CryptoFortress virus - How to remove

CryptoFortress virus

CryptoFortress virus is a ransomware program that infects computers through fake download popups and emails. If it manages to infiltrate into your system, the program encrypts the files stored in your computer and demands paying around 300 USD for decrypting them. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that all your files will be decrypted even after paying the money. You should eliminate CryptoFortress virus from your system and recover encrypted files from a backup.

About CryptoFortress virus

CryptoFortress virus works almost identically to CryptoDefense, TeslaCrypt, CryptoLocker and many other ransomware programs. To avoid the damage these programs do, you should always keep backups of your files, so in case of the attack you could recover all important information from there. Otherwise, you may need to may a lot of money and you will not even be sure weather all data will be recovered or not.

Once inside, CryptoFortress virus enrypts these types of files: .unity3d, .blob, .wma, .avi, .rar, .DayZProfile, .doc, .odb, .asset, forge, .cas, .map, .mcgame, .rgss3a, .big, .wotreplay, .xxx, .m3u, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .crt, .x3f, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .lvl, .sis, .gdb. Users are allowed to decrypt to two selected files (up to 500Kb) without paying anything. This should be taken as a prove that all remaining files will be decrypted after you make the payment for a decrypting software that CryptoFortress suggests. Here is a message you will receive, if your system got infected:

All your important files (such as files on the network disks, USB devices, etc.): photos, videos, documents were encrypted with CryptoFortress virus. The only way to get your files back is to buy our decryption software. Otherwise, your files will be lost.
Caution: Removing of CryptoFortress will not restore access to your encrypted files.

As you see, removing CryptoFortress virus will not restore access to your encrypted files. So if you don’t have a backup of your files, there is nothing really that can be done. The same message also provides a link to purchase a decryption software. You can pay for it using Bitcoins. The program asks sending 1.0 BTC (this is approximately $300) to their address and provides full instructions how to do it. As already mentioned, you cannot be 100% guaranteed that after making the payment you will get your files decrypted. Basically, you can lose both your data and money.

Distribution Methods of CryptoFortress virus

CryptoFortress virus often infects systems through infected email messages. It is also distributed via fake update messages that suggest upgrading your Flash player, Java and other applications. Be more careful when browsing the Internet to avoid that. Never open attachments of spam emails. Also avoid opening attachments from unknown senders even if the emails come directly to your inbox. Never click on suspicious update messages. It is always better to get your updates from official sources.

If your system has already been affected, try recovering your files from a backup. CryptoFortress virus and many similar ransomware are a good prove why it is so important to regularly backup your files. Try scanning your system with a reputable anti-malware program, like Spyhunter or StopZilla and remove CryptoFortress virus as soon as possible.

How to recover CryptoFortress virus 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 CryptoFortress virus 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 CryptoFortress virus

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 CryptoFortress virus. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore CryptoFortress virus 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 CryptoFortress 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 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 CryptoFortress virus 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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