How to uninstall the CoderWare ransomware from a computer?

Also Known As: CoderWare virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

CoderWare ransomware removal instructions

What is CoderWare?

CoderWare (also known as BlackKingdom) is designed to encrypt victim's files, modify their filenames and generate ransom notes. It renames encrypted files by appending ".DEMON" as the file extension, for example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.DEMON", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.DEMON", and so on. CoderWare is designed to display a pop-up window and create the "README.txt" text file that contain instructions on how to pay a ransom, contact its developers, etc.

As written in ransom notes, victims need a decryption key in order to unlock their files. That key can be purchased for $1000 by transferring the equivalent amount of Bitcoin to the provided BTC wallet. After a payment victims have to send proof of a payment to the tuhafcoderus@protonmail.com email address. Also, it is stated that the ransom has to be paid within 10 hours, after that all files will be deleted. Usually cyber criminals who designed ransomware are the only ones who have a decryption tool and/or key that can decrypt files that are encrypted by their ransomware. Unfortunately, there are no third party tools that can decrypt files that are encrypted by CoderWare ransomware as well. In such cases there is only one way to recover files for free - to restore them from a backup. Also, it is possible to prevent installed ransomware from encrypting files that were not encrypted by it. This can be done by uninstalling that ransomware. However, already encrypted files remain inaccessible even after its uninstallation. It is important to mention that victims of ransomware attack should never any ransomware developers (pay them a ransom), very often they do not send decryption tools and/or keys even if they get paid.

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

CoderWare decrypt instructions (pop-up window)

There is a great number of malicious programs like CoderWare, a couple examples are Adr, Ssghl and Nigger. What most of them have in common is that they are designed to lock (encrypt) files and keep them inaccessible unless victims decrypt them with a tool and/or key that can be purchased only from their developers. In most cases the main variables are size of a ransom and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware is designed to use for data encryption. Victims can decrypt their files without having to purchase any decryption software and/or key when ransomware has some bugs, flaws (is not finished). Unluckily, it happens rarely. Therefore, data should be always backed up and kept on some remote server or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals distribute malware by using Trojans, malspam emails, untrustworthy download channels, unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools or and fake software updating tools. Trojans are malicious programs that can infect operating systems only when they are already installed on them (when cyber criminals succeed in tricking users into installing them). There are certain Trojans that are designed to install additional malware/cause chain infections. Also, cyber criminals can deliver malware by sending emails that contain malicious files like as Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), archive files like RAR, ZIP or JavaScript files, or include download links for malicious files in their emails. Either way, they send such emails with a purpose to trick recipients into downloading and opening a malicious file. If opened, those files infect systems with malicious software. Another method that cyber criminals use to spread malware is by using unreliable download sources. They use such sources to trick users into downloading malicious files by disguising them as regular, legitimate. Examples or sources that can be used for that are Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, free file hosting websites, third party downloaders, freeware download pages, unofficial websites, and so on. When downloaded and opened, those files install malware. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are illegal programs that activate licensed software for free. Nevertheless, quite often these tools are designed to infect computers with high-risk malware instead. In other words, instead of bypassing activation they install some malicious software. Fake software updating tools, if used, infect systems by installing malware instead of updates, fixes for installed software, or by exploiting bugs, flaws, of installed software that is out of date.

Threat Summary:
Name CoderWare virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .DEMON
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window, README.txt
Ransom Amount $1000 in Bitcoins
BTC Wallet Address 336Fvf8fRrpySwq8gsaWdf7gfuGm5FQi8K
Cyber Criminal Contact tuhafcoderus@protonmail.com, @Codersan (Telegram), +63 997 401 3126 (WhatsApp)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.BlackKingdom.ACC0B5B4), ESET-NOD32 (Python/Filecoder.CL), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Alien.ao), 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?

Software (and files) should be downloaded from legitimate, official sites and via direct download links. It is not safe to use third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule) and or other sources, tools that are mentioned in the previous paragraph. Irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses and contain attachments (or website links) should not be trusted as well. It is common that such emails are used to deliver malware. It is worthwhile to mention that they tend to be disguised as official letters from legitimate companies, organizations. Furthermore, installed has to be updated (and/or activated) with tools or functions that are provided by its official developers. None of the other, third party, unofficial tools are trustworthy. Also, it is not legal to activate licensed software with unofficial tools or use installers for pirated software. Additionally, a computer should be scanned for threats regularly, it should be done by using a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software that is up to date. If your computer is already infected with CoderWare, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in the pop-up window and the "README.txt" text file:

hey Down!
Seems like you got hit by CoderWare ransomware!
warning: take a screenshot of this place. If you lose the information here, you'll never get to us. and it would be impossible to get your dosys
Don't Panic, you get have your files back!

CoderWare uses a basic encryption script to lock your files.This type of ransomware is known as CRYPTO.
You'll need a decryption key in order to unlock your files.
Your files will be deleted when the timer runs out, so you better hurry.You have 10 hours to find your key
When you pay >>> 1000$  <<< to the Bitcoin address below,
you will need to send a single as proof to our e-mail address,
and if the receipt is correct, your code to decrypt our files to your e-mail address. It will be sent back to you via e-mail.  
But you have to be quick for that. Because you have 10 hours. If you do not pay within 10 hours, your files will be permanently deleted.
And it would be out of reach again. If you don't know how to get bitcoin.
hxxps://buy.moonpay.io
can quickly get your credit or debit card online from the website.
Please type the bitcoin address shown on the screen in the wallet field on the website. If you try to shut it down by force,
you'll lose your dosys. because if you lose your bitcoin address,
you won't be able to pay. and you'll never get your files back.

email: tuhafcoderus@protonmail.com
bitcion Adress : 336Fvf8fRrpySwq8gsaWdf7gfuGm5FQi8K
telegram : @Codersan
whatsap: +63 997 401 3126

Screenshot of the text file:

CoderWare ransomware text file (README.txt)

Screenshot of files encrypted by CoderWare (".DEMON" extension):

Files encrypted by CoderWare ransomware (.DEMON extension)

CoderWare ransomware removal:

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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

By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Trial version of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is capable of scanning drives and listing recoverable files - to restore them, you must purchase a license.

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.

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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.

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