How to uninstall Cuba ransowmare from a computer?

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

Cuba ransomware removal instructions

What is Cuba?

Cuba was discovered by Raby, it encrypts files, changes their filenames by appending the ".cuba" extension and creates the "!!FAQ for Decryption!!.txt" text file (ransom note). It renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.cuba", and so on. Typically, people who have a computer infected with ransomware like Cuba cannot use/access encrypted files unless they decrypt them with a certain decryption tool and/or key that can be purchased from cyber criminals who designed the program.

In order to contact cyber criminals who designed Cuba ransomware victims have to write them an email to After that they should receive information such as price of a decryption tool and/or key, how to pay for it, and so on. Also, victims are warned not to rename any of the encrypted files or try to decrypt them with some other (third party) software. It is stated that by doing that they may cause permanent data loss. As a rule, cyber criminals behind a particular ransomware are the only ones who have a tool and/or key that can decrypt victim's files. Unfortunately, that is the case with Cuba ransomware as well - there are no free tools that could decrypt files encrypted by this ransomware, at least not at the moment. However, it is not recommended to pay a ransom to developers of any ransomware. There are many cases where people who trusted cyber criminals (paid them a ransom) got scammed - they did not received a decryption tool and/or key. Typically, the only way to recover files without having to use decryption tools that can be provided only by developers of a particular ransomware is to restore them from a backup. Also, it is worth mentioning that files remain encrypted even after removal of ransomware. By removing it from the operating system victims only prevent it from causing further encryptions.

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

Cuba decrypt instructions (!!FAQ for Decryption!!.txt)

What most ransomware-type programs have in common is that they make files inaccessible by encrypting them and create and/or display some ransom note that contains instructions on how to contact their developers, pay a ransom, and/or other details. Two main variables usually are cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses for encryption and price of a decryption tool and/or key. Here are a couple of examples of other ransomware: Makop, Ragnarok and Devos. In most cases it is impossible to decrypt files without a tool and/or key that can be provided by certain cyber criminals. It can be avoided only in cases when ransomware contains some bugs, flaws or other vulnerabilities. That is why it is important to always have a data backup and keep it on a remote server or unplugged storage device. Having it is really useful in cases of ransomware attacks, it usually becomes the only way to recover data for free.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

In most cases cyber criminals spread malicious programs in these ways: through spam campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download sources/channels, software 'cracking' tools and fake updaters. When they do that by using spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or web links that, if opened, download some malicious file. It is very common that files attached to their emails are some Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR files), executable files (.exe and others) and JavaScript files. Trojans are malicious programs that are designed to cause chain infections. When installed, they install other malicious programs like ransomware. Examples of untrustworthy software download channels are various free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (like eMule, torrent clients), third party downloaders, unofficial websites, etc. Typically, cyber criminals use them as tools to host malicious files that they disguise as regular, harmless. People who open files that were downloaded through such channels risk to install malicious programs by themselves. Fake software updaters usually infect systems by exploiting bugs, flaws of the outdated software that is installed on a computer, or by installing malware instead of fixes, updates, and so on. Software 'cracking' tools supposed to bypass paid activation of licensed software. However, these tools are often designed to spread malicious programs as well. Simply said, by using them people risk to install malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Cuba virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .cuba
Ransom Demanding Message !!FAQ for Decryption!!.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMetagen [Malware]), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZexaF.34084.Uq0@a8Y@Zeei), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.FVDMMRL), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Gen.vkz), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name ListDrop list merging/converting 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.

To eliminate Cuba virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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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?

Files attached to irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is worth mentioning that cyber criminals often disguise their emails as official, important, and so on. Website links and attachments that are included in emails should be opened only when there is not reason to believe that it is not safe. All software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Any other sources should not be trusted. Examples of sources of this kind are mentioned in the previous paragraph. Furthermore, all installed programs must be updated through tools and/or functions that are provided by official software developers, and not some third party tools. If installed software needs to be activated, then it should be done properly as well. Various 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) are not legal and often cause installation of various malware. And finally, it is important to regularly scan the operating system for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and make sure that it is always up to date. If your computer is already infected with Cuba, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Cuba ransomware's text file ("!!FAQ for Decryption!!.txt"):

Good day. All your files are encrypted. For decryption contact us.
Write here [ ]
We also inform that your databases, ftp server and file server were downloaded by us to our servers.

* Do not rename encrypted files.
* Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software,
it may cause permanent data loss.

Screenshot of the malicious Cuba process running in Task Manager as "ListDrop merging/converting tool":

cuba malicious process ListDrop merging converting tool in task manager

Screenshot of files encrypted by Cuba (".cuba" extension):

Files encrypted by Cuba ransomware (.cuba extension)

Cuba ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Cuba 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 Cuba 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 Cuba 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 Cuba 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 Cuba 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 Cuba 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 Cuba, 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 Cuba 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 Cuba 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.

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
Cuba 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 Cuba virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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