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PowerWare virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

What to expect from PowerWare virus?

PowerWare is yet another malicious program that falls into the category of ransomware. It spreads using the same way as Locky virus, so you can get infected with this ransomware after downloading a safe-looking email attachment that claims that it is a report from your CEO. Typically, spam is used to transmit a malicious code that gets activated immediately after opening the file via Word with Macros function enabled. The malicious code downloads components of PowerWare virus and executes them. Once executed, this virus infects the entire computer system – it finds and encrypts all important files using a complex encryption algorithm. Once the encryption process is over, ransomware drops FILES_ENCRYPTED-READ_ME.HTML files in every folder that stores the encrypted data. The note of PowerWare informs the victim that the data was encrypted, and announces that it is impossible to decrypt the data without a particular decryption key. It offers the decryption key for 500 US dollars, but only for an estimated period of time; if the user fails to pay the ransom within the given period of time, the cost of decryption key doubles, which means it costs 1000 US dollars then.

Fortunately, security experts have already managed to configure a PowerWare decrypter. It was presented in the middle of July 2016. According to these researchers, they managed to create the tool for unlocking encrypted files because of a weak encryption algorithm. However, this decrypter is written in Phyton programming language and requires Windows CLI knowledge. If you cannot call yourself an advanced PC user, you should try one of PowerWare removal methods and data recovery tips that are given bellow.

PowerWare ransomware

There is one interesting fact about PowerWare virus. Unlike other ransomware, it also encrypts data with these extensions: .tax2013, .tax2014, .tax2015 and so on. The loss of these documents can be a disaster for residents of USA as taxpayers are supposed to store these documents safely for 3 years at least. These files include information about taxes that resident has already paid. Apparently, some people get scared to lose such important documents and might start to consider paying the ransom to get them back. We strongly advise you NOT to do so. You can never know if these frauds are going to give you the decryption key; therefore, paying the ransom should be the last thing you should think of when trying to retrieve lost data. We would like to encourage you to ignore the commands of cyber criminals and NOT pay the ransom. If you have decided not to pay, you should remove PowerWare as soon as possible. You can do it manually, but we strongly recommend you to secure your PC in advance and use automatic removal method. For that, you need to select a reputable anti-spyware, update it and run a full scan. We recommend, for instance, Reimage.

How does this ransomware spread?

Questions about PowerWare virus

PowerWare virus can be hidden in the content of high-risk websites, so in order to avoid downloading it unintentionally, avoid clicking on aggressive pop-up ads or intrusive banners. Bypass all ads that claim you have won something, or that you are a lucky user – usually, such ads are nothing but a scam that can make you visit high-risk websites, so do not click on them. As we have already mentioned, this ransomware spreads via email, so make sure you do not open any suspicious emails coming from unknown senders. Also, avoid opening emails that fall into Spam or Junk boxes.

If your device has already been affected by the virus, you should delete it from your system ASAP. If you do not want to use the program we recommend, find a full PowerWare removal guide below.

How to remove PowerWare?

There is no guarantee that paying the ransom is going to help you to get your files back. You should never trust cyber criminals! If you do not want to lose your files AND your money, remove PowerWare virus without a hesitation immediately. If you do it soon enough, you might stop the encryption process and save some of your data. If your files were already encrypted, unfortunately, there is nothing much you can do. If you want, you can try some of these tools – they might help: Photorec, R-studio. You can recover all your files if you have copies of your data stored somewhere else, for example, phone, other computer, external hard drive, USB, or DVD. Before you plug any device to your computer, firstly remove PowerWare virus and all of its components.

PowerWare is an advanced computer threat, which is quite hard to remove. That’s why we do NOT recommend using manual removal option provided by other security-related websites. You should opt for the automatic removal option and install one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. If you have never dealt with similar computer viruses, you should know that some of them tend to block legitimate anti-malware software while trying to prevent their removal from the system. In this case, use a guide below to unblock your anti-spyware and finish PowerWare removal process.

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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 PowerWare 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.
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To remove PowerWare virus, follow these steps:

Remove PowerWare using 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 PowerWare

    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 PowerWare removal.

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

Remove PowerWare using System Restore

  • 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 PowerWare. 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 PowerWare removal is performed successfully.

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

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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