Tuslamon ransomware (virus) - Free Guide

Tuslamon virus Removal Guide

What is Tuslamon ransomware?

Tuslamon ransomware is malicious software made by cybercriminals to extort money from victims

Tuslamon virus

Tuslamon ransomware is a malicious program that specializes in extorting money from its victims. Once it gains unauthorized access to a targeted device, it can move laterally through the network and cause significant harm. The virus's primary objective is to encrypt all the files on the compromised system, rendering them inaccessible. One of the most noticeable indicators of a Tuslamon ransomware attack is that all the files are appended with a specific extension, in this case – “.tuslamon.”

After the ransomware completes the encryption process, it drops a ransom note named “HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt.” The note instructs victims to contact tuslamon@protonmail.com to restore their locked files. The cybercriminals behind the attack also provide a deadline for the money to be transferred. In these cases, they usually threaten to delete the key that could unlock the data. Luckily, there are a few alternatives you could try.

Name Tuslamon virus
Type Ransomware, file-locking malware
File extension .tuslamon extension is appended to every personal file on the system
Ransom note HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.txt
Contact tuslamon@protonmail.com
Malware family Xorist
File Recovery The only method to recover files is through data backups. If such is not accessible, or if it has also been encrypted, your options for recovery are extremely limited, although we recommend trying them
Malware removal Disconnect the computer from the network and internet and then perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software
System fix After malware infects a system, it can corrupt several important files, which often leads to crashes, errors, and other issues. FortectIntego PC repair is an effective solution to automatically replacing any corrupted system files

Ransomware is a global threat to users

Given the success that ransomware attacks have had in the past, especially in the wake of a global pandemic, it seems that this trend is likely to persist. Therefore, it's crucial for both businesses and individual computer users to take all necessary measures to protect their systems from this significant threat.

Tuslamon ransomware is a member of the Xorist malware family, which was first introduced in 2012. Since then, the virus has undergone several revisions, infecting thousands of users around the world. Its previous versions include Korya, Zery, Crysphere, Feg, and many others.

There are various ways for malware to infiltrate the computers of everyday users, such as software vulnerabilities, spam emails, malicious advertisements, fake updates, and more. Once it gains access, the virus's primary objective is to locate and encrypt all non-system files on the Windows computer and other devices linked to the compromised network. In some cases, cybercriminals may even use management software installed locally to attack backup systems.

To ensure success in its mission, Tuslamon ransomware makes numerous modifications to the system before commencing the data-locking process. These changes may include deleting Shadow Copies, creating new tasks, modifying the registry, dropping malicious files, and more. Once these modifications are made, the virus employs the TEA encryption algorithm or another variant (depending on the version) to encrypt the targeted files.

The ransom note is written in Portuguese

In the past, Xorist variants used various languages in the ransom notes, including English, Russian, and others. In this case, the ransom note is written in Portuguese, with no English translation provided. This might indicate that the attack is targeted towards users/companies from particular areas where the language is spoken, although this is not always the case. The message reads:

Todos Dados/Backups foram criptografados
a unica forma de obter os dados em seu perfeito estado é
entrar em contato no Email: tuslamon@protonmail.com
Dados em perfeito estado em até 1 hora
prazo para o contato [DATE] ID-[ID]
(N = NÂO)
– N delete arquivos trancados
– N não renomeie os arquivos trancados .cobaltstricker
– N não poste esta mensagem em nenhum site
nem denuncie pois podem bloquear este email.

The message claims that all files and the backup databases have been encrypted, and the cybercriminals' contact details are provided. There is also a date given, probably the deadline for paying the ransom. In circumstances like these, the attacks then refuse to negotiate further or disclose sensitive information they have stolen during the attack, which is yet another method to extort money.

Tuslamon ransomware

We don't recommend giving into these extortion methods and avoiding all contact with cybercriminals. Instead, we recommend following the instructions below to remove Tuslamon ransomware from the system and use alternative methods for data recovery.

