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

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
12

BTCWare continues spreading as Nuclear ransomware

Ransom note by Nuclear ransomware virus

Nuclear ransomware is a new version of BTCWare virus that actively spreads in Hungary, Italy,[1] and Iran. Crypto-malware uses a combination of RSA and AES encryption and appends .[black.world@tuta.io].nuclear extension. Criminals provide a ransom note in HELP.hta file and ask to contact black.world@tuta.io for more information.

The Nuclear virus works similarly to the original version of the malware. It might also launch the attack compromising Remote Desktop services.[2] On the affected device, the virus might modify or make new Registry entries in order to boot at system startup.

The virus might also delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files. Therefore, decryption with third-party software might not bring the best results. Nevertheless, BTCware is decryptable, Nuclear ransomware is not yet. Thus, it’s better to have backups after ransomware attack.

Malware targets around 100 different file types, including MS Office documents, various types of images, audio and video files, archives, etc. During data encryption, Nuclear ransomware appends a new suffix to these data. Due to the .[black.world@tuta.io].nuclear file extension, users lost access to the personal data.

Following data encryption, ransomware delivers a ransom note in HELP.hta file where criminals ask to contact them via provided email address within 36 hours. Victims have to pay the ransom in Bitcoins. However, the exact price for the recovery is unknown. Thus, it might vary based on the amount and importance of the targeted files.

Authors of the .Nuclear file virus wants to prove victims that they actually have working decryptor. People can send up to 3 files that are smaller than 1Mb and do not include any important information. Crooks will send back encrypted files for free. However, we want to point out that it might be the only files restored by crooks.

Cyber criminals are not reliable, and this generous move might be just a trick to swindle your money. For this reason, we highly recommend focusing on Nuclear virus removal instead of data recovery. The original version of the virus is decryptable. Thus, it’s just the matter of time when the official decryptor will be released for this variant.

Therefore, in order to remove Nuclear ransomware virus from the PC, you have to obtain a reputable security software, such as Reimage, and run a full system scan. If malware blocks access to antivirus or anti-malware, you might find the instructions below handy.

The file-encrypting virus attacks by exploiting Remote Desktop service

Viruses that belong to BTCWare family spread using Remote Desktop service and takes advantage of weak passwords. In this way, ransomware can get access to the computer and install malicious payload. Therefore, protection of this ransomware family is simple. You either have to set a strong password or disable this Windows service.[3]

However, Nuclear malware executable, known as payload.vir, might also be installed when a user clicks on the malicious email attachment, download bogus program or update, clicks on malware-laden ads, and using other ransomware distribution methods.

Removal of the Nuclear ransomware

Nuclear ransomware removal is performed using reputable malware elimination program. We recommend using either Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. These security tools can identify and delete all malicious components from the system safely and quickly.

However, it may not be so easy to remove Nuclear ransomware. The virus might be resistant and stop you from installing the necessary software. Though, to avoid these issues, you should run your PC in Safe Mode with Networking first. The detailed explanation is presented 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 Nuclear 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 Nuclear virus Removal Guide:

Remove Nuclear 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.

Follow these steps to disable the virus and run its automatic removal:

  • 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 Nuclear

    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 Nuclear removal.

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

Remove Nuclear 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 Nuclear. 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 Nuclear removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Currently, the only effective way to restore files with .[black.world@tuta.io].nuclear file extension is to use backups. The official decryptor is not released yet.

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

Try Data Recovery Pro

This professional software helps to restore corrupted files. Thus, it might help after Nuclear ransomware attack too.

Take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore was activated before ransomware attack, you can copy individual files by “traveling back” in computer's time.

  • 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 ShadowExplorer

If the file-encrypting virus failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies, you can restore files using ShadoExplorer tool.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • 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.

Decrypter for Nuclear ransomware is not available yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Nuclear 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