AngleWare ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included
AngleWare virus Removal Guide
What is AngleWare ransomware virus?
What kind of virus is AngleWare? How dangerous is it?
AngleWare virus first emerged in March 2017, and malware researchers quickly identified it as one of numerous HiddenTear ransomware spin-offs. The ransomware applies AES cryptography on all files – it scans the computer thoroughly, checking every folder and every file stored in it. It searches for files that have certain file extensions, and if these match the ones from the virus’ target list, AngleWare immediately renders them useless. The virus is also programmed to add .AngleWare file extensions to encrypted data to help the victim realize how many files were corrupted. Once the first part of the attack – encryption – is finished, the ransomware creates a text file called READ_ME.txt, and puts such lines in it:
Your files has been encrypted by AngleWare
Pay 3BTC to my bitcoin address [redacted]
And send the proof to my email firstname.lastname@example.org
To put it simply, AngleWare developers plan to extort money from computer users by taking their files hostage and asking for ransom in exchange for a decryption tool. They ask for a very large sum of money – at the moment of writing this article, 3 BTC were equal to 3090 USD. It goes without saying that you can do a lot of better things with such amount of money than giving them away to cyber criminals that might not even help you to restore your files. The provided email address can be blocked anytime soon, and then you won’t get an opportunity to decrypt your files even if you paid the enormous ransom to AngleWare creators. We strongly recommend you to remove AngleWare malware using the strongest anti-malware application that you have. If you haven’t installed an anti-malware software on your PC, consider installing one now. In our opinion, RestoroIntego and SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner are the best options at the moment. Both programs can easily handle AngleWare removal and get rid of all other suspicious programs in minutes. Researcher shows the ransom note (READ_ME.txt) that AngleWare virus creates and saves on the desktop.
How did the ransomware enter my computer system?
There are many ways to distribute ransomware, and all of them are based on deception. Most of the time, bad people have no willingness to waste time creating sophisticated malware distribution schemes, so they just rely on the good old malspam method. Spam has always been the main ransomware attack vector, because it proved to be the most efficient one, too. We strongly recommend users to stay clear of emails sent by obscure senders, and also carefully check if the email comes from an authoritative source. For example, you can get an email from someone who claims to be working at Amazon or PayPal, including a visually legitimate-looking message and some attachments. These attachments can be dubbed as invoices, reports, or archives that you need to immediately look over. However, these can appear to be masqueraded executive files or just contain malicious script activated via Macros. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to think twice before opening shady email attachments; otherwise, you will have to regret your decision to explore their content.
Remove AngleWare ransomware virus
If AngleWare virus attacked your PC and corrupted all of your precious files, do not rush to take hasty decisions. First of all, you must remember that paying the ransom is never a good idea. Cybercriminals can take your money and make off without providing you with a decryption tool. This way, you would lose over three grand just like you lost your files. To restore corrupted data, backups are needed, but you can also try using data recovery methods that we provided below the article. Make sure you precisely remove AngleWare before taking any further steps – the virus needs to be entirely gone before you start using data recovery tools. For AngleWare removal, we suggest using anti-malware programs because we believe that it is the safest, easiest and fastest way to get rid of any computer virus.
Getting rid of AngleWare virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
To get AngleWare ransomware out of the computer, reboot it into Safe Mode with Networking first. Then download the chosen ransomware removal software and let it detect malicious files and programs on your computer.
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.
Remove AngleWare using System Restore
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of AngleWare. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove AngleWare from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Speaking of data recovery means, we have to say that data backup is the only tool that can successfully restore the vast of lost files. If you haven’t created data copies earlier, it won’t be so easy to restore files that were damaged. There is a HiddenTear decryptor available, but it AngleWare was modified properly, it won’t help you to restore your files. Data Recovery methods are described below.
If your files are encrypted by AngleWare, you can use several methods to restore them:
Recover with Data Recovery Pro
There are some useful data recovery programs available today. One of them is Data Recovery Pro. It might help you to restore some files that were encrypted. This is how you should use it:
- 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 AngleWare ransomware;
- Restore them.
Use HiddenTear decryptor
Use this HiddenTear decryptor by Avast – it might help you to decrypt encrypted files. However, you should firstly read this guide on how to use it.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from AngleWare and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.
- ^ Malware research. Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia.
- ^ Jornt van der Wiel. Hidden tear and its spin offs. Securelist. Information about Viruses, Hackers and Spam.
- ^ Advanced Encryption Standard. TutorialsPoint. Free Tutorials and Reference Manuals with Examples.
- ^ Ransomware: the Tool of Choice for Cyber Extortion. FireEye Resources. All About the Identities, Motivations, and Tools of Modern Cyber Threat Actors.
- ^ How is malware distributed?. University of Delaware. Security News.