Protect your computer from Seto ransomware

Also Known As: Seto virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Seto ransomware removal instructions

What is Seto?

Discovered by GrujaRS, Seto ransomware is one of many malicious programs that belong to the Djvu family. These programs are designed to encrypt files and block access to them. To regain access, victims are encouraged to purchase a decryption tool from cyber criminals. Seto renames all encrypted files by adding the ".seto" extension to the filenames. For example, "sample.jpg" becomes "sample.jpg.seto". Like most programs of this type, it also creates a ransom message within a text file. In this case, it creates a file named "_readme.txt" and stores it in folders that contain encrypted data.

Seto encrypts files with a strong encryption algorithm. The only way to decode them is to use decryption software and a unique key. These can be purchased from Seto developers for $980 or $490. The cost depends on how quickly victims contact the cyber criminals. I.e., if they make contact within the first 72 hours of encryption, they receive a 50% discount. Contact is made by sending an email to gorentos@bitmessage.ch or gerentoshelp@firemail.cc. Victims are permitted to attach one file that Seto developers will decrypt free of charge. They offer free decryption to 'prove' that they have the correct decryption software and key. In fact, no cyber criminals can be trusted. Victims who pay the ransom are often scammed and receive no decryption tools. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs encrypt files with strong cryptographic algorithms, which are impossible to decode without specific tools held only by cyber criminals (developers of the ransomware). Typically, the only way to avoid data loss and having to pay ransoms is to restore files from an existing backup.

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

Seto decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type programs are very similar. Some other examplesare HILDACRYPT, Lbkut, and Apollon865. They encrypt files using strong algorithms and victims cannot decrypt them without specific tools. Main differences are usually cost of decryption software and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to lock files. People who have computers infected with these programs are often tempted to purchase decryption tools from cyber criminals who designed them. This can only be avoided when the ransomware is not finished (has unfixed bugs, flaws, etc.). The only other way to recover files is to restore them from a backup created before computer infection with ransomware. Therefore, have your data backed up and store in on a remote server (Cloud) or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most cyber criminals proliferate malicious programs such as ransomware through emails, Trojans, unofficial software updaters/activation tools, or dubious file/software download channels. Using emails, they attach malicious files and send them to many people hoping that recipients open them. If opened, these files infect computers with malicious software such as ransomware. Typically, they attach files such as Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files such as .exe or archives such as ZIP, RAR. Trojans are malicious programs that, when installed on the system, start to proliferate other malware. In summary, programs of this type often cause chain infections. Fake software updating tools infect systems by downloading and installing malware rather than updates, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system. Third party activation tools are used by people to bypass paid activation of licensed software, however, they often proliferate malicious programs and infect computers with high-risk malware. These programs are also spread via dubious file/software download channels. People infect their computers when they download and open malicious files that cyber criminals disguise as normal, harmless, etc. Examples of dubious download sources are various Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, websites that contain freeware or used to host files, third party downloaders, and so on. When people use these channels to download files or programs, they risk installing malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Seto virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .seto
Ransom Demanding Message _readme.txt
Ransom Amount $980/$490
Cyber Criminal Contact gorentos@bitmessage.ch, gorentoshelp@firemail.cc
Detection Names Avast (Win32:DropperX-gen [Drp]), AVG (FileRepMetagen [Malware]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.GWBS), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), 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, unofficial activation and updating tools.
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 malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

Do not open files attached to irrelevant emails, especially when they are received from unknown (or suspicious) addresses. The best option is to ignore them. The safest way to download files or programs is using official websites and direct download links. Other channels (those mentioned above) should not be trusted, since they could be used by cyber criminals to distribute malicious programs. You are advised to keep installed programs up-to-date, however, do not use third party tools. Update software using tools or functions that are provided by official developers. If software is not free of charge, it should be activated properly. Third party ('cracking') tools are illegal and can proliferate malicious programs. Finally, operating systems should be scanned with a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite, and all detected threats eliminated immediately. If your computer is already infected with Seto, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Seto ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):

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-yKBR9rlo6R
or
hxxps://gofile.io/?c=blfjRd
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:
gerentoshelp@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:
-

Screenshot of files encrypted by Seto (".seto" extension):

Files encrypted by Seto

Seto ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. 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 Seto 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 Seto 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 Seto 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 Seto 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 Seto, 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 Seto 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 Seto 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Seto 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 Seto virus on your mobile device.
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