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Browec ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Browec is ransomware and one of Djvu virus variants asking for $980 in return for the decryption key

Browec ransomware
Browec ransomware is file locking virus that prevents users to accessing their documents, videos, pictures, and other data

Browec ransomware is data locking malware that was first spotted by security researcher Michael Gillespie in mid-April 2019. The virus stems from the notorious STOP/Djvu virus family – one of the most widespread ransomware threats in the wild. Just as its predecessors, it uses AES-256[1] cipher to lock up data, appends .browec extension and drops a ransom note _readme.txt that demands a payment of $980 in Bitcoin for the alleged decryptor. After paying, victims are asked to contact hackers via vengisto@india.com or vengisto@firemail.cc emails to allegedly receive the decryptor that would allow them to reaccess their files. However, experts[2] highly discourage users from having any type of interaction with hackers and instead focus on Browec ransomware removal, as well as alternative file recovery methods.

Name Browec
Type Ransomware
Derivation STOP/Djvu
File extension .browec
Ransom note _readme.txt
Contact vengisto@india.com or vengisto@firemail.cc
Decryptable? No, but might be possible with STOP decryptor [direct link] if encryption was performed while offline
Termination Use reputable security software
Recovery Ransomware can infect system files; to restore them and avoid reinstallation of Windows, use Reimage as a quick recovery solution

Browec ransomware is mostly delivered to victims' computers using the following methods:

  • Spam emails;
  • Exploit kits;[3]
  • Brute-force attacks;
  • Pirated software installers and their cracks;
  • Fake updates;
  • Hacked websites, etc.

Once inside, the malicious Browec ransomware payload infects operating system – it then runs every time Windows machine is booted. It also deletes Shadow Volume copies, complicating the recovery procedures. After that, it only takes malware a few seconds to encrypt pictures, databases, videos, music, and other documents. 

Browec ransomware, just as STOP previous variants (GuvaraRaldugRefols, etc.) uses virtually identical ransom note, which reads:

ATTENTION!

Don’t worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
https://we.tl/t-vpovVceDWN
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
vengisto@india.com

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
vengisto@firemail.cc

Your personal ID:

If your data is encrypted with .browec file virus, do not hurry to pay criminals, even if they offer such services as free test decryption or 50% discount. This is not an online shop where you buy stuff, and these people illegally restrained the access to your files – they can simply take your money and never send you what they promised. Additionally, by paying them, you would online prove that Browec ransomware works as intended and prompt them infecting even more victims.

While Browec virus is not yet decryptable, users can try alternative recovery solutions as explained below. Besides, if file encryption was performed while the computer was not connected to the internet, STOP decoder might be useful. 

Remember that you need to remove Browec ransomware before you attempt file recovery, or otherwise your files will be repeatedly encrypted. Additionally, we recommend using Reimage to recover from the infection completely and make sure that Windows is running properly once again.

Be attentive while opening emails and downloading software from the internet

Ransomware is most likely one of the most devastating types of malware around, as it might result in permanent data loss. Additionally, virus authors are quick to evolve their threats to ensure higher infection rates, along with possible payments from victims. Therefore, a variety of distribution methods are used to expand bad actors in malicious campaigns.

One of the most ransomware distribution techniques is spam emails. Hackers employ bots that send out phishing emails to thousands of users, and they typically contain an attachment that uses a variety of extensions, such as .exe, .html, .doc, .pdf, .txt, and similar. These files are obfuscated in a way that, once opened, would download and install ransomware payload on your device. Alternatively, bad actors might also use hyperlinks that would redirect victims to malicious domain.

Another popular malware distribution method is via fake updates and pirated software installers. Therefore, set your updates to automatic setting and scan every single executable with tools like Virus Total and make sure you have anti-malware software enabled at all times. Finally, ensure you have backups ready for a speedy recovery if you get infected with ransomware.

Terminate Browec ransomware from your machine with the help of anti-malware tool

Manual Browec ransomware removal should not be tried by most users, as digging in Windows Registry and determining where all the malicious files are is almost impossible. For that reason, you should download and install reputable anti-virus software and remove Browec virus automatically. Before you do that, however, you should enter Safe Mode with Networking, as ransomware might interfere with anti-malware software.

Once you terminate Browec ransomware, you can attempt to recover at least some of your files. You can use third-party recovery software – we provide download links and instructions on how to use those apps below. Also, you can wait for the security experts to create the decryptor for this variant of STOP. Besides, you can try STOP decryptor by Michael Gillespie.

Offer
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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 SpyHunter.
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.

To remove Browec virus, follow these steps:

Remove Browec using Safe Mode with Networking

If Browec file virus is tampering with your security software, access 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 Browec

    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 Browec removal.

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

Remove Browec using System Restore

Use System Restore to terminate the virus:

  • 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 Browec. 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 Browec removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro might help with a successful file restoration

While initially this tool was not designed to help people infected by ransomware, it proved to be useful for some victims.

  • 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 Browec ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Take advantage of Windows Previous Previous Versions feature

You can give this method a try if you had System Restore enabled before the infection occurred.

  • 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 restore your files under certain circumstances

In case Browec ransomware failed to remove Shadow Volume Copies, ShadowExplorer should be able to retrieve access to all your 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.

No Browec decryptor is available

As we already mentioned, you might try using STOP decryptor to recover your data.

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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Contact Lucia Danes
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References


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