How to protect files from encryption by Odveta ransomware

Also Known As: Odveta virus
Damage level: Severe

What is Odveta?

Odveta ransomware is a new variant of another program of this type called Ouroboros. Odveta is designed to encrypt files using a strong encryption algorithm so that victims are unable to recover files without having to purchase a decryption tool and key from the cyber criminals who designed it.

Additionally, this ransomware changes names of encrypted files by adding an email address, ID number, and the ".odveta" extension to filenames. For example, "1.jpg" might be renamed to "1.jpg.Email=[RestoreData@airmail.cc]ID=[WXFESCN4J5013DR].odveta".

Instructions about how to decrypt files are provided in the "Unlock-Files.txt" text file, which can be found in folders that contain encrypted files.

Updated variants of this ransomware use ".Email=[Honeylock@protonmail.com]ID=[victim's ID].odveta", ".Email=[OdvetaSupport@elude.in]ID=[victim's ID].odveta", ".Email=[luciferenc@tutanota.com]ID=[victim's].odveta" and ".Email=[Recoveryhelp2019@protonmail.com]ID=[victim's].odveta" extensions for encrypted files.

Victims are encouraged to pay a ransom within two days of encryption, since the cost of the decryption tool/key will double after this time. After one week, the cost will treble. Note that their initial price is not mentioned in the ransom message. The "Unlock-Files.txt" file states that the cost will be provided after contacting cyber criminals via the restoreData@airmail.cc. email address.

The message must contain the appointed ID. In addition, victims are permitted to send a number of encrypted files, which Odveta's developers will supposedly decrypt free of charge. Typically, ransomware developers do this to 'prove' that they have tools that can decrypt files.

Unfortunately, even if they have decryption tools and keys, they are unlikely to send them. In many cases, victims trust and pay cyber criminals, only to be scammed - they receive no decryption tools/keys as promised. It is impossible to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware without specific tools held only by the cyber criminals.

Therefore, to avoid financial/data loss and being scammed, recover files from a backup created prior to infection.

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

Odveta decrypt instructions

Most programs such as Odveta are similar. Other examples include DEADMIN LOCKER, Maze, and Bot. Typically, they lock (encrypt) files and create or display ransom messages that contain instructions about how to pay ransoms. Main differences are cost of decryption software/keys and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt data.

In most cases, it is impossible to decrypt files without specific tools provided by developers of the ransomware. Despite this, avoid contacting or paying these people. Decryption might only be possible when the ransomware is not finished, contains flaws/bugs, etc.

Therefore, to avoid financial/data loss, maintain backups and store them on a remote server such as Cloud or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and malicious programs are spread using spam campaigns, software 'cracking' tools, Trojans, dubious software download sources, and fake software updating tools. Cyber criminals proliferate malware via spam campaigns by sending emails that contain malicious attachments.

They present these emails as official, important and attempt to trick recipients into opening attached files. Once opened, the files install malicious software. Typically, they attach executable files (.exe), archive files such as RAR, ZIP, PDF documents, JavaScript files and Microsoft Office documents.

Software 'cracking' tools are programs that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge, however, they often install malicious programs. Trojans are malicious programs that are often used to proliferate malware. Once a computer is infected with a Trojan, it is also infected with other malware.

Free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and other dubious software download sources are used to distribute malware though malicious files that are disguised as legitimate. When people download and open the files, they infect their systems with malicious programs.

Malicious software is also spread through fake software update tools. These infect systems by installing malware rather than updates, or exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the computer.

Threat Summary:
Name Odveta virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .odveta
Ransom Demanding Message Unlock-Files.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact restoredata@airmail.cc, honeylock@protonmail.com, honeylock@cock.li, odvetasupport@elude.in, luciferenc@tutanota.com, recoveryhelp2019@protonmail.com
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.Imps.1), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Ouroboros.D), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crypren.afvx), 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.
Additional Information During encryption, CMD (cmd.exe) windows pop up and then quickly disappear.
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

We advise against opening attachments that are included in irrelevant emails, especially when they are sent from suspicious, unknown addresses. The same applies to web links that are presented in emails of this kind. Download software only from official pages and via direct download links.

