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X3M ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

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. Reimage 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 or Naturally, as there have been a series of file-encrypting threats which utilize 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 (Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware). 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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Manual X3M virus Removal Guide:

Remove X3M using 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 X3M

    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 X3M removal.

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

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 Reimage 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 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.

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 (;
  • 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 Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  • DavesChillaxin

    I think I got this one by enabling RDP and doing port forwarding to allow me to connect outside the network. I was testing and never set a “spoofed” port, and keep 3389 visible from the outside. Problem is from what I hear is attackers are always scanning for a computer with that specific port open. Turns out a month later I found my server off and the background telling me all my personal files are encrypted. I guess there is some vulnerability in the Remote Desktop Protocol that allows them to do this. Perhaps my password was hacked to by brute force (wasnt strong). Going to try all these out in hopes I can remove it. Then going to take extra precautions when setting everything up again I.e. formatting my server completely, reinstalling the OS, setting up specific firewall rules, opening port forwarding from X port to 3389 so they cannot scan for 3389 but I can still RDP in and setting up my server in a DMZ to protect our other devices on the network.

  • TopGear8

    When the heck I got infected with this…sh*t

  • phi8.8

    I wonder if so-called “virus researchers” have anything to do with these cyber threats..