Aayu ransomware (virus)
Aayu virus Removal Guide
What is Aayu ransomware?
Aayu file virus is a threat that uses powerful methods to lock files before asking for money
These threats can claim things to encourage people to pay
If you find that you cannot open your images, documents, or files and they have a .aayu extension, this means that your computer has been infected with the ransomware. This ransomware encrypts personal documents found on the victim's computer and then displays a message asking for payment in Bitcoin in order to decrypt the data.
People behind the threat claim that recovery of those encoded files is possible after the cryptocurrency payment. The instructions for doing this can be found in the _readme.tx file on the victim's desktop. Aayu file virus places copies of such files in various folders containing the encoded pieces.
|Name||Aayu file virus|
|Ransom amount||$490/ $980|
|Contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Distribution||Files can be attached to emails or included in pirating packages|
|Termination||Threat removal is possible with anti-malware tools|
|Repair||Checking the machine with RestoroIntego can help with corrupted files or virus damage|
Ransomware is a serious infection that can result in the loss of important personal data. If you have been infected with this malware, it is important to take action immediately to try and remove it from your system and recover your files. There are a few different methods that you can use to attempt to remove the Aayu ransomware and decrypt your files, which will be discussed in more detail below.
One method that you can use to remove the ransomware is to use a reputable anti-malware program. These programs are designed to scan your computer for malicious files and programs, including ransomware, and remove them from your system. However, this is not the same as virus decryption.
What can be done?
When your computer is infected with the Aayu ransomware, it will scan your hard drive for images, videos, and important documents such as .doc, .docx, .xls, and .pdf files. Once these files are detected, the ransomware will encrypt them and change their extension, making them impossible to open.
The ransomware will then demand payment from you in order to regain access to your encrypted data. There are no decryption tools for this threat, so the particular file recovery is not possible right now. It is possible to stop the virus and make the system run smoothly again, however.
Aayu file virus will display a ransom note file that contains information on how to contact the creators of the ransomware in order to pay the ransom and have your files decrypted. The victims of this ransomware are asked to contact the malware developers through email at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
That is not an option. The note explains that the victim's files have been encrypted and that the only way to get them back is to pay a ransom for a decryption tool. The criminals provide email addresses for negotiation purposes and encourage people to pay with a 50% discount in the first 72 hours.
However, experts recommend not paying the ransom as there is no guarantee that the cybercriminals will keep their promise. The ransom demanded is $980 in Bitcoin first, and payment can be the first loss since you pay for nothing and still have damaged files. Ignore these criminals.
The infection is not simple and can damage the PC
Eliminate the virus
Aayu file virus is an infection that spreads silently and without causing any symptoms. You need to clear the threat and make sure that all pieces related to the malicious program get cleared from the system. Anti-malware tools are designed to fight malware and find all threats to the system.
The particular detection rate can show that many AV tools can be successful with the removal of this Aayu ransomware virus. Running a proper antivirus scan can help indicate all threats and potentially dangerous files or applications that affect your device.
Running a tool like Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner can help improve the system and remove any infections related to the ransomware or not. These infections can inject other threats on the system, so the Aayu file virus is more persistent. The proper anti-malware tool helps terminate these active virus processes.
This is not the same as file recovery or virus decryption, however. You should note that file restoration is difficult and can lead to other issues if you do anything while the threat is already actively running on the computer. Double-check when removing the virus and then worry about the data that Aayu ransomware damaged.
Recover the machine
Once a computer is infected with malware, its system is changed to operate differently. For example, an infection can alter the Windows registry database, damage vital bootup and other sections, delete or corrupt DLL files, etc. Once a system file is damaged by malware, antivirus software is not capable of doing anything about it, leaving it just the way it is. Consequently, users might experience performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a full Windows reinstall is required.
Therefore, we highly recommend using a one-of-a-kind, patented technology of RestoroIntego repair. Not only can it fix virus damage after the infection, but it is also capable of removing malware that has already broken into the system thanks to several engines used by the program. Besides, the application is also capable of fixing various Windows-related issues that are not caused by malware infections, for example, Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc.
- Download the application by clicking on the link above
- Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
- If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
- Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process
- The analysis of your machine will begin immediately
- Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
- You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
- If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.
