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Remove SADStory ransomware / virus (Recovery Instructions Included) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

The brief overview of recently discovered SADStory ransomware virus

SADStory ransomware is a new file-encrypting malware written in Python programming language.[1] Spotted at the end of March 2017, this crypto-malware uses a sophisticated encryption algorithm to take victims’ files to hostage. The virus aims at the broad range of widely used file types, such as Microsoft Office documents, OpenOffice files, video, audio, image, pictures, archives, databases, etc. When data encryption is over, all the affected files have the .sad file extension and are moved to a new directory named __SAD STORY FILES__ . Then, SADStory virus generates a ransom note called SADStory_README_FOR_DECRYPT.txt. In this document, developers reveal that the only possible way to restore encrypted files is to use specific decryption program stored in the secret server. Hackers of ransomware often blackmail victims[2] and use scary tactics to motivate them to pay the ransom quickly. According to the ransom note, in every 6 hours, the virus permanently deletes one file. Thus, delaying the payment might lead to the data loss. People are asked to contact cyber criminals via or email address to get information how much money they need to pay to redeem their files. Nevertheless, hackers give 96 hours before the decryption key is deleted; we do not recommend following their orders. The only thing you should rush is SADStory removal.

The main reason why you should not contact hackers and transfer particular amount of Bitcoins is that no one can guarantee that this would actually help to recover your files.[3] People behind SADStory ransomware virus claim to the have the decryptor and promise to send it via email. However, in some cases, file-encrypting viruses are poorly written, and even developers cannot do anything about data recovery. Thus, they might only take your money and leave you with useless files. What is more, of they provide a decryption software, it might be dangerous and infect your PC with other malware.[4] Bear in mind that while SADStory virus resides on the computer, the system becomes vulnerable. Thus, other cyber infections might use security vulnerabilities and attack the computer as well. Therefore, if you do not want to deal with other computer-related problems, install Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and remove SADStory automatically. Despite the fact that virus removal won’t recover your files, this step is crucial in order to use various data recovery methods to restore encrypted files. At the moment the virus is not decryptable; however, this argument is not valid to risk and pay the ransom.

Questions about SADStory ransomware virus

SADStory ransomware virusAs soon as data encryption is over SADStory ransomware virus drops a ransom note where it demands to pay the ransom within 96 hours.

How can I get infected with ransomware?

It seems that developers of the SADStory ransomware apply the most popular malware distribution – malicious spam email attachments. Thus, you can get infected with this and many other file-encrypting viruses after clicking infected file attached to the fraudulent email. This message might trick you into believing that it was sent from reputable organization or company, and provides various important reasons to look at the dangerous document. Hence, in order to avoid ransomware, you should double-check the information before opening any attached file.[5] What is more, SADStory malware might infiltrate the computer using exploit kits, bogus software updates or downloads, and malware-laden ads. If you haven’t encountered ransomware yet, you need to be careful and vigilant when browsing the Web. What is more, you should make data backups in order to protect your files in case of emergency.

How can I remove SADStory virus from the PC?

The only safe way to get rid of the file-encrypting virus is to scan the computer with professional malware removal tools. For SADStory removal we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. If you cannot install any of these programs, please have a look at our prepared instructions down below and reboot your machine to the Safe Mode. In this way, you will disable the virus and will be able to remove it automatically. Do not think about an idea to remove SADStory manually. This might lead to the serious computer-related issues because you might leave some of the malicious files or you might delete safe system files. Thus, you might damage computer’s system.

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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 SADStory virus, follow these steps:

Remove SADStory using Safe Mode with Networking

SADStory ransomware might block access to the security tools and prevent from the automatic removal. Thus, reboot your computer to the Safe Mode. Then, install antivirus software and run a full system scan.

  • 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 SADStory

    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 SADStory removal.

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

Remove SADStory using System Restore

If the previous method did not work for you, please try System Restore method to disable the virus. Then install or run anti-malware software.

  • 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 SADStory. 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 SADStory removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Try Data Recovery Pro to restore files encrypted by SADStory virus

If you do not have data backups, Data Recovery Pro might be your only solution to restore files automatically. This tool is designed to restore missing, deleted or encrypted files.

  • 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 SADStory ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature to recover files encrypted by SADStory malware

If you have enabled System Restore function before ransomware attack, you can recover individual files by following the steps below. However, if this function hasn’t been enabled on your PC, this method is not helpful for you.

  • 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”.

Try ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by SADStory ransomware virus

In order to use ShadowExplorer, you need to make sure that SADStory virus hasn’t deleted Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files. If these files are untouched, please follow these steps:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

SADStory decryptor

We are sorry, but decryption tool hasn’t been released yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from SADStory 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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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  1. Paige says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 8:40 am

    honestly, its sad to lose all personal files… i hope to see a decryptor soon!

  2. Katherina says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I guess hackers love irony and memes.

  3. Elle says:
    March 29th, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Its a pure blackmail!!

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