NEWS ransomware removal instructions
What is NEWS ransomware?
NEWS is the title of a malicious program, belonging to the Dharma ransomware family. It operates by encrypting the data of infected devices - for the purpose of then demanding payment for the decryption tools/software. As NEWS malware encrypts, all files are retitled according to this pattern - original filename, victim's unique ID, cyber criminals' email address and the ".NEWS" extension. For an example, a file named "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[email@example.com].NEWS" - following encryption. After this process is complete, a text file is dropped onto the desktop ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt") and a pop-up window is displayed. The text presented in both - are the ransom notes.
The text file states that all of the victims' data has been locked and if they want to return it to its original state - they must write to the email addresses provided. The ransom note in the pop-up window is more detailed. It clarifies that all of the files have been encrypted and that the users emails are to contain the unique IDs assigned to them. Should no reply come from the ransomware's developers within 12 hours, victims are to use the alternative mail address. This message ends with warnings. Users are alerted that renaming the encrypted files and/or attempting to recover them with third party decryption tools - can lead to permanent data loss. Additionally, it informs users that third parties claiming to be able to decrypt their data can be scammers and/or simply unable to do what they promise. Therefore, the note states that with any third party fees added to the ransom demanded by NEWS developers - the financial losses experienced by the victims will only grow. Unfortunately, it is true that in most cases of such malware infections - decryption is impossible without the interference of the cyber criminals responsible. It might be possible, if the ransomware is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against communicating with and/or meeting the demands of criminals. Often, despite paying - victims do not receive the decryption tools/software necessary to decrypt their files. Hence, their data remains encrypted and worthless. To prevent NEWS from further encryptions - it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already compromised files. The only viable solution is recovering the data from a backup, if one was made 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:
Makop, Ragnarok, TRSomware Is Back, Devos are examples of other malicious programs under the same classification as NEWS. Ransomware is designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. There are severe differences between them however, including - the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. The latter tend to vary between three and four digit sums (in USD). Typically, digital currencies (primarily, cryptocurrencies) are used for these payments, as transactions of them are difficult/impossible to trace. To ensure data safety, it is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. Ideally, backups should be stored in several separate locations.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.NEWS (files are also appended with a unique ID and developers' email address)|
|Ransom Demanding Message||FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and text presented in the pop-up window|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.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.|
To eliminate NEWS virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
It is recommended not to open suspicious/irrelevant emails, especially ones received form unknown and/or suspect addresses. Any attachments or links present in dubious letters - must never be opened, as these files are a potential origin of an infection. All downloads should only be done from official and verified download channels. Programs should be activated and updated with tools/functions, provided by legitimate developers. It is ill-advised to use illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters, as they can cause malware infections. It is important to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software should be used for regular system scans and removal of detected/potential tools. If your computer is already infected with NEWS, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in NEWS ransomware's pop-up window:
YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
Don't worry,you can return all your files!
If you want to restore them, follow this link:email firstname.lastname@example.org YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:email@example.com
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 NEWS's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Text presented in this file:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Screenshot of files encrypted by NEWS (".NEWS" extension):
NEWS ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of NEWS 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 NEWS virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is NEWS?
- STEP 1. NEWS virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. NEWS ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the NEWS 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 NEWS ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining NEWS 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 NEWS 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.
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 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 NEWS 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.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 NEWS ransomware: