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Remove Annabelle 2.1 ransomware (Removal Instructions) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Annabelle 2.1 ransomware is a wiper-type virus that corrupts all personal data on the computer

Annabelle 2.1 ransomware

Annabelle 2.1 is malware that made a return after a year's break, although researchers believe that this variant of Annabelle ransomware was not developed by the same authors. This time, instead of encrypting data with AES-256[1] encryption algorithm, the virus either fails to start entirely (researchers noted that the malicious code is full of bugs and often crashes) or appends .AnabelleCreate but does not actually encrypt data. Instead, it modifies the file structure by inserting the word “HACKED!!!!!,” corrupting them and preventing victims from accessing documents, music, videos, pictures, and other data. Annabelle 2.1 ransomware then spawns a pop-up window called “Annabelle” which falsely states that all files are encrypted and no recovery is possible. Annabelle 2.1 virus mainly targets Korean-speaking users, as this language used in the ransom message. 

Name Annabelle 2.1
Type Ransomware/Wiper
Dropper Annabelle.exe
File extension .AnabelleCreate
File modification Modifies string in the file structure by adding “HACKED!!!!!” word, consequently corrupting it
Targets Korean users
Removal Use security software to terminate the virus
Recovery Download and install Reimage Reimage Cleaner

Annabelle is a character from a famous horror movie, and that is what the original malware was based on. While the previously-distributed ransomware actually induced horror in users due to encrypted files, Annabelle 2.1 virus is a much lesser threat, as data is not encrypted by a key that is usually stored on a remote server.

However, it does not mean that  Annabelle 2.1 ransomware infection is harmless, as files still do get corrupted, although the chance of recovery is much higher than that of real crypto-locker. Nevertheless, it does seem that malware authors wanted to simply destroy the data on the device, as they state on the Korean-written ransom note:

Your computer files are all encrypted by Annabelle 2.1. If you try to recover you files, all of the data will be deleted.

  1. There is no possibility to recover files
  2. The software encrypts all files with SHA1 algorithm

In case the Annabelle 2.1 virus fails to detonate properly, it will not append an extension to data, although it might still show the ransom note. Regardless if malware fails to perform its actions correctly or not, users should focus on prompt Annabelle 2.1 ransomware removal.

Best way to accomplish that is by using anti-malware software that can detect the threat as one of the following names:[2]

Once you remove Annabelle 2.1 ransomware from your device, you can recover your files by using recovery software. Beware that, even though the retrieval should be successful in most cases, it is not guaranteed.

Annabelle 2.1 ransomware virus
Annabelle 2.1 is a virus that does not encrypts data and has multiple bugs

Ransomware can be devastating – do not get infected!

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous malware families in the wild. While other types can be equally as dangerous (for example, the presence of data stealer can result in identity theft), ransomware usually leaves a large trace behind – locked files. What most regular users get wrong, however, is that the virus removal will not retrieve access to data, as its key is stored on a remote server controlled by hackers.

Thus, while ransomware is less likely to steal your sensitive information, it can take your files – forever. Depending on how important your data is, the effects might be minor or devastating. Regular users might lose invaluable files like personal photos or videos, while companies, organizations or even cities might suffer from major financial losses due to ransomware infection. For example, SamSam ransomware infection on one of the network computers cost Atlanta city $2.6 million to recover from the attack.[3]

For that reason, experts[4] recommend being careful when browsing the internet. Such precautionary measures like anti-virus protection, Firewall, software/system patching, file scanning reduce the chance of infection drastically. Also, you should stay away from high-risk websites (torrent, porn, gambling, etc.), be careful with spam email attachments and use strong passwords for each of your accounts. If you take cybersecurity lightly, the infection of malware is inevitable, so stay safe online.

Don't be scared of Annabelle 2.1 – remove it from you system with ease

Initially, Annabelle 2.1 virus infection might seem like the end of the world – seemingly locked files, scary doll picture, and the uncertainty about what's going to happen next. Well, things might be not as bad as they seem, as Annabelle 2.1 ransomware removal should be a relatively simple procedure, as long as adequate tools are used.

Once you remove Annabelle 2.1 ransomware thoroughly, you can proceed with file recovery. If you store backups or use System Restore feature, the recovery should not be hard. You will find all the download links for the software below, along with usage instructions. Additionally, you will find details of how to enter Safe Mode with Networking in case malware is interfering with security software.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Annabelle 2.1 virus, follow these steps:

Remove Annabelle 2.1 using Safe Mode with Networking

In case Annabelle 2.1 ransomware is interfering with anti-malware software, enter 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 Annabelle 2.1

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Annabelle 2.1 removal.

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

Remove Annabelle 2.1 using System Restore

System Restore can also be used for malware termination:

  • 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 Annabelle 2.1. 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 Reimage Cleaner and make sure that Annabelle 2.1 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Annabelle 2.1 from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Annabelle 2.1 virus does not encrypt files but corrupts them instead. Try recovery tools to restore your data.

If your files are encrypted by Annabelle 2.1, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro is a professional recovery tool

This application is capable of restoring most of the corrupted files. Download, install and pick the data you want to restore.

  • 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 Annabelle 2.1 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions feature

This option might not be optimal, as you will be able to recover files one-by-one.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might recover all of your data

Scan your device with ShadowExplorer to retrieve 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Annabelle 2.1 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner , SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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