Other tools/sources mentioned above are often used to proliferate malicious programs. It is not safe to update installed software via unofficial tools. Use only tools or implemented functions that are designed by official developers. The same applies to activation of licensed software - 'cracking' tools are illegal and are often used to proliferate malware.

Scan the computer with reputable anti-virus or and anti-spyware software - ensure that it is kept up-to-date and remove any detected threats immediately. If your computer is already infected with Odveta, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Odveta ransomware text file ("Unlock-Files.txt"):

All Your Files Has Been Locked
They Cant Get Restore or Decrypted Without Decryption Key + Tool
You Have 2days to Decide to Pay
after 2 Days Decryption Price will Be Double
And after 1 week it will be triple Try to Contact late and You will know
You Can Send some Files that not Contains Valuable Data To make Sure That Your Files Can be Back with our Tool
The Payment Should Be with Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin(BTC) Send Email to Know the Price And Do an Agreement

Our Email: RestoreData@airmail.cc

Your Id: -

You Can Learn How to Buy Bitcoin From This links Below



Screenshot of files encrypted by Odveta (".odveta" extension):

Files encrypted by Odveta

Update January 29, 2020 - Crooks have recently released an updated variant of Odveta ransomware, which drops a completely different text file and, in addition, displays a pop-up window. The file extension remains the same.

Screenshot of the updated Odveta ransomware's pop-up window:

Pop-up window displayed by the updated Odveta ransomware

Text presented within this pop-up:

Your Files Has Been encrypted
How To Recover:
Your Data Has Been Encrypted With  AES 256 + RSA 2048 Algorithm
If You Want To Restore Files Send Email to Us
Before Paying You Can Send 1MB file For Decryption Test to Make Sure that your Files Can Be Restored
Test File Should Not Contain Valuable Data ( Databases , Large Excels , Backups )
Do Not Rename Files or Do Not Try Decrypt Files With 3rd Party Softwares , It May Damage Your Files
And Increase Decryption Price
The Exact Time of Encryption of Your System is Logged in Our Server
So You Have 48 Hours to Contact and Pay us , After That Decryption Price will be Double
Which Means Your Files Will Be Lost permanently
We Provide Decryption After Payment Because We should Do It For Our Reputation
if We Do Not Decrypt, Nobody will Pay us so its Bad for Our Business Too
So Dont Be Shy And Contact us To Get Your Data Back
Your ID : -
Our Email Honeylock@protonmail.com
How To Buy Bitcoin :
Payment SHould Be With Bitcoin
You Can learn how To Buy Bitcoin From This Links :

Screenshot of the updated Odveta ransomware's text file ("Unlock-Files.txt"):

Text file created by the updated Odveta ransomware

Text presented within this file:

***All Your Files Has Been Encrypted***

You have To Pay To Get Decryption Tool with Key

The Time That Your System infected has been logged in Our Server

So Being late more Than 48hours To contact or paying us will Double The price

And using 3rd party applications may damage your files and increase the Price

You Can Send some Files that not Contains Valuable Data To make Sure That Your Files Can be Back with our Tool

The Payment Should Be with Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin(BTC) Send Email to Know the Price And Do an Agreement

Our Email: Honeylock@protonmail.com
in Case of no answer contact : Honeylock@cock.li

Your Id: -

You Can Learn How to Buy Bitcoin From This links Below



Screenshot of files encrypted by the updated Odveta ransomware:

Files encrypted by the updated Odveta ransomware

Odveta ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Video suggesting what steps should be taken in case of a ransomware infection:

Quick menu:

Reporting ransomware to authorities:

If you are a victim of a ransomware attack we recommend reporting this incident to authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies you will help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers. Here's a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack. For the complete list of local cybersecurity centers and information on why you should report ransomware attacks, read this article.

List of local authorities where ransomware attacks should be reported (choose one depending on your residence address):

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device, and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, a ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, crypto wallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cybercriminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use the Recuva tool developed by CCleaner. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data). In addition, the recovery feature is completely free.

Step 1: Perform a scan.