Malware removal

It's understandable that users become highly concerned when they discover that their files have been encrypted by ransomware and are no longer accessible. However, reacting with panic will not help since the infection has already occurred. In fact, panicked victims may make mistakes that result in even more data loss. It's crucial to take the appropriate steps in the right order to prevent further damage.

To establish a remote connection with an infected Windows device, cybercriminals use what's known as a Command & Control server. Since this communication occurs over the internet, it's essential to disconnect the machine from any networked connections. If you need to do this quickly and easily, follow these steps:

  • Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Go to Network and InternetNetwork and internet
  • Click Network and Sharing CenterNetwork and internet 2
  • On the left, pick Change adapter settingsNetwork and internet 3
  • Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select DisableNetwork and internet 4
  • Confirm with Yes.

Once you have disconnected the computer, you can proceed with eliminating the ransomware. To do so, you will need to use professional security software such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. If the malware is attempting to obstruct the removal process, access Safe Mode and run a thorough system scan from there to ensure that the malware is completely removed from the computer. It's important to note that before doing this, you should update your security software to the latest version.

Windows 7 / Vista / XP

  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing the 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 XP/7

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Right-click on the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find the Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot.
  7. Go to Advanced options.
  8. Select Startup Settings.Startup settings
  9. Click Restart.
  10. Press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

We also advise scanning the system with FortectIntego PC repair utility, as some system files might get corrupted due to malware infection. This way, you can get rid of troubles such as BSODs, crashes, errors, and other stability issues without reinstalling the operating system.

Data recovery

The main objective of the Tuslamon virus is to encrypt all non-system files on any accessible Windows machine, along with other devices on the same network. In some cases, cybercriminals may exploit vulnerabilities in locally installed management software to target backup systems.

Unfortunately, many regular computer users fail to create appropriate data backups, which can be catastrophic when hit with ransomware. Paying the ransom is also a risky move, as there's no guarantee that the cybercriminals will provide a working decryption tool.

However, don't lose hope just yet, as data recovery software may be able to help to depend on the situation, such as the encryption algorithm used or if the ransomware was able to complete its tasks properly.

Before proceeding, it's crucial to back up any valuable encrypted files. Without doing so, recovery attempts may cause permanent damage to locked data, rendering a working decryptor useless. Use a USB flash drive or a similar storage device to keep your important files safe. Next, proceed with the data recovery instructions below.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 Tuslamon virus. Follow these steps

Restore files using data recovery software

Since many users do not prepare proper data backups prior to being attacked by ransomware, they might often lose access to their files permanently. Paying criminals is also very risky, as they might not fulfill the promises and never send back the required decryption tool.

While this might sound terrible, not all is lost – data recovery software might be able to help you in some situations (it highly depends on the encryption algorithm used, whether ransomware managed to complete the programmed tasks, etc.). Since there are thousands of different ransomware strains, it is immediately impossible to tell whether third-party software will work for you.

Therefore, we suggest trying regardless of which ransomware attacked your computer. Before you begin, several pointers are important while dealing with this situation:

  • Since the encrypted data on your computer might permanently be damaged by security or data recovery software, you should first make backups of it – use a USB flash drive or another storage.
  • Only attempt to recover your files using this method after you perform a scan with anti-malware software.

Install data recovery software

  1. Download Data Recovery Pro.
  2. Double-click the installer to launch it.
    Launch installer
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to install the software. Install program
  4. As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
  5. Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from. Select what to recover
  6. Press Next.
  7. At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned. Select Deep scan
  8. Press Scan and wait till it is complete. Scan
  9. You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
  10. Press Recover to retrieve your files. Recover files

Find a working decryptor for your files

File encryption is a process that is similar to applying a password to a particular file or folder. However, from a technical point of view, encryption is fundamentally different due to its complexity. By using encryption, threat actors use a unique set of alphanumeric characters as a password that can not easily be deciphered if the process is performed correctly.

