How to remove Afrodita from your computer

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

Afrodita ransomware removal instructions

What is Afrodita?

Discovered by S!Ri, Afrodita is a part of the LockerGoga ransomware family. It encrypts data with the AES-256 and RSA-2048 encryption algorithms. Afrodita also creates a ransom message within the "__README_RECOVERY_.txt" text file, which contains instructions about how to contact cyber criminals for information to pay a ransom (purchase the decryption tool and key).

To prove that developers of Afrodita ransomware can help victims to decrypt their files, they offer free decryption of one file. Victims can send this to them through Telegram (hxxps://t.me/RecoverySupport) and the afroditateam@tutanota.com or afroditasupport@mail2tor.com email address. Cyber criminals behind this ransomware claim to be able to recover remaining files if victims pay the ransom for a decryption tool and/or key. This is apparently the only way to retrieve files. Like many programs of this type, Afrodita encrypts files with a strong encryption algorithms that are impossible to 'crack'. Therefore, the only way to decrypt them is using a specific decryption tool/key held only by the developers of this ransomware. They claim that they can be trusted and that it is not in their interest not to send decryption tools after payment. In fact, people who pay these ransoms are scammed - the cyber criminals do not keep their promise. Since there are no other free tools able to decrypt files compromised by Afrodita, the only way prevent further data loss and recover files is to uninstall this ransomware and then restore files from a backup. Files remain encrypted even after removal of ransomware - removal (uninstalling) simply prevents the program from causing further damage (encryption).

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

Afrodita decrypt instructions (__README_RECOVERY_.txt)

Ransomware is usually designed to encrypt files and keep them locked/inaccessible unless a decryption key/tool is purchased and used to decrypt them. Main variables are usually size of ransom and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files. Generally, it is impossible to decrypt files without specific tools held only by the ransomware developers, unless (in rare cases) ransomware is not finished (contains flaws, bugs, etc.). Data and financial loss can be avoided by restoring files from a backup. Therefore, have all data backed up and kept on a remote server or unplugged storage device. More examples of ransomware infections are Kangaroo, Ako and Clown.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Research shows that cyber criminals distribute Afrodita via spam campaigns (emails). They send malicious MS Excel documents that install this ransomware, however, to install Afrodita users are required to give permission to enable macro commands/editing. Once this is done, this document starts installation of Afrodita. Other examples of files that cyber criminals usually attach to their emails are PDF documents, archives (ZIP and RAR), executables (.exe) and JavaScript files, and others. Systems can also become infected with ransomware in other ways. For example, through Trojans. These malicious programs often cause chain infections: when installed, they install other malware. Malicious software can also be proliferated through untrustworthy, dubious software download sources such as freeware download or free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrents, eMule), third party downloaders, and other similar channels. Cyber criminals upload malicious files and disguise them as legitimate, regular, harmless. By downloading and opening them, however, people often infect their computers. Software 'cracking' tools are programs that supposedly bypass activation of licensed software, however, they often proliferate/install malware. The same applies to fake software updaters: they infect systems by installing malicious programs instead of updating installed software, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system.

Threat Summary:
Name Afrodita virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Ransom Demand Message __README_RECOVERY_.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact Telegram, afroditateam@tutanota.com, afroditasupport@mail2tor.com, afroditateam@firemail.cc
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), AVG (FileRepMalware), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Afrodita.C), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Encoder.guf), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Software Reporter Tool
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.
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

Attachments or web links that are included in irrelevant emails should not be trusted or opened, especially if the messages are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. All software and files should be downloaded from official websites. Do not use other sources (examples are mentioned above). Software must be updated through tools/functions that are designed by official developers. If an installed program is not free, it should be activated properly. Avoid various 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools - these are illegal and often infect systems with malicious programs. Keep operating systems/computers safe by regularly scanning them with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and remove detected threats immediately. If your computer is already infected with Afrodita, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

The appearance of Afrodita ransom message ("__README_RECOVERY_.txt") in GIF:

