Burn Ransomware - How to remove

Burn is suspected of being a new variant of Scarab (Horsia) ransomware. This virus will encrypt files on the computer that it infects, appending the “.burn” extension and locking files of almost all most popular types. This virus is devastating for those unprepared, but there are ways to be ready for an attack by ransomware like Burn.

How to be prepared for a ransomware attack

The files encrypted by Burn do not just have their extension replaced; their entire internal contents are unrecognisably changed. File-locking ransomware viruses use modern encryption techniques to change files in such a way that it is impossible to know what each file was before being encrypted. In theory, the encryption could be reversed with a decryption key. That key is only known to the developers of the virus, though.

The best thing to do when insuring against Burn and other ransomware attacks is to back up your files in external storage, somewhere separate from your computer. Like people say, do not keep all your eggs in one basket; digital files can be duplicated as needed, and the important ones should be stored in a second location. Not just in case of ransomware, but also theft or failure of a disk.

Another way to protect yourself is to be aware of the strategies that are used to spread malware. Firstly, malicious spam emails carry infected files and links that encourage unsuspecting recipients to click on them. The malicious emails might be writing about urgent invoices, parcels that couldn’t be delivered, or just a vague “important” document that needs to be read. A previous iteration of Burn has used emails and an archive attachment to distribute ransomware. Use an antivirus program to scan files that come from unfamiliar senders. Another way to get infected is to be careless when using peer-to-peer filesharing services. Some people there are malicious and try to spread their malware, others share it unwittingly. Again, scan new files before opening/running them.

What is Burn ransomware?

Files that are encrypted by the Burn virus have the “.burn” extension. After all the files have been encrypted, a note named “HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.txt” is created. It starts like a lot of other ransomware notes start:

All your files have been encrypted!
Dont worry, you can return all your files!

Then your ID is given, as well as the email address to contact the cybercriminals responsible for Burn:
[email protected]

Free decryption as guarantee!
Send me your ID and 1-2 small encrypted files(The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived)) for free decryption.
After that, I’ll tell you the price for decryption all files.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.

Then the developers of Burn offer to prove that they can fix all the files by decrypting two small files for free. This is because there is always a concern that the developers of a cryptovirus are competent enough to scramble the files, but aren’t able to return them to normal. Still, them decrypting two small files does not guarantee that all the other files will be restored.

The price is not specified in the Burn ransom note, encouraging people to contact the criminals, but most ransomware developers ask for a few hundred US Dollars.

* 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.

Then, after a few warnings to the victim of Burn ransomware to not tamper with the files (which I, unfortunately, have to agree with — tampering with the files will not help, and you should be very suspicious of various paid decryption tools), you are directed to a website where you can buy bitcoins. Bitcoins are a digital currency which has, unfortunately, often been used by criminals, but is otherwise legitimate. Bitcoin transactions are also irrevocable, meaning that there is no way to get back your money if you pay and the cybercriminals don’t get your files fixed.

burn ransomware illustration

How to remove Burn virus

The virus needs to be removed from your computer, together with whatever other malware might be installed. A trusted and professional antivirus tool, like Spyhunter, can scan and detect the Burn ransomware (among other threats), and you can either remove it manually, or have the antivirus do it for you.

After Burn is gone from your system, you can move the files back to your computer from backup storage. Usually, it is possible to try to recover files from snapshots of your system that Windows stores. However, ransomware of the Scarab family has been known to delete the files needed for this. In case it malfunctioned, you can still try to follow the guide below.

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How to recover Burn 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 Burn 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 Burn 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 Burn. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Burn 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 Burn 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 Burn 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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