Balbaz ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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Creators of the Balbaz demands $200 in exchange for data decryption key

The ransom note by Balbaz ransomware virus

Balbaz is a file-encrypting virus that seems to be based on the HiddenTear open source project.[1] The virus uses AES encryption algorithm and appends .WAmarlocked to each of the targeted files. Then it delivers ransom notes in two different files:

  • READ_IT.txt
  • Ransomware BALBAZ 1.00 program window

The TXT file informs about hacked computer and encrypted files. Users are asked to send Bitcoins in order to get decryption code if they want to get back access to the data:

This computer has been hacked
Your personal files have been ecrypted. Send me BTC or food to get decryption passcode.
After that, you’ll be able to see your beloved files again.
With love… Hidden Tear Project :’)

The program window imitates the ransom note delivered by WannaCry. The ransom note starts says that users have to send $200 within 7 days. Later the private decryption key will be destroyed. However, it’s better to remove Balbaz from the device and sacrifice your files than to risk losing your money for the unknown decryption software.

After the attack, Balbaz Decryptor is installed on the computer as well. Users can find it as a @balbazDecryptor@.exe file. However, it does not work until victims pay the ransom. However, no one can assure that this tool actually works or if hackers are willing to keep their word.

However, data recovery without secret decryption key might be impossible. The Balbaz virus can delete Shadow Volume Copies by executing this command:

vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

Deletion of these files means that data recovery is nearly impossible with third-party tools. Therefore, the only possible way to restore the data safely is to use backups. If you do not have them, there’s still hope for you too. Balbaz ransomware might fail to delete Shadow Volume Copies, and other tools might help to restore at least some of your files.

However, before trying to get back access to the files, you should get rid of the malicious program first. For Balbaz removal, you have to employ professional malware elimination software, such as Reimage.

The ways how crypto-malware spreads

The virus has already infected several computers in the United States. However, some reports claim that Balbaz attacks were also held in Hungary[2] and Bulgaria. Malware spreads as obfuscated hidden-tear.exe file via:

  • emails,
  • social networks;
  • file-sharing websites;
  • freeware.

To avoid infiltration of ransomware virus, you should act smart while browsing the web.[3] Never open links or files that seem suspicious or you did not expect to receive them. Staying away from questionable file-sharing sites, torrents or illegal downloads also helps to prevent ransomware attack.

Balbaz deletion instructions

Balbaz removal is performed with anti-virus or anti-malware software only. Ransomware can modify Windows registry and install numerous malicious components or affect legitimate processes. Therefore, attempts to get rid of these issues might end up with a bigger damage to the system.

In order to remove Balbaz safely we recommend choosing Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. The virus can block form security software installation or system scan, so you may need to disable it first by restarting the PC to Safe Mode with Networking (instructions below).

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Balbaz ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Balbaz virus Removal Guide:

Remove Balbaz using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

These steps will help to run automatic Balbaz elimination:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Balbaz

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Balbaz removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Balbaz using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Balbaz. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Balbaz removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Balbaz from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your files are encrypted by Balbaz, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try Data Recovery Pro

This professional software can help to restore at least the most important files with .WAmarlocked extension.

Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore was activated before the attack, you can take advantage of this Windows feature and copy previously saved versions of the encrypted files.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Balbaz Decryptor is not available yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Balbaz and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References