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CryptoWall 4.0. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - -   Also known as HELP_YOUR_FILES | Type: Ransomware

Similarities of CryptoWall and CryptoWall 4.0

CryptoWall 4.0 virus is the newest version of CryptoWall ransomware, which is deemed as one of the most destructive computer viruses of all times. Computer users must avoid downloading malicious CryptoWall related files at all costs because hardly anything can be done after such virus steps inside the computer system. Below is a list of similarities between the first and the fourth versions of CryptoWall:

  • Both versions spread via malicious spam emails.
  • Interesting fact: CryptoWall variants are created by Russian hackers; therefore, these viruses are designed not to target computers located in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and obviously, Russia. If the virus detects that computer user lives in one of these countries, it automatically destroys itself. If the victim does not live in one of these countries, the virus starts its malicious processes immediately.
  • If either the first or the fourth version of CryptoWall enters the computer system, it scans the entire computer system to find all personal user’s files. CryptoWall viruses aim to find all data, no matter how valuable it is for the victim, and lock these files using particular encryption algorithms that are nearly impossible to crack.
  • After CryptoWall or CryptoWall 4.0 virus finishes the encryption process, it leaves ransom notes on several folders to inform the victim what needs to be done in order to recover the encrypted data.

Unfortunately, trusting cyber-criminals is something that we do not recommend you to do. If you don’t want to lose your money, you should NOT pay it because there are thousands of people who decided to pay the ransom but didn’t get the decryption key after sending money to hackers.

CryptoWall 4.0 virus

CryptoWall 4.0 is definitely one of the worst ransomware-type viruses. How does it work?

To begin with, let us explain what ransomware is. Ransomware is an extremely dangerous computer virus, which finds and encrypts victim’s files stored on the computer and gives no “UNDO” option. In other words, there is hardly any chance to retrieve the files once such virus encrypts them. That is why it is vital to take precautions before such virus attacks the computer. CryptoWall, CryptoWall 2.0, CryptoWall 3.0 and CryptoWall 4.0 viruses are probably most infamous ransomware-type computer threats that have already affected thousands of computer users.

Ransomware viruses usually encrypt files with such extensions: .docx, .pdf, .txt, .img, .gif, .mp3, .mp4, .flv. Unfortunately, but the latest version of CryptoWall does not only encrypt the data; it can also rename the files. CryptoWall 4.0 replaces file names with random codes, which makes it hard to recognize which files were encrypted. It disables system restore and Windows Startup Repair functions and eliminates volume shadow copies. Unfortunately, many computer security programs cannot detect this malicious computer threat; it is professionally designed not to be detected by antivirus programs, and it can even avoid detection by the second generation enterprise firewall solutions. Moreover, CryptoWall 4.0 can contaminate the computer with additional malware; in other words, this virus can critically mess up the computer system.

Questions about CryptoWall 4.0

CryptoWall 4.0 uses a complicated encryption technique – it encrypts files using AES cipher first, then it encrypts them using a more powerful RSA cipher. After this ransomware encrypts user’s files, it drops ransom notes on each folder that contains encrypted data. Such messages can appear as .txt, .html, or .png files. For example:


These messages include such statements:

Cannot you find the files you need?
Is the content of the files that you have watched not readable?
It is normal because the files’ names, as well as the data in your files have been encrypted.
You have become a part of large community CryptoWall.
For your attention, the software to decrypt the files (as well as the private key that come fitted with it) is a paid product.

As you can see, CryptoWall 4.0 ransomware explains that victim’s files were encrypted. It even makes fun of the victim by saying “Congratulations.” Then it states that a software that decrypts files is a paid product, and user needs to buy it for 700 US dollars within 96 hours. Otherwise, the price will raise to 1400 US dollars. You should not believe such promises because there is no guarantee that the cyber criminals will do anything to decrypt your files.

How could CryptoWall 4.0 infect my computer?

  • CryptoWall 4.0, which is also known as HELP_YOUR_FILES virus, just like other versions of CryptoWall is spread via fraudulent e-mail letters. These letters commonly deliver a fake resume and encourage the victim to open it: “Hello, my name is […] attached is my resume! I would appreciate your cooperation on this matter.” This technique can easily deceive people who work in companies that are looking for new employees. Although your email service provider should automatically identify such email as infectious and filter it as Junk/Spam, there is a chance that your e-mail service may not filter it like that. However, you should never open emails from senders that you have never heard of. Such CryptoWall 4.0 e-mails include a text attachment (a fake resume), which is actually a JavaScript file. Once you open it, it downloads and executes the CryptoWall 4.0 virus onto your system.
  • CryptoWall 4.0 also spreads via malicious exploit kits (such as Nuclear exploit kit, and Angler exploit kit) which means that cyber-criminals tend to take advantage of outdated software on user’s computers and exploit the vulnerabilities of it. Exploit kits are spread via iFrames, malvertising, and can be found on insecure web pages as well. For this reason, you should never browse through high-risk websites, click on suspicious web content, or download files or programs from questionable download sites.

If you do not want to experience data leakage and if you do not wish to lose your files, you should think of possible ways to secure your computer. We suggest you to install an anti-malware program, for example, Reimage. It can delete the CryptoWall 4.0 ransomware from your computer. However, once a ransomware encrypts files, it can be very hard or even not possible to recover them. Therefore, you should always keep a backup of your files on an external disk. To find detailed instructions how to remove CryptoWall 4.0, navigate to page 2.

How to remove this virus and fix my computer?

Speaking of ransomware, it is right to say that prevention is better than the cure. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to decrypt files after CryptoWall 4.0, or any other ransomware encrypts them; that is why we recommend you to take precautions and create extra copies of your files and move them to a safe place, ideally, to an external backup drive.
If you can see that all your files were renamed and that you cannot open them anymore, also if you have spotted files named as HELP_YOUR_FILES.TXT, HELP_YOUR_FILES.HTML, HELP_YOUR_FILES.PNG and similar names, it means that you have become a victim of CryptoWall 4.0 virus. This virus is categorized as ransomware which means that it seeks to make you pay a ransom in exchange for the decryption key that is needed to unlock the data. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive it after doing what hackers command you to do.

All removal instructions that should help you to fix your computer are provided below this article. Remember to be very cautious while browsing on the web – do not open suspicious e-mail attachments and do not surf through untrustworthy websites. There are a lot of cyber-criminals working hard these days, so be careful and do not become another cybercrime victim.

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Alternate Software
Alternate Software
CryptoWall 4.0 snapshot
Cryptowall asking users to pay a ransom in BitCoins

To remove CryptoWall 4.0, follow these steps:

Remove CryptoWall 4.0 using 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 CryptoWall 4.0

    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 CryptoWall 4.0 removal.

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

Remove CryptoWall 4.0 using System Restore

  • 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 CryptoWall 4.0. 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 CryptoWall 4.0 removal is performed successfully.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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