Xorist Ransomware [Updated]

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

Xorist ransomware removal instructions

What is Xorist?

Xorist (EnCiPhErEd) is a family of ransomware-type malware. After stealth system infiltration, ransomware from this family encrypts various files stored on the computer and adds one of the following extensions to each encrypted file: ....VeraCrypt_System_Error2019-You_need_to_make_payment_in_maxmin_24_hours_if_you_dont_the_decryptor_license_will_be_deleted_this_is_not_a_joke, .NEED-TO-MAKE-PAYMENT-OR-ALL-YOUR-FILLES-WILL-BE-DELETED-CRITICAL-SITUATION-URGENT-ATTENTION-24-HOURS-TO-PAY-OR-EVERYTHING-WILL-BE-PERMANENTLY-DELETED-FOREVER, .mbrcodes, ...DATA_IS_SAFE_YOU_NEED_TO_MAKE_THE_PAYMENT_IN_MAXIM_24_HOURS_OR_ALL_YOUR_IMPORTANT_FILES_WILL_BE_LOST_FOREVER_PLEASE_BE_REZONABLE_IS_NOT_A_JOKE_TIME_IS_LIMITED, .PrOtOnIs, ...Files-Frozen-NEED-TO-MAKE-PAYMENT-FOR-DECRYPTOR-OR-ALL-YOUR-FILES-WILL-BE-PERMANENLTY-DELETE, .cryptedx, .CerBerSysLocked0009881, ....error77002017111, .Blocked2.TaRoNiS, .Cerber_RansomWare@qq.com, .hello, .brb, .RusVon, .fast_decrypt_and_protect@tutanota.com, .xdata, .SaMsUnG, .zixer2, .antihacker2017, .error.errorfiles, .@EnCrYpTeD2016@, .pa2384259, .encoderpass, .fileiscryptedhard, .6FKR8d, .EnCiPhErEd, .73i87A, .p5tkjw, .PoAr2w.xwz or .ava. After encrypting the files, this ransomware creates a 'How to Decrypt Files.txt text file on the victim's desktop. The file contains a message stating that the files can only be restored by paying a ransom. The victim is then encouraged to contact cyber criminals by SMS and using a phone number provided. It is stated that victims have a limited number of attempts to send an SMS message with the specified text. This number diminishes each time the victim sends an SMS with text that does not conform to a pattern provided within the 'How to Decrypt Files.txt' file.

Ransomware from this family is created using Encoder Builder (purchased from the darkweb malware and exploit forums). This ransomware builder allows cyber criminals to input their ransom-demand message, choose their file encryption algorithm (XOR or TEA), choose the file types to be encrypted on victims' computers, etc. After a simple configuration, cyber criminals are presented with a ransomware executable file that they can distribute (through spam email messages, malwertising, etc.), and potentially make money from computer users who pay the ransom to recover their data. Fortunately, an Emsisoft employee, Fabian Wosar, managed to developed a tool capable of decrypting files compromised by Xorist ransomware. To receive this decryptor, contact Fabian Wosar via email: fw (at) emsisoft.com Note that the decryptor only works if you still have the malware file on your system. A copy can usually be found in your %temp% folder. The main reason why Fabian does not release the decrypt tool for public download is to prevent cyber criminals discovering weak points in their malware and updating it. Another way to decrypt files compromised by ransomware from this family is by using an XoristDecryptor created by security researchers from Kaspersky - you can download it here.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of Xorist ransomware to decrypt their compromised data:

Xorist decrypt instructions

An updated variant of Xorist ransomware changes the victim's desktop to this wallpaper:

xorist updated variant wallpaper

Research shows that ransomware-type viruses are often very similar. As with the Xorist family, CTB-Locker, Locky, TeslaCrypt, and other similar malware also encrypts files and then makes ransom demands. There are just two main differences between these viruses - the encryption algorithm used and size of ransom. Ransomware is often distributed via infectious email attachments, P2P (peer to peer) networks (for example, Torrent), fake software updates, and trojans. Therefore, be cautious when opening attachments sent from unrecognized/suspicious emails and downloading files from untrusted sources. It is also important to keep all installed software up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-spyware or anti-virus suite. Be aware that paying the ransom does not guarantee that your files will ever be decrypted. Therefore, you should never attempt to pay the ransom or contact cyber criminals.

emsisoft xorist decrypterTo decrypt your files free, download Emsisoft Decrypter for Xorist ransomware (Download it HERE).

