Budak Ransomware - How to remove

Having your files unexpectedly change to type budak is the symptom of a Budak infection. This virus goes through your files and locks them using strong cryptography (as well as appends the “budak” extension to the file names) including your images, documents, nearly any type of file. This is done so that extortionists can convince you to contact them and send them money in exchange for a promise to fix the files.

Ransomware is a real threat to both individuals and businesses (though Budak seems to be created for individuals). Budak is a version of a widespread and active ransomware family known as STOP or Djvu, multiple editions of which are out there — Kroput, Godes, Norvas, many others — infecting people all over the world.

The victims who have a backup of their files only need to remove any infections and restore their settings. Then (but not before removing Budak) they can copy the files back on the computer and replace the broken files with the backups. Those who don’t have backups have a bumpy road ahead of them, but there is still some hope for the files.

How does Budak spread?

Victims get exposed to Budak is through infected files that are uploaded online. Budak can be disguised as a legitimate program that’s available for download or a suspicious website, or an illegitimate program, like a keygen or an activator (something like KMSPico). Files on peer-to-peer filesharing services are also risky. There is also the chance for Budak to arrive as an attachment to a spam email.

Once it’s on a computer, Budak does more than just lock files. It also messes with your antivirus program’s settings to stop it from being effective, as well as modifies your hosts file to stop certain URLs from being accessed. More than that, Budak probably is distributed together with a trojan, which is effectively spyware. If you do any sensitive operations on the infected computer, you risk exposing your passwords and usernames to some criminals online.

Can the files be restored?

The files are locked using cryptography. Cryptography can be extremely secure and practically impossible to break if implemented well. That’s good when cryptography is being used to protect your private information, but bad when the technology is employed by criminals.

To successfully perform the extortion scheme, Budak’s developers encrypt the victims’ files very securely. Now, the content of those files is unrecognizable and unusable. encryption is reversible with a unique decryption key, but since the key is only known to the criminals, Budak files remain useless.

The ransom note (_readme.txt) that Budak leaves its victims to read says:

All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.

They’re mostly right. Sometimes Budak and other viruses malfunction (decrypt only some files, or only change the extension but not the file contents), but, usually, most of the user-created files are affected.

The files that were encrypted likely can’t be fixed. However, a small possibility exists, thanks to a researcher called Demonslay335. If you read his post, he talks about being able to decrypt (unlock) the Budak files if they were encrypted using the offline key, which is the same for each instance of Budak. Very few people will be in these fortunate circumstances, but his tool, STOPDecrypter, has undoubtedly helped some victims.

Speaking of decryption, don’t trust people who say that they can decrypt your files for payment, especially when they contact you in private messages. There are scammers out there looking to profit from desperate people.

Budak’s developers should also be viewed with suspicion. These criminals do what they do to make money. Whether they will send back the decryption is unknown. Some people tell stories of losing their money and being ignored or sent the wrong key (which would just further encrypt the files). Budak’s ransom note tells the victim to write to [email protected][email protected], or @datarestore as soon as possible and even offer a “lower” price for your files being usable again if you write quickly. This is done to create a sense of urgency and make push people to not consider alternatives — they know that there are some viable options outside of dealing with the extortionists.

budak ransom note

How to remove Budak

Use a strong antivirus program to get rid of the virus, like Spyhunter. It’s likely that another piece of malware has infected your computer together with Budak, and a competent tool will be able to find and stop them.

Automatic Malware removal tools

Download Spyhunter for Malware detection

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How to recover Budak 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 RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

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.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Budak Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of Budak Ransomware

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Budak Ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Budak 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 Budak Ransomware 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 PropertiesPrevious 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.
Previous version
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.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Budak 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 a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
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.
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