X3M ransomware / virus (Tutorial) - Free Guide

X3M virus Removal Guide

What is X3M ransomware virus?

Important facts about X3M ransomware

Continuing the trend to launch new ransomware every day, the crooks present you another their creation – X3M virus. It draws cyber experts’ attention as it appends three different types of file extensions. The ransomware is suspected of doing so in order to disguise its origin and trouble the virus researchers with the confrontation strategy. If you encounter ransomware for the first time, make a rush to remove X3M from the device. FortectIntego assists in the eradication process.

A couple of years ago, crypto-malware threats were a threatening novelty in the cyber space. Now the Internet is full of elaborate such infections which do not encode valuable documents but may lock your smart TV‘s screen [1]. Luckily, X3M malware is not so exquisite but it surely causes a headache for the virtual community. In comparison with other threats, the infection acts quite interestingly. After occupying the device, it locates potentially important files and encodes them with a standard encryption algorithm. Furthermore, it attaches .id-[random numbers]_locked, .id-[random numbers]_r9oj, and .id-[random numbers]_x3m. Then, the netizens may notice the ransom message which informs them to pay 700 USD in bitcoins. Later on, they can contact the authors and ask for the decryption tool via deyscriptors1@india.com or server-support@india.com. Naturally, as there have been a series of file-encrypting threats which utilize @india.com email address, one might guess that the same gang is behind these virtual infections.

X3M virus encrypts files

What is more, the threat is able to infect the entire server. It does so via Remote Desktop Protocol [2]. Likewise, X3M ransomware leaves an aggravating damage on all of the computers connected to one server. Such features are no novelty as IT experts predict that ransomware developers will add worm-like features to make crypto-malware more terrifying and damaging [3]. Similarly, tech support scam elements are incorporated in the ransomware to puzzle victims even more [4]. Despite warnings from cybersecurity companies, users still dial the number of a Windows technical support impersonator. At the best case scenario, he will remove the adware elements which displayed fake alerts of the infected system. In the worst case, the racketeer will corrupt the device with crypto-malware. Fortunately, the current ransomware is not so elaborate. However, it does not mean that you should delay X3M removal.

How does the virus infect devices?

Being aware of the distribution methods is no less important than the very effectively eradicating the threat. .x3m file extension virus might have sneaked into the device via a spam email. It is a popular technique to enwrap the binary of file-encrypting malware in a fake delivery notification. If you are not careful enough and recklessly open the attachment, ransomware gets activated. In the case of X3M hijack, after executing the specific command, putty.exe will be placed on the device. Due to it, the virus paralyzes the effective performance of the computer. Note that some crooks opt for using exploit kits or trojans. They are especially dangerous as you can not prevent them on your own. If you are at a loss puzzled how to recover your data, we recommend eliminating the infection. Brush aside any ideas to pay the ransom as ransomware has become a profitable business for the crooks to wheedle out money [5]. In relation to this, only few ransomware developers are known for returning the data.

X3M elimination guide

You should entrust X3M removal to an anti-spyware application (FortectIntego or Malwarebytes). After you completely eradicate the infection, you can proceed with the data encryption procedure. Some of the options are discussed below the article. Note that the following procedure should be performed only when you completely remove X3M virus. In addition, if you are able to access Task Manager, cancel any tasks related to putty.exe or other unknown tasks. On the final note, you should beware of so-called “abandoned” (outdated) or unnaturally well-rated applications or legitimate software which is distributed by unknown publishers. Likewise, you will avoid not only ransomware but trojans and computer worms as well.

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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 X3M 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 X3M using System Restore

  • 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 X3M. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that X3M removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove X3M 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 X3M, you can use several methods to restore them:

Should I trust Data Recovery Pro?

This application is designed for acquiring lost or damaged files, thus, it might help to recover some of the encrypted data.

  • 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 X3M ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Opting for Windows Previous Versions feature

This option comes in handy as it accesses the previously saved copy of a file or an app.

  • 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 option

The method works in the case if ransomware does not delete shadow volume copies in advance.

  • 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 X3M 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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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