4rw5w ransomware virus ventures to imitate the notorious WannaCry infection. The newer variant is structured similarly since it has a kill switch, comparable key file names. 4Rw5w virus uses a symmetric-key algorithm called Data Encryption Standard (DES) to encrypt the AES private key for decryption. Currently, researchers emphasize that this infection is not being actively distributed. However, if crooks will start spreading payloads of this virus, analysts have already indicated to have found ways of decrypting files completely free of charge. Therefore, if you happen to notice that virtual data is appended with .4rwcry4w and is no longer at your disposal, you should immediately seek for help.
For the removal of ransomware, we are always more eager to recommend the automatic option, supported by anti-malware tools. Removing these variants of malware is complicated. Therefore, we do find the automatic alternative more secure and efficient in this case. Reimage, Spyhunter or Hitman will detect and eliminate every malicious program in your operating system.
Investigation of this ransomware infection
Creators of this crypto-virus are insisting that victims would pay 30US dollars in form of bitcoins. According to the latest rates, this sum equals 0.01134BTC and should be inserted into hackers’ bitcoin wallet. Nevertheless, even if the price is tiny in size, we advise victims not to yield. Restore encrypted digital data with the help from security researchers that will gladly provide you with quality assistance.
The payload of this infection was determined to be 4rw4w.exe. After it was analyzed by a number security researchers, a bunch of tools indicated it as a source of malicious activity. However, definitely not all security software had the capacity to detect it. The payload itself engages in a number of sneaky procedures, like monitoring specific registry keys and including additional entries. The examination also confirmed that malicious file sends DNS requests to Ftthf5t6f090z5f5hf5h.com.
The existence of a ransomware virus can be concealed from the user until the moment when a ransom note is displayed. Until then, slight inconveniences might occur, but they won’t be extremely evident. A malicious process will be added in the Windows Task Manager, but people do not check the lists of active processes.
Stealthy activity is an essential feature for ransomware. Since there are no reports of people being infected with this ransomware, this infection remains to be a threat only in theory. However, hackers can decide to commence the distribution at any moment. As we have mentioned, a security researcher Michael Gillespie has promised to lend a hand to those in need.
File-recovery options and distribution of ransomware
Files that get encoded by ransomware infections can be restored. You can try to recover Shadow Volume Copies. However, since these viruses frequently initiate commands to delete them, this option might not be available. Also, there are universal tools that could help victims in their time of need. Of course, the best case scenario is that security researchers immediately generate file-recovery tools for specific variants of ransomware. If the virus we analyzed becomes a real threat, security researchers will produce tools for free file recovery.
Of course, if you have stored your digital files in backup storages, the file-recovery becomes a lot smoother. All you have to do is retrieve files from the alternative source. Before that, it is crucial to remove the malware infection itself.
There are several methods that are selected as the ones to be responsible for arrival of ransomware infections. The first one refers to malicious spam campaigns that send deceptive email letters to clueless users. Hackers pretend to be respectable authorities and require users to enter specific domains or to download attachments. Both actions lead to ransomware. Additionally, exploit kits could also participate in the transmission of crypto-viruses. They can also be delivered via social networking sites or peer-to-peer downloads.
- Investigation of this ransomware infection
- File-recovery options and distribution of ransomware
- Automatic 4rw5w ransomware removal tools
- How to recover 4rw5w ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of 4rw5w ransomware
- Step 3. Restore 4rw5w ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover 4rw5w ransomware encrypted files
Automatic 4rw5w ransomware removal tools
How to recover 4rw5w ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:
for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
- Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
2.Restore System files and settings.
- When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
- Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before 4rw5w virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of 4rw5w ransomware
Step 3. Restore 4rw5w ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually 4rw5w virus tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.
Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.a) Native Windows Previous Versions
Right-click on an encrypted file and select Properties → Previous versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
b) Shadow Explorer
It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover 4rw5w ransomware encrypted files
There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
- We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
- Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.