CloudSword ransomware - How to remove

CloudSword is a name will be used to refer to a new ransomware infection. Many ransomware creators attempt to incorporate something original into their projects, and very frequently, the titles of such threats come from famous TV shows, some borrow names from Greek mythology or turn to comic books. This time, CloudSword is based on a Final Fantasy, a science fiction and fantasy media franchise. Cloud Sword is one of the weapons that are seen through out the series. Even though this is an insignificantly small detail, security experts did not let it slide. In fact, to further support this hypothesis, we can also mention that Chinese language is included in the ransom note, called Warning 警告.html. In this document, victims are accused of having violated Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Because of that, all of the important files have been encrypted. The note also requests people to enter website to find further instructions, but it is only accessible via a TOR browser servers. CloudSword virus is also guessed to be based on the HiddenTear open-source project, meaning that it probably uses one of the AES ciphers for encryption. Since the ransomware features instructions in Chinese and English, it is possible to an assumption that it targets people from a variety of places.

CloudSword ransomware and its strategy in the battlefield

CloudSword ransomware is not a fully finished sample. Security researchers identify this virus to be still in progress to be completed. For this reason, it might be that we are going to encounter new variants of this virus in the future. For now, let’s focus on the current example. It is yet unknown whether this sample adds any new extensions to the encrypted data, but it does leave a ransom note for victims to read. Hackers responsible for this ransomware variant give only 5 days to make the necessary payment. If not, locked data is said to be left without an unlock key. CloudSword virus is being updated and improved as we speak. Fun fact: the virus also contains a phrase in Latin (Ab honesto virum bonum nihil deterret). Translated to English, it means: nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable. It is unclear which action is identified as honorable: the fact that hackers created a ransomware virus, or the fact that a victim should give up and make the money transaction. Whichever the case seems to hit the mark, we should remind you not to contact the hackers nor pay the ransom they so eagerly demand.

This sample from ransomware category conceals its real identity and attempts to trick users that it is just any process. Nevertheless, if you notice that couldsword.exe is running, you should quickly run a full security scan and eliminate it. Check if your files have been corrupted or locked. If ransomware virus successfully encrypts data, this complicates things. However, virus can be hiding under process with any name: it might be a leftover file from an update or another unnoticeable executable.

Restoring files that have been ruined by CloudSword ransomware

Sadly, we cannot provide you with a fresh decrypter for this ransomware variant. However, you can try out different ways of bringing your data back. You can check whether this virus has deleted Shadow Volume Copies. If this ransomware does not execute a command for this task, then you will be able to bring back your files. In addition to that, you can tryout the already existing file-recovery tools. Scroll down to find out which tools do we recommend. As for the future, you should store your files in backup storages for the sake of keeping your files safe and sound. If a ransomware virus enters your peaceful Eden, you will be able to return to this harmonious living after you delete the ransomware and retrieve files from the other location.

Tactics that CloudSword ransomware explores to invade users’ devices

CloudSword virus presumably focuses on people that speak either Chinese or English language. This means that numbers of people become potential victims. It is yet undermined which exact method is the main distribution trick for this variant, but we can guess that letters with its payload can be sent around. If you receive any bizarre email letters in your inbox, you should comprehend a possibility of a misleading content, reaching your email account. For this reason, you should maintain your inboxes free from spam.

If by any unfortunate accident you become infected with CloudSword ransomware, your reaction should be to not hesitate and contact trustworthy security specialists. If you do this, they are going to inform you about the possible solutions to remove this variant and recover files that have been lost. Before eliminating the infection, you should copy all of the encrypted data. It is possible that during the removal of CloudSword virus, the data it ruined is going to be deleted as well. Try Spyhunter or Malwarebytes to automatically get rid of this infection. The following sections give alternative options to decryption and removal.

How to recover CloudSword 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 CloudSword 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 CloudSword 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 CloudSword ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore CloudSword 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 CloudSword 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 CloudSword 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.

Removal guides in other languages

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