Nozelesn ransomware (virus) - Jun 2021 update

Nozelesn virus Removal Guide

What is Nozelesn ransomware?

Nozelesn ransomware – is data locking malware that uses fake DHL emails for propagation

Nozelesn virusBeware of fake DHL emails, as they might deliver ransomware payload

Nozelesn ransomware is a file locker that is used for money-extortion[1] purposes. It was first noticed in early July 2018, demanding users to pay a specified amount in BTC for the encrypted data that is locked by .nozelesn file extension. The ransom note HOW_FIX_NOZELESN_FILES.htm explains victims that they need to visit the TOR payment portal lyasuvlsarvrlyxz.onion in order to retrieve further instructions.

The computing disaster starts when users open a contaminated email attachment that comes inside a spoofed email address from DHL. Upon release, ransomware targeted Polish users, although now researchers are spotting virus activity around the world. Besides regular users, malware attacked a multitude of companies, infecting networks and encrypting files on them and asking for as much as $27,000 for the decryption key.

Name Nozelesn
Type Ransomware
Targeted country Poland
Extension .nozelesn file extension
Cipher used AES
Ransom amount Varies
Ransom note HOW_FIX_NOZELESN_FILES.htm
Main dangers Data encrypting can lead to permanent data or money loss.
Distribution Malicious email attachments
Elimination You should use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner for ransomware removal

The message from the virus authors has more specific information about what happened to the victim's PC, as well as how to recover files that are locked. Cybercrooks are asking users to download TOR browser and log in to the payment server (“Nozelesn decryption cabinet”) lyasuvlsarvrlyxz.onion using a unique personal code to receive further instructions.

Once logged in, ransomware victims need to face the hard truth, namely that they need to pay a specified amount in Bitcoin. Hackers guarantee that the decryptor will be sent back within ten days. However, you should not listen to cyber crooks and remove the virus instead, and then proceed with alternative data recovery methods.

The initial ransomware that users are exposed to states the following:

All files including videos, photos and documents on your computer are encrypted by nozelesn ransomware.
File decryption costs money.
In order to decrypt the files, you need to perform the following steps:
1. you should download and install this browser hxxp://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
2. After installation, run the browser and enter the address: lyasuvlsarvrlyxz.onion
3. Follow the instruction on the web-site. We remind you that the sooner you do, the more chances are left to recover the files.
Guaranteed recovery is provided within 10 days.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION
You should enter the personal code on the tor site.

As you can see in the ransom message quote, cybercriminals suggest you follow their instructions and pay the ransom as soon as possible so you can get back access to your files. However, cybersecurity researchers[2] do not recommend doing that. You need to focus on malware removal and only then try to recover your data.

Nozelesn ransomwareNozelesn ransomware - a virus that has alleged decryption program

It is typical for ransomware-type virus developers to use common names, company logos, or other information to make users open the malicious attachments inside phishing emails. This ransomware is no exception. Security experts from CERT_Polska confirmed[3] that the delivery of malware is executed via phishing emails allegedly coming from Polish DHL:

It seems that the delivery method was through a spam campaign with fake DHL invoice.

Thus, be vigilant if you still have not injected your PC with dangerous malware. However, if your files get locked, do not panic. You should get rid of the ransomware by scanning your system using security software first (we recommend ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner) and then checking options for file recovery.

At the moment, it is believed that ransomware is deleting Shadow Volume Copies of affected files by using the command “vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet.” However, we cannot confirm that and, if your files are encrypted by this virus, definitely try the ShadowExplorer application that may be able to recover your data.

Insecure emails with big names used for spreading this virus

Virus developers tend to use various widely-known company names to make their spam emails more convincing. Such emails often appear legitimate only because of the names, logos, and similar content included in them. After seeing the name of FedEx, Amazon, eBay, or other companies, people don't even think about risks and download attachments that are injected with a malicious code of ransomware.

Nozelesn ransomware distributionRansomware is known to be attacking companies and regular users with the help of phishing DHL emails

If you want to stay safe and prevent ransomware infection on your computer, make sure you double-check every email message to avoid malware and all the dangers associated with it. To find spam among safe emails, make sure you check:

  • The sender. Typically, sender's addresses should depict the company he or she is trying to represent, so make sure you check it;
  • The content. Email can be warned about bogus deliveries, invoices, money transactions, and similar information from companies that you have never used or even heard of (unfortunately, crooks tend to use the most popular firm names, and more often than not, users are actually involved). Discard such message immediately;
  • Attachments. Word or Excel documents can be filled with macro viruses. If the document is asking to enable macros, put it into the Trash box;

The final tip would be to download and install reputable security software and keep it up to date. Comprehensive anti-malware can prevent most of the viruses from entering, even if you fail to notice the deceit in updates, attachments, etc.

Remove ransomware using professional tools

To remove ransomware, you should use reliable anti-malware tools. They can ensure the proper elimination of the virus. To scan your system correctly and remove all malicious components, make sure you update the software to its latest version. When dealing with this ransomware, we highly recommend using Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. These programs will also ensure full protection against similar viruses in the future.

