Elimination of Vesad ransomware infection

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

Vesad ransomware removal instructions

What is Vesad?

Belonging to the Djvu ransomware family, Vesad is a high-risk ransomware discovered by Michael Gillespie. Once infiltrated, Vesad encrypts most stored files and appends filenames with the ".vesad" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" becomes "sample.jpg.vesad"). Once data is encrypted, it becomes unusable. Additionally, Vesad creates a text file named "_readme.txt" and stores it in every folder containing encrypted files.

The new text file contains a ransom-demand message informing victims of the current situation and encouraging them to purchase a decryption tool. Vesad encrypts data using an algorithm that generates a unique decryption key for each victim. Furthermore, all keys are stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, to receive their decryption keys and restore data, victims are encouraged to pay a ransom of $980. To receive payment/decryption instructions, they must contact cyber criminals via telegram or email. Those who contact developers within 72 hours after encryption receive a 50% discount (the cost will thus drop to $490). Additionally, victims are able to attach one file (which cannot contain any "valuable information"). This is then restored and returned as a 'guarantee' that decryption is possible and that developers can be trusted. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Many ransomware developers ignore victims once payments are made. Therefore, ignore all requests to submit payments or even contact these people. Vesad encrypts data using a so-called "offline key" whenever the infected system has no Internet connection or the server is not responding. Therefore, you should try using Michael Gillespie's decrypter to restore data. The only other solution is to restore everything from a backup.

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

Vesad decrypt instructions

Vesad is virtually identical to dozens of other ransomware infections, such as Armageddon, Poop, Myskle, Kjh, and Euclid. Most of these infections are also designed to encrypt data so that developers can make ransom demands. Size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used are typically the only major differences. Unfortunately, infections of this type often employ cryptographies such as RSA, AES, and similar 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. Infections such as Vesad present a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device (external hard drive, Flash drive or similar), since locally stored backups are compromised together with regular data. You are also advised to have multiple backup copies stored in different locations, since there is always the chance that servers and storage devices can be accidentally damaged.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Infections such as Vesad are usually distributed using fake software cracks/updaters, trojans, spam email campaigns, and third party software download sources. Fake cracking tools download/install malware rather than providing users with free access to paid software features. The same applies to fake updaters, which infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers by injecting them with additional malware. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain malicious attachments (links or files) and messages that encourage recipients to open them. To give the impression of legitimacy and increase the chance of tricking recipients, criminals often present malicious attachments as important documents (e.g., invoices, bills or similar). Finally, unofficial software download sources such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and other similar sources are used to proliferate malware by presenting it as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

Threat Summary:
Name Vesad virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Detection Names Avast (Win32:FloxLib-A [Trj]), BitDefender (Win32.Floxif.A), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Floxif.H), Kaspersky (Virus.Win32.Pioneer.cz), Full List (VirusTotal)
Encrypted Files Extension .vesad
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$480
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, stoneland@firemail.cc, @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 Vesad 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?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, to prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Never open email attachments received from suspicious email addresses. The same applies to links/files that are irrelevant and do not concern you. Download programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus such tools should never be used. Keep installed applications/operating systems up-to-date. To achieve this, however, employ only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. Be aware that cracking installed applications is illegal (software piracy is a cyber crime). Furthermore, many cracks are fake and the risk of infection is extremely high. Therefore, never attempt to crack installed software. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times. These tools detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If your computer is already infected with Vesad, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Vesad ransomware text file :

ATTENTION!
 
Don't worry, 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-BTtULebL7F
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:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch
 
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gorentos@firemail.cc
 
Our Telegram account:
@datarestore
 
Your personal ID:
-   

Screenshot of files encrypted by Vesad (".vesad" extension):

Files encrypted by Vesad

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 in remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. These are categorized as "online keys", however, there are cases whereby the infected machine has no Internet connection or the server is timing out/not responding. If this is the case, Vesad 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 identical, even though the decrypter is being continually updated). Your files will be restored only if the list of gathered keys includes 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 the Djvu family, Vesad 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 the 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

Vesad ransomware removal:

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

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