How to remove Asus ransomware from your operating system

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

Asus ransomware removal instructions

What is Asus?

Belonging to the CrySiS/Dharma malware family, Asus is a ransomware. It was discovered by Jakub Kroustek. This malicious program is designed to encrypt data and demand a ransom (i.e. payment for the decryption tools/software). During the encryption process all files are retitled a unique ID number (generated for each victim), developers' email address and the ".asus" extension. To elaborate, "1.jpg" would appear as something like "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[DataBack@qbmail.biz].asus". After this process is complete, Asus drops a text file - "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" on the desktop and displays a pop-up window.

The text file informs victims that their data has been locked and to recover it, they should write to the email addresses provided. The pop-up window contains a more detailed ransom note. It states that the data has been encrypted and to decrypt it, users must contact the cyber criminals behind Asus. The email must contain affected user's unique ID number in the title/subject of the letter. Should the developers of this malicious software not reply in 24 hours, victims are to use the alternative email address. The size of the ransom will depend on how quickly the criminals are contacted, the desired currency is Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Once the transaction is complete, the decryption tool will be sent. As proof, one file can be decrypted free of charge; provided, if it is no larger than 1Mb (non-archived) and contains no valuable information (e.g. database, backups, large excel sheet and similar). Furthermore, there are instructions given on how to obtain Bitcoins. Users are also warned not to rename the encrypted files and/or attempt manual decryption with third party software - else, they risk permanent data loss. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs use strong encryptions, which typically can only be decrypted by the software, initially used for the encryption. Despite this, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands and/or communicating with cyber criminals. Often, even though victims pay - they do not receive the promised tools; leaving their files permanently damaged. Removing Asus will not restore the compromised data, however removal will prevent it from further encryptions. The only possible solution is recovering the 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:

Asus decrypt instructions

WormCCryptorPBD are a few examples of malware similar to Asus. All ransomware encrypts data and demands a ransom to be paid. However, the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the size of the payment - differs from one infection to another. Usually, these sums range between three-digits and four-digits (in USD). Digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, etc.) are preferred by cyber criminals, as transactions of such are difficult/impossible to trace. Unless a ransomware is still in development and/or has certain flaws/bugs, manual decryption (without the interference of criminals, who encrypted it) - is impossible. To ensure data safety, backup copies should be kept in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. Ideally, multiple backups should be stored in different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malicious software predominantly spreads through trojans, spam campaigns, untrustworthy download channels, fake program updaters and "cracking" tools. Trojans are a type of malware, designed to cause chain infections. Massive scale spam campaigns are used to send out deceptive emails with virulent attachments (or web-links leading to them). These emails are typically disguised as "official", "important" and "urgent" mail. The attachments come in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.), when they are opened - they begin downloading/installing malware. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources are deemed to be untrustworthy. Such download channels are likely to offer malicious content and/or regular programs bundled with malware. Fake updaters exploit weaknesses in outdated software and/or simply install malicious programs, instead of the promised updates. Illegal software activation tools ("cracks") can infect systems, rather than activate licensed product.

Threat Summary:
Name Asus virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .asus
Ransom Demanding Message FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and pop-up window
Cyber Criminal Contact DataBack@qbmail.biz and BTCdecoding@foxmail.com
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 Asus 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/Irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially ones received from unknown addresses. Any attachments (or web-links) found in such mail must never be opened - as that is the source of a potential system infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Software activation and updating should always be done via tools/function provided by genuine developers; using illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters - is ill-advised. Users are strongly urged to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software is to be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats. If your computer is already infected with Asus, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Asus ransomware's 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 DataBack@qbmail.biz
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:BTCdecoding@foxmail.com
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 Asus's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Asus text file

Text presented in this file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email DataBack@qbmail.biz or BTCdecoding@foxmail.com 

Screenshot of files encrypted by Asus (".asus" extension):

Files encrypted by Asus

Asus ransomware removal:

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

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