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

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware
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Sophisticated Vanguard ransomware is yet another Golang-based virus

Today, we added Vanguard virus to the large ransomware family, but we must say that this virus differs from the rest of ransomware because it is written in Go programming language[1]. However, the first ransomware written in go was Trojan.Encoder.6491[2], however, it wasn’t as sophisticated as Vanguard ransomware appears to be. This malicious program is set to encrypt over 400 different file types, which means that its target list contains over 400 different file extensions. For data encryption, Vanguard ransomware employs Poly1305 and Salsa20 a.k.a. ChaCha20 ciphers, which are used by Google as a replacement for RC4 in TLS/SSL[3]. When encrypting the data, virus adds *нет данных* file extension to each affected file. This new extension translates to “no data.” When the virus finishes the encryption routine, it creates a ransom note for the victim and names it as DECRYPT_INSTRUCTIONS.txt. The virus asks the victim to buy a certain amount of Bitcoins and send them to a provided Bitcoin wallet, in other words, to pay a ransom. They promise to provide a data recovery tool in return, but no one knows if these crooks are as good as their word. Some ransomware crooks just take victim’s money and make off with it, while others ask for more money. 

No matter how disappointed we are to say this, it is likely that this ransomware won’t be cracked anytime soon. It would take years of brute-forcing to discover just one decryption key due to the complexity of encryption ciphers that Vanguard ransomware uses. Therefore, we suggest you remove Vanguard ransomware immediately and start looking for your backup[4]. You can easily delete the ransomware using tools like Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, but please do not try to do it manually because you can inadvertently damage the computer system by removing the wrong files. We also know that this virus runs the following command – vssadmin delete shadows /all /quiet, which eliminates Windows Volume Shadow Copies[5], and as a result, you won’t be able to use them for data recovery. This powerful virus opens security vulnerabilities in your computer, so please take care of this problem ASAP. You should take a look at full ransomware removal guide given below this article and learn how to prepare your PC for Vanguard removal.

What methods are used for ransomware distribution?

Ransomware viruses are mainly distributed via RDP attacks, email spam and exploit kits. Sometimes, ransomware gets into computers with the help of malware-laden ads, but in general, criminals are not eager to waste their time hacking ad networks when they can simply send out thousands of convincing email messages that victims typically tend to open. For example, cyber criminals create a malicious Word document that contains a special script meant to download and install ransomware on the system. They only need to save this file under a innocent-looking name, for example, “Invoice” or “resume.” Such file greets the victim with a message saying, “Macros have been disabled” and suggests enabling content. If the victim clicks this button, the script gets activated and the computer gets infected with ransomware. So far such documents remain the most popular ransomware distribution tools, and users still fall for this trick.

How can I fix my computer and remove Vanguard ransomware from the system?

When one gets infected with ransomware, the first thing he or she should do is to remove the virus from the compromised PC. Sadly, we doubt that ransomware crooks can help you with data decryption – they do their best trying to force victims to pay ransoms, but we are sure that they can not care less about you from the moment they get what they strive for. Therefore, we do not recommend paying the ransom and suggest using Reimage or other reliable tools for Vanguard removal. You can try one of the provided data recovery methods described 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 Vanguard 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 Vanguard virus Removal Guide:

Remove Vanguard 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.

If your malware removal program fails to start when you try to launch it, reboot your PC using to these instructions. Once the computer is running in Safe Mode with Networking, try launching your virus removal software again.

  • 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 Vanguard

    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 Vanguard removal.

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

Remove Vanguard using System Restore

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

If the method 1 didn’t help you to get rid of the malicious program, follow these steps.

  • 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 Vanguard. 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 Vanguard removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

As we have said, there is no way to recover the entire volume of data that was encrypted by Vanguard virus. However, if you have a backup, you will be able to restore at least older versions of your documents and other files such as images or videos. In the worst case (if you do not have a backup), try these data recovery methods. Sadly, they might not help you to recover your files because the ransomware corrupts them using highly sophisticated encryption methods. 

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

Run a scan with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is one of those tools that can help you to restore corrupted or deleted files. We suggest trying this tool in case they got affected by Vanguard.

Recover individual files

This trick will work for you if you have created a system restore point in the past. 

  • 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 Vanguard and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References


  • Henrix

    Thanks for the help. Vanguard virus infected my PC yesterday, but i had a backup. I just had to remove it and thats it!

  • Josephine

    Here we go…. another Golang malware

  • luke_!

    My files are corrupted! Theres no words to express my disappointment! What have i done! I lost all of my files in less than 5 minutes!