TeslaCrypt Ransomware

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

TeslaCrypt ransomware removal instructions

What is TeslaCrypt?

TeslaCrypt is a malicious program that encrypts users' files using AES encryption. Once the files are encrypted, payment for a private key (used to decrypt files) is demanded. TeslaCrypt differs from typical file encrypting ransomware (which targets videos, documents, application databases, images, etc.) in that it also encrypts video game-related files. There are over 40 different video games targeted by TeslaCrypt including, for example, MineCraft, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, World of Tanks, Dragon Age, RPG Maker, and Steam.

teslacrypt Howto_Restore_FILES ransomware

Another significant difference is that this ransomware accepts ransom payments via PayPal My Cash cards and BitCoin. PayPal My Cash cards can be purchased at popular US chain stores and pre-loaded with money for later transfer to a PayPal account using the card's PIN code. Paying with BitCoins costs $US500, which is half the cost of using PayPal cards. The reason for this is most likely to be the high risk of any illegal gains being confiscated by PayPal.

Threat Summary:
NameTeslacrypt virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll 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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Furthermore, TeslaCrypt will change your desktop background and create a file called HELP_TO_DECRYPT_YOUR_FILES.txt (or _how_recover_.HTML, _how_recover_.TXT, Howto_Restore_FILES.BMP, Howto_Restore_FILES.TXT, and how_recover + mln.html) on the desktop. A lock screen stating that you must make payment within three days will then appear. The lock screen contains buttons, which allow users to check their payment status, enter decryption keys, and provide a link to a TOR payment website where a free file decryption test can be performed.

Update 18 May 2016 - The developers of TeslaCrypt ransomware have decided to end their rogue business and released a master may which can be used to decrypt the files compromised by this ransomware for free. Here’s a screenshot of a TeslaCrypt payment site that now contains a master key used to decrypt the files encrypted by this ransomware:

teslacrypt ransomware payment site containing master key

Thanks to BloodDolly the master key released by Cyber criminals are now implemented into the TeslaDecoder tool that can be used to decrypt victim’s files for free. You can download it HERE. Victims of TeslaCrypt ransomware should follow these instructions to decrypt their files for free:

Step 1. Download and launch the TeslaDecoder tool.

tesladecoder step 1
Step 2. Click “Set Key” button and select the extension of your encrypted files (for example .ecc, .ezz etc.)

tesladecoder step 2
Step 3. The last step is to click “Decrypt all” button and wait for this tool to decrypt all your compromised files.

tesladecoder step 3

Victims of TeslaCrypt can also try using a decrypter created by ESET. More information on how to use this tool HERE.


Examples of spam email messages containing infected attachments spreading TeslaCrypt ransomware:

teslacrypt ransomware distributing email sample 3 teslacrypt ransomware distributing email sample 2 infected email attachment distributing teslacrypt ransomware

Screenshots of Howto_Restore_FILES.TXT and Howto_Restore_FILES.BMP files:

Howto_Restore_FILES.TXT Howto_Restore_FILES.BMP

Update 15 July, 2015 - New variant of TeslaCrypt (version 2.0.0) now opens an HTML page (rather than its own window) that is fully copied from another ransomware program called CryptoWall 3.0:

teslacrypt 2 main window

TeslaCrypt demanding ransom payment to decrypt files:


What happened to your files?
All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RSA-4096
More information about the encryption RSA-4096 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)

What does this mean?
This means that the structure and data within your files have been irrevocably changed, you will not be able to work with them, read them or see them, it is the same thing as losing them forever, but with our help, you can restore them.

How did this happen?
Especially for your, on our server was generated the secret key pair RSA-4096 - public and private. All your files were encrypted with the public key, which has been transferred to your computer via the Internet. Decrypting of YOUR FILES is only possible with the help of the private hey and decrypt program, which is on our Secret Server!!!

What do I do?
Alas, if you do not take the necessary measures for the specified time then the conditions of obtaining the private key will be changed. If you really need your data, them we suggest you do not waste valuable time searching for other solutions because they do not exist.