How to Decrypt Files.txt file:

xorist ransomware how to decrypt files txt

Text presented in How to Decrypt Files.txt file:

Encryption was produced using unique KEY generated for this computer.

To decrypted files, you need to obtain private key.
The single copy of the private key, with will allow you to decrypt the files, is locate on a secret server on the internet;
The server will destroy the key within 24 hours after encryption completed.
Payment have to be made in maxim 24 hours
To retrieve the private key, you need to pay 3 BITCOINS

Bitcoins have to be sent to this address: 1NJNG57hFPPcmSmFYbxKmL33uc5nLwYLCK

After you've sent the payment send us an email to : fast_decrypt_and_protect@tutanota.com with subject : ERROR-ID-(3BITCOINS)
If you are  not familiar with bitcoin you can buy it from here :

SITE : www.localbitcoin.com

After we confirm the payment , we send the private key so you can decrypt your system.

Here are the features of Encoder Builder:

Encrypting files using XOR and TEA;
Configuring masks of files search which are needed to process;
A pile of all sorts of different settings, such as the number of attempts to enter the password (see the screenshot);
Encoder was written in MASM32 but builder in Delphi 7;
The password for decryption is not stored in clear text in the build, but its MD5x5-hash is there;
A random offset from beginnings of files for each build for encryption;

Ransom demand message targeting PC users from Russia (КАК РАСШИФРОВАТЬ ФАЙЛЫ.txt file):

Внимание! Все Ваши файлы зашифрованы!
Чтобы восстановить свои файлы и получить к ним доступ,
свяжитесь с нами по email: nikosdd@yandex.ru

У вас есть 5 попыток ввода кода. При превышении этого
количества, все данные необратимо испортятся. Будьте
внимательны при вводе кода!

Screenshots of Encoder Builder (English and Russian versions):

Encoder Builder english version Encoder Builer russian version

Update 1 June, 2016 - Cyber criminals have updated this ransomware with a new ransom demand message (now presented in ‘READ TO DECRYPTIONS_.txt’) and a new extension that is added to the encrypted files (‘.fileiscryptedhard’). Here is a screenshot of the READ TO DECRYPTIONS_.txt file:

xorist new ransom demanding message READ-TO-DECRYPTIONS_.txt

Text presented within READ TO DECRYPTIONS_.txt file:

All your data files are crypted. To decrypt files and gain access to them, please send 0,5 Bitcoin to address - and email to fn1573917917ja@163.com proof (screen or TransID) of your payment. After receiving  the money, I will send you your password and decrypt instructions via email. You can also send a single cryptic files and I will send you the decryption for your peace of mind.

Update 13 July, 2016 - Cyber criminals have released a variant of Xorist ransomware that claims to be CERBER ransomware and adds the .cerber extension to encrypted files. Fortunately, Xorist decryptor developed by Fabian Wosar can decrypt victim’s files free of charge. You can download it here. Here is a screenshot of the HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.HTML file generated by this fake CERBER ransomware:

xorist fake cerber ransomware

Another variant of this ransomware appends the .EnCiPhErEd file extension to encrypted files and uses the locker@riseup.net contact email address:

locker@riseup.net ransomware pop-up

Update: 21 March, 2018 - Cyber criminals have released an updated variant of this ransomware. It adds the ".wxz" extension to encrypted files and presents its ransom demand message in the READ ME FOR DECRYPT.txt file. Screenshot of a pop-up message displayed after victims' files are encrypted:

xorist ransomware .wxz variant pop-up

Another pop-up window requesting a password that victims will supposedly receive after paying the ransom:

xorist enter password pop-up

Text in the ransom demand message(s):

All your files is encrypted using an unknown algorithm!
Do not try decrypt manualy!
You can destroy your files!!
To decrypt, please contact us BlackStarMafia@qq.com

Your personal ID: IN1O-2OYU-O98O-K1JJ

How to buy Bitcoins?
https://blockchain.info/ru/wallet/how-to-get-bitcoins

Screenshot of files encrypted by this variant of Xorist ransomware (.wxz extension):

xorist encrypted files .xwz extension

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

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

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 EaseUS Todo Backup. 30 days free trial available.

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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Xorist 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 Xorist virus on your mobile device.
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