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Master ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
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BTCWare Master virus is now decryptable

Master ransomware

Master ransomware virus is a malicious program that is created by BTCware ransomware developers[1]. The malicious file-encrypting virus received such name based on extensions that it appends to corrupted files.

The malicious program modifies files by distorting their structure with the help of a specific encryption algorithm that uses a public key, and once the procedure is finished, files can be restored only with the help of a private key.

The ransomware is known to be using the following extensions to mark encrypted files: [BM-NBM1DiE52wgzUUnzcRPwjMjPEcV4qfpr@bitmessage.ch].master, .[help@onyon.info].master and .[niga@westcost.xyz].master. After encrypting all of the target files, the virus drops !#_RESTORE_FILES_#!.inf file on the desktop. This file says:

[WHAT HAPPENED]
Your important files produced on this computer have been encrypted due to a security problem
If you want to restore them, write us to the email: BM-NBM1DiE52wgzUUnzcRPwjMjPEcV4qfpr@bitmessage.ch or makedonskiy@gmx.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.

The malicious program introduces the “free decryption” option as well. However, it doesn’t mean that malware authors provide some super offer for the lucky ones – they just suggest testing the decryptor by giving an opportunity to decrypt three files that all take less than 1 Mb of space.

As soon as the virus infiltrates the target computer system, it spawns a lot of processes, and one of them is meant to delete Volume Shadow Copies[2]. One of the best ways to restore files is to use a backup.

Sadly, not many computer users feel the need of creating a backup; however, they understand the importance of such data copy only when it is too late. If your files were encrypted, we suggest deleting the virus ASAP using anti-malware tools like Reimage. Please, do not try to remove Master ransomware on your own because you can easily overlook some malicious files. Leaving them on the system can put your security at risk.

Decrypt .master extension files for free

On June 30th, the developer of this ransomware posted an announcement online, stating his plans to leak the private key for the Master ransomware virus. On July 5th, Michael Gillespie, who is a reputable malware researcher, updated his BTCWare decryptor and now victims can restore their files for free.

The author of this infamous ransomware is known to be publishing decryption keys right before releasing new BTCWare versions. The latest version is called Aleta ransomware[3], and currently it cannot be decrypted using any third-party decryption tools. More information about the latest virus activity can be found on Virus Activity site[4].

Unfortunately, due to a bug in the ransomware, files smaller than 10Mb can not be decrypted perfectly. However, the decrypter works perfectly on files larger than 10Mb.

To download the decrypter for Master, see data recovery instructions provided below.

Distribution of BTC Ware malware

Before you remove Master virus, you might want to finish reading the article and find out how to do it properly. However, what is also imperative is to acquire knowledge about malware distribution. Having such kind of knowledge can help you to block malware attacks.

These malicious viruses most frequently are distributed via mail spam. To prevent installing malware that comes in the form of an email message, do not open messages sent by strangers or companies/organizations that you have no business with at the moment. Especially stay away from messages that provide eye-catching deals or simply urge you to open documents that seem to be important (for instance, tax refunds, subpoenas, invoices, resumes, etc.)

Some ransomware viruses also attack victims via unsecured Remote Desktop ports and some viruses also spread via malware-laden ads. Remember to use extremely complex passwords for RDP and stay away from sites that seem to be insecure or simply vague. Finally, protect the computer or computer network by installing legitimate security software.

Delete Master ransomware virus and restore your files

The first and foremost thing you must do is to remove Master virus right away. To eliminate this dangerous ransomware from your computer, employ a reliable malware removal tool. Our team suggests using Reimage, although you can use a different reputable software as well.

Malware analysts have promising news regarding decryption of .master file extension files, and it is believed that sooner or later they are going to come up with a free decrypter for this ransomware. Before it appears, you should eliminate the virus using Master ransomware removal guidelines provided below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Master ransomware virus. 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Master virus Removal Guide:

Remove Master using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Try to remove ransomware in normal mode first. If it doesn't help, reboot the computer in 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 Master

    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 Master removal.

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

Remove Master using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • 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 Master. 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 Master removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Recover your files from a data backup or use one of the provided options:

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

Data Recovery Pro option

Try Data Recovery Pro tool – it might help you to restore some of .master file extension files.

BTCWare decryption tool by Michael Gillespie

Download BTCWare decrypter that can decrypt files with the following file extensions:

  • .BTCWare;
  • .Cryptobyte;
  • .Cryptowin;
  • .Theva;
  • .Onyon;
  • .Master.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Master and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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