Remove Damage ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Mar 2017 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

Damage virus Removal Guide

What is Damage ransomware virus?

Damage ransomware – another threat to your files

Be careful not to install new ransomware[1], which is called Damage virus. Damage ransomware has been spotted at the end of February 2017, and it seems to be a file encrypting ransomware, which enters victims computer system using tricky methods, then runs a scanner that detects target file types and encodes all of these files with cryptography[2] algorithm. Such damage to data is very dangerous because usually files cannot be restored without a special decryption key, which criminals send out to their secret servers. The virus adds .damage file extension to encrypted files and creates a ransom note[3] called damage@india.com[random chars].txt. It seems to be one of the many ransomware viruses that provide an email address and invite the victim to get in touch with criminals via email. Such viruses typically do not create payment websites for each victim like, for example, Spora ransomware does. If you writ to this email (damage@india.com), you will be asked to purchase some Bitcoins and send them to a Bitcoin wallet that belongs to cyber criminals. This way, criminals can collect ransoms and stay anonymous. We suggest you remove Damage ransomware instead of paying the ransom – there are ways to restore at least of your data for free. For Damage removal, we suggest using ReimageIntego software.
Damage ransomware virusExpert shows file extensions that Damage virus adds to encrypted files.

Typically, victims restore their files using data backups[4]. You have to create them prior to ransomware attack; however, many computer users do not see the benefits of backups and simply ignore pieces of advice of cyber security experts. However, if you have created a backup, take care of the virus by deleting it and then use your backup to restore files. In case you do not have a backup, try data recovery methods explained below this article.

Ways used by this ransomware to infiltrate the system

Ransomware viruses are commonly distributed via emails, phishing[5] websites, exploit kits, fake software updates, malware-laden ads, or Trojans. There are different ways to protect you from these ransomware distribution channels, but it is hard to remember all of them and keep up with the newest distribution tricks all the time, so we suggest you install an anti-malware program and just update it now and then to make sure it can identify the latest malware programs. We also want you to give you the main advice – stay away from emails sent by unknown companies or strangers, and do not agree to install software updates if you receive an offer to get them in a pop-up or a banner ad. Chances are, such ads want to trick you into installing malware on your PC!

A full Damage virus removal guide

If you are infected and looking for virus removal guidelines, look down below. We have written a comprehensive guide on how to remove Damage ransomware with all associated files from your computer. The guide will help you avoid problems related to blocked anti-virus, etc. If you have any questions about the cyber attack or Damage ransomware removal, do not hesitate to ask our experts via “Ask us” section. Remember – we do not recommend you to pay the ransom these ransomware crooks demand. We suggest you try to recover as many files as possible from external devices such as USBs, CDs, hard drives, and other data storage devices.

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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.

Getting rid of Damage virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

These instructions will help you to remove Damage ransomware if it blocks your anti-virus. Make sure you repeat the scan once you reboot your computer from Safe Mode with Networking to the normal mode.

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

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

Remove Damage using System Restore

If Safe Mode with Networking does not help you start your security software, you can also try restoring your computer to the previous date.

  • 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 Damage. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Damage removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Use Data Recovery Pro to recover your files encrypted by Damage ransomware

If your files have .damage file extensions, you probably cannot open them. In such case, we suggest using this tool for data recovery.

  • 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 Damage ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try System Restore feature to decrypt files encrypted by Damage virus

If you did set up a System Restore Point in the past, you should follow these steps to restore your files.

  • 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”.

Use Damage decrypter by Emsisoft to recover your files

To use this tool, you will need an encrypted file and the same file’s unencrypted version. To start using this decrypter, click this link.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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