At the time of research, the TeslaCrypt virus distribution method was unknown, however, following successful infiltration on computer systems, the software scans all drives and encrypts certain file types using AES encryption. Encrypted files will have the .ECC, .VVV, .ZZZ, .TTT , .MICRO or .XXX extensions applied to the file names.

File types encrypted by the TeslaCrypt ransomware:

.unity3d, .blob, .wma, .avi, .rar, .DayZProfile, .doc, .odb, .asset, ,forge, .cas, .map, .mcgame, .rgss3a, .big, .wotreplay, .xxx, .m3u, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .crt, .x3f, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .lvl, .sis, .gdb, .7z, .apk, .asset, .avi, .bak, .bik, .bsa, .csv, .d3dbsp, .das, .forge, .iwi, .lbf, .litemod, .litesql, .ltx, .m4a, .mp4, .rar, .re4, .sav, .slm, .sql, .tiff, .upk, .wma, .wmv, and .wallet.

TeslaCrypt payent information

Ransom payment information presented in TeslaCrypt:

How to pay us in bitcoins:
Useful site: howtobuybitcoins.info (find exchanges in your country)
1. Visit one of the sites below to buy bitcoins (or find one yourself using the site given above)
(2. Login or create an account if necessary.)
3. Buy the amount of bitcoins you need to pay and send them to the address given in this window.
(4. You can go to blockchain.info and search for your address to see whether the bitcoins are received.)
5. If the bitcoins are on the address, click ‘check payment and receive keys’.
6. Your keys are now received, press ‘decrypt using keys’.
7. Your files will be restored and the program will delete itself.

Note that at time of writing, there were no known tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by TeslaCrypt without paying the ransom (try restoring your files from Shadow copies). By following this removal guide, you will be able to remove this ransomware from your computer, however, the affected files will remain encrypted. We will update this article as soon as there is more information available regarding decryption of compromised files.

Update 28 April 2015 - Cisco Talos Group has released a TeslaDecrypt tool - try using this application to regain control of your encrypted files. More information on how to use this tool here.

Update 27 October 2015 - A new variant of TeslaCrypt ransomware now adds a .ecc, .ezz, .exx, .xyz, .zzz, .aaa, .abc, .ccc, .vvv file extension to the encrypted files.

Update 30 December 2015 - Cyber criminals responsible for creating TeslaCrypt ransomware have slightly changed the ransom demanding text:

What happened to your files?
All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RSA-4096. More information about the encryption keys using RSA-4096 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
How did this happen?
Specially for your PC was generated personal RSA-4096 KEY, both public and private. ALL YOUR FILES were encrypted with the public key, which has been transferred to your computer via the Internet. Decrypting of your files is only possible with the help of the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server.
What do I do?
so, there are two ways you can choose: wait for a miracle and get your price doubled, or start obtaining BTC NOW, and restore your data easy way. If you have really valuable data, you better not waste your time, because there is no other way to get your files, except make a payment.

Update 21 January 2016 - Due to a discovered flaw in TeslaCrypt ransomware security researchers were able develop a decryption tool to regain control of the compromised data. Download it HERE. This decryption tool works with older versions of TeslaCrypt ransomware (the ones that add .AAA, .ABC, .CCC, .VVV, .ECC, .EZZ, .EXX, .XYZ, .ZZZ file extensions to the encrypted files). Unfortunately victims of the newer version of this ransomware (encrypted files utilize .TTT, .XXX, and .MICRO file extensions) won’t be able to decrypt their files for free using this decrypter.

Update 13 February 2016 - A new variant of TeslaCrypt now adds .mp3 extension to the encrypted files. The files with the ransom message has also changed their names - now the ransom messages are presented in _H_e_l_p_RECOVER_INSTRUCTIONS.png, _H_e_l_p_RECOVER_INSTRUCTIONS.txt, _H_e_l_p_RECOVER_INSTRUCTIONS.HTML files. Notice that at the time of writing this message there were no tools available to decrypt the compromised files without paying the ransom.

