Armageddon ransomware removal instructions
What is Armageddon?
Armageddon is yet another high-risk ransomware infection discovered by S!Ri. Once infiltrated, Armageddon encrypts most stored files using the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm. Unlike other ransomware infections, however, it does not add an extension or rename files in any other way. Once data is encrypted, Armageddon opens a pop-up window that contains a ransom-demand message.
The delivered message states that data is encrypted and that victims must purchase a decryption key to restore it. Unfortunately, claims that decryption requires a unique key are accurate. As mentioned above, Armageddon uses RSA-2048, an asymmetric encryption algorithm that generates two keys (public [encryption] and private [decryption]) for each victim. All keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, they are able to blackmail victims. To receive a decryption key, each victim is encouraged to send $100/€100 equivalent in Bitcoins to cyber criminals. Although this cost is not particularly high (other ransomware infections demand thousands of dollars), it should never be paid. Cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying usually gives no positive result and users are merely scammed. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking RSA cryptography and restoring data free of charge. The only solution is to restore everything from a backup, if one has been created.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Armageddon shares many similarities with dozens of other ransomware infections such as Html, Gerosan, and Muslat. Most encrypt data so that developers can blackmail victims by offering paid recovery of their files. Unfortunately, encryption is typically performed using AES, RSA, and other similar cryptographies that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, if the virus is fully developed and has no bugs/flaws, restoring data manually (without developers' involvement) is impossible. Ransomware infections are one of the main reasons why you should maintain regular data backups. Ensure that you store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices, since locally stored backups are compromised with regular data. Additionally, we advise you to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, since there is always the chance that servers/storage devices can be damaged.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
The way developers proliferate Armageddon is currently unknown, however, infections of this type are often distributed using third party software download sources, spam email campaigns, trojans, fake software updaters, and cracks. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, and other similar sources are also used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into manual download/installation of malware. Spam campaigns also have a similar pattern. Cyber criminals send thousands of deceptive emails that contain malicious attachments (links and/or files) and messages encouraging recipients to open them. To give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients into opening the files, criminals often present malicious attachments as important documents (e.g., invoices, bills, receipts or similar). Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers to download/install additional malware. Most fake updaters infect computers by misusing outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the updates. The same applies to fake 'cracks'. Rather than activating paid software free of charge, these tools inject high-risk infections into the system. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Ransom Demanding Message||Pop-up window.|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cryptowallet Address||15iSjsYtnFex2UppPURJ4C6HidPZfEribm (Bitcoin)|
|Detection Names (WnCryMode.exe)||AVG (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.HiddenTears.1), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), McAfee (Artemis!50C6225FF8E1), 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 Armageddon virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. Files/links received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. The same applies to attachments that are irrelevant or do not concern you. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are known to contain rogue apps, and thus such tools should never be used. Keep installed applications and operating systems up-to-date, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Bear in mind that software piracy is a cyber crime and the risk of infections is extremely high. For these reasons, software piracy should never be considered. Finally, use a reputable anti-irus/anti-spyware suite, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it harms the system. If your computer is already infected with Armageddon, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Armageddon ransomware pop-up window:
All your files on this computer have been encrypted: photo, videos, documents etc. Here is complete list of all of the encrypted files, and you can personally verify this.
Encryption was produced using a unique private key RSA-2048 generated for this computer. This key is random for each computer. To decrypt (return your files to normal state) your files need to obtain the private key.
The only copy of a private key, which will allow you to decrypt the files located on our secret server and will destroy itself after a time specified in the timer bellow. After that, nobody and never will be able to restore your files....
To obtain the private key for this computer, which will automatically decrypt files, you need to pay 100 USD / 100 EUR similar amount in another currency. You can buy Bitcoin here: coinbase.com/buy-bitcoin Click to select the method of payment and the currency. Any attempts to remove or damage this software will lead to the immediate destruction of the private key by the server.
Send $100 worth of bitcoin to this address:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Armageddon (no extension):
Armageddon ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Armageddon 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 Armageddon virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Armageddon?
- STEP 1. Armageddon virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Armageddon 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 Armageddon 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 Armageddon 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 Armageddon 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 Armageddon 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 Armageddon 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.
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:
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 Armageddon ransomware: