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

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as Aleta ransomware | Type: Ransomware

Aleta ransomware – a computer virus that follows BTCWare's example

Aleta ransomware
Aleta is a crypto-virus that locks files with a combination of AES and RSA encryption keys.

Questions about Aleta ransomware virus

Aleta is a ransomware-type cyber threat that uses AES and RSA encryption algorithms to make files on the affected Windows computers. Malware also appends .[email].aleta file extension to the targeted files and delivers ransom-demanding instructions in !#_READ_ME_#!.inf file. However, it's not a unique virus. It is just a new version of BTCWare ransomware[1]. For this reason, it is also known as “BTCWare Aleta ransomware.”

Summary
Name Aleta
Type Ransomware
Malware family BTCWare
Release date 2017
Most affected countries Argentina, Belgium, and Spain
Cryptography A combination of AES and RSA
Appended file extensions .[black.mirror@qq.com].aleta
.[chines34@protonmail.ch].aleta
.[darkwaiderr@cock.li].aleta
Ransom note !#_READ_ME_#!.inf
Symptoms Encrypted files, system slowdowns, Windows errors, unresponsive programs
Decryption Might be possible with BTCWare decryptor
To uninstall Aleta, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Aleta virus enters the system as a Trojan. On the affected computer, it makes various changes, installs necessary components and starts data encryption procedure. During the encryption, the crypto-virus appends .aleta file extension. Additionally, crooks include one of the following email address in the added suffix:

  • darkwaiderr@cock.li
  • chines34@protonmail.ch
  • black.mirror@qq.com

Aleta ransomware ransom note
Aleta ransomware asks to contact cyber criminals in order to recover missing files.

According to the ransom note, delivered soon after file encryption, victims have to send an email to one of the provided emails in order to recover encrypted files. Authors of Aleta ransomware provide a detailed guide in the !#_READ_ME_#!.inf:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail chines34@protonmail.ch in body of your message write your ID
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Your ID –

Attackers use psychological terror and threaten victims to contact them immediately. The sum for the Aleta decryptor is said to be set due to the speed of how fast people send the email to crooks. According to victims’ reports, authors of this ransomware suggest decrypting encoded files for 2 Bitcoins[2] which is an enormous sum of money.

Aleta ransom note
Aleta virus delivers a ransom note in a text file as soon as data encryption is over.

The attackers suggest that the victim has an opportunity to test the BTCWare Aleta decrypter by sending three small files to criminals via email, no larger than 1Mb in size. The criminals promise to send back decrypted versions of the files to prove that they actually can decrypt their files.

However, we do not recommend contacting creators of Aleta virus. These dishonest people created this malicious program in order to collect money illegally. So, they cannot be trusted. Once they receive your payment, they might leave you with those two or three decrypted files. They may not provide you a working decryption tool. Thus, paying the ransom might increase your loss.

Aleta malware
Aleta malware demands to pay the ransom in Bitcoins. However, the size of the payment differs from victim to victim.

Instead of thinking about data recovery, you should think about virus elimination. Malware makes the system vulnerable and unstable. So, you will not be able to use your PC safely and properly. In order to remove Aleta completely, you have to use a decent anti-malware software such as Reimage. Trying to delete a ransomware-type virus often results in failure due to lack of computing skills, so if you are an inexperienced PC user, you shouldn’t try to eliminate the virus manually.

You can find informative guidelines on how to restore your data right below the article. In case you are looking for Aleta removal instructions in a different language, such as Polish or German, check out websites like UsunWirusa[3] or DieViren[4].

Ways used for spreading ransomware virus

The described virus typically infiltrates the target system using RDP attacks. Cyber criminals seek to compromise admin accounts that have the right to control organization network remotely, and if they succeed to infect them, they can easily take over the target system and infect all devices with ransomware.

Keep in mind that even the strongest anti-malware programs become useless if you use weak admin passwords. In such case, crooks can brute force these passwords in a day and then fully control the target computer remotely.

There are many ways to fight ransomware; however, the general rules to protect you against ransomware attacks are:

  1. Install and keep an anti-malware program up-to-date.
  2. Create data backups regularly. You can find a guide on how to backup your data here.
  3. Never use weak passwords on your accounts, especially on remote system access software.
  4. Do not click on vague links while browsing the web and do not open emails sent by unknown people.

Instructions on how to remove BTCWare Aleta ransomware

Remove Aleta ransomware using instructions provided below to continue using the computer safely. Remember that ransomware is a complex cyber threat that is nearly impossible to delete manually. Therefore, you need use reputable anti-malware software to make the system safe again.

For Aleta removal we recommend using Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. However, you may need to reboot your PC to Safe Mode with Networking. This helps to disable virus' attempts to stop the elimination procedure. We have prepared detailed guide below.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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.
Aleta ransomware virus snapshot
Aleta ransomware encrypted files

To remove Aleta virus, follow these steps:

Remove Aleta using Safe Mode with Networking

You will remove the virus without facing any problems if you carefully read and carry out the following instructions.

  • 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 Aleta

    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 Aleta removal.

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

Remove Aleta 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 Aleta. 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 Aleta removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Aleta crypto ransomware is an improved version of BTCWare virus and therefore the BTCWare decryptor cannot, at least at the moment of writing, decrypt your files. We suggest using data backups and other data recovery solutions listed below to restore your files.

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

Data recovery tools

Data Recovery Pro can come in handy if your files were marked with .aleta extensions. Here's how to use this tool:

  • 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 Aleta ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Restore files from Volume Shadow Copies

Volume Shadow Copies can help you recover your files, unfortunately, it might not be possible because ransomware viruses tend to delete these copies right after encrypting the original file versions.

  • 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.

Try BTCWare decryptor to recover after Aleta ransomware virus attack

Even though it's a not official decryptor, some files might be still decrypted with BTCWare decryptor. You can download it here.

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

Removal guides in other languages