How to remove Pashka ransomware from your operating system

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

Pashka ransomware removal instructions

What is Pashka?

Pashka is malicious program categorized as ransomware. It is designed to encrypt the data of infected devices and demand payment for decryption tools. It is distributed via a hacked YouTube account called 'Noted'. YouTuber Noted has released a video, stating that his account account has been hacked. The infection spreads through a link in the description of a video entitled "Malwarebytes 4.0.4 Premium Key Cracked 2020 Protect Yourself". The link redirects to a cloud storage site from which an archived malicious executable file can be downloaded. The "cracking" (illegal activation) instructions inform users that they must disable all anti-virus software. As Pashka encrypts, files are appended with the ".pashka" extension. For example, "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.pashka", and so on for all affected files. After this process is complete, a text file ("HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt") is stored on the desktop.

The ransom message ("HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt") informs victims that all data has been encrypted. It states that the only way to decrypt it is to purchase decryption software and a personal decryption key (generated individually for each victim) from the developers of Pashka. The cost of these tools is 0.03 Bitcoins (approximately 240 US dollars at the time of writing). The message contains links to websites, from which users can purchase Bitcoin cryptocurrency. After users pay the ransom by transferring it to the listed cryptowallet address, they must send proof of the transaction and their unique ID to the cyber criminals' email address. Unfortunately, in most cases of ransomware infections, decryption is impossible without the involvement of the malware developers, unless the ransomware in question is still in development and/or has bugs/flaws. Regardless, you are strongly advised against meeting any ransom demands. Cyber criminals can never be trusted. Despite paying, victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, their data remains encrypted and useless, and they also experience financial loss. To prevent Pashka from further encryption, remove it from the operating system. Removal will not restore already compromised data - the only viable solution is to recover it from a backup, if one was created prior to the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

Pashka decrypt instructions (HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt)

Roll SafeBabloSnake, and SatanCryptor are examples of other ransomware programs. All software classified as such operates by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments for decryption. Key differences include the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and payment size. To protect files from data encryption and damaging attacks, keep backups on remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. Ideally, multiple backups should be stored in several separate locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware proliferates through illegal software activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters, spam campaigns, trojans and untrustworthy download channels. Rather than activating licensed products, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware. Fake updaters infect systems by exploiting weaknesses of outdated programs and/or simply installing malicious software rather than the updates. Spam campaigns are used to send thousands of deceptive emails, with infectious files attached or containing links leading to them. These files can be in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.). When they are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection process starts. Trojans are malicious programs, capable of causing chain infections. Untrustworthy download sources such as unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer malicious content for downloading (e.g. disguised as regular software and/or bundled with it).

Threat Summary:
Name Pashka virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .pashka
Ransom Demanding Message HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt
Ransom Amount 0.03 Bitcoin (~240 USD)
Cyber Criminals' Cryptowallet Address 3LtZ1DRUTupWFdxkgyTyMDa2AYEcNio4Pu3LtZ1DRUTupWFdxkgyTyMDa2AYEcNio4Pu (Bitcoin)
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Rising (Trojan.Generic@ML.87 (RDML:TQX579), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZexaF.33558.euW@aeDY58ai), McAfee-GW-Edition (, CrowdStrike Falcon (Win/malicious_confidence_80% (D)), 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 The ransomware is distributed via link within a YouTube video posted on a hacked account.
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 Malwarebytes.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

You are advised to only activate products with functions/tools provided by genuine developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") should not be used - they are high-risk. The same extends to software updates. Updaters obtained from third parties should be avoided. All downloads should be performed via official and verified sources. Do not open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails. Any attachments (or links) found in suspect mail must never be opened, as they are a potential origin of infection. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this should be used for regular system scans and elimination of detected threats. If your computer is already infected with Pashka, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Pashka ransomware text file ("HELP_ME_RECOVER_MY_FILES.txt"):

Atention! all your important files were encrypted!
to get your files back send 0.03 Bitcoins and contact us with proof of payment and
your Unique Identifier Key.
We will send you a decryption tool with your personal decryption password.

Where can you buy Bitcoins:



Bitcoin wallet to make the transfer to is:
Unique Identifier Key (must be sent to us together with proof of payment): -

Screenshot of files encrypted by Pashka (".pashka" extension):

Files encrypted by Pashka ransomware (.pashka extension)

Screenshot of video containing the download link of Pashka ransomware in the description (posted on a hacked YouTube channel):

pashka ransomware hacked youtube channel

Screenshot of website that the link opens:

pashka ransomware download link youtube video description

Screenshot of the activation ("cracking") instructions for the downloaded files:

pashka ransomware downloaded files crack instructions tell to disable vantivirus

Pashka ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes 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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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 Pashka 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 Pashka 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 Pashka 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 Pashka 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 Pashka, 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 Pashka 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 Pashka 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 since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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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
Pashka 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 Pashka virus on your mobile device.
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