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XeroWare ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

XeroWare ransomware — a virus that aims to extort money from people

  XeroWare ransomware virus
XeroWare ransomware is a product from crypto-extortionists that can permanently delete your data.

XeroWare ransomware is a cryptovirus that locks the victim's data and displays a ransom note with FAQs. This virus encrypts files and makes them useless using .XERO file extension. According to experts, ransomware is built on an open-source platform called HiddenTear[1] which has been known since 2015. Cybercriminals have used this platform countless times because it is an easy way to create new variants of ransomware viruses and make money. This virus encrypts targeted user's files using AES encryption method and demands a ransom of 1.2 BTC (at the moment of writing, equal to $9,127)[2] to restore the access to these files. After this data is marked with .XERO appendix, the virus installs the ransom message called XeroWare_ReadME.txt on every folder on the system.

Name XeroWare
Type Ransomware
Extension .XERO
Encryption method AES
Ransom amount 1.2 BTC
Ransom note XeroWare_ReadME.txt
Time 96 hours
Distribution Spam email attachments
Elimination Use Reimage for XeroWare ransomware removal 

Ransomware can encrypt anything from photos and videos to music files or business documents. XeroWare ransomware virus makes these files no longer available for the use because it aims to make its victim pay the money in the form of ransom. After looking at the extension which is appended right after the AES encryption is finished, you can know that you are in real trouble as your files are encrypted and cannot be used anymore.

The only way to recover encrypted data is replacing corrupted files with clean ones. The easiest way to do that is by using the backup. However, you should remove XeroWare ransomware first because the virus can start another round of encryption. If you plug in an external hard drive while ransomware is still working on your system, you might lose your data again.

After the successful encryption, virus places a ransom message with more facts about the attack itself. In this case, virus developers decided to answer frequently asked questions to help their victims deal with the current situation. The ransom note provides information on the ransom amount (it is 1.2 BTC) and the amount of time given (it should be less than 96 hours). Otherwise, the virus promises to delete affected files for good. Ransom note also contains information about the payment itself. However, no matter how tempting the recovery of files might seem, you shouldn't pay the ransom because the people behind the virus are criminals and they should never be trusted. 

XeroWare ransomware ransom message reads the following:

Your files have been encrypted and your computer has been infected with XeroWare Ransom 1.2. 1) What Should I do?
A: Pay the specific amount we are asking from you in order to decrypt your files.
2) Can i try to remove the malware?
A: If you try anything your files will be removed, YOU have been WARNED.
3) How can i pay in order to decrypt my files ?
A: Copy the provided btc address and send the money.
4) How do i verify my payment?
A: You provide the payment transaction ID and you click confirm transaction.
5) What will happen if the payment transaction is not valid?
A: If you try to provide anything alike to fake or not valid your files will be destroyed permanently.
6) I have paid and verified my transaction how do i decrypt my files?
A: If you have paid and verified your transaction just simply click the decrypt button and everything will revert back to normal.
You have 96 hours in order to complete that task, otherwise your files will be destroyed.
Time has already started…

Just like any other ransomware, this cryptovirus gives you an ultimatum to pay the fee and unlock your files or say goodbye to an encrypted data. According to its developers, they can automatically corrupt your files or delete them if the payment is not received. However, there is also a possibility that this decryption key does not exist and attackers have no decryption tool to give you after you pay. They might just disappear with your money.

You need to perform XeroWare removal as soon as you notice .XERO file extension added to your files or see the ransom message. The more time you give for this virus, the more changes it can make on your system. Use anti-malware tools like Reimage to get rid of the virus without wasting your time. You should also check our step-by-step guide and data recovery tools to prevent issues related to full removal of this malware. 

Various spam email campaigns are used to spread ransomware

Ransomware can be spread using various methods. However, the most common is related to spam emails. Phishing emails[3] contain malicious links redirecting their victims to malware-hosting websites or file attachments filled with macro-viruses. Documents in various formats might be infected and spread ransomware or other infections immediately after you open the downloaded file on the computer.

To prevent this kind of scenario, researchers[4] are actively recommending staying away from spam. Make sure you doublecheck your email box and remove emails that are misleading. Also, check the sender and message body to make sure that the email message is legit. You can even contact the sender to ask him/her about the “invoice,” “report,” and similar document in your inbox.

XeroWare ransomware termination requires attention 

To remove XeroWare ransomware, you should rely on legitimate anti-malware tools like Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. These programs will help you look thru your computer system and will also detect every file that belongs to this malware or other cyber infections. If you find your anti-malware tool blocked by this virus, use steps given below to disable the virus first. Additionally, launch your antivirus and run a scan several times to make sure that your malware is gone. 

XeroWare removal is not that difficult if you pay enough attention to the tips provided by security experts. Getting trusted software when terminating malware is also a crucial step. Otherwise, you can run into further issues related to cryptovirus as it can add/remove registry entries, disable important executable files and initiate other malicious activities on your computer. 

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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 XeroWare ransomware. 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.
Press mentions on Reimage
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We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing XeroWare ransomware (2018-08-02)

To remove XeroWare virus, follow these steps:

Remove XeroWare using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your system to Safe Mode with Networking as the first step in XeroWare ransomware removal:

  • 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 XeroWare

    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 XeroWare removal.

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

Remove XeroWare using System Restore

System Restore feature can also help you disable the malware:

  • 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 XeroWare. 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 XeroWare removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro can help in data restoring

Ransomware encrypted files can be recovered with this program. Also, try Data Recovery Pro if you accidentally deleted your files:

If you want to restore individual files use Windows Previous Versions feature

This feature could work in file recovery if System Restore were enabled before the 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 can restore files that XeroWare ransomware locked

If ransomware you are dealing with left Shadow Volume Copies you can restore them and get your files back:

  • 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 for this ransomware

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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References