CryptoMix ransomware removal instructions
What is CryptoMix?
CryptoMix is a dubious ransomware-type virus that encrypts various data stored on the infected computer. During encryption, this ransomware appends the name of each encrypted file with the .ERROR, .OGONIA, .CNC, .PIRATE, .ZERO, .DG, .code, .rscl, .rmd or .lesli (first discovered by xXToffeeXx) extension. For example, after encryption, sample.jpg appears as sample.jpg.code, firstname.lastname@example.org_.rscl or email@example.com_.rmd. Newer variants of this ransomware use .[SHIELD0@USA.COM].ID.wallet, .[firstname.lastname@example.org].ID.WALLET, .[email@example.com].ID.WALLET, .EXTE, [firstname.lastname@example.org].AZER, .NOOB, .CK or .ZAYKA extensions. This makes it straightforward to determine which files are compromised. Furthermore, CryptoMix creates two files (HELP_YOUR_FILES.TXT and HELP_YOUR_FILES.HTML) and places them in each folder containing the encrypted files. The updated variant of this ransomware stores the ransom demand message in _INTERESTING_INFORMACION_FOR_DECRYPT.TXT, _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT or #_RESTORING_FILES_#.TXT files. Both files contain a message informing users of the encryption. The newest variant of this ransomware presents its ransom demand message in the INSTRUCTION RESTORE FILE.txt file - encrypted files are renamed using the following pattern: sample.jpg.email[email@example.com]_id[victim’s ID].rdmk.
The message states that files have been encrypted and that a ransom must be paid to restore them. The developers of CryptoMix state that the RSA-2048 encryption algorithm is used for encryption. This is an asymmetric encryption process and, therefore, two keys (public and private) are generated during encryption - public to encrypt, and private to decrypt. Unfortunately, the private key is stored on remote servers controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, to receive a decrypter with an embedded private key, users are encouraged to pay a large sum of money. Research shows that developers of this ransomware demand 5 Bitcoins (currently equivalent to $2240.95). As compared with other ransomware-type viruses, this ransom is large (ransom demands usually fluctuate between 0.5 and 1.5 BTC). To pay, victims are instructed to contact cyber criminals via an email address provided. They then supposedly receive further payment instructions. Unfortunately, at time of research, there were no tools capable of decrypting files encrypted with this algorithm and the only solution is to restore your files from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of CryptoMix ransomware (via firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com) to decrypt their compromised data:
.Code has very similar characteristics to Yakes, KeyBTC, TrueCrypt, and many other ransomware-type viruses. All encrypt files and make ransom demands. The only differences are encryption algorithm used and size of ransom. Be aware that paying the ransom does not guarantee that your files will ever be decrypted and is equivalent to sending your money directly to the cyber criminals - you will simply support their malicious businesses. Therefore, you are strongly advised never to contact cyber criminals or pay any ransom. Malware such as .Code is mostly distributed via malicious e-mail attachments, peer to peer (P2P) networks, fake software updates, and/or trojans. Therefore, keep your installed software up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. In addition, be careful when opening attachments sent from unrecognized email addresses and when downloading files/programs from third party sources.
Update 21 February, 2017 - Security researchers from Avast and CERT.PL have released a decrypter for this ransomware. You can download it HERE. (Note that this tool will not always work but it is well worth a try if your computer is infected by this ransomware).
Updated variant of CryptoMix ransomware using #_RESTORING_FILES_#.TXT file for the ransom demand message:
Text presented within this file:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them,
write us to the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Write this ID in the title of your message -
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb
(non archived), and files should not contain valuable information.
databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select
the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our)
or you can become a victim of a scam.
Screenshot of files encrypted by this ransomware (.code or .id_[unique victim’s ID]email@example.com_.rscl extensions):
Text presented in the .TXT and .HTML files:
NOT YOUR LANGUAGE? USE hxxps://translate.google.com
What happened to your files ?
All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RSA-2048.
More information about the encryption keys using RSA-2048 can be found here: hxxp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
How did this happen?
!!! Specially for your PC was generated personal RSA-2048 KEY, both public and private.
!!! ALL YOUR FILES were encrypted with the public key, which has been transferred to your computer via 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 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.
For more specific instructions:
Contact us by email only, send us email along with your ID number and wait for further instructions. Our specialist will contact you within 12 hours.
For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files - you can send us a single encrypted file and we will send you back in a decrypted form. This will be your guarantee.
Screenshot of a ransom demanding message “_HELP_INSTRUCTIONS.TXT” (used by a variant of this ransomware that adds ”.EXTE” extension to encrypted files:
Text presented in this random demanding message:
Attention! All Your data was encrypted!
For specific information, please send us an email with Your ID number:
We will help You as soon as possible!
A version of CryptoMix ransomware that adds .ZERO extension to encrypted files and presents a ransom demanding message in _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT file.
Screenshot of _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT file:
Text presented in this file:
At the moment, your system is not protected.
We can fix it and restore files.
To restore the system write to this address:
Screenshot of files encrypted by this variant of CryptoMix ransomware (.ZERO) extension:
CryptoMix ransomware removal:
- What is .Code?
- STEP 1. .Code virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. .Code ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the .Code virus. 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.
Download remover for CryptoMix virus
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 .Code ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining .Code ransomware files.
To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using 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 .Code 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 over 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.
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 protect your computer from file encryption 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 .Code ransomware.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 .Code ransomware: