Decryption Assistant ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
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Definition of in-development Decryption Assistant ransomware

Decryption Assistant virus is a ransomware that spreads in the form of a fake Flash Player Update. If the victim agrees to install it, the ransomware encrypts all data stored on the computer and adds .pwned file extension to every touched file. The sample of ransomware emerged in free online malware scanning sites, and analysts quickly realized that it is an in-development ransomware variant. Identified malicious executives were not able to infect all files on the computer, but only in a C:\chicken folder, which obviously looks like a test one. There are no doubts that the virus is going to be improved shortly. This Hidden-Tear[1] based ransomware uses AES algorithm to lock files securely, and a demands ransom paid in Bitcoins. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that almost all ransomware developers command victims to use to pay the ransoms[2], and it is often blamed for accelerating the ransomware industry since it allows transferring and receiving payments anonymously. If you were infected by this ransomware, do not even consider paying the ransom. The criminals might not even be able to help you and restore your files because at the moment it seems that this virus was developed by amateurs. Therefore, we recommend you remove Decryption Assistant ransomware using Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus malware removal software.

Decryption Assistant ransomware virus

HiddenTear ransomware that was mentioned above is an open-source virus, and it seems that it has inspired a lot of wannabe cybercriminals to start developing their very own ransomware programs. Of course, such script kiddies hardly can develop a computer program, therefore their creations are weak and can be easily decrypted (in most of the cases). At the moment, there are no known decryption tools that could unlock .pwned files, but we suggest you remain patient and wait. If you have a data backup, you can speed up the data recovery process right now. If you do not, follow instructions provided below the article. Remember that Decryption Assistant removal should be carried out before trying to decrypt your data.

Distribution of Hidden-Tear based ransomware viruses

Almost all ransomware viruses created using pieces of HiddenTear’s source code are distributed via malicious spam. Amateur ransomware developers are too inexperienced to employ techniques such as malvertising, RGP attacks or exploit kits; therefore they rely on the most basic, yet the most efficient ransomware distribution method. They send out thousands of convincing, but deceptive emails that contain malware. Typically, they conceal the malicious file by giving it a safe-looking name, for example, Invoice or Resume. If the victim gets on the hook and lets his curiosity win, the ransomware infects the system immediately. To avoid such situations, we suggest keeping clear from emails that come from unsolicited or unknown individuals.

Decryption Assistant ransomware removal methods

DecryptionAssistant is a critical program, therefore it must be removed professionally. When speaking about ransomware, we never suggest removing it manually, because such viruses do not only drop their files on the system but also perform changes on it, for example, meddle with Registry keys. To reverse the damage made by the ransomware, we suggest you remove Decryption Assistant virus using anti-malware software. Our suggested program Reimage can also optimize the system afterward, which we consider being a significant advantage if compared to typical anti-malware programs. However, even the most powerful programs need to be started properly, so we suggest you follow Decryption Assistant removal tutorial that we provided.

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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 Decryption Assistant 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 Decryption Assistant virus Removal Guide:

Remove Decryption Assistant 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.

Before we start the explanation on how to remove Decrypt Assistant ransomware, we would like to remind you that before you try to run your malware removal software, you must update it first. Now, follow these to boot your PC in Safe Mode with Networking. While in this mode, launch your anti-malware program.

  • 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 Decryption Assistant

    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 Decryption Assistant removal.

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

Remove Decryption Assistant 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 Decryption Assistant. 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 Decryption Assistant removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Files can be recovered either by using a data backup or one of the methods described below.

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

Restore part of the data using Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a great option when you need to restore some files that were unexpectedly corrupted or deleted. It might help you in case the ransomware encodes your files.

Recover files using Windows feature – Previous Windows Versions

Try this method in case you created a System Restore Point earlier.

  • 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”.

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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