XYZware ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Instructions) - Free Guide

XYZware virus Removal Guide

What is XYZware ransomware virus?

What should I know about XYZware ransomware?

XYZware virus is a new ransomware that falls into the large group of Hidden-Tear based[1] malware. The malicious program seems to be in the development process at the moment, which means that at least now cyber criminals[2] are not distributing it to victims actively. A few copies were sent out recently, and one managed to get into malware researchers’ eyesight. Once installed, the virus uses cryptography[3] ciphers (to be precise, a combination of RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers) to encode files on the compromised PC. Some malware researchers believe that author of this virus is likely to be from Indonesia, although this fact was not confirmed. The word “Indonesia” is only mentioned in ransomware author’s contact email address. When the virus finishes encryption routine, it saves a message on victim’s desktop, which says:

There is no way to decrypt without private key and decryption program. You can buy the private key and the decryption program just for 0.2 BTC (Bitcoin). You have 48 hours to buy it.

The rest of the message explains that the victim has to write to email to get instructions on how to pay the ransom and recover files. We do not recommend paying the ransom because it is likely that files can be recovered for free. We suggest patiently waiting for news from malware researchers – XYZware decryption tool might be available anytime soon. Until then, remove XYZware malware using anti-malware program, for instance, Malwarebytes or FortectIntego.

XYZware ransomwareResearcher shows the ransom note left by XYZware ransomware virus. It asks the victim to purchase the decryption key for 0.2 BTC.

How does this ransomware spread?

While more dangerous and sophisticated viruses like Cerber employ exploit kits[4], infected ad networks, and other malware distribution techniques, developers of XYZware ransomware seem to be far less advanced. Therefore, they use the basic and very straightforward malware dissemination trick – malspam[5], also known as mail spam. They only need to compose convincing messages and attach some files to such email, then send it out to thousands of victims. A general tip is to bypass emails coming from unknown individuals – do not trust links or files sent to you by strangers. They can instantly compromise your PC and damage your files! To increase computer’s protection, keep programs up-to-date and add another layer of protection by installing an anti-malware program. Now, let’s talk about XYZware removal peculiarities.

XYZware removal explained

If you were attacked by XYZware virus unexpectedly, the chances are high that you received an updated version of this malware. We suggest deleting it immediately. For XYZware removal, you have to prepare your PC first, so reboot it into Safe Mode with Networking and then use the security software you have to exclude the malicious files from the system. If you do not have a tool to remove XYZware ransomware automatically, consider installing one of the programs we recommend using.

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 XYZware virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Restart the computer system using instructions provided below. Do everything in order to prepare your PC for XYZware ransomware virus 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.
  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 XYZware using System Restore

  • 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 XYZware. 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 XYZware removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove XYZware from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

 There is only one way to recover the majority of your files at thee moment. It is the backup that you have. If you do not have one, sadly, data recovery will be a long-term and nerve-racking process. Use methods provided below and try to restore at least some of your files now.

If your files are encrypted by XYZware, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro help

With the help of Data Recovery Pro, you might manage you to restore bigger part of encrypted files. Here’s how to use it:

  • 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 XYZware ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use ShadowExplorer

Use ShadowExplorer to check if the virus deleted Volume Shadow Copies or not. If it didn’t, you can use them to restore encrypted files.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from XYZware and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, 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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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