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Outsider ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Outsider ransomware – malware that uses RSA-1024 cipher to encrypt personal files

Outsider ransomware
Outsider ransomware is a file locker that asks users to pay $900 for file decryption

Outsider ransomware is a file locking virus that was discovered in December 2018. Upon infiltration, malware scans the machine within a few seconds and encrypts all pictures, videos, audios, documents, and other personal data. It uses a .protected extension, which then prevents victims from opening any of the modified files (picture.jpg turns into picture.jpg.protected). Outsider virus then contacts the Command & Control[1] server controlled by hackers, sends them the personal ID of the victim, and uploads a ransom note to each of the affected folders. HOW_TO_RESTORE_FILES.txt explains to users what happened to their system, as well as explains what they should do next in order to recover access to the personal files. They are asked to acquire $900 in Bitcoin and then email crooks via secureserver@memeware.net. 

Summary
Name Outsider ransomware
Type File locker
Encryption algorithm RSA
Extension .protected
Ransom note HOW_TO_RESTORE_FILES.txt
Ransom size $900 in BTC
Decryptable? No
Removal Use Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. or other anti-malware software to eliminate malware from your PC

Outsider ransomware authors use typical propagation techniques, such as:

  • Spam emails;
  • Brute-force[2] attacks;
  • Exploits and vulnerabilities;
  • Fake updates;
  • Hacked/malicious websites, etc. 

All of these methods are as dangerous as the user allows them to be: using reputable security software and practicing safe browsing habits can ensure that no malware appears on the machine. However, those who are already infected will have to take care of Outsider ransomware removal.

As soon as Outsider ransomware enters the machine, it performs various system modifications: modifies Windows Registry, removes Shadow Volume Copies, executes and runs multiple processes and reads information about the device. From this point, all your files get encoded in a matter of a few seconds and become unusable. Additionally, all the incoming data will be encrypted as well. 

It is quite ironic how cybercriminals refer to the whole situation as if it would be some sort of sales deal in the ransom note:

100% Successful restoring all of your files
100% Satisfaction guarantee
100% Safe and secure service

Not only did they infect the machine with malware that can compromise the security even more, but also demand money for file decryption. There is no “service.” It merely is an extortion scheme that users should not engage themselves in. Outsider ransomware cannot be trusted, as they could simply take the money and never bother sending the key back. 

For that reason, you need to remove Outsider ransomware from your computer before you do anything else. You should use comprehensive security software, such as Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, although you can use any other tool that is capable of detecting[3] and eliminating the threat.

You can prevent ransomware infections in most cases

Bad actors use various tricks to infect as many victims as possible. However, users can decrease the infection probability by using precaution measures. Here are most popular ransomware distribution methods and ways to avoid the malware:

  • Spam emails. This method remains one of the most used because of how effective it is. Phishing emails are often poorly written, include numerous grammar or spelling mistakes and generally seem fake. However, some criminals come up with believable messages that can confuse even those PC savvy. Therefore, make sure you check the real address of the embedded hyperlink and scan the attachment before opening it;
  • Exploit kits. Almost all software has security vulnerabilities that can help hackers to break in and upload the malware. Unfortunately, these security holes can only be patched by software creators (one of the most abused software is Adobe Flash) and are not necessarily discovered before thousands of infections occur. However, patching software on time can prevent criminals from using exploit kits;
  • Weak RDP protection. A remote desktop protocol is a useful feature that allows users to take control over their device remotely. Hackers often use brute force attacks when trying to break in via the RDP, and then install malware manually. We suggest users make sure a strong password is used, and the usage of a VPN is also advisable;
  • File-sharing and other third-party sites. Bad actors can inject malicious code into a hacked website or create their sites that host malware. The spoofing sites can often be avoided by checking if a secure HTTPS[4] connection is used. Additionally, internet protection tools can be used to prevent malicious code execution in real time, so it is highly recommended. Finally, torrent and shady-looking sites that offer free software or media should also be avoided.

Outsider ransomware elimination steps

There is one crucial thing to look out for after the infection: do not try to recover your files before you remove Outsider ransomware from your PC entirely. Otherwise, all your backed files will get corrupted as well.

To remove Outsider virus safely, enter Safe Mode with Networking, as explained below. Then, use security software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner to thoroughly scan your machine and get rid of malware. Only then attempt to recover your files from a backup.

However, if you did not store any backups before Outsider ransomware attacked your machine, we suggest you try third-party software that may be useful. You can find download links and usage instructions down below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Outsider virus, follow these steps:

Remove Outsider using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove Outsider ransomware from your PC, enter Safe Mode with Networking the following way:

  • 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 Outsider

    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 Outsider removal.

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

Remove Outsider using System Restore

You can also try using System Restore feature to disable the virus:

  • 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 Outsider. 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 Outsider removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Outsider ransomware is not decryptable yet. However, do not pay the ransom, as not only you risk losing your money, but also encourage crooks creating more viruses or improving the existing code because of successful operation. Thus, try alternative data recovery methods.

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

Data Recovery Pro can be useful in decrypting files affected by ransomware

While Data Recovery Pro is mainly created for corrupted file restoration, experts noticed that this tool could also be useful when helping ransomware victims.

  • 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 Outsider ransomware;
  • Restore them.

You can try out Windows Previous Versions feature

This option is only available to those who had System Restore point set up before the infection occurred.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer could recover all your files

In case Outsider ransomware failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies, this application will return all your files to the original state.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Outsider and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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