Severity scale:  
  (98/100)

24H ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

24H – a crypto-virus which locks up files and demands 0.24 BTC for their release

24H virus
24H - a cryptovirus which locks up files with .24H extension and displays a ransom note.
24H ransomware is a severe computer infection which can be recognized by the .24H extension added to every infected file. To achieve that, the malware uses a complicated encryption algorithm – AES. Once the files are locked, the virus inserts a ransom note in a text format ReadME-24H.txt which contains details on how the infected computer owner should proceed. Hackers also detail the Bitcoin wallet address, which should be used to transfer digital currency. Once the payment is complete, users are urged to contact bad actors via 24H@tutanota.com or 24HDecryptor@Mail.ru.

Name 24H
Type Ransomware[1]
Encryption algorithm AES
Danger level Very high. Does serious damage to the computer system and personal files. Disables all security tools which makes the elimination even harder.
Extension .24H
Ransom note ReadME-24H.txt
contact email 24H@tutanota.com or 24HDecryptor@Mail.ru
Data reclaim condition Hackers demand payment into 1FniWsB6T3n7GjBGs3UizspTshBvt9qFqR wallet in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The size of ransom is unknown
Deletion Use Reimage to eliminate the virus infection from your PC system

The 24H virus infiltrates the system using stealthy tactics – users are prompted to open a malicious attachment in the spam email or can be infected once they download an executable from a dodgy website. The malware does not instantly encrypts files, but rather performs a series of changes on the targeted machine first: 

  1. 24H ransomware modifies Windows Registry to obtain boot persistence
  2. It may prevent security software from detecting the virus
  3. A scan is performed for personal files, like .pdf, .jpg, .doc, and others (malware ignores the system and some other files)
  4. As soon as files are detected, an AES algorithm encrypts data and adds .H24 extension
  5. The encryption key is generated and sent to command & control server operated by hackers
  6. The C&C server then sends the ransom note back to the victim, stating its demands

Cryptovirus is a complex cyber threat and uses sophisticated infection techniques. Nevertheless, if you got infected, remove 24H ransomware from your device immediately. In order to do that, you should download and install an anti-malware tool. We recommend using Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

Another reason to perform the 24H removal is that the cyber threat may render your machine vulnerable to other malware. This is because it performs a series of changes to the device, and usual security systems stop working. Thus, browsing the internet with the infected machine is not recommended, as users may have their personal information stolen by hackers.

Although the size of the ransom is unclear (it can range anything between $50 to $5000), we do not recommend contacting cybercrooks. No matter how desperate you are to get your files back, do not pay the ransom! There is no guarantee that hackers will send you the decryptor. Additionally, 24H authors may attack you in the future, knowing that you are willing to pay. 

Instead, we advise victims to use alternative methods for file decryption. A backup can be used (cloud services or an external device) to recover all data safely, or there is a possibility to decode files using the third-party software we present below. Additionally, security experts sometimes create an official decryption tool, although this might take awhile.

Avoid ransomware infection an keep your PC safe

According to research done by tech experts[2], ransomware spreads through spam emails. Phishing emails usually are presented as legitimate messages, but in reality, contain malicious attachments or hyperlinks that lead to malware installation. Inbox is traditionally filled with spam messages, and some of them might be harmless. Nevertheless, we advise users to refrain from clicking on anything inside emails that come from suspicious sources.

Furthermore, if you like surfing the internet and downloading/installing software – you need to pay attention while proceeding with such actions. Malware can be hidden in websites that look genuine, as hackers can intercept these domains and inject malicious JavaScript that downloads and installs the virus automatically. Thus, it is vital to stay away from malicious websites, such as file-sharing, cracked software, keygens[3] and others.

We strongly recommend to download and install an antivirus, if you do not have one yet. It will eliminate the injected viruses and detect the incoming infections.

24H virus elimination steps

To remove 24H virus, you will need to download and install anti-malware software. We advise using Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Trustworthy and professional help is needed as your computer system is seriously infected. It is essential to get rid of the cyberthreat as soon as you detect encrypted files to avoid further damage that can be done.

As the malware can block your security software in some cases, we recommend rebooting your machine and entering Safe Mode with Networking. This way, the 24H removal will be possible, as in this mode the system starts using only the most necessary system processes and drivers, limiting malware's capabilities. 

For file recovery, see instructions 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 24H ransomware. 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.
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To remove 24H virus, follow these steps:

Remove 24H using Safe Mode with Networking

Use Safe Mode with Networking in order to stop the hazardous activity:

  • 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 24H

    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 24H removal.

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

Remove 24H using System Restore

Try the System Restore feature in order to disable the virus:

  • 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 24H. 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 24H removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove 24H from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If your important files were encrypted by 24H ransomware, here are some decryption methods for you.

If your files are encrypted by 24H, you can use several methods to restore them:

Windows Previous Version feature should help you recover some files:

Note that this method will only work if the System Restore function was enabled before the infection.

  • 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”.

Use Shadow Explorer to recover data after encryption:

This method should be successful if the Shadow Volume Copies of files are left unharmed  after the cyberthreat infected your files.

  • 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.

No official decryptor is available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from 24H 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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References