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

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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Authors of Arena virus promise to decrypt files as soon as victims pay the ransom

Arena ransomware note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt

Arena ransomware is a file-encrypting virus that is associated with Dharma ransomware family. Ransomware usually gets inside the system via malicious email and starts data encryption. Once this procedure is over, all files are locked with .id-[ID].sindragosa@bigmir.net].arena file extension.

Following data encryption, Arena ransomware creates a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt document. It’s a ransom note that provides information about data encryption. According to the crooks, the only data decryption option – paying the ransom[1]. The message says that users have to contact cyber criminals: 

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email sindragosa@bigmir.net

Arena virus authors obviously want the victim to buy Bitcoins and transfer them to their Bitcoin wallet[2] address. Once it's done, the decryption key should be delivered to the victim. Unfortunately, Zondervirus.nl team says[3] that criminals cannot be trusted, so after paying the ransom, you might be left out with piles of encrypted .arena files and no ways to decipher them.

Indeed, we receive victims reports that hackers demanded even more money and did not receive a promised decryptor. Therefore, do not pay the ransom no matter how important your files are to you.

Victims report: authors of Arena ransomware virus are scammers

Recently, we received information from a computer user who suffered from .Arena virus attack. After contacting developers via sindragosa@bigmir.net, he was asked to pay 500 euros for data recovery, but criminals asked to transfer the same sum of money two more times. However, after spending 1500 euros, a victim did not receive a decryption key.

Therefore, we want to warn that Arena malware is created ONLY for swindling the money from the computer users. Instead of keeping their promise, hackers demand to pay for more money and leave you without a possibility to decrypt files. Thus, do not waste your time and money dealing with cyber criminals.

Instead of paying the ransom, concentrate on Arena malware removal. We strongly recommend using anti-malware tools to complete the task, as it is the easiest and safest way to eliminate the ransomware.

Ransomware removal is a complicated task that can be completed by advanced IT experts and malware analysts only, so you shouldn’t attempt to remove Arena file extension virus on your own.

Otherwise, such attempts can cause even more damage to your computer or convert your data into useless space-taking junk. To remove the virus, prepare your PC by rebooting it into Safe Mode with Networking (see instructions provided below) and use a software like Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware to identify and eliminate the threat. 

CryptoMix Arena malware's relation with Crysis ransomware group

The beginning of new academic year supposedly brought new inspiration to malware developers as well. Interestingly, this time, the developers of two well-known families of malware  – Crysis/Dharma and CryptoMix –  presented quite a riddle for IT researchers.

They introduced two latest versions of their root viruses. However, both of them append .arena file extension. Nonetheless, despite this feature, it is possible to tell a difference. Crysis variant will attach .id-[id].[email].arena form of attachment. The CryptoMix version renames the file with a hexadecimal string containing .arena extension.

The contact information is also different. Crysis variant indicates chivas@aolonline.top and macgregor@aolonline.top email addresses for contact information while CryptoMix Arena presents ms.heisenberg@aol.com. [4] What is more, the latest version is also much bothersome than the previous editions. It is programmed to delete shadow volume copies.

Besides users' interface, Crysis variant also launches FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file with a brief note to contact the perpetrator. The rival version uses _HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT file to output ransom-demanding message. At the moment, there is no decryption available for both versions. You can restore the data with the assistance of backups[5]. Whether you are infected with the Dharma variant or CryptoMix Arena, remove the virus and only then proceed to data recovery procedure.

Ransomware might attack from malicious email attachment

The infamous ransomware family is known to be distributed via malicious emails that deliver deceiving messages with a file attached to them. Once the victim opens the infected file, Dharma roots into the computer system and destroys victim’s files using a sophisticated encryption.

This procedure can be reversed, sadly, only using a decryption key. Without the decryption key, there is no way to restore files.

You shouldn’t blame cyber security experts for not creating a decryption tool – encryption is an extremely secure method to protect files, so there is no wonder why it is used to keep military-grade secrets private. Usually, the one who encrypts files is the only one who knows how to decrypt them.

However, variants of Dharma such as Arena ransomware can infiltrate your system alongside illegal downloads such as software cracks or with the help of exploit kits placed on compromised websites.

To protect your PC, use anti-malware software, create a backup and do not forget to get those software updates on time. You shouldn’t delay Windows updates, no matter how annoying they might seem to you.

Instructions for Arena ransomware removal

We have prepared a guide on how to remove Arena virus securely. The first thing that you need to do is to choose a software you’re going to use for removing the virus. Our recommendation is Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus and Malwarebytes Anti Malware. If you have a security software installed on your computer already, restart your PC into Safe Mode with Networking, install updates for your antivirus or anti-malware tool and let it scan your computer system thoroughly.

If you do not have a security software yet, you can download it from the Internet after rebooting your PC into Safe Mode. Please use a trustworthy software for Arena ransomware removal.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Arena ransomware virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Arena ransomware virus. 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Arena virus Removal Guide:

Remove Arena using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Remove Arena ransomware – follow these tips provided by security experts.

  • 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 Arena

    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 Arena removal.

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

Remove Arena using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • 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 Arena. 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 Arena removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Currently, there's no way to restore files with .arena extension only to use backups. If you do not have them, you should try alternative recovery methods. We cannot promise that all your files will be restored. However, there's a chance that you will get back some of your files.

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

Data Recovery Pro – alternative tool that helps to restore corrupted files

Originally, this tool is created for recovering deleted or corrupted files. However, users report that it is also helpful after ransomware attacks.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore has been enabled before Arena ransomware attack and you need to restore only few files, you should take advantage of this Windows feature:

  • 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”.

Recover from Volume Shadow Copies

Use a software like ShadowExplorer to recover .arena files. If the virus failed to remove Volume Shadow Copies from your PC, you can recover them with a help of this software. However, if the malware successfully eliminated these from your system, this tool won't be effective.

  • 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.

No tools available to decrypt .arena file extension files so far

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Arena and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

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

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References

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