Youneedtopay ransomware (virus) - Recovery Instructions Included

Youneedtopay virus Removal Guide

What is Youneedtopay ransomware?

Youneedtopay ransomware encrypts users' personal files making them impossible to open

Youneedtopay ransomwareYouneedtopay ransomware can affect businesses and home users as well

Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing threats to cybersecurity. New variants keep spreading every day infecting users around the world. Youneedtopay ransomware was recently detected by 46 security vendors and 1 sandbox. It prevents users from opening, viewing, or accessing personal files by encrypting them with strong encryption algorithms.

Once the malware enters the system, it starts the malicious process very quickly. It appends photos, videos, audio files, and documents with the .youneedtopay extension. For example, if a file was previously named picture.jpg, after encryption is done, it would be named picture.jpg.youneedtopay. The icons also get changed to blank pages so users cannot see the thumbnails anymore.

Shortly after that, the desktop wallpaper gets changed to this message:

YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED! DOUBLE CLICK ON READ_THIS.txt FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS

READ_THIS.txt is a ransom note in which cyber criminals provide various methods that victims can pay the $500 ransom in Bitcoin.[1] An email for contact is provided as well – marlin432@mail.com. Hackers explain in their note, that if victims pay the asked amount, they will receive the decryption software.

NAME Youneedtopay
TYPE Ransomware, cryptovirus, data locking malware
DISTRIBUTION Email attachments, peer-to-peer file sharing platforms, malicious ads
FILE EXTENSION .youneedtopay
RANSOM NOTE READ_THIS.txt
RANSOM AMOUNT $500
FILE RECOVERY It is almost impossible to recover the files if you do not have backups. We provide a third-party recovery option in our guide.
MALWARE REMOVAL Scan your machine with anti-malware software to eliminate the malicious files. This will not recover them.
SYSTEM FIX Windows reinstallation can be avoided with ReimageIntego maintenance tool, which can fix the damaged OS

The ransom note

Youneedtopay ransomware developers have written a lengthy ransom note, explaining different payment methods. It is clear that they want to keep the ransom payment process as easy as possible for people who have no knowledge about cryptocurrencies:

Your computer is locked!

If you would like to receive your files back you will have to pay us $500.
We have only one payment option which is Bitcoin.

Send $500 to the following address:

—————————————–

17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV

—————————————–

Payment Method #1 – Cardcoins (easy)(UNITED STATES ONLY)

Step 1: Go to map.cardcoins.co on your browser and see if your state is green,
if it is, proceed to step #2, if it is red, continue reading.
If your state is red, then you must buy a VPN and change your location to a
city or state that is green.
nordvpn.com and expressvpn.com are pretty good.

Step 2:Go to a local retailer like CVS, Wallgreens ,etc. and purchase a
non reloadable gift card for $500.
You will need to keep the packaging and receipt
(DO NOT OPEN THE PACKAGING UNTIL STEP 3)
Look for brands like Vanilla

Step 3:Go to carcoins.co and follow the instructions
You will need a pen and your phone.
Send the money to this address

—————————————–

17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV

—————————————–

Please double check the sending address.

Step 4:Send the confirmation that you got from cardcoins to the following email:

marlin432@mail.com

Please wait up to 24 hours for us to confirm your transaction.
Once we confirm your transaction we will send you the decryption software to unlock
your files.

Payment Method #2 – Bitcoin ATM (easy)

Step 1: Google Bitcoin ATMS near me

Step 2: Go to one of the atms and send $500 to the following address

—————————————–

17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV

—————————————–

Step 3:Send the confirmation that you got from the atm to the following email:

marlin432@mail.com

Please wait up to 24 hours for us to confirm your transaction.
Once we confirm your transaction we will send you the decryption software to unlock
your files.

Payment Method #3 – Online Bitcoin Exchange (hard)

Step 1: Register for a online bitcoin exchange of your linking.
We recommend coinbase.com

Step 2: Register on the exchange and send $500 to the following address

—————————————–

17CqMQFeuB3NTzJ2X28tfRmWaPyPQgvoHV

—————————————–

For coinbase, we recommend you add your bank account, since that will speed things up

Step 3:Send the confirmation that you got from the atm to the following email:

marlin432@mail.com

Please wait up to 24 hours for us to confirm your transaction.
Once we confirm your transaction we will send you the decryption software to unlock
your files.

We advise against paying the ransom because you can never know if you are actually going to receive the decryption key.[2] Many previous ransomware victims have come out and said that they never heard back from the cybercriminals after they sent the payment. Cryptocurrency transactions are not refundable, so once you click the send button, you can never get that money back. It is your choice to decide if it is worth possibly losing $500.

You might never receive your files back and also get scammed. There is a reason why ransomware developers choose this method of payment. It provides anonymity, so as long as they do not use their card to withdraw the money, they cannot be identified. If you do not have backups, we suggest just waiting. Sometimes crooks release the decryption keys to the public after some time. You can also try out a third-party solution which we provide below in this guide.

Youneedtopay ransomware noteYouneedtopay ransomware developers ask for $500 in return for a decryption tool

Remove the intruder from your machine

If you try to recover your data first, it can result in permanent loss. It can also encrypt your files the second time. It will not stop until you remove the malicious files causing it first. You should not attempt removing the malicious program yourself. Use anti-malware tools like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes to scan your system. This security software should find all the related files and entries and remove them automatically for you. Automatic removal is the best option because there is less risk of leaving some of the traces behind.

