BitCryptor Virus

Also Known As: BitCryptor ransomware
Damage level: Severe

What is BitCryptor?

BitCryptor is a ransomware virus that infiltrates operating systems via infected email messages, exploit kits, and fake downloads (for example, rogue video players and fake Flash updates). This is an updated variant of a ransomware infection previously known as CoinVault (originating from CryptoGraphic locker).

After successful infiltration, this malicious program encrypts (AES 256 - symmetrical encryption algorithm) files stored on computers (including .odt, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, psd, .cdr, .mp3, .raw, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, and .txt files among many others) and demands payment of 1 Bitcoin (at time of writing, approximately $240 USD) within 66 hours.

Cyber criminals responsible for releasing this rogue program ensure that it executes on all Windows versions including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. As well as displaying a window with encryption information, BitCryptor also changes the desktop wallpaper, which reads 'Your files have been encrypted! - BitCryptor'.

bitcryptor ransomware virus

Files encrypted by this ransomware are allocated a .clf extension. BitCryptor will not encrypt any file located in boot, windows, appdata, and other directories crucial for normal Windows operation. This ransomware is also known to protect itself by terminating any processes (for example cmd, taskmgr, and regedit) that indicate user-attempts to remove/analyse this malware.

At time of research, there were no tools or solutions capable of decrypting files encrypted by BitCryptor. Note that the private key required to decrypt files is stored by the BitCryptor command-and-control servers, which is managed by cyber criminals. Therefore, the ideal solution is to remove this ransomware virus and then restore your data from a backup.

The good news is that some variants of this ransomware do not delete the shadow copies of these files, so there is a chance to retrieve them using System Restore or a program called Shadow Explorer.

Ransomware infections such as BitCryptor (including CTB locker, cryptowall, alpha crypt, and cryptolocker) present a strong argument to maintain regular backups of your stored data.

Note that paying the ransom as demanded by this ransomware is equivalent to sending your money to cyber criminals - you will support their malicious business model and there is no guarantee that your files will ever be decrypted. Note that BitCryptor generates a unique bitcoin valet address for each victim, thus making monitoring of this malware more complicated.

To avoid computer infection with ransomware infections such as these, express caution when opening email messages, since cyber criminals use various catchy titles to trick PC users into opening infected email attachments (for example, 'American Airlines - Ticket Information').

Keep your operating system and all installed programs (Java, Flash, etc.) up-to-date and use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware software.

BitCryptor demanding a ransom payment to decrypt files:

BitCryptor - Your personal documents and files on this computer have just been encrypted. The original files have been detected and will only be recovered by following the steps described below. Click on “Show encrypted files” to see a list of files that got encrypted. The encryption was done with a unique generated encryption key (using AES-256). This means the encrypted files are of no use until they get decrypted using a key stored on a server. This server will only release the key if the amount of Bitcoins (displayed left of this window) is send to the Bitcoin address shown on the left of this window. Each time the timer expires the total costs will raise with the starting price. After the purchase is made, please wait a few minutes for confirmation of the Bitcoins. You can check whether the Bitcoins are confirmed with the ‘check payment’ button. After payment and confirmation your keys will appear in the text boxes. After that your simply click ‘start decryption’. Your files will be decrypted and restored to their original location. You can decrypt one files for free, using the ‘Decrypt one file free’ button. You can easily delete this software, but know that without it, you will never be able to get your original files back.

Samples of infected email messages used in ransomware (including BitCryptor) distribution:

infected email message spreading ransomware sample 1 infected email message spreading ransomware sample 2 infected email message spreading ransomware sample 3 infected email message spreading ransomware sample 4

Note that at time of writing, there were no known tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by BitCryptor 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.

BitCryptor ransomware removal:

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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, 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 on Advanced Startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced Startup. Click on the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu".

Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "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":

Step 2

Login to the account infected with BitCryptor. 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, 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 BitCryptor 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 BitCryptor 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 BitCryptor 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 BitCryptor, 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, computer users can use a programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware that artificially implants group policy objects into the registry in order to block rogue programs such as BitCryptor.)

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises such 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 BitCryptor ransomware:

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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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