CryptoShadow ransomware / virus (Tutorial) - Easy Removal Guide

CryptoShadow virus Removal Guide

What is CryptoShadow ransomware virus?

CryptoShadow enters the ransomware market

CryptoShadow virus is presented as a file-encrypting threat. While the first two weeks did not introduce many exceptional viruses, hackers still keep IT experts preoccupied. During the last weeks, Cerber virus kept continuously terrorizing the virtual community. Likewise, many users might have got used to the news about yet another version of this destructive cyber infection [1]. While the gang behind the infamous threats decided to take a short break, other felons do not let the security researchers fade into boredom. Unlike some unsuccessful attempts, such as MerryChristmas ransomware, created to frighten users, this malware should not be taken too lightly. It employs an intricate AES encryption technique to encrypt files. If this misfortune has befallen you, there is no need to give in into despair. Read the article to get acquainted how to remove CryptoShadow. For that purpose, we recommend installing FortectIntego. It will ensure that CryptoShadow removal will be performed efficiently.

The image of CryptoShadow virus

Regarding the operation and the veneer of this virus, it seems that it has been oriented at Spanish-speaking netizens. Such assumptions have been made from the ransom note of this malware. It presents LEER_INMEDIATAMENTE.txt. The title says “Read immediately.” During the encryption procedure, CryptoShadow malware encrypts a file with AES algorithm. It generates a complex, unique key. The most viable to reclaim the files again is to either obtain the private key or use backup copies [2]. Additionally, the ransomware appends two types of file extensions: .exit and .doomed. These threats vary not only in the external outlook, but operation method, and diverse payment options [3]. Elaborating on CryptoShadow ransomware, it has been detected that it is the version of an infamous HiddenTear virus [4]. It has inspired numerous hacker-wannabees to launch their own crypto-malware. Depending on the complexity and structure, the workaround may take a while. Some threats such as Marlboro virus only took one day to crack [5], but the current malware seems to be a different matter. Lastly, we would like to dissuade you paying the ransom. Ransomware business has been booming since victims have remitted the demanded payment. However, only an astonishing minority retrieved the data back. Concentrate only on the idea how to remove CryptoShadow permanently.

The peculiarities of the ransomware dispersion

Usually, such threats spread via spam messages. Well-known threats disguise under counterfeited emails from delivery companies or even official institutions. The ominous virus is placed in a .zip folder, frequently in .doc or .js file. If users are not attentive enough, they release the menace by opening the attached file. Alternatively, CryptoShadow hijack might have taken place as a result of visiting an infected domain. Exploit kits and trojans are exploited for such task. In order to escape them, arm up with effective security application. In this case, we offer the combination of an anti-virus and anti-spyware application. While one is warding off malware, the other takes care of the removal of the malicious content.

Quick CryptoShadow elimination solution

As we have mentioned above, automatic CryptoShadow removal might be the most assuring way getting rid of this threat permanently. Install a security program, such as FortectIntego or Malwarebytes. Updating it is also essential since outdated databases may fail to detect the threat. After the process is finished, proceed to the file recovery steps. Our recommendations might be of help since they offer a few tools for data decryption. In case, you encounter any struggle eliminating CryptoShadow virus, follow these guidelines.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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.

Getting rid of CryptoShadow virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

In case, the virus has paralyzed the key functions of the computer, and you cannot remove CryptoShadow, follow the guide.

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove CryptoShadow using System Restore

System Recovery is an alternative method you might want to try.

  • 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 CryptoShadow. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that CryptoShadow removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

What is Data Recovery Pro?

This program is specifically designed for users who seek to restore missing or damaged files. In this case, the program might be of use as well.

  • 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 CryptoShadow ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions Feature

This method requires more time as you have to go through each file separately. Note that it is only effective as long as System Recovery has been enabled.

  • 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 option

The software works on the basis of shadow volume copies. After it gets access to them, it recreates the files.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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 CryptoShadow and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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