Severity scale:  
  (98/100)

Remove VACv2 ransomware (Removal Instructions) - Decryption Methods Included

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

VACv2 ransomware is a file locker that belongs to Paradise malware family

VACv2 ransomware

VACv2 ransomware is a cryptovirus that was discovered by the independent security researchers at the end of December 2018. The malware operates as RaaS and is a part of Paradise ransomware group. It uses a sophisticated RSA-1024 encryption algorithm to lock up pictures, videos, music, databases and other personal data, which consequently appends a lengthy extension that follows the pattern: [original_file_name].[extension]_[random]_{pittt@prt-decrypt.xyz}.VACv2. The malware also drops a ransom note called $%%! NOTE ABOUT FILES -=!-.html which explains that victims have to contact VACv2 virus authors via the email, and the price in Bitcoins will depend on how fast they do so. As usual, contacting criminals is not advisable – we suggest reading the full guide on how to proceed next if infected.

Name VACv2
Type Ransomware
Family Paradise
Encryption algorithm RSA-1024
Extension .VACv2
Demands Payment in Bitcoin
Decryptable? No
Elimination Use security software like Reimage or 

VACv2 ransomware authors use typical distribution methods, such as:

  • Spam email attachments;
  • Poorly protected RDP;
  • Software vulnerabilities;
  • Fake updates;
  • Backdoors;[1]
  • Torrent files;
  • Malicious sites, etc.

To prevent malware from entering your machine, you should employ reputable security software that can stop the intrusion. Nevertheless, if you found encrypted files, you will have to perform VACv2 ransomware removal before you proceed with file recovery.

VACv2 ransomware is a sophisticated cyber infection that enters system unnoticed and performs various changes to the device, including Windows Registry modification, stopping/spawning of multiple processes, Shadow Volume Copies removal, and similar. After scanning the PC for personal data, it modifies the structure of the file and denies the entry to it. The files can only be decrypted with a unique personal key that is stored on a remote server that is controlled by hackers.

VACv2 ransom note that opens in a separate window informs the victim about what happened:

WHAT HAPPENED!
Your important files produced on this computer have been encrypted due a security problem.
If you want to restore them, write to us by email.
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.

As an “evidence,” hackers promise to decode one to three files that can be sent for test decryption. Additionally, they warn users not to use any other tools that may help users to recover data.

However, users should immediately remove VACv2 ransomware (using anti-virus software like Reimage or another program that recognizes[2] the threat) from their computers and proceed with file recovery, ignoring cybercriminals entirely. Be aware that paying crooks will only encourage them to create more viruses and infect more victims. Additionally, ransom payments might be considered as a criminal offence in the US so that fines may be applied.

When it comes to file recovery, using backups from a virtual or physical drive is the best option. However, this choice is not always available, so victims should rely on third-party software or wait till security researchers crack VACv2 ransomware's code and create a decryptor.

VACv2 virus
VACv2 ransomware is a file locker that performs several system modifications in order to encrypt data using RSA

Do not risk your virtual safety and avoid ransomware attacks

While the initial goal of ransomware is money extortion, it does not mean that it will not be packed with various extra features, like data stealing, screen locking or crypto mining[3] capabilities. Be aware that malware authors always try to improve their code in order to receive maximum profits from the illegal activities.

For that reason, avoiding such intrusions is the best practice, as it can not only save your valued files but also prevent the disclosure of personal data or an unusable computer. Therefore, follow these simple tips when browsing the web:

  • Use anti-malware software at all times;
  • Use strong passwords for all your accounts;
  • Avoid suspicious emails, their attachments and links;
  • Download software from reputable sources only;
  • Do not casually click on pop-ups and banners;
  • Avoid file-sharing and torrent sites;
  • Always patch your system and software immediately;
  • Do not install bogus software like driver downloaders, registry cleaners, software uninstallers, and similar;
  • Scan the files from the internet with anti-malware software before opening them.

Remove VACv2 ransomware from your computer and only then attempt the file recovery

To remove VACv2 ransomware, you will have to use AV software that can recognize the threat in the first place. Be aware that not all security tools detect malware straight away – it all depends how fast the internal databases are updated. Therefore, we suggest using Reimage – this software is based on the Avira engine and can eliminate the threat instantly. Be aware that you might have to enter Safe Mode with Networking mode if the VACv2 virus prevents the operation of the security software.

After VACv2 ransomware removal, you can recover your data by using backups. If none are available to you, try alternative methods like data recovery software mentioned below. 

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove VACv2 virus, follow these steps:

Remove VACv2 using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove VACv2 malware from your PC safely, enter Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 VACv2

    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 VACv2 removal.

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

Remove VACv2 using System Restore

To stop the virus, try System Restore 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 VACv2. 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 VACv2 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove VACv2 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 VACv2, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro might be useful when it comes to file recovery

Data Recovery Pro is a professional software that might help you recover files that were affected by a ransomware virus

  • 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 VACv2 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Make use of Windows Previous Versions feature

Windows Previous Versions feature can be used to recover some individual files, so recovering large amounts of data might be impossible.

  • 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 be able to help

ShadowExplorer is a reputable tool that can help you recover all files if VACv2 ransomware failed to remove Shadow Volume Copies.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from VACv2 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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