Sage 2.2 ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
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The epos of Sage continues: Sage 2.2 ransomware is here

If you have heard about Sage ransomware and Sage 2.0, then we have bad news – Sage 2.2 has been recently spotted in the virtual space. The developers of this malware do not seem to waste time as they have crafted another update for the original virus. The manner to name successive editions as subversions hints to Cerber. Thus, it suggests that this version is no less aggressive and destructive than the former version. According to the findings, the technical specifications of the malware have been updated. This trojanized-ransomware tries to break through cyber security shields under different names[1]. If you haven‘t run into this cyber menace yet, arm up with proper software and knowledge. Otherwise, if this virtual misfortune has already descended upon you, follow Sage 2.2 removal steps. Launch Reimage to speed up the process.

First signs of Sage malware have been spotted in mid-January this year. One of the peculiarities of this malware was that it delivered the malicious infection in the double zipped .zip folder[2]. The very .zip folder contains either a .doc or .js file. Interestingly, that the spam email does not contain any subject. Some emails even do not present any message content. Keep in mind that some emails might be disguised as notifications sent from Central Security Treatment Organization. The malware works on a basic model – it sends UDP (User Datagram Protocols) to thousands of IP addresses.

As common for this type of threats, the malware alarms victims to pay the ransom within the specified amount of time. Needless to say, that these files are said to be deleted after the expiration. Soon afterward, Sage 2.0 was released[3]. It demanded over 2 000 USD for the decryption of files. In the data recovery instructions, the developers scare users to comply with the demands and emphasize that there is no other solution to retrieve the files. Now a new version, Sage 2.2 ransomware has been detected in the wild. Reports reveal that the crooks did not introduce many new features. It may come in [random numbers]_ACH20022017.zip or min1_201720103191.58778.zip folder.

After extracting the content, the malware would execute via spam1.exe. It might also hide under the disguise of startup.php. Later on, Sage 2.2 malware downloads its main payload to %Temp% folder and replicates itself to C:\Users\[loginname]\AppData\Roaming. Such behavior triggers the UAC messages. Luckily, you might interfere with its operation by canceling this command. The UAC message pretends to be initiated by Microsoft Corporation. The only hint referring to the virus is the odd location of AppData folder. The virus will also change your desktop into !HELP_SOS.bmp picture which informs the victims of Sage 2.2 hijack. Interestingly, that the message also refers to several websites in case users delete the files with the instructions. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, remove Sage 2.2 right away.

Are there any important things you should know about its distribution?

The malware preys on new victims through spam messages. Bear in mind that ransomware often disguises under fake invoice and other official documents. Do not rush opening the attachments as you will need to deal with the termination of such threat. The crooks also take care of additional transmission methods. Sage 2.2 virus has been detected as a trojan: Win32.Trojan.WisdomEyes.16070401.9500.9973, Trojan/Win32.SageCrypt.C1798570, Trojan.Encoder.10307, and Win32/Trojan.Ransom.aac. Since Cerber distributors shifted to spreading Sage 2.2 malware, they might use the old tricks to boost up the infection rate. In the end of 2016, Cerber also spread with the assistance of RIG exploit kit[4] and corrupted Adobe Flash Player attachments[5]. Furthermore, the cyber villains returned the previous feature of Cerber: Sage is also able to delete shadow volume copies. It has been revealed that Sage 2.2 might disguise as an Adobe Service Manager as well. Thus, it is of key importance not only to protect your system with an anti-malware program but stay vigilant while browsing online.

Is there a way to terminate Sage 2.2 malware completely?

When it comes to a file-encrypting malware, you should save every minute if possible. For that reason, start Sage 2.2 removal immediately. Install an anti-spyware program, e.g. Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware, eradicate the malware completely. If you are having difficulties eliminating the threat due to the paralysis of the system, enter Safe Mode with Networking. The following instructions will show how to launch it. Then, you will be able to remove Sage 2.2 virus. Keep in mind that the software does not decrypt the files. For that, you will need to look for alternative solutions. A few are presented below.

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Reimage is recommended to uninstall Sage 2.2 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.
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing Sage 2.2 ransomware virus (2017-02-21)
Malwarebytes Anti Malware
We have tested Malwarebytes Anti Malware's efficiency in removing Sage 2.2 ransomware virus (2017-02-21)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing Sage 2.2 ransomware virus (2017-02-21)
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
We have tested Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus's efficiency in removing Sage 2.2 ransomware virus (2017-02-21)

Manual Sage 2.2 virus Removal Guide:

Remove Sage 2.2 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.

  • 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 Sage 2.2

    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 Sage 2.2 removal.

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

Remove Sage 2.2 using System Restore

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

If you still cannot remove Sage 2.2, try performing System Restore.

  • 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 Sage 2.2. 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 Sage 2.2 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2, you can use several methods to restore them:

What is Data Recovery Pro?

This app comes in handy when locating damaged files. Though there is no 100% guarantee that the program will recover all files, you might still give it a try.

Opt for Windows Previous Versions function

Follow the steps to retrieve the previously automatically saved copy of your file. Though this method takes time, but you might succeed in recovering some of the 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”.

Sage 2.2 Decrypter

At the moment, there is no news about the decryption tool. While IT experts are working on it, you need to opt for alternative methods. 

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Sage 2.2 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  • BTfeather

    Mark my word, Its the same Cerber.

  • KennethBrian

    All hopes lost…

  • fayeorberts

    I hope this Data Recovery Pro works.

  • mmm-War

    How long is this terror going to last?