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Xxxxx ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Xxxxx ransomware is a Dharma-related cryptovirus that encrypts newly-added data to make it unusable

Xxxxx ransomware
Xxxxx ransomware virus is a threat that appends encoded data with .xxxxx file marker after the encryption process.

Xxxxx ransomware is a cryptovirus that belongs to the notorious ransomware family that was especially active this fall – Dharma ransomware. The family already consists of twenty different variants, and it looks that developers behind these threats are not going to stop. Since September this, year experts have already discovered six new versions including the most recent Bkp ransomware and Gamma ransomware. This virus family has distinct features, and developers have been keeping them similar from version to version, including the pattern of file extension, encryption method, ransom note filenames, email addresses and many more. The Xxxxx ransomware virus got this name because of file extension .id-id.[syndicateXXX@aol.com].xxxxx that marks files after the encryption. After the file-locking process,[1] ransomware places FILES ENCRYPTED.txt on the system which contains details about the ransomware attack and instructions for the victim. 

Name Xxxxx ransomware
Type Cryptovirus
Related Dharma ransomware
File extension .id-id.[syndicateXXX@aol.com].xxxxx
Encryption method AES – based on previous versions
Ransom note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contact email syndicateXXX@aol.com
Distribution Spam email attachments, breaking through unprotected RDP
Removal Download and use Reimage if you want to remove Xxxxx ransomware completely

Xxxxx ransomware virus is one of the most dangerous because of the relation to many other variants of the same type of threat. The main purpose of ransomware is to lock users' data or even hard drives using army-grade encryption algorithms and demand for payment in cryptocurrency.

This is how developers make money directly from the victim. We do not recommend contacting cybercriminals because communication as well as paying the ransom may lead to more severe issues, permanent data or money loss.[2]

Xxxxx ransomware attack starts with infiltrating the system when payload dropper initiates the malicious script. Ransomware scans the system and finds data for potential encryption. It locks your files in various formats: photos, videos, documents, music files, databases and marks them with .xxxxx. 

Since Xxxxx ransomware belongs to Dharma family and versions in this family, tend to run similar threat probably uses AES encryption algorithm to lock data. When this is successfully done, a ransom note is generated and placed on the system in every folder which contains encoded data. 

Xxxxx ransomware ransom note reads the following:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email syndicateXXX@aol.com

Xxxxx ransomware also displays a pop-up window with payment instructions that look identical to messages posted by previous variants except for the individual emails and victims' ID:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail syndicateXXX@aol.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:syndicateXXX@aol.com
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files. 
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.) 
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price. 
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins 
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here: 
http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/ 
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files. 
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss. 
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

You may already know that Xxxxx ransomware infiltrates the system without your knowledge, but the first thing this virus does after the infection is not data encryption. Ransomware changes registry entries or adds files to the system folders and makes additional changes to make the virus more persistent. Because of this, you need a full system scan using anti-malware tools if you want to get rid of the virus altogether. 

To remove Xxxxx ransomware, you need to employ reputable tools like Reimage and fully scan the system. Anti-malware programs can detect[3] various threats and indicate dangerous files associated with malware. You can also follow suggested steps and delete intruders from the system while fixing the virus damage.

Researchers[4] always advise opting for automatic Xxxxx ransomware removal because of the additional programs and files, system changes that ransomware can make. It is especially crucial if you want to recover your files using backups or file restoring software because ransomware performs encryption again when you add new data on the system or plugin the external device. 

Ransomware developers use area of malicious distribution methods

A payload dropper that executes the malicious infiltration is spread on the internet, and for that distribution, developers use various techniques. It depends on the target, but the primary method in ransomware distribution is spam email attachments infected with direct threat or a malicious file that initiates the download.

Malware or trojans that get directly on your device via spam emails may be designed to distribute ransomware executable, or direct payload might be installed on the computer directly. Spam email can be used for a wide range of cyber infections and may look legitimate, in most cases, because malicious actors perfect their techniques.

Spam emails come to spam email box, but you can get an infected email on the regular email box. You need to be aware that there is an opportunity to get malware on the system from only opening insecure file attachment. Make sure that the email you got is legitimate, sent from the real service you use and contains valuable information before you download and open documents from there. MS Word or Excel files can be filled with malicious macros, be sure to scan the document before opening on the system. 

When you are performing Xxxxx ransomware elimination use trustworthy tools

To remove Xxxxx ransomware alongside other intruders and malicious files, you need a full system scan. You can scan the system using your antivirus or employ Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes for the job. These reputable anti-malware programs can detect malware on the system and indicate what data needs to be removed from the device. 

We recommend using automatic Xxxxx ransomware removal method because of the additional registry changes and the persistence of ransomware. However, you might be eager to terminate the virus yourself. We have a few tips in our step-by-step guide down below. Feel free to use them while performing virus elimination yourself. Also, try one of the data recovery methods from the suggestions below. 

Remember to delete Xxxxx ransomware and all related files, programs, malware before you recover your encrypted data. Double-check with a full system scan before plugging any external devices. You may lose your data permanently if you do not consider the possible encryption repetition.

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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 Xxxxx virus, follow these steps:

Remove Xxxxx using Safe Mode with Networking

You may need to enter the Safe Mode with networking before you can remove Xxxxx ransomware using anti-malware program. Follow this guide to do so:

  • 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 Xxxxx

    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 Xxxxx removal.

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

Remove Xxxxx using System Restore

System Restore is worth of a try, if you want to make your device safe again:

  • 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 Xxxxx. 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 Xxxxx removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro is useful when you need to restore encoded data

Use Data Recovery Pro for data encrypted by Xxxxx ransomware or accidentally deleted 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 Xxxxx ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature on your Windows OS supporting device

However, this feature can be helpful when System Restore is enabled before hand

  • 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 might also work for data recovery

Unfortunately, Xxxxx ransomware deletes Shadow Volume Copies, but you can still try ShadowExplorer as an alternative to backups

  • 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 is not possible

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

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References