XD ransomware (Decryption Steps Included) - Removal Guide

XD virus Removal Guide

What is XD ransomware?

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

XD ransomware virusXD 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 FortectIntego 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 FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Manual elimination is not possible for regular users, and virus removal should be taken care of accordingly.

XD ransomwareXD ransomware is a malicious product developed by cybercriminals who focus on money extortion.

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 FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and 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.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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 XD virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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

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

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