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Shadow ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware
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Shadow ransomware virus is another variant of BTCWare malware group

Ransom note by Shadow ransomware

Shadow ransomware belongs to the BTCWare ransomware family. The recent variant appends .[email]-id-id.shadow file extension to the targeted files and continues swindling the money from computer users. However, apart from new file extension and contact email address, any other major changes haven’t been detected.

Shadow BTCWare ransomware uses a strong encryption algorithm to corrupt files on the affected machine. Crypto-malware continues spreading by taking advantage of unprotected remote desktop servers.

Once inside, the malicious program makes changes to the system. It might create or modify Windows Registry in order to boot on system startup, disable security software and make other needed changes. Then Shadow virus starts data encryption procedure.

When files are successfully locked with the .shadow file extension, malware shows the same ransom note. The only difference here is – new contact email. Now victims have to contact crooks via paydayz@cock.li email address. Additionally, they can send test files for free decryption in order to make sure that thieves are not lying about decryption software:

Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 3 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)

However, free decryption possibility might be just a trickery used for convincing you into paying the ransom. Once you make the transaction, crooks might disappear because the main purpose of Shadow BTCWare is the same as any other file-encrypting virus’ – to obtain Bitcoins illegally.

After ransomware attack, you should focus on Shadow removal instead of trying to get back your files by paying the ransom. Nevertheless, virus elimination won’t recover your files; you have to clean the system from malicious components. Additionally, you will be able to use backups or try alternative recovery methods to retrieve corrupted data.

In order to remove Shadow ransomware entirely, you have to run a full system scan with professional malware removal[1] program. We suggest using Reimage because this tool is capable of detecting all latest cyber threats and eliminating them properly.

Poor remote desktop services allows ransomware to enter into the system

This crypto-virus is designed to attack devices via poor or unprotected remote desktop services. Thus, it’s important to create strong passwords and limit admin access to avoid ransomware attack.

However, the cyber security team from Les Virus[2] note that previous versions of BTCWare were spreading via malicious spam email emails and Trojans too. Therefore, you should be careful when:

  • opening email attachments;
  • downloading freeware or shareware;
  • installing software updates;
  • clicking on ads.

In order to avoid ransomware attack, you have to click or download needed content only if you are absolutely sure that it’s a legitimate and safe entry. Thus, stay away from suspicious spam emails,[3] unknown file-sharing websites, and pop-ups that warn about detected cyber threats.

Shadow BTCWare removal instructions

Computer users, who have suffered from ransomware attack, are advised to rely on professional security software in order to wipe out malware from the system. Automatic Shadow removal ensures that all malicious components are removed from the system entirely. Meanwhile, this task is nearly impossible to perform manually.

However, if you cannot install or start security software, you should check the guide below and follow it carefully. The instructions will show you how to deal with the obstacles and remove Shadow ransomware virus with Reimage, Malwarebytes Anti Malware or your chosen anti-malware software.

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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 Shadow 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 Shadow virus Removal Guide:

Remove Shadow using Safe Mode with Networking

If you cannot install or run security software, reboot to the Safe Mode with Networking as shown below:

  • 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 Shadow

    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 Shadow removal.

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

Remove Shadow using System Restore

This method might also help to disable the virus and run automatic Shadow ransomware removal:

  • 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 Shadow. 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 Shadow removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Shadow from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

While the official decryptor is not released yet, you can try these methods to restore at least some of your files.

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

Data Recovery Pro to restore files with .shadow extension

This software is created for recovering corrupted data. Thus, it might also help after ransomware attack.

Take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, you can restore individual files by following these steps:

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might help too

If ransomware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies, you might be able to restore some of the files using ShadowExplorer:

  • 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.

Shadow BTCWare decryptor is not available yet.

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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