Malware could prevent you from using antivirus software by turning it off. In that case, you should proceed with accessing Safe Mode first:

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 XP/7

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.Update & Security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.Recovery
  6. Select Troubleshoot.Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options.Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings.Startup settings
  9. Click Restart.
  10. Press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.Press F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking

File recovery using third-party software

Only hackers hold the decryption key, which can unlock your files, so if you did not back them up previously, you possibly lost your files forever. You can try using data recovery software, but third-party programs cannot always decrypt the files. We suggest at least trying this method. Before proceeding, you have to copy the corrupted files and place them in a USB flash drive or another storage. And remember – only do this if you have already removed Youneedtopay ransomware.

  1. Download Data Recovery Pro.
  2. Double-click the installer to launch it.
    Youneedtopay ransomware
  3. Follow on-screen instructions to install the software.Install program
  4. As soon as you press Finish, you can use the app.
  5. Select Everything or pick individual folders where you want the files to be recovered from.Select what to recover
  6. Press Next.
  7. At the bottom, enable Deep scan and pick which Disks you want to be scanned.Select Deep scan
  8. Press Scan and wait till it is complete.Scan
  9. You can now pick which folders/files to recover – don't forget you also have the option to search by the file name!
  10. Press Recover to retrieve your files.Recover files

The operating system is left damaged after an attack

Performance, stability, and usability issues, to the point where a full Windows reinstall is required, are expected after malware infection. These types of infections can alter the Windows registry database, damage vital bootup, and other sections, delete or corrupt DLL files, etc. Once a system file is damaged by malware, antivirus software is not able to repair it.

This is why ReimageIntego was developed. It can fix a lot of the damage caused by an infection like this. Blue Screen errors, freezes, registry errors, damaged DLLs, etc., can make your computer completely unusable. By using this maintenance tool, you could avoid Windows reinstallation.

  • Download the application by clicking on the link above
  • Click on the ReimageRepair.exe
    Reimage download
  • If User Account Control (UAC) shows up, select Yes
  • Press Install and wait till the program finishes the installation processReimage installation
  • The analysis of your machine will begin immediatelyReimage scan
  • Once complete, check the results – they will be listed in the Summary
  • You can now click on each of the issues and fix them manually
  • If you see many problems that you find difficult to fix, we recommend you purchase the license and fix them automatically.Reimage results

Ransomware distribution methods

There are a lot of techniques fraudsters use to spread their malicious programs. But the most common way ransomware is spread is through email attachments. Criminals use social engineering tactics[3] to make people download the infected attachment and open it. Some hacker groups target specific organizations and people so they may cater the email specifically to them.

Ransomware developers can find out victims' friend lists and pretend to be someone they know. It is best to not open attachments you were not expecting or from random users. Even if it is from someone you know, double-check with them through a different platform to make sure it is really them and the file is safe.

Another very popular method for ransomware distribution is software “cracks.”[4] Users often download them from unsafe websites like torrent or peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms. Because they are unregulated, no one can be held responsible for the safety of the files. That is why they are breeding grounds for malware.

Even though it can get costly, it is best to choose official web stores and developer websites. You might save in the long run by not losing your files and damaging your operating system beyond repair. There is a wide range of free apps to choose from as well so you should definitely find something that suits your needs.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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 Youneedtopay virus. Follow these steps

Isolate the infected computer

Some ransomware strains aim to infect not only one computer but hijack the entire network. As soon as one of the machines is infected, malware can spread via network and encrypt files everywhere else, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If your computer is connected to a network, it is important to isolate it to prevent re-infection after ransomware removal is complete.

The easiest way to disconnect a PC from everything is simply to plug out the ethernet cable. However, in the corporate environment, this might be extremely difficult to do (also would take a long time). The method below will disconnect from all the networks, including local and the internet, isolating each of the machines involved.

  • Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
  • Go to Network and Internet Network and internet
  • Click Network and Sharing Center Network and internet 2
  • On the left, pick Change adapter settings Network and internet 3
  • Right-click on your connection (for example, Ethernet), and select Disable Network and internet 4
  • Confirm with Yes.

If you are using some type of cloud storage you are connected to, you should disconnect from it immediately. It is also advisable to disconnect all the external devices, such as USB flash sticks, external HDDs, etc. Once the malware elimination process is finished, you can connect your computers to the network and internet, as explained above, but by pressing Enable instead.

Report the incident to your local authorities

Ransomware is a huge business that is highly illegal, and authorities are very involved in catching malware operators. To have increased chances of identifying the culprits, the agencies need information. Therefore, by reporting the crime, you could help with stopping the cybercriminal activities and catching the threat actors. Make sure you include all the possible details, including how did you notice the attack, when it happened, etc. Additionally, providing documents such as ransom notes, examples of encrypted files, or malware executables would also be beneficial.

Law enforcement agencies typically deal with online fraud and cybercrime, although it depends on where you live. Here is the list of local authority groups that handle incidents like ransomware attacks, sorted by country:

Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3

If your country is not listed above, you should contact the local police department or communications center.

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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References