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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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CTF ransomware quietly encrypts your files

CTF virus happens to be yet another file-encrypting threat[1]. It infiltrates a device in the form of a trojan. After it scans for important files, it encodes them with the assistance of AES algorithm variation[2]. There is still little information about the origins of this malware. However, it is suspected to be related to HiddenTear malware as it presents .txt instructions file. The name may refer to the abbreviation of Capture the Flag game, thus, it may imply that the main suspects are wannabe hackers. Therefore, it can be assumed that the malware might be decryptable. If you have been infected with this virus, instead of nurturing hopes to retrieve files, it would be a wiser solution to remove CTF ransomware. Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware helps you do it more effectively.The screenshot of CTF virus

Luckily, this malware does not possess such elaborate features recently emerged Cerber 6th version[3]. Thus, it is more open for analysis. CTF malware most likely spreads via spam emails. If you rarely read news about cyber security, you might not be aware of constant warnings not to open shady spam attachments. Likewise, recklessly opening such attachments leads to downloading corrupted .js or. exe files as in this case. Then, the file issues a request to a remote Command and Control server[4]. Later on, the remaining malicious payload is installed. The malware takes time to encrypt files. Since this virus is suspected to be less elaborate, it may not trigger fake Windows Word or Windows OS prompt windows. Instead, you may notice that its wp-admin.exe uses a large amount of CPU memory. Then, after the encryption process is finished, all your important files contain .ctf file extension. Most likely, the ransom note will instruct how to contact cyber criminals via an indicated email address. The amount of ransom varies each time as the crooks demand a different amount of money each time. As we have mentioned earlier, it would be better to proceed to CTF removal.

Transmission preferences

This malware is likely to spread via two main channels – spam attachments and corrupted websites[5]. Do not rush to open emails which contain .zip folders which are supposedly named as important delivery packages or tax refund reports. Some variations of the malware may attempt to attract your attention with fake lottery winnings. Do not take this bait but instead confirm the identity of a sender. You may also look for grammar and typo mistakes. Additionally, note that a trojan facilitates CTF hijack. In that case, install an anti-spyware tool to limit the risk of encountering this threat. Avoid torrenting as hackers tend to disguise their viruses in popular movie and game torrents as well.

CTF ransomware elimination steps

Even if this malware lags behind more elaborate threats, manual termination is not recommended. Instead, entrust this process to malware removal utility. It will remove CTF virus quickly. Otherwise, if you cannot launch this program, make use of the below-suggested instructions. After restarting the device into Safe Mode, you will be able to proceed with CTF removal. Note that this program does not decrypt files, so you will need another tool for this procedure.

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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 CTF 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 CTF virus Removal Guide:

Remove CTF 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.

Safe Mode will enable you to use an anti-spyware tool for completing CTF termination.

  • 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 CTF

    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 CTF removal.

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

Remove CTF 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 CTF. 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 CTF removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove CTF 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 CTF, you can use several methods to restore them:

The benefits of Data Recovery Pro

If you did not backup important documents, this is one of the few options to consider for data recovery.

Make use of ShadowExplorer

There is no information whether the malware deletes these copies beforehand, so this tool may succeed in restoring documents for you.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

CTF Decryptor

There is no available official tool yet. We do not recommend using the one promoted by the hackers as the software may facilitate future hijacks.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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