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

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware
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UIWIX – a ransomware which exploits the same Windows vulnerability as WannaCry

UIWIX is a ransomware-type[1] cyber infection that spreads using flaws in Windows SMBv1 and SMBv2.[2] It is believed to be even more dangerous than WannaCry. Malware uses AES-256 encryption cipher to corrupt files on the affected computer and appends .UIWIX or ._[victim’s id].uiwix file extensions to each of them. Following data encryption, ransomware drops a ransom note called _DECODE_FILES.txt. Here cyber criminals provide a unique victim’s ID and give a link to the payment website. On the site, people have to enter their ID and captcha to get instructions how to obtain and use UIWIX decryptor. The ransom-demanding message informs that victims need to transfer 0.12261 Bitcoins to the provided address. Once the payment is transferred, people are supposed to give a chance to use a decryption software. However, it may not happen. Cyber criminals are not the ones you can trust. Thus, they may take your money and leave you with encrypted files. In case of the attack, you should remove UIWIX immediately. It won’t recover your files, but it protects your device from other cyber infections. Therefore, run a full system scan with professional malware removal program, for instance, Reimage and get rid of this cyber infection.

UIWIX virus

Security researchers notice that UIWIX uses the similar Windows vulnerabilities as WannaCrypt0r (or WannaCry) ransomware. Malware can infect all devices that are connected to the same network and has a self-replicating capability. However, malware does not have kill switch domain that makes it even more dangerous than other ransomware viruses. If kill switch domain is blocked, ransomware distribution is stopped.[3] Thus, this cyber infection is unstoppable unless the operating system is patched. Furthermore, malware behaves like an ordinary file-encrypting virus. It aims at home computer users, as well as small businesses. Once it gets on the computer, it starts system scan and looks for targeted files. What makes this virus a particularly malicious infection is the fact that it targets files, their backup copies, and even backup systems [4], leaving virtually no way for the victims to recover their damaged files. When data encryption is over, malware connects to Command and Control server. It sends PC identification number and a private decryption key. Once all targeted files are destroyed, UIWIX ransomware drops a ransom note:

>>> ALL YOUR PERSONAL FILES ARE DECODED <<<
Your personal code: XXX
To decrypt your files, you need to buy special software.
Do not attempt to decode or modify files, it may be broken.
To restore data, follow the instructions!
You can learn more at this site:
hxxps://4ujngbdqqm6t2c53[.]onion.to
hxxps://4ujngbdqqm6t2c53[.]onion.cab
hxxps://4ujngbdqqm6t2c53[.]onion.nu
If a resource is unavailable for a long time to install and use the tor browser.
After you start the Tor browser you need to open this link hxxp://4ujngbdqqm6t2c53[.]onion

Following the instructions and transferring a little bit more than $200, is not recommended. If you ever find yourself in such situation – don’t take things for granted. Remember that there are alternative ways you can try to recover your files, besides, it is not uncommon for the malware experts to come up with decryption software that helps ransomware victims restore their encrypted data for free. So, we suggest you carry out UIWIX removal and look for other recovery solutions instead.

Methods of distribution

Developers of the UIWIX virus took advantage of vulnerabilities in Windows SMBv1 and SMBv2. Just like WannaCry ransomware, this one is also employing the EternalBlue exploit that has been leaked by a group of hackers called “Shadow Brokers.” This exploit has been stolen from National Security Agency (NSA)[5] on March 14, 2017. Thus, in order to protect from ransomware users should patch Windows operating system and software. Microsoft released updates even for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003 that are no longer supported. Additionally, UIWIX might also attack the device via compromised remote desktop connections. Some researchers suspect that malware might also be distributed via malicious email attachments. Thus, we highly recommend taking all necessary precautions to avoid ransomware and creating data backups.

Guidelines for UIWIX removal

UIWIX removal is necessary if you want to continue using your device normally, but there are several things that can help facilitate the removal. For instance, booting the computer in Safe Mode before running the system scan will suppress some of the malicious virus functionalities and prevent it from blocking your antivirus. Consequently, you should be able to remove UIWIX virus without any difficulty using malware removal programs, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. For more detailed instructions on how to enable the Safe Mode, please follow the guidelines below the article.

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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 UIWIX 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 UIWIX virus Removal Guide:

Remove UIWIX 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.

To remove UIWIX using Safe Mode with Networking, follow the instructions below. Make sure you repeat the scan in normal mode once you finish running your antivirus in Safe Mode.

  • 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 UIWIX

    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 UIWIX removal.

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

Remove UIWIX using System Restore

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

To remove the ransomware virus with the help of System Restore, use a guide below. This is another way to get rid of this malicious ransomware.

  • 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 UIWIX. 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 UIWIX removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Currently, UIWIX decryption is impossible, thus we recommend trying out some of the alternative instructions to try recovering your files.

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

Roll back files encrypted by UIWIX using Data Recovery Pro

One of the ways you can recover your files is by using specialized software such as Data Recovery Pro. Give it a try following these guidelines:

Windows Previous Versions feature will recover old file versions

This technique can be used by those, who wish to roll back some individual files on their computer. Here is an example how to use this tool:

  • 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”.

A legitimate UIWIX decryptor is not available yet

Please, do NOT purchase an illegal UIWIX decryptor which belongs to hackers. It can be another malware seeking to infect your computer and take your files a hostage.

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References

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