File recovery options
Aayu file virus is the newest variant of the Djvu file virus family. It uses advanced encryption techniques that make decryption very difficult, if not impossible. This ransomware is primarily distributed online and uses new types of keys that make decryption much more difficult.
The only way to decrypt files affected by this variant is with the help of law enforcement agents or researchers who have managed to get their hands on the proper decryption tool and keys. Aayu ransomware creates unique online IDs for each device it affects. It will create a unique online ID for each machine.
This is why decryption is very difficult. It may still be possible to decrypt files affected by the same version of ransomware using an offline key. This key is unique to the virus version, not the individual machine. A decryption tool was developed previously and may be useful in recovering files in some of the cases now.
There is no guarantee that the decryption tool will work in every case, but it may be worth a try if you have been affected by Aayu ransomware. If your computer got infected with one of the Djvu variants, you should try using Emsisoft decryptor for Djvu/STOP.
Even if your case meets this condition, somebody from the victims has to pay criminals, retrieve an offline key, and then share it with security researchers at Emsisoft. As a result, you might not be able to restore the encrypted files immediately. Thus, if the decryptor says your data was locked with an offline ID but cannot be recovered currently, you should try later. You also need to upload a set of files – one encrypted and a healthy one to the company's servers before you proceed.
- Download the app from the official Emsisoft website.
- After pressing Download button, a small pop-up at the bottom, titled decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe should show up – click it.
- If User Account Control (UAC) message shows up, press Yes.
- Agree to License Terms by pressing Yes.
- After Disclaimer shows up, press OK.
- The tool should automatically populate the affected folders, although you can also do it by pressing Add folder at the bottom.
- Press Decrypt.
From here, there are three available outcomes:
- “Decrypted!” will be shown under files that were decrypted successfully – they are now usable again.
- “Error: Unable to decrypt file with ID:” means that the keys for this version of the virus have not yet been retrieved, so you should try later.
- “This ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible” – you are unable to decrypt files with this tool.
Getting rid of Aayu virus. Follow these steps
Restore Windows "hosts" file to its original state
Some ransomware might modify Windows hosts file in order to prevent users from accessing certain websites online. For example, Djvu ransomware variants add dozens of entries containing URLs of security-related websites, such as 2-spyware.com. Each of the entries means that users will not be able to access the listed web addresses and will receive an error instead.
Here's an example of “hosts” file entries that were injected by ransomware:
In order to restore your ability to access all websites without restrictions, you should either delete the file (Windows will automatically recreate it) or remove all the malware-created entries. If you have never touched the “hosts” file before, you should simply delete it by marking it and pressing Shift + Del on your keyboard. For that, navigate to the following location:
Restore files using data recovery software
Since many users do not prepare proper data backups prior to being attacked by ransomware, they might often lose access to their files permanently. Paying criminals is also very risky, as they might not fulfill the promises and never send back the required decryption tool.
While this might sound terrible, not all is lost – data recovery software might be able to help you in some situations (it highly depends on the encryption algorithm used, whether ransomware managed to complete the programmed tasks, etc.). Since there are thousands of different ransomware strains, it is immediately impossible to tell whether third-party software will work for you.
Therefore, we suggest trying regardless of which ransomware attacked your computer. Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:
- Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
- Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.
Install data recovery software
- Download Data Recovery Pro.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.
- As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
- Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.
- Press Next.
- At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.
- Press Scan and wait till it is complete.
- You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
- Press Recover to retrieve your files.
Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future
One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.
Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:
- Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
- Use cloud storage services.
The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.
Using Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:
- Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
- Select Help & Settings > Settings.
- If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
- Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
- Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
- Press Start backup.
After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).
Using Google Drive
Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.
You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.
- Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
- Wait a few seconds for it to be installed.
- Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password.
- Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
- Once done, pick Next.
- Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
- Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.
Report the incident to your local authorities
Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.
Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:
- USA – Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3
- United Kingdom – ActionFraud
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- Australia – ScamWatch
- New Zealand – ConsumerProtection
- Germany – Polizei
- France – Ministère de l'Intérieur
If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.
Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking
Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes
Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
Step 4. Delete virus files
Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Aayu and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Protect your privacy – employ a VPN
There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals.
No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool
If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.
If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.
- ^ Ransomware explained: How it works and how to remove it. CSOonline. IT and cybersecurity news.
- ^ Virusai. Virusai. Spyware news.
- ^ Virus sample detection. VirusTotal. Online malware scanner.