RAA ransomware / virus (updated Sep 2016) - Virus Removal Instructions

RAA virus Removal Guide

What is RAA ransomware virus?

The operation peculiarities of RAA virus

RAA virus (also known as RAA-SEP) acts like any other file-encrypting malware. The main distinctive feature of this malware is that it proves to be a JavaScript file. In comparison with other viruses, this behavior is quite unusual since most of the ransomware variants are written in C or C++ language. In any case, the faster you remove RAA the better. If you delay the elimination, it might cause more damage, i.e., encrypt the remaining files. Moreover, the developers use CryptoJS library and lock files with a strong AES encryption. At the end of the article, you will find RAA removal recommendations. One of which is to launch FortectIntego.

Once this virus invades the computer, it starts its mischievous mission by employing Windows Script Host tool. Later on, it scans the entire computer system and encrypts all data, rendering it useless. Remember that ransomware developers do not create these viruses for fun; when such virus encodes files stored on a victim’s computers, they become worthless, since it is not possible to open or use an encrypted file. The virus also adds .locked file extension to each corrupted file. Encrypted data can only be decrypted with a unique decryption key, which is stored in cyber criminals’ servers. However, the criminals offer this decryption key for the victim in exchange for 250 USD. They explain what happened and tell the victim that he/she needs to pay up in order to recover data. This message from crooks can be found in !!!README!!![Victim’s ID].rtf file, which the virus creates and saves on the desktop. However, you should not pay the ransom, as criminals might provide you with a useless piece of software, not capable of restoring your files. Bear in mind that the only possible way of recovering your data is to import it from an external storage drive. Sadly, it is impossible to restore your files using Volume Shadow Copies because this virus simply deletes them. Ransom note left by RAA virus

What is more, RAA ransomware virus does not only encrypt victim’s data. When it is executed, it also installs well-known malware called Pony Trojan, which is designed to run in the background and steal victim’s private information. This malicious threat can steal your passwords, personal information, credit card details and similar data. So if your files suddenly became inaccessible, if you can see that .locked extensions were added to them, and if you have received the ransom not, you should rush to delete RAA virus and Pony malware from your computer immediately. For that, use a powerful antimalware software like FortectIntego.

The transmission methods

RAA malware is distributed via email letters. Frauds send thousands of malicious letters to people and add malicious attachments to them. These attachments can be named like this: [random symbols_doc_].js. As you can see, criminals name the file by adding _doc_, to confuse them and think that it is a Word file. However, the real file type is .js, which means JavaScript file. If the victim opens this attachment, malware gets inside the computer system and launches a fake Word document, which includes scrambled text. While the victim looks at this text all confused, the malware starts encrypting files on the computer.

To protect your computer from ransomware attacks, you need to:

  • Continuously create data backups and import them to removable storage devices;
  • Never open suspicious emails or files attached to them;
  • Install an anti-malware program on your computer;
  • Keep your software up-to-date.

The elimination guide

RAA virus is not an ordinary computer virus. Likewise, manual elimination might not work out. The authors of this cyber threat did their best developing the threat. What is more, the malware is also programmed to stop anti-virus programs from removing it, so in order to deactivate it and run an anti-spyware program, such as FortectIntego or Malwarebytes, follow these RAA removal instructions delivered below. The access recovery procedure should not take long. Afterward, you will be able to remove RAA. Lastly, keep in mind that the majority of ransomware and other damaging viruses prefer spreading through spam emails. Remain cautious and vigilant when reviewing your Inbox. Updating your security programs should become a habit as well.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 RAA virus. Follow these steps

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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove RAA 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 RAA. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that RAA removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

The practical features of Data Recover Pro

While this tool works the best when the files are simply corrupted after an unsuccessful system reboot, the software might help recover some of your files as well.

  • 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 RAA ransomware;
  • Restore them.

The benefits of System Restore function

In some cases, restoring the system to its previous state might be useful in eliminating the viruses. However, since RAA ransomware proves to be an exquisite one, initiating the restoration might not remove the virus itself. 

  • 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”.

Will Shadow Exporer recover my data?

This tool is only effective when the virus does not delete the shadow copies. Nonetheless, you will not lose anything if you try.

  • 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.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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