Run the Recuva application and follow the wizard. You will be prompted with several windows allowing you to choose what file types to look for, which locations should be scanned, etc. All you need to do is select the options you're looking for and start the scan. We advise you to enable the "Deep Scan" before starting, otherwise, the application's scanning capabilities will be restricted.

Recuva data recovery tool wizard

Wait for Recuva to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundred gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process:

Recuva data recovery tool scan time

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data:

Recuva data recovery tool recovering data

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all the necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: One of the most reliable backup methods is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from the sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach, although it's a really rare occasion.

We recommend using Microsoft OneDrive for backing up your files. OneDrive lets you store your personal files and data in the cloud, sync files across computers and mobile devices, allowing you to access and edit your files from all of your Windows devices. OneDrive lets you save, share and preview files, access download history, move, delete, and rename files, as well as create new folders, and much more.

You can back up your most important folders and files on your PC (your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders). Some of OneDrive’s more notable features include file versioning, which keeps older versions of files for up to 30 days. OneDrive features a recycling bin in which all of your deleted files are stored for a limited time. Deleted files are not counted as part of the user’s allocation.

The service is built using HTML5 technologies and allows you to upload files up to 300 MB via drag and drop into the web browser or up to 10 GB via the OneDrive desktop application. With OneDrive, you can download entire folders as a single ZIP file with up to 10,000 files, although it can’t exceed 15 GB per single download.

OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage out of the box, with an additional 100 GB, 1 TB, and 6 TB storage options available for a subscription-based fee. You can get one of these storage plans by either purchasing additional storage separately or with Office 365 subscription.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is the same for all file types and folders. Here’s how you can back up your files using Microsoft OneDrive

Step 1: Choose the files/folders you want to backup.

Click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar

Click the OneDrive cloud icon to open the OneDrive menu. While in this menu, you can customize your file backup settings.

Select Help & Settings and click Settings

Click Help & Settings and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

Select the Backup tab and click Manage backup

Go to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.

Select folders to backup and click Start backup

In this menu, you can choose to backup the Desktop and all of the files on it, and Documents and Pictures folders, again, with all of the files in them. Click Start backup.

Now, when you add a file or folder in the Desktop and Documents and Pictures folders, they will be automatically backed up on OneDrive.

To add folders and files, not in the locations shown above, you have to add them manually.

Select a file manually and copy it

Open File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder/file you want to backup. Select the item, right-click it, and click Copy.

Paste the copied file in the OneDrive folder to create a backup

Then, navigate to OneDrive, right-click anywhere in the window and click Paste. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop a file into OneDrive. OneDrive will automatically create a backup of the folder/file.

File statuses in OneDrive folder

All of the files added to the OneDrive folder are backed up in the cloud automatically. The green circle with the checkmark in it indicates that the file is available both locally and on OneDrive and that the file version is the same on both. The blue cloud icon indicates that the file has not been synced and is available only on OneDrive. The sync icon indicates that the file is currently syncing.

Click Help & Settings and click View Online

To access files only located on OneDrive online, go to the Help & Settings drop-down menu and select View online.

Click the Settings cog and click Options

Step 2: Restore corrupted files.

OneDrive makes sure that the files stay in sync, so the version of the file on the computer is the same version on the cloud. However, if ransomware has encrypted your files, you can take advantage of OneDrive’s Version history feature that will allow you to restore the file versions prior to encryption.

Microsoft 365 has a ransomware detection feature that notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and guide you through the process of restoring your files. It must be noted, however, that if you don’t have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription, you only get one detection and file recovery for free.

If your OneDrive files get deleted, corrupted, or infected by malware, you can restore your entire OneDrive to a previous state. Here’s how you can restore your entire OneDrive:


1. If you're signed in with a personal account, click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Options and select Restore your OneDrive.

If you're signed in with a work or school account,  click the Settings cog at the top of the page. Then, click Restore your OneDrive.

2. On the Restore your OneDrive page, select a date from the drop-down list. Note that if you're restoring your files after automatic ransomware detection, a restore date will be selected for you.

3. After configuring all of the file restoration options, click Restore to undo all the activities you selected.

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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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.

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