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Shifr ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware
12

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, Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware will come in handy. It will also assist in completing Shifr removal.

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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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 Shifr ransomware virus. 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Shifr virus Removal Guide:

Remove Shifr using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • 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 Shifr

    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 Shifr removal.

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

Remove Shifr using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

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 Reimage 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 2-spyware.com 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.

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 (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.

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 Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References


  • borabora2

    There is no end to these viruses…

  • 11navidad-0

    Did anyone get their files back?