CryptXXX Ransomware

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

CryptXXX ransomware removal instructions

What is CryptXXX?

CryptXXX is ransomware-type malware distributed using the Angler Exploit Kit. Following infiltration, CryptXXX encrypts various files stored on local and mounted drives using RSA4096 - an asymmetric encryption algorithm. Thus, public (to encrypt) and private (to decrypt) keys are generated during encryption. To the restore files, victims require the private key, which is stored on Command and Control (C&C) servers belonging to the cyber criminals. To receive the decrypter (with the private key embedded), victims must supposedly pay a ransom. In addition, CryptXXX gathers various private data (browsing details, cookies, etc.)

During encryption, CryptXXX generates three files (de_crypt_readme.bmp, de_crypt_readme.html, and de_crypt_readme.txt) and places them in each folder containing the encrypted files. These files state that the victim must pay a ransom of 1.2 Bitcoin (~$525.5). If the ransom is not paid within the given time frame (which is currently unknown), it will double to 2.4 BTC. If the ransom is not paid within the  time frame, the private key will be deleted permanently and it will then become impossible to decrypt the files. Cyber criminals allow victims to decrypt one file free of charge (supposedly to demonstrate that encryption is possible). This functionality is available at the CryptXXX website. This ransomware adds a .crypt, .cryp1 or .crypz extension (other variants of this ransomware add 5 random symbols) to each encrypted file and, thus, it is easy to determine which files are encrypted. This ransomware impersonates CryptoWall and TeslaCrypt. Cyber criminals often pose as various authorities such as the FBI, Homeland Security, USA Cyber Crime Center, and so on. They accuse victims of violating various cyberlaws (commonly, watching illegal pornography). To avoid being punished, victims are encouraged to pay a fine (ransom). Unfortunately, files cannot be restored without the private key - currently there are no tools capable of decryption. Therefor, the only solution to this problem is to restore your system/files from a backup.

Screenshot of a de_crypt_readme.bmp file encouraging users to pay the ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

cryptxxx ransomware de_crypt_readme.bmp

There are dozens of identical ransomware infections including, for example, Jigsaw, Cerber, Locky, and TeslaCrypt. Most employ asymmetric encryption and, therefore, decryption without the inclusion of cyber criminals is impossible. Those using symmetric encryption (encryption and decryption keys are identical), however, often have flaws. For instance, the key is temporarily stored in the victim's %TEMP% folder and, thus, it is straightforward to decrypt. Another difference between these viruses is the size of ransom demanded - this usually fluctuates between 0.5 and 1.5 BTC. Be aware that ransomware is mostly proliferated via fake software updates, malicious email attachments, peer to peer networks (for example, Torrent), and/or trojans. Therefore, it is important to be cautious when downloading files sent from suspicious emails and third party sources. Furthermore, all installed software should be kept up-to-date. To increase protection, use a legitimate anti-spyware/anti-virus suite.

Update 26 April 2016 - Kaspersky has announced that they are able to decrypt the files compromised by CryptXXX ransomware. Users should download their Kaspersky RannohDecryptor tool. Download CrytpXXX decryptor HERE.

Here’s a screenshot of Kaspersky RannohDecryptor tool:

kaspersky cryptxxx ransomware decryptor

Screenshot of de_crypt_readme.html file:

CryptXXX html file

Screenshot of de_crypt_readme.txt file:

cryptxxx ransomware de_crypt_readme.txt

Text presented in de_crypt_readme.bmp, de_crypt_readme.html and de_crypt_readme.txt files:

@@@@@@@ NOT YOUR LANGUAGE? USE https://translate.google.com
@@@@@@@ What happened to your files ?
@@@@@@@ All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RZA4096
@@@@@@@ More information about the en-Xryption keys using RZA4096 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
@@@@@@@ How did this happen ?
@@@@@@@ !!! Specially for your PC was generated personal RZA4096 Key , both publik and private.
@@@@@@@ !!! ALL YOUR FILES were en-Xrypted with the publik key, which has been transferred to your computer via the Internet.
@@@@@@@ !!! Decrypting of your files is only possible with the help of the privatt key and de-crypt 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 BITCOIN 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
Your personal ID: [removed]
For more specific instructions, please visit your personal home page, there are a few different addresses pointing to your page below:
1 - http://7d7dkaulayebb3s3.onion.to
2 - http://7d7dkaulayebb3s3.onion.cab
3 - http://7d7dkaulayebb3s3.onion.city
If for some reasons the addresses are not available, follow these steps:
1 - Download and install tor-browser: http://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
2 - After a successful installation, run the browser
3 - Type in the address bar - http://7d7dkaulayebb3s3.onion`
4 - Follow the instructions on the site
Be sure to copy your personal ID and the instruction link to your notepad not to lose them.

Screenshot of CryptXXX payment web page:

CryptXXX ransomware website

Text presented in CryptXXX payment page:

We present a special software - Google Decrypter - which allows to decrypt and return control to all your encrypted files.
How to buy CryptoWall decrypter?
1. You can make a payment with BitCoins, there are many methods to get them.
2. You should register BitCoin wallet (simplest online wallet OR some other methods of creating wallet).
3. Purchasing Bitcoins - Although it`s not yet easy to buy bitcoins, it`s getting simpler every day.
4. Send BTC to Bitcoin address: -
5. Enter the Transaction ID and chose payment option: -
6. Please check the payment information and click button "PAY".

CryptXXX 'Decrypt soft help' web page:

CryptXXX decrypter instructions

Text presented within this page:

1. To obtain the decryption key , you need to make a payment.
2. Download software to decrypt your files
3. Install program and press button SCAN, to find all encrypted files on your computer
4. After the program finished scanning your files, you can see a window with the success message
5. If you payment has been verified, you can find your own decrypt key on this page
6. Copy you own decrypt key and past it in program text field KEY
7. Press button DECRYPT and wait. After the program finished decrypt your files, you can see a window with the success message
8. That's all! Your files are decrypted and you have to use them again!

CryptXXX Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page:

CryptXXX FAQ

Text presented within this page:

Question: How can I decrypt my files after payment?
Answer: After payment, You can download the CryptoWall Decrypter from your personal page. We guarantee that all your files will be decrypted.
Question: What do I have to fill in form "Transaction ID"?
Answer: Fill this form with bitcoin transaction ID, which you will receive after payment is done.
(example 44214efca56ef039386ddb929c40bf34f19a27c42f07f5cf3e2aa08114c4d1f2)

CryptXXX allows users to decrypt one file free of charge:

CryptXXX free file decryption

Text presented within this page:

We give you the opportunity to decipher 1 file free of charge!
You can make sure that the service really works and after payment for the CryptoWall program you can actually decrypt ALL files.

Update 10 May, 2016 - Cyber criminals have updated CryptXXX ransomware. It now locks the entire victim’s screen and makes the computer unusable. Unfortunately the decrypter presented by Kaspersky doesn't decrypt the compromised files by the updated version of CryptXXX ransomware. Here’s a screenshot of victim’s desktop infected with the updated variant of this ransomware:

cryptxxx ransomware updated variant

CryptXXX 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:

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).

▼ Download
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.

▼ Download
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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
CryptXXX 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 CryptXXX virus on your mobile device.
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