Afrodita ransomware pop-up gif

Text in this message:

~~~ Greetings ~~~


[+] What has happened? [+]

Your files are encrypted, and currently unavailable. You are free to check.
Every file is recoverable by following our instructions below.

Encryption algorithms used: AES256(CBC) + RSA2048 (military/government grade).

[+] Guarantees? [+]

This is our daily job. We are not here to lie to you - as you are 1 of 10000's.
Our only interest is in us getting payed and you getting your files back.


If we were not able to decrypt the data, other people in same situation as you
wouldn't trust us and that would be bad for our buissness --
So it's not in our interest.

To prove our ability to decrypt your data you have 1 file free decryption.

If you don't want to pay the fee for bringing files back that's okey,
but remeber that you will lose a lot of time - and time is money.

Don't waste your time and money trying to recover files using some file
recovery "experts", we have your private key - only we can get the files back.

With our service you can go back to original state in less then 30 minutes.

[+] Service [+]

If you decided to use our service please follow instructions below.

Contact us:

Install Telegram(available for Windows,Android,iOS) and contact us on chat:
Telegram contact: https://t.me/RecoverySupport

Also available at email afroditateam@tutanota.com cc: afroditasupport@mail2tor.com

Make sure you are talking with us and not impostor by requiring free 1 file decryption to make sure we CAN decrypt!!

Screenshot of files encrypted by Afrodita:

Files encrypted by Afrodita ransomware

Afrodita malicious process running in Task Manager as Software Reporter Tool:

afrodita malicious process disguised as software reporter tool

Update January 17, 2020 - The developers of Afrodita ransomware have recently started targeting Croatian users in the real-estate, technology and finance industries. To achieve this, criminals use various spam email campaigns and deliver malicious attachments, such as Microsoft Excel documents that contain macros designed to download and inject malware into the system.

Screenshot of a malicious MS Excel document designed to install Afrodita:

microsoft excel designed to install afrodita if allowed to enable macros commands

Update 19 February, 2020 - Criminals have recently released an updated version of Afrodita ransomware. Its behavior is virtually identical - the main difference is the stored ransom message ("READM3_AFR0DITA_REC0VERY.txt"):

Updated ransom note - READM3_AFR0DITA_REC0VERY.txt - of Afrodita ransomware

Appearance of the ransom message (GIF):

Updated ransom note - READM3_AFR0DITA_REC0VERY.txt - of Afrodita ransomware (GIF)

Text presented within this ransom message:

~~~ Greetings ~~~

[+] What has happened? [+]

Your files are encrypted, and currently unavailable. You are free to check.
Every file is recoverable by following our instructions below.
Encryption algorithms used: AES256(CBC) + RSA2048 (military/government grade).
[+] Guarantees? [+]
This is our daily job. We are not here to lie to you - as you are 1 of 10000's.
Our only interest is in us getting payed and you getting your files back.

If we were not able to decrypt the data, other people in same situation as you wouldn't trust us and that would be bad for our buissness -- So it's not in our interest.
To prove our ability to decrypt your data you have 1 file free decryption.
If you don't want to pay the fee for bringing files back that's okay, but remeber that you will lose a lot of time - and time is money.
Don't waste your time and money trying to recover files using some file recovery "experts", we have your private key - only we can get the files back.
With our service you can go back to original state in less then 30 minutes.
[+] Service [+]
If you decided to use our service please follow instructions below.
Contact us:
Install Telegram Messenger from hxxps://telegram.org/ and contact us: Telegram contact link (open in browser): hxxps://t.me/RecoverySupport
Also available at email afroditateam@tutanota.com AND afroditateam@firemail.cc
WHEN YOU CONTACT US THIS IS YOUR PRIVATE ID: -
DO NOT TOUCH ENCRYPTED FILES - THIS MAY CORRUPT DATA DO NOT RESET/SHUTDOWN PC - THIS MAY CORRUPT DATA DOING ANY OF ABOVE MAY LEAD TO CORRUPT FILES AND NO CHANCE OF RECOVERY - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
ALWAYS ASK FOR TEST DECRYPTION OF 1 FILE BEFORE PAYING!

 

Malicious MS Excel document used to spread updated Afrodita ransomware:

Malicious Microsoft Excel document injecting Afrotida ransomware into the system

Afrodita 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 Afrodita 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 Afrodita 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 Afrodita 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 Afrodita 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 Afrodita, 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 Afrodita 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 Afrodita 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Afrodita 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 Afrodita virus on your mobile device.
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