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AcroWare ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

AcroWare is a ransomware which demands to pay $80 for data recovery

AcroWare ransomware image
AcroWare is a screenlocker which is also known as AcroWare CryptoLocker ransomware.

AcroWare is a dangerous virus which is also known as AcroWare CryptoLocker ransomware[1]. According to the experts, this malware does not encrypt information on the targeted device rather than lock the screen. However, the ransom note claims that all files are encrypted with a sophisticated algorithm, and any attempts to remove AcroWare would lead to the loss of data. Victims have 72 hours to pay $80 in Bitcoins for AcroWare decryptor and contact the criminals via alphaoil@mail2tor.com email address. 

Name AcroWare
Type Ransomware
Also known as AcroWare CryptoLocker ransomware
Notable features Merely locks the screen and does not perform data encryption
Amount of the ransom $80 in BTC
Contact email alphaoil@mail2tor.com
Distribution Noticed spreading via infected attachments in spam emails
Removal You must protect your computer and uninstall AcroWare virus by running a full system scan with Reimage

People might get infected with AcroWare ransomware if they open a malicious spam email attachment. Once they the executable file of the malware is dropped on the system, victims receive a ransom note in a pop-up window informing that the computer got sniped by AcroWare CryptoLocker. The full message states the following:

Your Computer Got Sniped by AcroWare Cryptolocker!

All your Personal Data got encrypted and the decryption key is stored on a hidden
webserver, after 72 hours thedecryption key will get removed and your personal
data/files are Lost forever. To get the decryption key and saveyour personal data/files
you have to pay 80 USD/EUR in Bitcoins to this Bitcoin Adress: 1KyU66252TCEWapwufy8quALawySij84
and send a email with your ID(Top Left) and your bitcoin adress to this email adress:
alphaoil@mail2tor.com any try of removing this Ransomware will result in an instantly
delete of the Decryption key and all your files!

Note that even if the ransom note claims that all files on the system are encoded, AcroWare does not perform data encryption[2]. This malware locks the screen to trick people into believing that they must pay the ransom in order to get rid of AcroWare and get back their information. 

In fact, you will not lose your files if you uninstall AcroWare ransomware. Security researchers[3] note that you should get rid of the virus to protect your system and get back the access to your data. Although, you must perform AcroWare removal properly. 

For that, the easiest way is to boot your computer into Safe Mode and install a professional security software. You can learn how to enter Safe Mode from the guidelines at the end of this article and get Reimage to uninstall the virus. Additionally, there are tools presented below to help you recover data if it was damaged. 

Spam emails are much more dangerous than you think

Despite the accessible information online, people continue opening malicious spam emails and infecting their computers with ransomware. Likewise, malware developers take advantage of credulous people and employ social engineering tactics to trick users. 

Usually, malicious spam emails are designed to resemble electronic letters coming from well-known companies. Be aware that they might include the firm's logo or other visual elements. However, this is merely a trick to lure unsuspecting users into opening the infected attachment. 

Note that spam emails commonly urge the person to open the attachment or link. Thus, you should never open any content from the email if it raises suspicions. The best way to protect your computer is to use a reliable antivirus with real-time protection.

Advice for successful AcroWare elimination

It is evident that ransomware-type viruses are highly dangerous. Some of the file-encrypting cyber threats might even be able to infiltrate the system with more malware. Therefore, you should get help from professionals to complete AcroWare removal safely. 

The most convenient way to remove AcroWare ransomware for regular computer users is to download and install a robust security software. Our top three choices are Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, and Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. These security tools are effective and easy-to-use when it comes to ransomware attacks. 

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove AcroWare virus, follow these steps:

Remove AcroWare using Safe Mode with Networking

Rebooting your computer into Safe Mode with Networking will disable the virus:

  • 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 AcroWare

    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 AcroWare removal.

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

Remove AcroWare using 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 AcroWare. 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 AcroWare removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Retrieve files with Data Recovery Pro

The majority of the experts highly recommend trying to get back the encrypted data with this professional tool. Keep in mind that it might be useful in the future as well since it can recover accidentally deleted files.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by AcroWare ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try using Windows Previous Versions feature

Be aware that there is an inbuilt feature which allows travelling back in time to reach files before they are encrypted. Although, System Restore function must have been enabled before ransomware attack.

  • 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”.

Install ShadowExplorer for data recovery

All files have Shadow Volume Copies which can be used by this software to recover data. If the ransomware didn't compromise them, you could try to get back the corrupted data.

  • 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.

AcroWare ransomware decryption software is still in development.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from AcroWare and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References