How to uninstall Wannacry (Xorist) ransomware?

Also Known As: Wannacry (Xorist) virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Wannacry (Xorist) ransomware removal instructions

What is Wannacry (Xorist)?

Wannacry (not to be confused with WannaCry) belongs to the ransomware family named Xorist, it is identical to Jigsaaw ransomware. It encrypts files, renames them and provides victims with three ransom notes. Wannacry renames file by appending the ".wannacry" extension, for example, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.wannacry", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.wannacry". It displays a ransom note in a pop-up window, changes desktop wallpaper with another another ransom note, and generates the third one named "HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt" in each folder that contains encrypted data.

As written in the pop-up window and "HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt" text file, victims cannot decrypt encrypted files without the right software and key that can be purchased for $800 in Bitcoins. They can be purchased with a 50% discount, although, this offer stands only for 48 hours after encryption. Victims can purchase the aforementioned tools cheaper by writing a email to doltafukno@sina.com.cn within that time frame. However, as explained in the ransom note on a desktop wallpaper, decryption tools cost $1000 and can be purchased with a 50% discount by contacting cyber criminals within 72 hours. Either way, victims have to pay for them by transferring the equivalent amount of cryptocurrency to the 3MtgsQPSYzhb5j9CQ9okyj18Sj6yL7TQMa address (BTC wallet). As a rule, cyber criminals behind malware of this type are the only ones who have the tools that can decrypt files encrypted by it. Unfortunately, there are no third party tools that could decrypt files encrypted by Wannacry, at least not at the moment. Typically, when the operating system is infected with ransomware the only way to recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. It is strongly recommended not to pay a ransom to any cyber criminals - it is common that victims who do so get scammed, they do not receive decryption tools even after a payment. It is worthwhile to mention that installed ransomware can be prevented from causing further encryptions by uninstalling it. Although, encrypted files remain inaccessible even when that ransomware is no longer installed.

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

Wannacry (Xorist) decrypt instructions (wallpaper)

Wannacry is similar to a great number of other programs of this type. Here are some examples: Saved (Scarab), Pants and TapPIF. In most cases they are designed to encrypt files so that victims could not access (decrypt) them without certain software and/or key that can be purchased from cyber criminals. The two main differences are price of a decryption tool and/or key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses for encryption. In most cases it is possible to decrypt files without having to pay a ransom only when ransomware is not finished (has bugs, flaws, etc.), and it does not happen often. Therefore, it is recommended to always have data backed up and keep it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing ransomware and other malware through emails (malspam campaigns), unreliable software and/or file download sources, Trojans, third party/unofficial software updating tools and activation ('cracking') tools. When they malspam campaigns, they send emails that contain some malicious attachment and/or website link. Attached file, if opened, causes installation of malicious software. Here are examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails: Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe). Another way to proliferate malware is to use Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, freeware download websites, third party software downloaders, free file hosting pages and/or other file or software download sources. Users infect computers when they open some malicious file that they have downloaded through those sources. It is worthwhile to mention that cyber criminals disguise malicious files as regular, legitimate. Trojans are programs that can be designed to cause chain infections: when Trojans are installed, they can cause installation of other software of this kind. Unofficial software updating tools infect systems either by installing malicious programs instead of updates, fixes for installed software, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software. Unofficial activation tools are illegal programs that supposed to activate licensed software for free. However, tools of this type often are designed to install malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Wannacry (Xorist) virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .wannacry
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window, desktop wallpaper, HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt
Ransom Amount $1000/$500 or $800/$400
BTC Wallet Address 3MtgsQPSYzhb5j9CQ9okyj18Sj6yL7TQMa
Cyber Criminal Contact doltafukno@sina.com.cn
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Evo-gen [Susp]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.AIG), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Q), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Xorist.ln), 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)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

