How to uninstall .support ransomware?

Also Known As: .support virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

.support ransomware removal instructions

What is .support?

.support belongs to the MedusaLocker ransomware family, it was discovered by Petrovic. It is designed to encrypt files, modify their filenames and create a HTML file named "Recovery_Instructions.html" (ransom note). This ransomware its ransom note in every folder that contains encrypted files. It renames files by appending the ".support" extension, for example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.support", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.support", etc.

As stated in the "Recovery_Instructions.html" file, .support ransomware encrypts files with RSA and AES encryption algorithms and the only way to decrypt them is to use a decryption software and key that can be purchased only from cyber criminals behind .support. To get instructions on how to pay for decryption tools victims supposed to contact cyber criminals via the provided Tor website or dec_restore@protonmail.com (or decrestore@cock.li) email address. Victims are encouraged to contact these cyber criminals in 72 hours because after that size of a ransom will be increased. Also, it is mentioned that victims who will not pay a ransom will have their files published on some website or sold to third parties. Unfortunately, there are no third party tools that could decrypt files encrypted by .support, only cyber criminals who designed this ransomware have them, at least at the moment. Although, victims of ransomware attack should never trust cyber criminals and pay them a ransom - it is common that victims do not receive any decryption tools even after a payment. In such cases the only way to recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. Also, malware of this type can be prevented from causing further encryptions by uninstalling it from the operating system. Unfortunately, encrypted files remain inaccessible even after its uninstallation.

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

.support decrypt instructions (Recovery_Instructions.html)

Other examples or ransomware are Zida, .HOW and WastedLocker. As a rule, such malware encrypts data and provides victims with instructions on how to pay a ransom. In most cases main variables are size of a ransom and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files. Most of the times victims cannot decrypt files without having to use tools that only developers of a particular ransomware have, unless ransomware has some flaws, bugs, etc. Therefore, in most cases the only way to avoid data and monetary loss is to restore files from a backup. That is why it is recommended to always have a data backup and store it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

In most cases users infect computers with malware through spam campaigns, fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download channels, Trojans and unofficial activators ('cracking' tools). Cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing malware via spam campaigns by sending emails that contain some malicious attachment (or link designed to download a malicious file). They attach some malicious Microsoft Office or PDF document, archive file like ZIP, RAR, executable file (like .exe) or JavaScript files and wait until someone opens/executes it. When opened, that file infects a computer with malware. Fake software updaters infect systems either by exploiting flaws, bugs of outdated programs that are installed on a computer, or by installing malicious software instead of updates, fixes, etc. Examples of unreliable download channels, sources that can be used to distribute malware are Peer-to-peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, freeware download, free file hosting web pages, and so on. Typically, malicious files are disguised as legitimate, harmless. If downloaded and opened, those files infect systems with malware. Trojans are malicious programs that can cause damage only when they are installed on a computer. Once installed, Trojans cause chain infections - install additional malware. Software 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) supposed to illegally bypass activation of some licensed software. Although, quite often such tools install malicious programs instead.

Threat Summary:
Name .support virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .support
Ransom Demanding Message Recovery_Instructions.html
Cyber Criminal Contact Tor website, dec_restore@protonmail.com, decrestore@cock.li
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.MedusaLocker.942644D7), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.MedusaLocker.C), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.dax), 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?

Programs should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites and through direct links. Other sources, channels (unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, etc.) can be used by cyber criminals as tools to distribute malicious programs, files. Operating system and installed software must be updated and/or activated only with implemented functions and/or tools that are provided (designed) by its official developers. Various unofficial activators ('cracking'), updaters tend to be designed to proliferate (install) malware. Another issue with unofficial activators is that it is not legal to use them to activate any licensed programs. Attachments and/or links in irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious, unknown addresses should be left unopened. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals who attempt to trick users into infecting their computers with malware. Typically, cyber criminals disguise their emails as important, official, legitimate. And finally, any operating system is safer if users regularly scan it with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with .support, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Appearance of the "Recovery_Instructions.html" ransom note (GIF):

support ransom note appearance

Text presented in .support this file:

YOUR PERSONAL ID:
-
/!\ YOUR COMPANY NETWORK HAS BEEN PENETRATED /!\
All your important files have been encrypted!

Your files are safe! Only modified. (RSA+AES)

ANY ATTEMPT TO RESTORE YOUR FILES WITH THIRD-PARTY SOFTWARE
WILL PERMANENTLY CORRUPT IT.
DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES.
DO NOT RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES.

No software available on internet can help you. We are the only ones able to
solve your problem.

We gathered highly confidential/personal data. These data are currently stored on
a private server. This server will be immediately destroyed after your payment.
If you decide to not pay, we will release your data to public or re-seller.
So you can expect your data to be publicly available in the near future..

We only seek money and our goal is not to damage your reputation or prevent
your business from running.

You will can send us 2-3 non-important files and we will decrypt it for free
to prove we are able to give your files back.

Contact us for price and get decryption software.

{{URL}}
* Note that this server is available via Tor browser only

Follow the instructions to open the link:
1. Type the addres "hxxps://www.torproject.org" in your Internet browser. It opens the Tor site.
2. Press "Download Tor", then press "Download Tor Browser Bundle", install and run it.
3. Now you have Tor browser. In the Tor Browser open "{{URL}}".
4. Start a chat and follow the further instructions.

If you can?t use the above link, use the email:
dec_restore@protonmail.com
decrestore@cock.li

Make contact as soon as possible. Your private key (decryption key)
is only stored temporarily.

IF YOU DON'T CONTACT US WITHIN 72 HOURS, PRICE WILL BE HIGHER.

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

Files encrypted by .support ransomware (.support extension)

.support 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 .support 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 .support 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 .support 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 .support 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 .support, 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 .support 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 .support 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
.support 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 .support virus on your mobile device.
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