There are several algorithms that can be used to lock data (whether for good or bad reasons); for example, AES uses the symmetric method of encryption, meaning that the key used to lock and unlock files is the same. Unfortunately, it is only accessible to the attackers who hold it on a remote server – they ask for a payment in exchange for it. This simple principle is what allows ransomware authors to prosper in this illegal business.

While many high-profile ransomware strains such as Djvu or Dharma use immaculate encryption methods, there are plenty of failures that can be observed within the code of some novice malware developers. For example, the keys could be stored locally, which would allow users to regain access to their files without paying. In some cases, ransomware does not even encrypt files due to bugs, although victims might believe the opposite due to the ransom note that shows up right after the infection and data encryption is completed.

Therefore, regardless of which crypto-malware affects your files, you should try to find the relevant decryptor if such exists. Security researchers are in a constant battle against cybercriminals. In some cases, they manage to create a working decryption tool that would allow victims to recover files for free.

Once you have identified which ransomware you are affected by, you should check the following links for a decryptor:

No More Ransom Project

If you can't find a decryptor that works for you, you should try the alternative methods we list below. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that it sometimes takes years for a working decryption tool to be developed, so there are always hopes for the future.

Create data backups to avoid file loss in the future

One of the many countermeasures for home users against ransomware is data backups. Even if your Windows get corrupted, you can reinstall everything from scratch and retrieve files from backups with minimal losses overall. Most importantly, you would not have to pay cybercriminals and risk your money as well.

Therefore, if you have already dealt with a ransomware attack, we strongly advise you to prepare backups for future use. There are two options available to you:

  • Backup on a physical external drive, such as a USB flash drive or external HDD.
  • Use cloud storage services.

The first method is not that convenient, however, as backups need to constantly be updated manually – although it is very reliable. Therefore, we highly advise choosing cloud storage instead – it is easy to set up and efficient to sustain. The problem with it is that storage space is limited unless you want to pay for the subscription.

Using Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive is a built-in tool that comes with every modern Windows version. By default, you get 5 GB of storage that you can use for free. You can increase that storage space, but for a price. Here's how to setup backups for OneDrive:

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon within your system tray.
  2. Select Help & Settings > Settings.
    Go to OneDrive settings
  3. If you don't see your email under the Account tab, you should click Add an account and proceed with the on-screen instructions to set yourself up.
    Add OneDrive account
  4. Once done, move to the Backup tab and click Manage backup.
    Manage backup
  5. Select Desktop, Documents, and Pictures, or a combination of whichever folders you want to backup.
  6. Press Start backup.
    Pick which folders to sync

After this, all the files that are imported into the above-mentioned folders will be automatically backed for you. If you want to add other folders or files, you have to do that manually. For that, open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on your keyboard, and then click on the OneDrive icon. You should drag and drop folders you want to backup (or you can use Copy/Paste as well).

Using Google Drive

Google Drive is another great solution for free backups. The good news is that you get as much as 15GB for free by choosing this storage. There are also paid versions available, with significantly more storage to choose from.

You can access Google Drive via the web browser or use a desktop app you can download on the official website. If you want your files to be synced automatically, you will have to download the app, however.

  1. Download the Google Drive app installer and click on it.
    Install Google Drive app
  2. Wait a few seconds for it to be installed. Complete installation
  3. Now click the arrow within your system tray – you should see Google Drive icon there, click it once.
    Google Drive Sign in
  4. Click Get Started. Backup and sync
  5. Enter all the required information – your email/phone, and password. Enter email/phone
  6. Now pick what you want to sync and backup. You can click on Choose Folder to add additional folders to the list.
  7. Once done, pick Next. Choose what to sync
  8. Now you can select to sync items to be visible on your computer.
  9. Finally, press Start and wait till the sync is complete. Your files are now being backed up.

Report the incident to your local authorities

Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.

Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:

Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3

If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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