It is strongly recommended not to open files (or web links) that are attached to/included in irrelevant emails, especially if they are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Typically, such emails are disguised as important, official. Also, it is important to update and/or activate installed software with implemented functions or tools that are provided by its official developers. Third party tools can be and often are designed to infect computers with malware. Also, it is not legal to use third party (unofficial) tools to activate licensed programs. Furthermore, files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct download links. Other sources (examples are mentioned in the previous paragraph) can be used by cyber criminals as tools to proliferate malware. And finally, it is advised to regularly scan the operating system with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep it up to date. If your computer is already infected with Wannacry (Xorist), we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Wannacry (Xorist) ransomware's desktop wallpaper:

GOD HACKED YOUR FILES !
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
Price of private key and decrypt software is $1000.
Discount 50% available if you contact us wirst 72 hours, that's price for you is $500.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
3MtgsQPSYzhb5j9CQ9okyj18Sj6yL7TQMa

Screenshot of Wannacry (Xorist)'s text file ("HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt"):

Wannacry (Xorist) ransomware text file (HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt)

Screenshot of Wannacry (Xorist)'s pop-up window:

wannacry xorist ransom note in a pop-up window

Text in a pop-up and "HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt":

ATTENTION!
 
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase unique key for you.
key will decrypt all your encrypted files.
-
 
Price of private key and decrypt software is- 0.0673730 BITCOIN ($800 USD)
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 48 hours, that's price for you is - 0.0336724 ($400 USD)
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
 
Send Bitcoins to : 3MtgsQPSYzhb5j9CQ9okyj18Sj6yL7TQMa
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
doltafukno@sina.com.cn

WARRNING
IF YOU ATTEMPT KEY WRONGLY 7 TIMES YOUR ALL FILE WILL BE PERMANANLTY LOCKED WE CANT DO SOLVE.
 
3MtgsQPSYzhb5j9CQ9okyj18Sj6yL7TQMa

Screenshot of files encrypted by Wannacry (Xorist) (".wannacry" extension):

Files encrypted by Wannacry (Xorist) ransomware (.wannacry extension)

Wannacry (Xorist) 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:

Isolating the infected device:

Some ransomware-type infections are designed to encrypt files within external storage devices, infect them, and even spread throughout the entire local network. For this reason, it is very important to isolate the infected device (computer) as soon as possible.

Step 1: Disconnect from the internet.

The easiest way to disconnect a computer from the internet is to unplug the Ethernet cable from the motherboard, however, some devices are connected via a wireless network and for some users (especially those who are not particularly tech-savvy), disconnecting cables may seem troublesome. Therefore, you can also disconnect the system manually via Control Panel:

Navigate to the "Control Panel", click the search bar in the upper-right corner of the screen, enter "Network and Sharing Center" and select search result: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 1)

Click the "Change adapter settings" option in the upper-left corner of the window: Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 2)

Right-click on each connection point and select "Disable". Once disabled, the system will no longer be connected to the internet. To re-enable the connection points, simply right-click again and select "Enable". Disconnecting computer from the Internet (step 3)

Step 2: Unplug all storage devices.

As mentioned above, ransomware might encrypt data and infiltrate all storage devices that are connected to the computer. For this reason, all external storage devices (flash drives, portable hard drives, etc.) should be disconnected immediately, however, we strongly advise you to eject each device before disconnecting to prevent data corruption:

Navigate to "My Computer", right-click on each connected device and select "Eject": Ejecting external storage devices

Step 3: Log-out of cloud storage accounts.

Some ransomware-type might be able to hijack software that handles data stored within "the Cloud". Therefore, the data could be corrupted/encrypted. For this reason, you should log-out of all cloud storage accounts within browsers and other related software. You should also consider temporarily uninstalling the cloud-management software until the infection is completely removed.

