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Remove Bufas ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Bufas ransomware is a Djvu variant that encrypts pictures and other files on the infected computer and demands a ransom to be paid for the decryptor

Bufas ransomware

Bufas is a ransomware-type virus that was first discovered in mid-May 2019 by security researcher Michael Gillespie. The cybercriminals behind this threat are focusing on money extortion by locking user files with .bufas file extension (typically AES encryption is used in STOP/Djvu family, although researchers also spotted some variants using different ciphers) and demanding ransom to be paid for the decryption tool.

The size of the ransom is $980, although crooks also offer a discount of 50% if they are contacted via mosteros@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch or @datarestore Telegram account within 72 hours after the initial infection. Victims affected by Bufas ransomware can see this information compiled in a text document _readme.txt, which is populated into each of the affected data folders.

While it is true that Bufas virus is currently not decryptable, paying the ransom is not recommended by security experts,[1] as hackers might fail to provide the decryptor. Instead, victims should focus on Bufas ransomware removal and alternative decryption methods that we provide below.

Name Bufas
Type Ransomware
Variant of STOP-Djvu
File extension .bufas
Ransom note _readme.txt
Contact mosteros@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch or @datarestore
Decryptable? Might be possible with the help of STOPDecrypter [download link]; otherwise third-party recovery software can be used
Elimination Use reputable anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner
Recovery To completely recover from ransomware infection, scan your system with Reimage

Bufas virus authors use common ransomware distribution methods, such as spam emails, exploits, torrent or other file-sharing sites, fake Windows updates, etc. However, researchers spotted that many of STOP versions, including Kroput, Kropun, Promok, and others, were distributed on crack and pirated software sites, such as Crackithub[.]com or kmspico10[.]com.[2]

Additionally, some of the variants also carried AZORult trojan payload which can steam financial and other sensitive information from the host computer. Although it is yet unknown if this version has a secondary payload, it is vital to remove Bufas ransomware immediately.

Soon after the file encryption procedure, Bufas ransomware victims can see the 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:
hxxps://we.tl/t-2jkyb95pOj
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” or “Junk” folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
mosteros@firemail.cc

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
gorentos@bitmessage.ch

Our Telegram account:
@datarestore

Your personal ID:

While cybercriminals offer a 50% discount if contacted within 72 hours, experts recommend staying away from the culprits – there is simply no guarantee that they will send the decryptor needed to unlock personal files. Additionally, paying the ransom will only encourage threat actors to develop the virus further and infect more victims around the world.

Currently, there is no official decryptor would recover your files locked by Bufas ransomware. However, STOPDecrypter might work if the encryption process was performed offline. Additionally, third-party recovery software might be a great tool to get at least some of your data back.

But before that, you need to terminate Bufas virus, along with any secondary infections that might be present on your computer. For that, enter Safe Mode with Networking and use reputable anti-malware software to scan your device. After that, we recommend scanning the PC with Reimage to restore infected Windows system files.

Bufas ransomware virus
Bufas ransomware is a cryptovirus that encrypts users' files with AES or another cipher and demands ransom of $980/$490 to be paid for the decryptor

Stop downloading pirated software to improve your computer security

As we already mentioned, many of the STOP variants were distribution on sites that host pirated/repacked software or its cracks. Therefore, it would be wise staying away from such websites altogether. Nevertheless, if you are willing to risk it (also, be aware that pirating software is illegal and might result in financial penalties), you should always scan the executables with anti-virus software or Virus Total engines. However, most of the crack tools will be flagged as malicious[3] simply because if how they work, regardless if they will infect your computer or not.

Additionally, you should always practice safe browsing – here's how to do it:

  • Employ powerful anti-malware software and enable Firewall;
  • Keep all your applications, along with the operating system, updated with the latest security patches;
  • Be very careful with spam emails – especially those that include attachments or hyperlinks;
  • Before opening an email from an unknown source, first make sure it is legit (be aware that email spoofing might make sender address look legitimate);
  • Use an ad-blocker app (do not forget to add exclusions on sites you want to support);
  • Use strong passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication where possible;
  • Turn off RDP when not using it and also adequately protect it with a strong password.

Delete Bufas ransomware before you attempt file recovery

Please do NOT attempt to recover your files until a full Bufas ransomware removal is complete. To do that, you should access Safe Mode with Networking and then perform a full system scan with anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Be aware that new variants of STOP malware might not be detected by all AV vendors, so scan with multiple programs might be necessary to terminate Bufas virus altogether.

After you remove Bufas ransomware, you can then attempt to recover your files. If you had backups ready, now is the time to connect your external device or copy your data from remote storage. If you did not have backups prepared (most users don't, although they should), you could try third-party software or a decryptor developed by security experts. You will find all the instructions below.

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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 5.
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 Bufas virus, follow these steps:

Remove Bufas using Safe Mode with Networking

You should enter Safe Mode in order to temporarily stop Bufas ransomware from working and then delete with a full system scan using security software:

  • 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 Bufas

    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 Bufas removal.

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

Remove Bufas using System Restore

System Restore might be useful as well when trying to delete the cryptovirus

  • 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 Bufas. 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 Bufas removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Bufas 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 Bufas, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro is a tool that might help you recover at least some of your files

This program is originally created to retrieve files that were accidentally deleted or otherwise corrupted. Nevertheless, malware victims noted that it might also help with ransomware-locked data.

  • 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 Bufas ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions feature

This method can only be applied if you had System Restore option 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”.

In some cases, SahdowExplorer might recover all your data

All ransomware viruses are programmed to delete Shadow Volume Copies. Nevertheless, this process might fail in some cases. Therefore, you should try using SahdowExplorer – it might recover your files in Shadow copies are still present.

  • 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.

Try STOPDecrypter to restore your files

If the encryption process took place when your computer was not connected to the internet or Bufas ransomware failed to contact a remote server, STOPDecrypter [download link] might work for you.

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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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