How to remove Tilde ransomware from your operating system?

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

Tilde ransomware removal instructions

What is Tilde?

Tilde is a piece of malicious program, classified as ransomware. Credit for this malware's discovery belongs to dnwls0719. During the encryption process, all affected files are appended with the ".~~~~" extension. For example, a file originally named as something like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.~~~~" - following encryption. Once this process is complete, a ransom note - "Read~ME.txt" is dropped into every compromised folder.

The text presented in the "Read~ME.txt" file, informs victims that their data has been encrypted. The message states that all attempts of manual decryption will result in permanent data loss. To recover the files, users are to pay an unspecified ransom for the decryption tools/software. To learn how to do this, victims are to establish contact with the cyber criminals behind Tilde, via email. Users' letters are to contain the ID assigned to them in the subject/title field. In many cases of ransomware infections, without the interference of the criminals responsible for the attack - decryption is impossible. It might be, if the malware is still in development and/or has significant bugs (flaws). Whatever the case, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Since often, despite paying - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, their files remain encrypted and worthless, and users experience financial loss. Removing Tilde will prevent it from further encryptions. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already affected data. The only viable solution is recovering the files from a backup, if one was created 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:

Tilde decrypt instructions (Read~ME.txt)

Ransomware is designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. Random RansomRevonCCD and BlackOrchid are a couple examples of such malware. These malicious programs/infections have several key differences in-between them: the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. The demanded payments typically range between three and four digit sums (in USD). Digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, etc.) are usually used for the ransoms, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. It is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices - to ensure data safety.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Tilde ransomware infections originate from malicious advertisements (i.e. malvertising). The process begins when the malicious ad is clicked. It executes scripts to stealthily download/install Rig Exploit Kit (RigEK), which then injects the system with Tilde. However, malware is proliferated using various tactics. Popular proliferation methods include spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, illegitimate updaters and untrustworthy download sources. Spam campaigns are used to send deceptive emails by the thousand. These scam emails have infectious files attached to (or linked) inside them. Malicious files can be in a variety of formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.); when they are opened - the infection process (i.e. download/installation of malware) is initiated. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malicious software. Fake updaters infect systems by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malware instead of the updates. Malicious content can be inadvertently downloaded from untrustworthy sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and third party downloaders).

Threat Summary:
Name Tilde virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .~~~~
Ransom Demanding Message Read~ME.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact cryptofiles20202020@protonmail.com and cryptofiles20202020@cock.li
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZexaF.34106.xuW@amK0CDaG), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HCPQ), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.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.
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?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any attachments (or links) present in them - as that can lead to a high-risk infection. Only official and verified download channels should be used. It is also recommended to alway activate and update products with tool/functions, provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are advised against use, since they are commonly used to proliferate malware. Due to dubious/malicious content and sites promoted by intrusive adverts, it is important to exercise caution when browsing. To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software is to be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with Tilde, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Tilde ransomware's text file ("Read~ME.txt"):

Dear user! Your data is encrypted!

Any attempts to decrypt your data yourself will lead to loss of information !! Be careful!

Our mail:
1. cryptofiles20202020@protonmail.com
2. cryptofiles20202020@cock.li

Attention!

Decryption of your files is a paid service.
If you do not have money, then you can not apply. All is serious.
Contact us at the address and indicate your id in the subject line.
Your ID: 38e56b0bad

Screenshot of files encrypted by Tilde (".~~~~" extension):

Files encrypted by Tilde ransomware (.~~~~ extension)

Tilde 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 Tilde 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 Tilde 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 Tilde 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 Tilde 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 Tilde, 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 Tilde 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 Tilde 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
Tilde 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 Tilde virus on your mobile device.
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