Identify the ransomware infection:

To properly handle an infection, one must first identify it. Some ransomware infections use ransom-demand messages as an introduction (see the WALDO ransomware text file below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 1)

This, however, is rare. In most cases, ransomware infections deliver more direct messages simply stating that data is encrypted and that victims must pay some sort of ransom. Note that ransomware-type infections typically generate messages with different file names (for example, "_readme.txt", "READ-ME.txt", "DECRYPTION_INSTRUCTIONS.txt", "DECRYPT_FILES.html", etc.). Therefore, using the name of a ransom message may seem like a good way to identify the infection. The problem is that most of these names are generic and some infections use the same names, even though the delivered messages are different and the infections themselves are unrelated. Therefore, using the message filename alone can be ineffective and even lead to permanent data loss (for example, by attempting to decrypt data using tools designed for different ransomware infections, users are likely to end up permanently damaging files and decryption will no longer be possible even with the correct tool).

Another way to identify a ransomware infection is to check the file extension, which is appended to each encrypted file. Ransomware infections are often named by the extensions they append (see files encrypted by Qewe ransomware below).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 2)

This method is only effective, however, when the appended extension is unique - many ransomware infections append a generic extension (for example, ".encrypted", ".enc", ".crypted", ".locked", etc.). In these cases, identifying ransomware by its appended extension becomes impossible.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to identify a ransomware infection is to use the ID Ransomware website. This service supports most existing ransomware infections. Victims simply upload a ransom message and/or one encrypted file (we advise you to upload both if possible).

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 3)

The ransomware will be identified within seconds and you will be provided with various details, such as the name of the malware family to which the infection belongs, whether it is decryptable, and so on.

Example 1 (Qewe [Stop/Djvu] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 4)

Example 2 (.iso [Phobos] ransomware):

Identify ransomware-type infection (step 5)

If your data happens to be encrypted by a ransomware that is not supported by ID Ransomware, you can always try searching the internet by using certain keywords (for example, ransom message title, file extension, provided contact emails, cryptowallet addresses, etc.).

Search for ransomware decryption tools:

Encryption algorithms used by most ransomware-type infections are extremely sophisticated and, if the encryption is performed properly, only the developer is capable of restoring data. This is because decryption requires a specific key, which is generated during the encryption. Restoring data without the key is impossible. In most cases, cyber criminals store keys on a remote server, rather than using the infected machine as a host. Dharma (CrySis), Phobos, and other families of high-end ransomware infections are virtually flawless, and thus restoring data encrypted without the developers' involvement is simply impossible. Despite this, there are dozens of ransomware-type infections that are poorly developed and contain a number of flaws (for example, the use of identical encryption/decryption keys for each victim, keys stored locally, etc.). Therefore, always check for available decryption tools for any ransomware that infiltrates your computer.

Finding the correct decryption tool on the internet can be very frustrating. For this reason, we recommend that you use the No More Ransom Project and this is where identifying the ransomware infection is useful. The No More Ransom Project website contains a "Decryption Tools" section with a search bar. Enter the name of the identified ransomware, and all available decryptors (if there are any) will be listed.

Searching for ransomware decryption tools in nomoreransom.org website

Restore files with data recovery tools:

Depending on the situation (quality of ransomware infection, type of encryption algorithm used, etc.), restoring data with certain third-party tools might be possible. Therefore, we advise you to use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro. This tool supports over a thousand data types (graphics, video, audio, documents, etc.) and it is very intuitive (little knowledge is necessary to recover data).

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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

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Step 1: Perform a scan.

Hover your mouse over the partition you wish to scan and select "Scan". You can also select a specific folder, or click shortcut icons to scan the Desktop or Recycle Bin: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 1)

Wait for EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro to complete the scan. The scanning duration depends on the volume of files (both in quantity and size) that you are scanning (for example, several hundreds gigabytes could take over an hour to scan). Therefore, be patient during the scanning process. We also advise against modifying or deleting existing files, since this might interfere with the scan. If you add additional data (for example, downloading files/content) while scanning, this will prolong the process: Scanning the storage drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard PRO (step 2)

Step 2: Recover data.

