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

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware
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The scary trilogy of ransomware: Polski, Vortex and finally, Flotera ransomware are on the hunt for victims

Vortex virus is a sophisticated ransomware[1] virus that was developed by Polish cyber criminals. The initial virus’ version is reportedly the Polski ransomware. The malicious virus is set to apply AES-256[2] cryptography algorithm on victim’s images, documents, videos, and other files available on the compromised computer system. It also gets a random 40-char password from sethcardoza[.]com/api/rest/tools/random_password_generator/length:40/complexity:alphaNumeric site. When encrypting files, the ransomware adds .aes file extension to every file, making them stand out and allowing the victim realize how many files were encrypted. The ransomware corrupts files in all computer drives but skips system folders to keep the computer running. Once the virus is done with the encryption process, it immediately saves some text into a ransom note, which it names as ODZSZYFRUJ-DANE (stands for DECRYPTION DETAILS in the English language). The ransomware doesn’t create any fancy-looking .html-based ransom notes like Spora virus does[3]. Vortex simply saves the information in a simple .txt file and drops it on the desktop. It is possible that such ransom notes are stored in every folder with encrypted files, too. Files encrypted by Vortex ransomware virus are renamed: the virus adds .aes file extension.

It turns out that Vortex ransomware virus wants to get $299 from the victim in exchange for a decryption tool. It provides two email addresses for the victim and asks to write to them to get further instructions regarding data recovery. Vortex ransomware virus is associated with these two email addresses: rsapl@openmailbox.org and polskiransom@airmail.cc. According to the ransom note, the victim has four days to get in touch with the criminals and pay the money they demand; otherwise, cybercriminals promise to lift the ransom price by 100%. We do not recommend you to deal with cyber terrorism by following cybercriminals’ commands. You should not pay the ransom, especially because the chances of recovering your files are low. Even if you paid, you would get no guarantees regarding data restoration[4]. Since your files are encrypted, there is nothing you can do to force cybercriminals to help you. Therefore, instead of writing a letter to ransomware developers, remove Vortex malware with Reimage or another trustworthy anti-malware software. If you have never experienced a ransomware attack, read Vortex removal instructions first. You can find the instructions right below the post. It is very important to wipe all malicious files from PC because leaving some ransomware remains automatically makes your system more vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Vortex emerges with a new name: Flotera ransomware

It seems that Polski ransomware developers have decided to step up their ransomware game one more time and release a slightly improved version of Vortex. This time, they dubbed the virus as Flotera ransomware, or, as the virus calls itself, Ŧl๏tєгค гคภร๏๓ฬคгє. This version is not significantly different compared to Vortex- it still uses !!!-ODZYSKAJ-DANE-!!!.TXT as a ransom note and encrypts files using the same encryption routine. Two email addresses provided in the ransom note are flotera@2.pl and flotera@protonmail.ch. Flotera also adds .aes extensions to encrypted files and seeks to extort money from the miserable computer users who accidentally allow Flotera ransomware to be installed on the system. Apparently, no free decryption tools are available so regarding data recovery, victims are advised to rely on data backups. Of course, data recovery measures should be taken only after Flotera virus removal.

Vortex distribution tricks

Ransomware viruses do not get into computer system out of thin air. Certain circumstances are needed in order for such malicious virus to hijack the PC system. The first reason allowing malicious programs sneak into your system easily is a lack of computer protection. If you do not have an anti-malware or anti-spyware software installed on your PC, nothing can stop the malicious program from infecting your PC. The second thing that allows ransomware get into PCs is user interaction. Malware is mostly distributed via email, and cyber criminals manage to convince victims to open malicious email attachments just by using basic social engineering skills[5]. Finally, ransomware can slither into the system with the help of exploit kits, but in such case, the victim needs to have some outdated software on the system. Security vulnerabilities in old programs allow exploit kits to execute code, and that is why you should keep all your programs up-to-date.

Remove Vortex ransomware right now

If Vortex ransomware virus attacked your PC and your files are corrupted, do not waste any time and remove Vortex virus. At the moment, this piece of ransomware is under analysis, and currently, we do not know whether it is possible to create a Vortex decryption tool or not. We suggest you stay patient and follow news about Vortex ransomware – we will announce about the invention of the decryption tool as soon as it gets created. For now, look at Vortex removal instructions to learn how to delete the virus in the right way.

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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 Vortex 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 Vortex virus Removal Guide:

Remove Vortex 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.

Run your PC in a Safe Mode with Networking to delete the ransomware safely. If you have never heard about Safe Mode with Networking and you do not know how to run your PC in it, follow these guidelines. 

  • 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 Vortex

    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 Vortex removal.

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

Remove Vortex using System Restore

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 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 Vortex. 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 Vortex removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

You can recover the vast of lost data from a backup. Sadly, many computer users do not see backups as something they definitely need in their lives. That is entirely wrong, because only backup can save you from a complete data loss. If you do not have a backup, try one of these techniques.

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

Use data recovery software: Data Recovery Pro

Most computer users find Data Recovery Pro useful, so we definitely recommend trying this tool in case Vortex malware corrupted your files.

Shadow Explorer

For data recovery, you can try ShadowExplorer tool. It can help you to detect and take advantage of Volume Shadow Copies, which can be used to recreate corrupted files.

  • 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.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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  • Lali

    Thanks, I have just removed the ransomware.

  • Paul

    Couldnt restore my files, I am impatiently waiting for the release of Vortex ransomware virus!

  • Ropza

    Vortex virus is insane. It corrupted all my files and added aes extensions, just like this site explains. When I opened that ransom note, which was full of polish text, I immediately realized that something bad happened…

  • wayze

    Ive been infected with Ŧl๏tєгค this morning!!!