Update 7 March 2016 - An updated variant of TeslaCrypt generates _ReCoVeRy_.TXT, _ReCoVeRy_.HTML, and _ReCoVeRy_.PNG files in every folder containing encrypted data.

Update 15 March 2016 - Cyber criminals have updated TeslaCrypt ransomware (security researchers call it TeslaCrypt 4 - now it adds .jpg extension to the encrypted files (notice that other variants doesn't change or add any new file extension - the original is left in place). The ransom payment instructions are now stored in RECOVER[5 ransom letters].png, RECOVER[5 random letters].txt, and RECOVER[5 random letters].html files that are located in each directory containing compromised data.

Here's a screenshot of an updated ransom demanding message:

teslacrypt version 4 updated ransomware

Text presented in the updated ransom demanding message:

What’s the matter with you files?

Your data was secured using a strong encryption with RSA4096. Use the link down below to find additional information on the encryption keys using RSA4096

What exactly that means?

It means that in a structural level your files have been transformed. You won’t be able to use, read, see or work with them anymore. In other words they are useless, however, there is a possibility to restore them with our help.

What exactly happened to your files?

*** Two personal RSA4096 keys were generated for you PC/Laptop; one key is public, another key is private.
*** All your data and files were encrypted by the means of the public key, which you received over the web.
*** In order to decrypt your data and gain access to your computer you need a private key and a decryption software, which can be found on one of our secret servers.

What should you do next?

There are several options for you to consider:
1. You can wait for a while until the price of a private key will raise, so you will have to pay twice as much to access your files or
2. You can start getting BitCoins right now and get access to your data quite fast.
In case you have valuable files, we advise you to act fast as there is no other option rather than paying in order to get back your data.

Update 29 March 2016 - Some variants of Teslacrypt ransomware started dropping the ransom demanding messages in {RecOveR}, +REcovER+.txt and !RecOveR!.txt files and changed the ransom demanding message. It’s now copied from another ransomware called Locky. Here’s a screenshot of the updated ransom demanding message:

teslacrypt using locky ransom demanding message

Ransom demanding text presented in +REcovER+.txt files:


All of your files are encrypted with RSA-4096.
More information about the RSA algorithm can be found here:

Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private keyu and decrypt program which is on our secret server. To receive your private key follow one of the links:
1. http://88fga.ketteaero.com/
2. http://2bdfb.spinakrosa.at/
3. http://uj5nj.onanwhit.com/

If all of the addresses are not available, follow these steps:
1. Download and install Tor Browser
2. After a successful installation, run the browser and wait for initialization.
3. Type in the address bar: k7tlx3ghr3m4n2tu.onion
4. Follow the instructions on the site.

Update 28 April 2016 - Cyber criminals have updated TeslaCrypt ransomware with a new ransom demanding message. Some security experts call it TeslaCrypt version 4.2. The messages are still presented in !RecoveR!-[random]++.HTML, !RecoveR!-[random]++.TXT and !RecoveR!-[random]++.PNG files however the ransom demanding message is stripped down and now contains very little text compared to the previous variants.

Screenshot of a ransom demanding message in TeslaCrypt 4.2:

teslacrypt ransomware version 4.2

Text presented in !RecoveR!-[random]++.HTML:

Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted!
To decrypt your files follow the instructions:


1. Download and install the <> from https://www.torproject.org/
2. Run it
3. In the <> open website:
4. Follow the instructions at this website.

TeslaCrypt 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click the Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click the "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Select "5" 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

Login to the account infected with the TeslaCrypt. 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 TeslaCrypt 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 TeslaCrypt files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using the 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 TeslaCrypt 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 on 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 TeslaCrypt 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 encrypting ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as TeslaCrypt.)

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises these 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 TeslaCrypt ransomware:


My computer just got infected with this and I am DYING to find a way to decrpyt these .ecc files...
What a HORRIBLE invasive virus.
And to hold your personal files ransom!!!!!
Evil genius and I don't like it one bit!
Please let good prevail over evil and let's come up with a way to decrypt these files.
Also please back up your files people... This stuff is getting pretty cray cray.

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
Teslacrypt virus QR code
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