Once the process is complete, select the folders/files you wish to restore and simply click "Recover". Note that some free space on your storage drive is necessary to restore data. Note also that the trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is only capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license: Recovering data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Step 3: Save the scan session (optional).

We recommend that you save the scanning session once you have completed recovery, in case you decide to recover additional files later. Simply click the "Save Scan Session" icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and choose the location for the file to be saved. This will save a lot of time, since you will not need to re-scan the storage drive the next time you wish to restore something. Bear in mind, however, that data removed after the scanning session has finished will not be listed: Saving scan session in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro

Create data backups:

Proper file management and creating backups is essential for data security. Therefore, always be very careful and think ahead.

Partition management: We recommend that you store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the entire operating system. If you fall into a situation whereby you cannot boot the system and are forced to format the disk on which the operating system is installed (in most cases, this is where malware infections hide), you will lose all data stored within that drive. This is the advantage of having multiple partitions: if you have the entire storage device assigned to a single partition, you will be forced to delete everything, however, creating multiple partitions and allocating the data properly allows you to prevent such problems. You can easily format a single partition without affecting the others - therefore, one will be cleaned and the others will remain untouched, and your data will be saved. Managing partitions is quite simple and you can find all necessary information on Microsoft's documentation web page.

Data backups: The most reliable backup method is to use an external storage device and keep it unplugged. Copy your data to an external hard drive, flash (thumb) drive, SSD, HDD, or any other storage device, unplug it and store it in a dry place away from sun and extreme temperatures. This method is, however, quite inefficient, since data backups and updates need to be made regularly. You can also use a cloud service or remote server. Here, an internet connection is required and there is always the chance of a security breach. Therefore, you should consider using an application to create data backups locally.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

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We recommend using the EaseUS Todo Backup application. The "Home" edition of EaseUS Todo Backup is usually more than adequate for regular users, however, the "Business" edition is more suitable for companies and large computer networks. The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides extensive data protection features. You can easily create backups, and encrypt and compress them for enhanced protection and storage saving purposes. It also allows you to set backup schedules, create bootable devices, and restore the system if a crash occurs. You can easily choose where to store the created backup: locally; uploaded to an external drive; FTP; cloud storage, or elsewhere. In summary, EaseUS Todo Backup is an all-in-one tool, which provides all features required to properly backup your data.

Creating a data backup:

The backup process is virtually identical regardless of the item (file, partition, entire system) you wish to backup. Taking the File Backup feature as an example:

Step 1: Choose which item to backup.

Click on the "Menu" icon in the upper-left corner of the screen to reveal the menu and select "File Backup": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 1)

Select the files you want to backup. You can also enter a name and description of the backup that will be created: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 2)

Step 2: Change the default settings.

The EaseUS Todo Backup application provides a variety of additional options that can be added/modified while creating the backup. For example, you can encrypt data (add a password), select the compression rate (how much the backup should be compressed), performance (how many system resources should be allocated), add an email notification (you receive an email once the process is complete) and so on.

To open the options window, click the "Backup options" button in the lower-left corner of the screen: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 3)

Select the settings you want to change and click "Save". You can also reset your changes by clicking "Reset to initial settings": Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 4)

Step 3: Select the backup destination.

As mentioned above, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to choose where backups are saved - locally or externally.

Click the "Browse..." button and select the location you want the backup to be saved: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 5)

Step 4: Safety measures and process completion.

Depending on the location you have chosen, there are a number of measures you should or should not take. If you are uploading to an internet-connected location (for example, Cloud storage, FTP, etc.), be sure to maintain your internet connection, otherwise you will have to start again. The same applies to external storage devices - do not unplug them until the process is complete.

The progress bar displays estimated time remaining until completion. Large backups (hundreds of gigabytes) can take hours to create (depending on storage device speed, internet connection, etc.). Therefore, the application also allows you to optionally choose what the system should do (shut down, sleep or hibernate) once the process has finished: Creating data backups with EaseUS Todo Backup tool (step 6)

The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups.

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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