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Russenger ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Russenger – crypto-malware oriented to English speaking users

Russenger ransomware virus

Russenger virus is malicious ransomware-type malware,[1] which has been discovered at the end of February 2018. The name of the virus it seems to be a combination of “Russian” and “Messenger,” since it has “Messenger” all over the executable, but later on, experts found out that the hackers borrowed a popular German surname Russenger. The virus spreads via spam,[2] unprotected RDP configuration, malicious ads, infected software downloads, fake updates, and similar techniques. After successful infiltration, Russenger ransomware encrypts most of the files stored on the system and appends the .messenger-% random% file extension to each of them. The second part of the extension differs for each locked file.

After the successful encryption, the computer user receives a ransom note Инструкция по дешифровке.txt. The .txt file contains a text message that instructs the victim how to pay the ransom for the unique Russenger decryptor.

All your information on this computer has been encrypted.
Encrypted documents have .messenger extensions – ******
For instructions on deciphering, write an email to:
messenger@riseup.net
In the subject of the letter, specify your code for decoding:
***
If you get the answer that the mailing address does not exist:
1. Try to write to us from other emails, mail.ru, yandex.ru;
2. Try writing over time.

Extortionists insist the victim contact them via messenger@riseup.net or mail.ru, yandex.ru in case the first email does not respond. It’s not clear yet what form and amount of ransom criminals demand, but experts consider it to be Bitcoin-related ransomware.

Although Russenger ransomware virus is focused on English-speaking users, the origin of its developer is Russia. The ransom note and other information that the ransomware provides is a direct translation from the Russian language, which is why it contains many grammar mistakes. Besides, one of the main files related to this crypto-malware is 1cv8s32-n.exe. It’s an imitation of the Russian accounting software 1C.

The ransomware cannot be decrypted for free. The only way to decrypt files encrypted by Russenger ransomware is to pay the ransom for a unique decryption key. However, cybersecurity experts from NoVirus.co[3] warn people about the danger of collaboration with cybercriminals. The latter may not even have a working decryption key, or they may not intend to send it to the victim even after the payment is transmitted. Thus, there’s no guarantee that you will get your files back.
The only trustworthy way to deal with this pest is complete removal. To remove Russenger virus from your PC employ a reputable anti-virus, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Manual ransomware removal is not possible due to multiple malicious files that it injects into system’s folders.

The bad news is that Russenger removal will swipe all encrypted files away. Nonetheless, you can try to decrypt the using alternative methods. You can find all decryption instructions at the end of this article.

Opening spam email attachments poses the highest risk or ransomware infection

While in general there’s a variety of ransomware distribution strategies that cybercriminals employ, spam email with infected attachments if the most widespread way to disseminate viruses. Extortionists distribute genuine-looking email messages via Necurs botnet or other sources, which impersonate well-known companies or governmental institutions. Such email letters may contain a body text, but usually, it’s not professionally written and may contain many grammar or type mistakes.

Such email messages will always contain a .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png or similar attachment, which may be indicated as an official upgrade, notification or whatnot. More gullible people fall for this trick and open the attachment. Although in most of the cases opening attachments require enabling Macros, experts recently detected a wave of Macro-less spam attachments.[4] 

In addition to malspam campaigns, people should be careful with RDP configuration, suspicious downloads, and especially legitimate –looking software update offers provided on random websites while browsing on the Internet. Such updates may disguise ransomware executable, so instead of downloading a supposed update, you may enable ransomware.

Find out how to eliminate Russenger file-encrypting virus

The fastest and the only reliable way to remove Russenger malware is to use powerful security software. It will ensure the removal of all ransomware package and other malware that might have come along with it.

Manual Russenger removal is hardly possible even if you are an advanced computer user as you can leave some malicious files intact, which can proceed with file encryption. So all you have to do is to update your anti-virus and run a full system scan with it.

If Russenger virus blocks your anti-virus or prevents you from downloading one, you should reboot the system into Safe Mode with Networking. If nevertheless, you opt for manual removal, you can find a comprehensive guide down below:

Remember that Russenger removal does not decrypt your files. However, there's a couple of methods that can help you to get the most important files back.

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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 Russenger ransomware. 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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Manual Russenger virus Removal Guide:

Remove Russenger using Safe Mode with Networking

If the virus block your anti-virus, reboot the system into Safe Mode with Networking and then run a full system scan with it:

  • 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 Russenger

    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 Russenger removal.

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

Remove Russenger using System Restore

You can get rid of Russenger ransomware by booting your PC into Safe Mode with Command Prompt function

  • 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 Russenger. 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 Russenger removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Try Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool developed to recover files if you accidentally delete them or in case of ransomware attack.

Windows Previous Versions might recover the most valuable files

This feature will not help to decrypt all locked files. It will help to recover separate files only. However, it will work if you have previously enabled a System Restore function before ransomware infiltration. 

  • 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”.

Get help from ShadowExplorer

You can partially recover your data encrypted by .messenger-% random% file extension virus using the method below if the ransomware didn't delete Shadow Volume Copies from your system.

  • 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.

Russenger decryptor is not available

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

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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