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Remove Avaddon ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Decryption Steps Included

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Avaddon ransomware is file-encrypting virus changing file names to .avdn and spreading via Phorphiex/Trik Botnet 

Avaddon ransomware files

Avaddon is a cryptovirus that has been first spotted by cybersecurity researcher GrujaRS[1] in June 2020. According to experts, this ransomware can be predicted to be exceptionally active as the criminals behind it are applying all kinds of dissemination strategies, including Phorphiex/Trik Botnet, wink spam attacks, Ransomware-as-an-Affiliate (RaaS) for Russian hackers, exploit kits and more. 

The executable of the Avaddon ransomware (temp27472466.exe or img164186.jpg.js) runs PowerShell and Bitsadmin commands within %Temp% to enable the ransomware. The inbuilt file encryption software scans the machine for compatible file extensions and locks the ones that it successfully recognized by happening the .avdn file extension to each of them. The virus also replaces the desktop background and creates a ransom note [id]-readme.html (instead of the ID, people see the unique identification number), which redirects to the TOR payment site, which demands victims to purchase Bitcoins and pay for the Avaddon General Decryptor 350 USD in Bitcoins. 

Name Avaddon
International classification Ransomware
Distribution Phorphiex/Trik Botnet, malicious IMG123101.jpg spam attachments, unprotected RDPs, exploit kits, infected software download links, RaaS offered on Russian hacking forums, etc. 
Related files  temp27472466.exe[2], img164186.jpg.js, sava.exe
File extension  The ransomware changes the extension of personal people's files to .avdn
Note As a typical file-encrypting virus, it replaces the desktop background to “All your files has been encrypted” note and generates an HTML file [id]-readme.html
Exclusion list The ransomware is programmed to skip CIS countries by initiating self-destruction
The size of the ransomware It's not static. It can vary from 350 USD to 900 UAS depending on the amount of encrypted data
 Decryptable?  .avdn files cannot be recovered for free. Experts provided the analysis of the virus and it seems that it's using online IDs that cannot be deciphered without a unique key
Elimination Automatic removal is the only option to get rid of dangerous cyber infection
Ransomware may trigger Windows malfunctions by compromising registries, boot files, libraries, and more. To fix suchlike damage, try running Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego utility

The Avaddon ransomware virus is a newcomer to the market of crypt-extortionists. Nevertheless, experts see its potential to become a prevalent cyber threat competing with families like GandCrab, Djvu, or Jigsaw. Such presumptions are based on the activity logs and infections rate.

According to the researchers, the campaigns that criminals behind this ransomware show positive dynamics. According to the cybersecurity firm Appriver, the spams distributed via Phorphiex botnet[3] standalone reached over 300 potential victims within a few days. Even more, the ransomware can be spread by affiliate parties, Russian hackers basically, as the Avaddon ransomware virus is being offered as a Ransomware-as-an-Affiliate, paying the affiliate distributors 65% of the ransom. 

However, the countries of the former Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are not very likely to meet this malware. According to its founders, the virus has an automatic command, which initiates Avaddon virus removal by default if the system detects the AZ, AM, BY, KZ, KG, MD, RU, TJ, UZ, UA, GE, and TM keyboard layout. 

The other countries all across the world are at a high risk of getting acquainted with the .avdn file virus. Upon running the malicious sava.exe file, the virus changes the background image and creates a new directory, for example, Z folder. Besides, all personal files are locked using a sophisticated encryption algorithm (AES, RSA, ChaCha or combination) and then launches the [id]-readme.html note, which once clicked launches the TOR website and displays the following instructions:

Your network has been infected by Avaddon
All your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted and you are not able to decrypt it by yourself. But don't worry, we can help you to restore all your files!

The only way to restore your files is to buy our special software – Avaddon General Decryptor. Only we can give you this software and only we can restore your files!

You can get more information on our page, which is located in a Tor hidden network.

How to get to our page
Download Tor browser – hxxps://www.torproject.org/
Install Tor browser
Open link in Tor browser – avaddonbotrxmuyl.onion
Follow the instructions on this page
Your ID:
– 

DO NOT TRY TO RECOVER FILES YOURSELF!
DO NOT MODIFY ENCRYPTED FILES!
OTHERWISE, YOU MAY LOSE ALL YOUR FILES FOREVER!

The TOR website informs users about the size of the redemption (varies from $350-900) and provides a detailed guide on how to purchase Bitcoins and make the payment. In addition, people can find a support chat, a free Avaddon decryption test page, help page, and similar. 

