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Remove PewPew ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

PewPew ransomware is a data locking computer infection that asks for payment in Bitcoin for a decryption tool

PewPew ransomwarePewPew ransomware is a data-locking computer virus that asks users to contact the attackers via pewpew@TuTa.io or pewpew@protonmail.com emails

PewPew ransomware is yet another virus created to extort money from innocent victims. First spotted by security researcher GrujaRS in mid-September 2020,[1] this malware locks data with a combination of AES-256 and RSA-2048 encryption algorithms,[2] appending a .abkir extension to pictures, documents, databases, and other files. Suchlike modified files can no longer be accessed, and they lose the common file icons.

To ensure that victims are aware of what happened, cybercriminals also provide two ransom notes:

  • info-decrypt.txt which can be opened with a text editor such as Notepad
  • info-decrypt.hta – a pop-up window titled [encrypted by pew pew]

In the message, PewPew virus authors claim that victims have to pay in order to recover their files – they do not specify the sum, but instead, ask users to email them via pewpew@TuTa.io or pewpew@protonmail.com.

Name PewPew ransomware
Type Data locking malware, cryptovirus
Encryption method RSA + AES
File extension Each of the personal files is appended with .id-random string.pewpew@TuTa.abkir; example of an encrypted file: “picture.jpg.id-R716A287.pewpew@TuTa.abkir
Ransom note  Two ransom notes are dropped on the infected system – info-decrypt.txt and info-decrypt.hta, with the latter popping up as soon as the encryption is complete
Contact  pewpew@TuTa.io or pewpew@protonmail.com 
File decryption  If no backups are available, recovering data is almost impossible. Nonetheless, we suggest you try the alternative methods that could help you in some cases – we list them below 
Malware removal Perform a full system scan with powerful security software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
System fix Malware can seriously tamper with Windows systems, causing errors, crashes, lag, and other stability issues. To remediate the OS, we recommend scanning the machine with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego repair tool

PewPew file virus has not yet been identified as a version of any ransomware family (for example, Djvu ransomware has over 240 variants, and this number keeps growing), although the ransom note looks virtually identical to those of Dharma. It is not uncommon for malicious actors to copy ransom notes from other strains, however. 

Since the malware family that the virus belongs to is still unknown, there could be many different ways of how cybercriminals deliver the malicious PewPew ransomware payload to victims. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Malicious spam email attachments or embedded hyperlinks;
  • Fake Flash Player or other fake updates;
  • Software vulnerabilities and exploit kits;
  • Software cracks, pirated programs, repacked installers;
  • Weakly protected Remote Desktop (RDP) connections, etc.

As evident, to avoid infiltration and the difficulties that arise with PewPew ransomware removal, as well as the data recovery, you should always employ powerful security solutions such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, and ensure that all the security guidelines are followed. For example, downloading pirated applications is one of the main methods to get infected with ransomware.

Once inside, PewPew ransomware would quickly modify Windows settings, registry and inject various malicious files scattered all across the system (these modifications can later be reverted automatically with tools such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego). The changes are performed to ensure that a smooth file encryption process is performed.

PewPew files virus targets the most commonly-used file types, such as PDF, RAR, DOC, JPG, etc. During the encryption process, the malware modifies the name of each of the affected files by appending a lengthy extension, consisting of a unique ID, contact email, and the .abkir appendix.

PewPew ransomware virusPewPew ransomware is an extortion-based malware that encrypts all personal files on the machine and then demands ransom to be paid for its recovery

Once files are encrypted, the virus drops the following ransom note:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail : pewpew@TuTa.io
Write this ID in the title of your message : –
In case of no answer in 12 hours write us to this e-mail : pewpew@Protonmail.Com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

The attackers highlight the fact that each of the victims needs a unique key that only they have access to, and also offer test decryption of five files as proof for recovery. However, security experts[3] do not recommend sending bitcoins to these criminals, as you might end up losing them as well. Instead, you should remove PewPew ransomware from your machine and then attempt to recover .abkir files in different ways.

Methods to remove .abkir extension from files are limited

There is a general perception among users (especially those that never encountered crypto-malware before) that they can recover .abkir files as soon as they eliminate the infection – in this case, PewPew ransomware – from their computer. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth, as files will remain encrypted after the virus is deleted.

Encryption works in a sophisticated way that allows the attackers to create a unique key for each victim, which means that one person could not provide the same key to another one who also has .abkir files on the computer – this is another ransomware trait that makes data recovery so difficult.

In some cases, cybersecurity researchers find bugs within the encryption process of malware, which allows them to create decryption tools – these can be found on websites like No More Ransom Project, so you should keep an eye on it from time to time.

As for now, you should attempt to recover files without paying the attackers (although, in some cases, this might be the only choice if the files are really important). Below you will find detailed instructions on how to remove .abkir extension in alternative ways – Windows built-in tools or third-party recovery software can sometimes help. Keep in mind that the success rate of these methods remains relatively low.

PewPew ransomware encrypted filesOnce PewPew ransomware encrypts files, it drops two ransom notes on the system - info-decrypt.txt and info-decrypt.hta

The correct way to delete PewPew ransomware

If you have no backups to get your files back from, you should not rush PewPew ransomware removal. In some cases, this process might completely compromise the encrypted data, which could not be recovered with even a working decryption tool later. Therefore, you should copy over all the important files over another medium, such as USB flash.

Once that is complete, you can remove PewPew ransomware from your system using a powerful security application – SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another. If the virus is tampering with your anti-malware tool, you should access Safe Mode with Networking and perform a full scan from there.

As soon as your system is clean and the PewPew virus is eliminated, you can then restore files from backups. If you are not willing to pay for a decryption tool, you can attempt to restore .abkir files by using alternative methods provided below.

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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.

To remove PewPew virus, follow these steps:

Remove PewPew using Safe Mode with Networking

To access Safe Mode with Networking, proceed with the following steps:

  • 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 PewPew

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete PewPew removal.

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

Remove PewPew using System Restore

If the virus failed to delete System Restore points, you could proceed with the following instructions:

  • 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 PewPew. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that PewPew removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro might be able to help you

In some cases, data recovery software can find unharmed copies of files within your hard drive.

  • 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 PewPew ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions Feature is one of the options after a ransomware attack

If you had System Restore enabled prior to the PewPew file virus attack, you could attempt to restore files one-by-one.

  • 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 sometimes recover all your data

In case malware did not delete Shadow Copies, ShadowExplorer can automate the recovery process.

  • 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 decryption tool is currently available.

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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