Remove XeroWare ransomware (Removal Guide) - Decryption Steps Included

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

XeroWare virus Removal Guide

What is XeroWare ransomware?

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

XeroWare ransomware virusXeroWare 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 ReimageIntego 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 ReimageIntego 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.

XeroWare ransomwareXeroWare ransomware is a virus developed on the HiddenTear platform.

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 ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes. 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 virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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 XeroWare virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

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 ReimageIntego 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:

  • 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 XeroWare ransomware;
  • Restore them.

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 ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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