How to remove Adair ransomware from the operating system?

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

Adair ransomware removal instructions

What is Adair?

Adair is a part of Phobos ransomware family. Like most programs of this type, Adair encrypts files, changes their filenames and provides victims with instructions on how to contact its developers. This ransomware renames every file by adding victim's ID, email address of its developers and appending the ".Adair" extension to their filenames. For example, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id[1E857D00-2261].[kusachi@cock.li].Adair", and so on. It also provides two ransom notes: one in a text file named "info.txt" and another one in a pop-up window which gets launched through "info.hta" file.

Victims are informed that Adair ransomware encrypted all files and they can be recovered with a decryption tool that can be purchased from its developers. In order to get instructions on how to pay a ransom victims have to contact these cyber criminals via email (kusachi@cock.li or maycat@protonmail.com), or Jabber client (help_decrypt@xmpp.jp). It is stated that price of a decryption tool depends on how fast victims will contact them. Before paying they can send up to 5 files that should be decrypted for free. Typically, cyber criminals offer free decryption to prove that they have a tool (and/or key) that can decrypt victim's files. Unfortunately, most of the times cyber criminals behind a particular ransomware are the only ones who can provide a tool that can decrypt files encrypted by their ransomware. That is the case with Adair as well - there are no free tools that could be capable of decrypting files that were encrypted by it. Typically, ransomware-type programs are designed to encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms that are impossible to 'crack' so that victims would have no other choice but to purchase a decryption tools from cyber criminals. Only victims who have a backup of their data can recover files for free. It is worth mentioning that files remain encrypted even after uninstallation of ransomware, its removal only prevents if from causing further encryptions. Another important thing to mention is that cyber criminals should not be trusted (they should not be paid). Quite often they do not send a decryption tool (and/or key) even for victims who paid them a ransom.

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

Adair decrypt instructions (info.hta)

Adair is similar to many other programs of this type. Here are some examples: Jenkins, Afrodita and Kangaroo. In most cases they are designed to encrypt files and so that victims could not access them without having to pay a ransom. The two main differences usually are price of a decryption tool and/or key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses for encryption. Unfortunately, in most cases it is impossible to decrypt files without using tools that can be provided only by cyber criminals, unless ransomware is not finished (contains bugs, flaws, and other vulnerabilities). That is why it is so important to always have data backed up and keep it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device. In most cases having a backup of data is the only way to recover files without losing money and risking to become victim of a scam.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most of the times computers get infected with various malware through spam campaigns (emails), software 'cracking' tools, Trojans, untrustworthy software download channels and unofficial, third party software updaters. One of the most common ways to trick people into installation of malicious software is to send emails that contain malicious attachments (or website links that download malicious files). People who open them allow for those files to install malware. Some examples of attachments that cyber criminals usually send are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files like .exe, archive files like ZIP, RAR and JavaScript files. Software activation performed by using 'cracking' tools can lead to installation of malicious programs too. Tools of this type are often designed to spread malware by simply installing malware instead of activating licensed software for free. Trojans are programs that often are designed to cause chain infections (spread other malicious programs). Simply said, if a computer is infected with Trojan, then it is very likely that it will get infected with even more malware. Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule, and so on), third party downloaders, installers, freeware download websites, free file hosting websites and other tools are often used as tools to host malicious files that usually are disguised as legitimate, harmless. By opening files downloaded through such sources risk to install malware on their systems by themselves. Fake software updaters can be designed either exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system or install malicious programs instead of updates, fixes.

Threat Summary:
Name Adair virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .Adair
Ransom Demanding Message info.txt and info.hta
Cyber Criminal Contact maycat@protonmail.com, kusachi@cock.li and help_decrypt@xmpp.jp on Jabber.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Phobos.F), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Phobos.C), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), 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 Adair 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?

We recommend to download files and software only from official websites and via direct download links. None of the aforementioned and other similar sources should be trusted. Emails that are received from suspicious, unknown addresses and contain web link and/or attachments should not be trusted (their contents should be left unopened). It is worth mentioning that it is common for such emails to be irrelevant. Installed software must be updated through tools or implemented functions that are created by official developers. The same applies to software activation. Besides, it is not legal to activate any licensed (paid) software via unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Also, we advise to regularly scan the operating system for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep it up to date. If your computer is already infected with Adair, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in pop-up window of Adair ransomware ("info.hta")

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 kusachi@cock.li
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00-2261
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:maycat@protonmail.com
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of help_decrypt@xmpp.jp
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 tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (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/
Jabber client installation instructions:
Download the jabber (Pidgin) client from hxxps://pidgin.im/download/windows/
After installation, the Pidgin client will prompt you to create a new account.
Click "Add"
In the "Protocol" field, select XMPP
In "Username" - come up with any name
In the field "domain" - enter any jabber-server, there are a lot of them, for example - exploit.im
Create a password
At the bottom, put a tick "Create account"
Click add
If you selected "domain" - exploit.im, then a new window should appear in which you will need to re-enter your data:
User
password
You will need to follow the link to the captcha (there you will see the characters that you need to enter in the field below)
If you don't understand our Pidgin client installation instructions, you can find many installation tutorials on youtube - hxxps://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pidgin+jabber+install
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 Adair's text file ("info.txt"):

Adair ransomware text file (info.txt)

Text in this file:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address:  kusachi@cock.li.
If we don't answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address:  maycat@protonmail.com
If there is no response from our mail, you can install the Jabber client and write to us in support of  help_decrypt@xmpp.jp

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

Files encrypted by Adair ransomware (.Adair extension)

Adair ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Adair 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 Adair 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 Adair 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 Adair 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 Adair 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 Adair 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 Adair, 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 Adair 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 Adair 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Adair 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 Adair virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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