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XD ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

XD ransomware is malware developed by hackers and designed to extort money from victims 

XD ransomware virus
XD ransomware is a virus that uses the AES encryption algorithm to encode your files and demands ransom for decryption.

XD ransomware is a file locking virus[1] that was recently spotted in by security researchers. Not much is known about this threat, however, experts claim that is most likely a variant of Rektware ransomware. Malware uses AES encryption algorithm to lock up data and appends .XD file extension, rendering files useless. To retrieve the access to personal data, victims have to pay ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. However, it is not known if hackers provide users with any information at all, as no examples of ransom note are currently available (typically, the crypto locker drops a ransom note into every folder in .txt, or .html format, occasionally changing desktop wallpaper as well). Nevertheless, it is known for sure that XD ransomware is not yet decryptable and security experts received only a few samples so far.

Name XD ransomware
Type Cryptovirus
File extension .XD
Related Rektware ransomware
Written in AutoIt
Executable file Ransomware.exe
Distribution Spam email attachments
Elimination Use Reimage for XD ransomware removal

XD ransomware virus comes into users' machines in various ways, including spam emails, unprotected RDP, as a drive-by download, via file-sharing sites, using exploit kits and similar. In most cases, victims are unaware of these distribution methods and end up infecting their devices unknowingly.

XD virus can lock a video, audio, image, picture, database and all other personal files located on the infected device. Thus, a file called picture.jpg is turned to picture.jpg.xd after the infection. 

This file-encrypting virus can affect data in various formats, and the most common ones affected are these:

.avi, .bmp, .csv, .doc, .docx, .exe, .flv, .gif, .ini, .jpg, .m4a, .mkv, .mp3, .mp4,. odp, .ods, .odt, .one,  .ots, .pdf, .png, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .swf, .vssx, .wav, .xls, .xlsx.

While the ransom size XD ransomware creators ask for is unknown, researchers[2] advise not paying the ransom because it may lead to permanent money loss, in addition to unusable files. Thus, rather use other methods for file recovery.

If you need to recover data affected by XD ransomware, you need to clean the system, get rid of this virus and then replace encoded data with original files from the backup. Unfortunately, if you have no backups, data recovery is not that simple. Certain conditions need to be met in order for the third-party software to work. We explain the process in detailed instructions below.

When it comes to XD ransomware removal, it is important to know that various antivirus programs detect[3] Ransomware.exe file as malicious. The payload can be identified under the following names:

  • HEUR/AGEN.1033959;
  • Win32:Malware-gen;
  • Ransom.Rektware;
  • Artemis!7F29DFC164EF;
  • Win32/Trojan.Ransom.a84;
  • Riskware/Dloader;
  • Generic.Ransom.KillRabit.1F03A3BF (B);
  • etc.

As we already mentioned, the cybersecurity threat is related to Rektware ransomware, but some researchers believe it might be a variant of KillRabbit. In that case, ransom demands might be as low as $100. However, because XD ransomware does not provide a ransom note, it is highly likely that the threat is related to Rektware, as it was not a fully developed virus. It is possible that XD ransomware will show more distinct characteristics in time. 

To remove XD ransomware from your computer, you need to use a reliable source and get anti-malware software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. Manual elimination is not possible for regular users, and virus removal should be taken care of accordingly.

Spam emails are the main source of ransomware infections

Ransomware can spread by breaking through insecure RDP configuration or using different exploit kits. But the most common method to spread ransomware is spam email attachments or links that contain a malicious payload.

Spam emails look safe and legitimate because hackers misuse names of well-known companies or suppliers. In most cases, they use a similar looking email address and name the malicious attachment as “Invoice,” “Order confirmation,” or similar.

Therefore, it is vital to recognize a phishing email before taking any actions. If you are in doubt – contact the company that is writing you (not via “Reply” button, but instead use appropriate email address), and ask if the message is legitimate. Under no circumstances allow the document to run Macro function, as it is will infect your computer with malware.

Additionally, patching software is as necessary as using powerful security software, because developers often patch vulnerabilities with software updates. 

Successful XD ransomware elimination requires reputable anti-malware 

To remove XD ransomware safely, you should think about proper tools that you trustworthy. Using an anti-malware program is the best method because it scans the system and indicates what cyber threats you have on the system. Tools like Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner and Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes are perfect for the job.

Remember to double-check the cleanliness of the system after XD ransomware removal, before you attempt data recovery. Any external device plugged-in on the compromised system can be affected by the virus. Terminate the cyber infection, clean the system thoroughly, and use a backup to restore encoded files. Alternatively, you can make use of third-party software we recommend 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 Malwarebytes.
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 XD virus, follow these steps:

Remove XD using Safe Mode with Networking

The first method you can use is to reboot your device in Safe Mode with Networking and use your antivirus tool:

  • 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 XD

    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 XD removal.

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

Remove XD using System Restore

You can also rely on System Restore feature to remove XD ransomware:

  • 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 XD. 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 XD removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro is designed to get your files back after encryption

If you accidentally deleted your files or lost important files because of a different issue, you can also use data Recovery Pro to restore them

  • 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 XD ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature is helpful for the file recovery

You could restore XD ransomware encrypted files using Windows Previous Versions if System restore was enabled beforethe attack

  • 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 helps to recover encrypted data after XD ransomware removal

When your system is clear, try using ShadowExplorer to restore personal 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.

Decryption tool is not available

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from XD and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References