Remove Shifr ransomware / virus (Free Instructions) - Removal Guide

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

Shifr virus Removal Guide

What is Shifr ransomware virus?

Shifr malware accelerates as ransomware-as-a-service

The image illustrating Shifr virus

Shifr virus functions as a file-encrypting virus written in Go programming language[1]. It targets Windows OS users[2], however, Mac OS users should not let their guard down as well. Once the virus infiltrates the device, it appends .shifr file extension to every affected file. Later on, it opens up the message HOW_TO_DECRYPT_FILES.html file and a special graphical user interface (GUI). In the ransom note, it offers to download special decryption program. However, instead of following demands, remove Shifr virus right away.

Observing the trend of latest threats, this malware stands out from other viruses. It is not based on HiddenTear as other recent infections of this kind. There is also little information what type of AES algorithm it uses. However, its other features remind dozens of viruses released last year. Shifr ransomware operates in a more sophisticated way as it provides scarce information about payment instructions and contains additional links about bitcoin and financial transaction. At the moment, it demands 0.1 bitcoin ($124,22)[3].

Taking into account that the sum is quite modest, but the virus seems to contain a delicate programming code, users may be willing to transfer the money in order to retrieve the money. However, the key problem is that while dealing with ransomware developers there is no guarantee that the victims will receive the files.

Shifr malware, which is now detectable under Trojan.Encoder.6491 name, also initiates changes in the registry editor. It plants its files in %Temp% folder. During the data encryption, you may notice slower PC processes. Commands encompassing high CPU memory usage in the Task Manager may also suggest the presence of the file-encrypting virus.

Once Shifr hijack is complete, its ransom note is placed on the local disk in the user’s folder, as well as HOW_TO_DECRYPT_FILES.html link is copied into the desktop. Instead of wasting your time and hopes to retrieve the files, it would be better to eliminate the malware.

The malware distribution network expands

It is no less important to be aware of the distribution tendencies than to eradicate to the threat. According to the current data obtained about this malware, it seems to retain the preference to spread via spam messages. Such notifications may be entitled as highly important. You might be alerted to messages about urgent tax payments, subpoena or the emails of similar content. Grammar mistakes and typos might give out the real origin of such email.

Some types of malware, such as computer worms[4] or trojans[5], target system vulnerabilities in order to seize the computer. Thus, it is crucial to increase the overall security of the computer by updating key system applications. Other samples of file-encrypting viruses may target your computer with the assistance of exploit kits.

Recent news has revealed that this relatively passive virtual threat is now available as ransomware-as-a-service. Surprisingly, the domain is easily accessible. It does not require any entry fee which lets crooks of various ilk to engage in ransomware generating business. As a result, the absence of security measures (against cyber security specialists), the domain was easily detected.[6]

Furthermore, due to the appearance of Shifr RaaS, the cyber space was crammed with multiple Shifr variations. Unlike other full-fledged file-encrypting infections, the authors only ask for 10% share of the total revenue acquired from ransoms. In the website, users only have to enter their Bitcoin address and set the price of ransom.

Due to such low “interest rate” and easy manual, RaaS entices many unskilled hacker wannabees. Moreover, the authors of the domain seemed do not have enough technical capabilities to manage the payment site and the portal via several servers like other RaaS services do. In order to lower the risk of the infiltration of this virus, install a security application. For that purpose, ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes will come in handy. It will also assist in completing Shifr removal.

The screenshot of Shifr malwareShifr virus does not toss about with unnecessary warnings, instead, it provides the relevant information in its GUI.

Get rid of Shifr elimination tool

The aforementioned security application is also capable of detecting the malware and terminating it. However, do not get surprised if the malware may shut down both, the anti-virus and anti-spyware program. In that case, the below guide will instruct how to regain access and remove Shifr virus. Note that only when the malware is fully eliminated, you can proceed to data recovery instructions.

Currently, there is no decryption software released, but some of the below-suggested programs may be of assistance to you. Avoid using the decrypter offered by the malware interface as it may only make matters worse. Uninstall any software which may be related in any way with the threat. The decrypter may decode the files but leave malicious files on the system. Focus on Shifr removal rather than nurture hopes about the sense of hackers’ conscience.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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.

Getting rid of Shifr 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 Shifr using System Restore

If Safe Mode with Networking failed to recover the access, System Restore is an alternative option.

  • 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 Shifr. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Shifr removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Will Data Recovery Pro recover my files?

This program is said to decrypt the files and recover lost email letters.

  • 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 Shifr ransomware;
  • Restore them.

What about Windows Previous Version function?

If System Restore has been enabled beforehand, you might succeed in recovering some of the files following these instructions. However, it takes time.

  • 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”.

The usefulness of ShadowExplorer

This program works on the basis of shadow volume copies so you might get another chance to retrieve the files. There is no information whether the malware deletes these copies beforehand. 

  • 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.

Shifr Decrypter

No official decryption tool is released. Let us warn you not use the one promoted by the hackers.

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

How to prevent from getting Shifr ransomware virus

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 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
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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