Manual Nozelesn ransomware removal is not recommended as you are dealing with cryptovirus. Follow the guide below the article if the virus is blocking the scanner to prevent its removal. Next, move to the data recovery section. As we have mentioned, ransomware will try to delete Shadow Volume Copies of encrypted data. However, we still recommend trying ShadowExplorer as one of the options to recover encoded files.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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 Nozelesn virus. Follow these steps

Important steps to take before you begin malware removal

File encryption and ransomware infection are two independent processes (although the latter would not be possible without the former). However, it is important to understand that malware performs various changes within a Windows operating system, fundamentally changing the way it works.

IMPORTANT for those without backups! → 
If you attempt to use security or recovery software immediately, you might permanently damage your files, and even a working decryptor then would not be able to save them.

Before you proceed with the removal instructions below, you should copy the encrypted files onto a separate medium, such as USB flash drive or SSD, and then disconnect them from your computer. Encrypted data does not hold any malicious code, so it is safe to transfer to other devices.

The instructions below might initially seem overwhelming and complicated, but they are not difficult to understand as long as you follow each step in the appropriate order. This comprehensive free guide will help you to handle the malware removal and data recovery process correctly.

If you have any questions, comments, or are having troubles with following the instructions, please do not hesitate to contact us via the Ask Us section.

IMPORTANT! →
It is vital to eliminate malware infection from the computer fully before starting the data recovery process, otherwise ransomware might re-encrypt retrieved files from backups repeatedly.

Isolate the infected computer

Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.

The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.

  • Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Go to Network and Internet Network and internet
  • Click Network and Sharing Center Network and internet 2
  • On the left, pick Change adapter settings Network and internet 3
  • Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable Network and internet 4
  • Confirm with Yes.

If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.

Scan your system with anti-malware

If you are a victim of ransomware, you should employ anti-malware software for its removal. Some ransomware can self-destruct after the file encryption process is finished. Even in such cases, malware might leave various data-stealing modules or could operate in conjunction with other malicious programs on your device. 

SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes can detect and eliminate all ransomware-related files, additional modules, along with other viruses that could be hiding on your system. The security software is really easy to use and does not require any prior IT knowledge to succeed in the malware removal process.

Repair damaged system components

Once a computer is infected with malware, its system is changed to operate differently. For example, an infection can alter the Windows registry database, damage vital bootup and other sections, delete or corrupt DLL files, etc. Once a system file is damaged by malware, antivirus software is not capable of doing anything about it, leaving it just the way it is. Consequently, users might experience performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a full Windows reinstall is required.

Therefore, we highly recommend using a one-of-a-kind, patented technology of ReimageIntego repair. Not only can it fix virus damage after the infection, but it is also capable of removing malware that has already broken into the system thanks to several engines used by the program. Besides, the application is also capable of fixing various Windows-related issues that are not caused by malware infections, for example, Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc.

  • Download the application by clicking on the link above
  • Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
    Reimage download
  • If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
  • Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation process Reimage installation
  • The analysis of your machine will begin immediately Reimage scan
  • Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
  • You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
  • If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically. Reimage results

By employing ReimageIntego, you would not have to worry about future computer issues, as most of them could be fixed quickly by performing a full system scan at any time. Most importantly, you could avoid the tedious process of Windows reinstallation in case things go very wrong due to one reason or another.

Restore Windows "hosts" file to its original state

Some ransomware might modify Windows hosts file in order to prevent users from accessing certain websites online. For example, Djvu ransomware variants add dozens of entries containing URLs of security-related websites, such as 2-spyware.com. Each of the entries means that users will not be able to access the listed web addresses and will receive an error instead.

Here's an example of “hosts” file entries that were injected by ransomware:

Hosts file

In order to restore your ability to access all websites without restrictions, you should either delete the file (Windows will automatically recreate it) or remove all the malware-created entries. If you have never touched the “hosts” file before, you should simply delete it by marking it and pressing Shift + Del on your keyboard. For that, navigate to the following location:

C:\\Windows\\System32\\drivers\\etc\\

Delete Windows "hosts" file

Restore files using data recovery software

Since many users do not prepare proper data backups prior to being attacked by ransomware, they might often lose access to their files permanently. Paying criminals is also very risky, as they might not fulfill the promises and never send back the required decryption tool.

While this might sound terrible, not all is lost – data recovery software might be able to help you in some situations (it highly depends on the encryption algorithm used, whether ransomware managed to complete the programmed tasks, etc.). Since there are thousands of different ransomware strains, it is immediately impossible to tell whether third-party software will work for you.

Therefore, we suggest trying regardless of which ransomware attacked your computer. Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:

  • Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
  • Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.

Install data recovery software

  1. Download Data Recovery Pro.
  2. Double-click the installer to launch it.
    Launch installer
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to install the software. Install program
  4. As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
  5. Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from. Select what to recover
  6. Press Next.
  7. At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned. Select Deep scan
  8. Press Scan and wait till it is complete. Scan
  9. You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
  10. Press Recover to retrieve your files. Recover files

Find a working decryptor for your files

File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.

There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.

While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.

Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.

Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:

No More Ransom Project

If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.

Manual removal using Safe 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.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References
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