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Remove Salsa ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Instructions) - Feb 2020 update

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Salsa ransomware – file locking malware that presents ransom notes in 40 different languages

Salsa ransomwareSalsa ransomware is a file locking virus that uses XOR encryption to lock all personal files on the infected computer

Salsa ransomware, otherwise known as Salsa222 ransomware, is a cyber threat that locks all personal files on the infected machine and then asks for a ransom in Bitcoins to redeem access. The virus uses the XOR encryption algorithm and marks all pictures, videos, music, documents, PDF, and other data with .salsa222 marker. Additionally, to explain to victims what happened to their computers and personal files, Salsa222 virus drops READ TO UNLOCK FILES.salsa.html.

Questions about Salsa ransomware virus

When the virus first hit the stage in April 2017, it immediately drew attention for its one peculiar feature. While there are multiple file-encrypting threats that present the ransom note in several languages, Salsa ransomware drops ransom notes in 40 different languages to ensure that victims get the message through. Besides, the malware also replaces the default wallpaper with “bg222salsa.jpg,” which is essentially a black background with a text “SALSA PERSONAL FILES ENCRYPTED.”

Name Salsa ransomware, Salsa222 ransomware
Type Cryptomalware, file locking virus
Distribution Spam emails, malicious or hacked websites, booby-trapped ads, cracks/keygens, exploits, etc.
Encryption algorithm Malware uses a mix of XOR and cipher of unknown origin to lock data on the system, skipping system and executable files
Related files Salsa222.exe, SalsaDownload.exe, SalsaDecryptor.exe, bg222salsa .jpg
Extension Each of the encrypted files are appended with .salsa222 marker, e.g., picture.jpg.salsa222
Ransom note  The virus drops 40 different ransom notes, each representing a different language, which includes French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, and many others
Ransom size  Crooks are asking for ransom in Bitcoins, and the size may vary from $150 to $500, or even more 
File recovery Without paying cybercriminals and having no backups, recovering data is difficult. Nevertheless, it may be possible to retrieve some of your files with the help of alternative methods we provide in our recovery section below
Malware termination Perform a full system scan with the help of anti-malware software that can detect[1] the threat 
System fix In case the Windows is malfunctioning after you terminate the infection, repair virus damage with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

The prevalence of Salsa222 ransomware is relatively low, despite the attackers' efforts to satisfy every potential “customer” from 40 countries. Nevertheless, they may use several different methods to spread the malware around, which includes:

  • Spam email attachments and hyperlinks
  • Exploit kits
  • Software cracks
  • Repacked application installers
  • Web injects
  • Malicious ads
  • Fake updates, etc.

However, before encrypting files, Salsa ransomware performs the necessary changes on the Windows system, which include modification of the registry, deletion of shadow volume copies, connection to a remote server, creation of new malicious processes, etc. These changes may sometimes complicate Salsa ransomware removal, and it may only be performed in the Safe Mode.

Salsa ransomware virusSalsa ransomware is a virus that drops ransom note in 40 different languages

Once the machine is compromised, the Salsa virus encrypts all the personal data and drops 40 different ransom notes into a separate folder titled “Click here to Unlock your files Salsa222.” Each of the files represents the following languages:

Arabic; Belorussian; Bengali; Bosnian; Bulgarian; Chinese; Croatian; Czech; Danish; Dutch; English; Estonian; Finnish; French; German; Greek; Gujarati; Hebrew; Hindi; Hungarian; Icelandic; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese Javanese; Kannada; Korean; Latvian; Lithuanian; Malayalam; Marathi; Norwegian; Persian; Polish; Portuguese; Romanian; Russian; Serbian; Simplified Slovak; Slovenian; Spanish; Swedish; Tamil; Telugu; Thai; Traditional Turkish; Ukrainian; Urdu; Vietnamese;

Connections to Razy ransomware and other details

According to its technical specification, it links to the malware called Razy ransomware, which came into the daylight last year[2]. However, the latter threat is not single-use ransomware. Its hackers have developed it into a bigger virus project. Underestimating, it might be lead to severe outcomes. Even if you got infected with this malware, there is no need to comply with the demands. It would be a wiser solution to remove Salsa ransomware with reputable anti-malware software. To fix your damaged Windows system files, employ Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

This malware follows the manner of some cyber infections that appeared last year, which preferred changing your desktop picture into a ransom notification. Likewise, Salsa attempts to scare users more by replacing their background picture into black wallpaper with few words informing that the victims’ files have been infected. It indicates the deadline when users have to pay 500 dollars or 0.465112 bitcoins[3].

They also give instructions for users in case the decryption process fails to complete successfully. In that case, they should reboot the device and download Salsa Decrypter from the indicated servers. Note that installing this file might only corrupt the system more. Even if you succeed in retrieving the wanted documents, later on, you might be struck with another wave of the cyber attack.

It does not take long for victims to notice their compromised files as all of them are marked with .salsa222 file extension. Another feature raises concern as this virus can delete show volume copies. Unfortunately, this factor leaves fewer chances for file recovery. Nonetheless, it does not mean that you should follow the pre-determined scenario set by hackers. Thus, it would be better to concentrate on Salsa222 removal.

Salsa ransomware detectionSalsa ransomware is detected by many different anti-virus vendors

Ransomware prevention

The majority of ransomware threats are spread via spam email attachments, specifically, via the .zip, .doc, .pdf, and similar files. Previously, Google has declared war on JavaScript attachments[4]. Nonetheless, gearheads have easily found a way how to evade this ban. The fraudulent attachments might be even placed in double .zip folders[5].

Furthermore, Salsa ransomware has been detected as Gen:Variant.Razy.125765, Trojan.DownLoader24.28153, a variant of Win32/Kryptik.FQQS, Gen:Variant.Razy.125765, etc. Likewise, it is necessary to improve the overall security of your system. For that purpose, the combination of an anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities might be efficient. A firewall would come in handy as well. Lastly, such protection will be wasted if you carelessly review the contents of spam messages and enable shady browser attachments.

Getting rid of Salsa222 malware

Looking for tips on how to carry out efficient Salsa ransomware removal, you will come across multiple articles that promote one or another security application. In general, you should not meddle with ransomware manually as it often corrupts and modifies your system files.

Unless you are a virus researcher, manual intervention might have a perilous effect on the system. After you remove Salsa virus, you might try some of the data recovery methods. Take a look at the bottom of the page. Some of the recommendations might be effective in your case.

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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 Salsa virus, follow these steps:

Remove Salsa using Safe Mode with Networking

Can't launch an anti-malware app? Regain access by completing these 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 Salsa

    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 Salsa removal.

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

Remove Salsa 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 Salsa. 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 Salsa removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Is it worth installing Data Recovery Pro?

This utility is said to recover your files as well as damaged or lost emails. 

  • 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 Salsa ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions

If System Restore is enabled, you might recover some of the files by following the below-suggested links.

  • 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”.

Salsa222 Decrypter

Do not get tempted to download the tool offered by the crooks. In exchange for the decrypted files, you might be an easier target for future ransomware attacks.

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

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

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

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

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  1. GeorgeR says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 9:38 am

    No Salsa dance for us…

  2. Perapera007 says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 9:39 am

    How random can they be?

  3. dealer-Dr says:
    April 11th, 2017 at 9:40 am

    500 dollars? Thats just too expensive?!!

Your opinion regarding Salsa ransomware virus