How to remove Onix ransomware from your operating system?

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

Onix ransomware removal instructions

What is Onix ransomware?

Onix is a piece of malicious software, categorized as ransomware. It operates by encrypting the data of infected systems, in order to demand a ransom to be paid for the decryption tools. During the encryption process, all affected files are retitled according to this pattern: original filename, random number, cyber criminals's email address and the ".ONIX" extension (e.g. "[random_number].petek@tutanota.com.ONIX"). For example, a file like "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "1.jpg.33868453691972502380.petek@tutanota.com.ONIX" - following encryption. There are several variants of this malware; after the encryption process is complete - they drop a ransom note "TRY_TO_READ.html" on the desktop and change its wallpaper. The text presented in them are identical in both variants, the single difference is the email addresses presented therein.

The text presented in Onix's wallpaper - informs victims that their data has been encrypted. It warns them that attempting decryption with third party software will damage the files beyond repair, in other words - render them undecryptable. The text ends with email addresses, listed for the purpose of contacting the developers of the ransomware. The ransom note in "TRY_TO_READ.html" repeats the message of the wallpaper. However, it adds that to recover the compromised data - users must follow certain steps. The note states that victims are to establish contact with the cyber criminals, as they are the only ones who can decrypt the files. Users are to do so by writing to the criminals' emails and their letters are to contain their ID (generated individually and assigned to each victim). Unfortunately, it true that in most cases of ransomware infections, without the involvement of the individuals responsible - decryption is impossible. It might be, if the malicious program in question is still in development and/or has bugs/flaws. Regardless, it is strongly advised against communicating with and/or paying cyber criminals. Often, despite meeting the ransom demands - users do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, their data remains encrypted and they experience significant financial losses. To prevent Onix from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already affected files. The sole viable solution is recovering the data from a backup, if one was made before the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

Onix decrypt instructions (TRY_TO_READ.html)

ParrotRagnar LockerRazorCONTI are examples of other ransomware-type programs. Malware within this category is designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. There are two main differences between them: the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. The latter usually vary between three and four digit sums (in USD). Cyber criminals tend to demand the ransoms to be paid in digital currencies (primarily, cryptocurrencies), due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To protect data integrity, it is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. It is best to store backup copies in several separate locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware mainly proliferate through spam campaigns, trojans, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), illegitimate updates and untrustworthy download channels. The term "spam campaign" defines deceptive/scam emails sent on a large scale. These letters are typically presented as "important", "priority", "official" and so on. The emails have infectious files attached to (or linked inside) them. Virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archive and executable files, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - it initiates the infection (i.e. they begin the download/installation of malware). Trojans are a type of malware, capable of causing chain infections. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation ("cracking") tools often download/install malicious programs. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing the weaknesses of outdated software and/or by installing malware instead of the promised updates. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - are considered to be untrustworthy and can offer malicious software for downloading (e.g. disguised as or bundled with ordinary content).

Threat Summary:
Name ONIX virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .ONIX (files are also appended with a random number and cyber criminals' email address)
Ransom Demanding Message TRY_TO_READ.html and text presented in the desktop wallpaper
Cyber Criminal Contact petek@tutanota.com, petek@cock.li, a.petek@aol.com or ad_finem@tutanota.com, adfinem001@cock.li, ad_finem001@protonmail.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Heur.Ransom.Imps.1), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.NSN), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Spora.iaj), 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 ONIX 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?

It is ill-advised to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially ones received from unknown senders (addresses). Any attached files (or links) are not to be opened, as doing so can lead to a high-risk infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download sources. Software also should be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine developers, as opposed to with illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters. It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed. Furthermore, such programs are to be kept up-to-date, used to perform regular system scans and removal of detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with Onix, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Onix ransomware's ransom note ("TRY_TO_READ.html"):

Onix
I am truly sorry to inform you that all your important files are crypted.

If you want to recover your encrypted files you need to follow a few steps. Do not try to decrypt your files with programs by the decoder

Do not try to decrypt your files with programs by the decoder you will only damage your data and lose them forever

Only we can decrypt your data, write to the original mails specified in this file, otherwise you will become a victim of scammers

Contact me on this email address petek@tutanota.com petek@cock.li a.petek@aol.com "

Here is you personal id, send it to us

-

Screenshot of the alternative ransom note:

Onix ransomware another variant ransom note

Screenshot of Onix's desktop wallpaper:

Onix ransomware wallpaper

Text presented in the wallpaper:

Onix
I am truly sorry to inform you that all your important files are crypted
Do not try to decrypt your files with programs by the decoder,
you will only damage your data and lose them forever.
Contact email address :

petek@tutanota.com
petek@cock.li
a.petek@aol.com 

Screenshot of the alternative wallpaper:

Onix ransomware another variant wallpaper

Screenshot of files encrypted by Onix (".ONIX" extension):

Files encrypted by Onix ransomware (.ONIX extension)

Onix ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of ONIX 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 ONIX 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 Onix 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 Onix 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 Onix 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 Onix 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 Onix, 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 Onix 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 Onix 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
ONIX 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 ONIX virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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