Avaddon virus
Avaddon ransomware virus changes the background, locks files, and demands to pay the ransom in Bitcoins. Otherwise, personal files will be permanently deleted

Naturally, users get a shock finding their files locked by .avdn virus files and that is understandable. Not only the fact that your access to personal files is restricted worries. However, people should also consider the fact that having a ransomware virus on the system leaves it extremely vulnerable to other cyber attacks, for example, the infiltration of Trojan or spyware.

Therefore, it's important to remove Avaddon ransomware as soon as possible. If you found your files locked, do not hesitate and restart the system into Safe Mode to quarantine malicious processes, such as sava.exe. This way, the ransomware won't interfere with your security tool and you will be able to launch a full system scan. 

At this point, we recommend people to rely on the most robust security tool, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, and similar. Beware that not all malicious entries run by this ransomware can be detected. Take for instance a malicious img164186.jpg.js file, which is recognized by 35 AV tools out of 65 possible. Thus, using a weak security program can end up with a failed Avaddon removal. 

A multiplicity of methods are applied for spreading the ransomware all across the world

According to the researchers, this particular ransomware stands out from the crowd as its developers are spreading the ransomware in an extremely active way. The criminals themselves are using one basic dissemination strategy, known as spam. 

The email messages that carry malicious attachments are being distributed by Phorphiex/Trik Botnet, which is a huge campaign capable of spreading hundreds of thousands of emails at a time (over 300,000 ar once). The details of the malicious email are the following:

  • the sender – billy73@3189.com (though it can differ)
  • Subject line – “Your new photo?”
  • Body text – a winking emoji
  • Attachment – IMG123101.jpg

.avdn file virus can hide under spam attachments
Avaddon crypto-ransomware is typically spread via malicious jpg attachments

The jpg attachment is, in fact, a malicious JavaScript file, which once opened downloads a malicious ransomware payload. Nevertheless, this particular virus can be distributed via other means. That's because it is offered as a RaaS, Ransomware-as-a-service, meaning that the developers of this virus are not the only ones distributing the malware. According to NoVirus.uk[4] researchers, the affiliates can render their own means of distribution to infect PCs and then collect commissions for every paid ransom fee. The other means that can be used for spreading this tool: 

  • Links embedded into spam emails
  • Software vulnerabilities and exploit kits
  • Pirated software installers
  • Keygens, software cracks
  • Fake Flash Player (or similar) updates
  • Freeware bundles shared on shady websites
  • Poorly protected Remote Desktop connections, etc.

Avaddon virus ransomware removal and .avdn file recovery

As we have already mentioned in the first part of this article, the Avaddon ransomware removal can be initiated in one way only – using a professional security program that has the latest virus database, powerful scanner, and virus removal possibilities. Our recommended programs are Malwarebytes and SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, but you can use any application of your preferences. 

If, however, you cannot remove Avaddon virus from the system because it infringes the AV engine and keeps it disabled all the time, restart Windows OS and boot it into Safe Mode with Networking. This way, all malicious processes will be disabled and you will be able to start the security scan. 

Avaddon ransomware redirects to TOR
Avaddon ransom note redirects to TOR payment site, which explains what happened and explains how to purchase Bitcoins

Once the ransomware is removed, you can start thinking about the recovery of the .avdn files. As pointed out by cybersecurity experts, there's no free decryptor for this virus. Therefore, you should select if you are going to pay the ransom (not recommended), use backups, or apply alternative data recovery methods listed below. 

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego 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 Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Avaddon virus, follow these steps:

Remove Avaddon using Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode environment is required for a successful ransomware elimination.

  • 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 Avaddon

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

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

Remove Avaddon using System Restore

If you cannot enable Safe Mode for some reason, you can try to get rid of malicious ransomware files by enabling the System Restore point that has been created before the Avaddon ransomware attack.

  • 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 Avaddon. 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 Intego and make sure that Avaddon removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

The methods that can be used to unlock .avdn virus files

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

Data Recovery Pro

This third-party software can ransomware victims retrieve at least some of the encoded files for no charge. 

  • 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 Avaddon ransomware;
  • Restore them.

ShadowExplorer may be of use for those who cannot rename .avdn files without paying the ransom

  • 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.

Unfortunately, there's no free Avaddon decryptor launched

Even though there's no decryptor for this malicious virus, do not rush to pay the ransom. Make cold copies of the encrypted files and upload the sample of the virus to the websites owned by ransomware researchers. 

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. Ransomware is the one that is focused on such functions, so your device gets useless without access to needed data. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for such recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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