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

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

How destructive is AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST ransomware?

Hackers attack users yet with another crypto-ransomware called AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST virus. Even now, when the most beautiful festivals of the year are approaching, crooks do not intend to give the virtual community a break from ransomware attacks. What is more, the malware seems to be one of the elaborate and complex ransomware. One of the distinctive features – .pre_alpha appended extension. Nevertheless, there is no need to give in to despair because of the encrypted files. Firstly, you need to remove AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST completely from the device. Afterward, you may shift to data recovery procedure.

The emergence of well-known crypto ransomware, such as TeslaCrypt, CryptoLocker and Locky marked the beginning of a new era of ransomware viruses. After getting acquainted with AES and RSA encryption peculiarities, multiple hacker-wannabes joined the ransomware business. One of the possible reasons for such surge is ransomware-as-a-service [1]. Cyber criminals publish ransomware samples for educating or sale purposes. Likewise, anyone willing to make a profit from such illegal activity can only purchase the necessary details and start distributing the malware. The main cause of such boom of file-encrypting malware is the method of AES and RSA algorithms. Aes_key_gen_assist malware exploits the compilation of AES-256 and RSA-2048 encryption method. The former key encodes the data while the latter, RSA, encrypts the very AES key [2]. Therefore, the very process of decrypting victims‘ keys is surely not an easy task.

The screenshot of AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST

Guessing a matching key for Aes_key_gen_assist ransomware is nearly impossible. Likewise, hackers are confident that netizens will fail to decrypt the data without remitting the ransom. In comparison with other threats, the virus presents a few interesting peculiarities. Unlike the majority of crypto-ransomware viruses, it does not employ anonymity ensuring Tor network [3]. Instead, in the !Read__Me.tXt file, the crooks present two email addresses for public communication: and As common for hackers, they warn victims not to attempt decrypting the files on their own. Certainly, if your files happen to be of great importance, you might comply with the demands just to retrieve the files. However, few crooks are known for retrieving the files [4]. Thus, paying the money might be just a waste of energy. What you should do is concentrate on AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST removal. Reimage helps you do that effectively.

The distribution tendencies of the malware

If you are wondering how this cyber threat has managed to infect your system, you should try recalling whether you received any suspicious spam email [5]. In general, such emails remain the main distribution channel for racketeers to distribute the malware. Unfortunately, users still fall for old tricks when they receive fake police emails or delivery package messages. The crooks significantly improved in counterfeiting the emails of well-known companies. Nonetheless, there are still ways how you can suspect the reliability of such email. Look for grammar mistakes and typos. If the email pretends to be the message sent from an official institution, take a close look at the logo. Frequently, an altered icon might suggest that a cyber menace lies in the attached file. Alternatively, keep in mind that AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST hijack might occur if you surf in a questionable website as well.

Eradicating Aes_key_gen_assist malware

When it comes to any crypto-ransomware, we do not recommend meddling with the malware on your own. Automatic Aes_key_gen_assist removal might be a better solution since the program is devised to detect and eliminate all components of crypto-ransomware. Keep in mind that updating it is crucial in fully eliminating the malware. If you struggle to remove Aes_key_gen_assist virus from the device, use the following guidelines to regain the full control of your computer. Lastly, update both, anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities to enjoy the proper protection of the device.

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To remove AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST virus, follow these steps:

Remove AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST

    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 AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST removal.

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

Remove AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST 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 AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST. 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 AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

How practical is Data Recovery Pro?

The best way to retrieve the files is to acquire the decryption key or a backup. If you have neither of them, install this utility to recover at least some of your 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 AES_KEY_GEN_ASSIST ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Opting for Windows Previous Versions solution

Check whether the System Restore is enabled and follow the below displayed steps:

  • 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”.

The effectiveness of ShadowExplorer

ShadowExplorer boosts up your chances of file recovery since it is able to recreate the files according to shadow volume copies. Every Windows OS creates them automatically in case of a system crash. 

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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