Remove CASH ransomware from your operating system

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

CASH ransomware removal instructions

What is CASH?

CASH is malicious software belonging to the Crysis/Dharma malware family. Discovered by Jakub Kroustek, this program is classified as ransomware. It operates by encrypting data and denying access until a ransom is paid. As CASH encrypts files, it renames them with the victim's unique ID number, developer's email address, and the ".CASH" extension. For example, "1.jpg" might be renamed to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[cryptocash@aol.com].CASH". After encryption, CASH creates a text file "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" on the affected user's desktop. Additionally, CASH opens a pop-up window.

The text file informs users that their data has been locked, and if they want to regain access, they must contact the developers of CASH via the email addresses provided. The pop-up window contains a detailed ransom message. It gives instructions about how victims are to contact the cyber criminals and retrieve their encrypted files. Users are told that the email they are to send to the criminals must contain their unique ID number in the title. To restore their data, victims must purchase a decryption tool. The message states that the longer it takes users to contact CASH developers, the greater the ransom size. The payment must be made in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and the message gives instructions about how to obtain them. As a 'guarantee', the cyber criminals offer to decrypt one file free of charge. The file must be non-archived and no larger than 1 MB. Additionally, it must not contain 'valuable information' (e.g. database, backup, large excel sheet, etc.). Victims are warned against renaming encrypted files or trying manual decryption, since this risks permanent data loss. Unfortunately, this information is accurate - ransomware-type programs use strong encryptions, which cannot be broken with free tools/software. In most cases, only the cyber criminals who encrypted the files can decrypt them, however, users are strongly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Developers of these malicious programs often provide no decryption tools/software, despite payments made. Therefore, their data remains encrypted and useless. The only viable solution is to restore files from a backup, if one was made prior to the infection and stored separately.

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

CASH decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type software shares certain similarities. RecoLocalOmniSphere, and Athena865 are examples of malicious programs similar to CASH. Most ransomware encrypts data and demands payment for decryption. There are two key differences to these programs - the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the size of ransom. Without involvement of the cyber criminals who encrypted the files, recovering them is impossible, unless the ransomware is still in development and/or has bugs/flaws. To ensure data safety, maintain backups on remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (preferably, multiple copies in different locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware is usually proliferated via trojans, spam campaigns, untrustworthy download sources, software "cracking" (activation) tools, and fake updaters. Trojans are malicious programs designed to cause chain infections (i.e., they download/install additional malware). Spam campaigns are used to send thousands of deceptive emails that contain rogue attachments. These are typically labelled as "important", "official", and similar. The attachments can be in various file formats (e.g. executable and archive files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) and, once opened, cause the infection. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, free file-hosting and unofficial websites and other third party downloaders are classed as untrusted. These sources might offer deceptive or bundled content. Software "cracking" tools often install malware, rather than activating any licensed products. Fake software updaters exploit weaknesses in outdated programs and/or simply install malicious content, rather than the promised updates.

Threat Summary:
Name CASH virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .CASH (this ransomware also appends filenames with victim's unique ID and developer's email address).
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window (HTML application), FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact cryptocash@aol.com, cryptocash@airmail.cc
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), 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.
Removal

To eliminate CASH 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

Suspicious and irrelevant emails received from unknown senders should not be read. Any attachments found in these messages must never be opened, as this could enable them to download/install malware. You are strongly advised to use only official and verified sources for downloading. Installed programs should be kept up-to-date via tools/functions provided by the official developer. The same extends to software activation, since illegal activation tools ("cracks") can install malicious programs. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software should be used for regular system scans and removal of potential threats. If your computer is already infected with CASH, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in CASH pop-up window:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail cryptocash@aol.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:cryptocash@airmail.cc
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying 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.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
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 CASH text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

CASH text file

Text presented in CASH ransomware text file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email cryptocash@aol.com or cryptocash@airmail.cc 

Screenshot of files encrypted by CASH (".CASH" extension):

Files encrypted by CASH

CASH ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of CASH 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 CASH 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 CASH 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 CASH 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 CASH 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 CASH 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 CASH, 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 CASH 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 CASH 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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
CASH 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 CASH virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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