections typically employ RSA, AES and other similar algorithms designed to generate unique decryption keys. Hence, decryption without developers interference is impossible, unless the virus is still in development and/or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is stored locally, it is hard-coded, or similar). Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups. Yet be sure to store them in a remote server (such as Cloud) or either unplugged storage device (flash drive, external hard drive, or similar). Locally stored backups will be encrypted alongside with regular data. It is also recommended to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, because there's always a chance that used hardware/server will be damaged.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
The way developers proliferate DDOS is currently unknown. Yet users should know that such infections are typically proliferated using unofficial software download sources, email spam campaigns, trojans, and fake software updaters, as well as cracks. Crooks use third party software download sources (peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.) to present malicious executables as legitimate software. This way users get tricked into manual download/installation of malware. Email spam campaigns are also used in a similar. Crooks send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails encouraging users to open malicious attachments (links/files). These attachments are usually presented as some extremely important/official documents, just to create the impression of legitimacy and trick users into opening. Trojans are also a popular tool used to spread ransomware. These malicious applications stealthily infiltrate computers and inject them with additional malware. Fake update tools usually infect computers in two ways: 1) by exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws, or; 2) downloading and installing instead of the promised/expected updates. Last but not least are fake cracking tools. As with updaters, fake cracks are designed to download and install malware rather than providing users with access to paid features. To sum up, the main reasons for computer infections are users' poor knowledge and reckless behavior.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.DDOS (this ransomware is also designed to append filenames with victim's unique ID and developers' email address).|
|Ransom Demanding Message||Pop-up windows, RETURN FILES.txt text file.|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Titirez.1.F), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/Kryptik.GTAT), Malwarebytes (Trojan.MalPack.GS.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Can'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 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 DDOS virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent this situation users must be very cautious when browsing the Internet, as well as downloading, installing, and updating software. It is very important to handle all email attachments with care. Files/links that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Such emails should be deleted without even reading. Moreover, be sure to download software only from official sources, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, which is why such tools should never be used. Same goes with software updates. Keeping installed applications and operating system up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. You should never attempt to crack any installed applications, because the risk of infections is extremely high and software piracy is a cyber crime. On top of all that, be sure to always have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, because such software is very likely to detect and eliminate malware before it manages to harm the system. If your computer is already infected with DDOS, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in DDOS ransomware's pop-up window:
All FILES ENCRYPTED "RSA1024"
All YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED!!! IF YOU WANT TO RESTORE THEM, WRITE US TO THE E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE LETTER WRITE YOUR ID, YOUR ID 1E857D00
IF YOU ARE NOT ANSWERED, WRITE TO EMAIL:email@example.com
YOUR SECRET KEY WILL BE STORED ON A SERVER 7 DAYS, AFTER 7 DAYS IT MAY BE OVERWRITTEN BY OTHER KEYS, DON'T PULL TIME, WAITING YOUR EMAIL
FREE DECRYPTION FOR PROOF
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 DDOS's text file ("RETURN FILES.txt"):
Text presented within this file:
All your data is encrypted!
for return write to mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Screenshot of files encrypted by DDOS (".DDOS" extension):
DDOS ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of DDOS 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 DDOS virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is DDOS?
- STEP 1. DDOS virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. DDOS ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the DDOS 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 DDOS ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining DDOS 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 DDOS 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.
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 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 DDOS ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "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.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here's more information on how to get this update and add additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 DDOS ransomware: