Optimus is a malicious program – ransomware. It corrupts files and changes their names, appending the extension “optimus”. The malicious actors responsible for the Optimus attack want to extort their victims by holding their files for ransom.
The interesting thing about Optimus ransomware is that it appears to be related to Ziggy, a retired ransomware strain. However, not much more is currently known about Optimus.
Optimus Ransomware quicklinks
- How Optimus ransomware works
- Optimus corrupts data
- Back from retirement?
- How to fix your files
- How to delete Optimus ransomware
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover Optimus 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:
- 2.Restore System files and settings.
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Optimus Ransomware encrypted files
Optimus ransomware in short:
|Type of malware||Ransomware.|
|How to recognize Optimus ransomware||It breaks files and changes their names, giving them the extension “optimus”,|
|How to get your files back||Restore data from backups,
wait for a free decryptor,
restore deleted files.
|How to delete Optimus and other malware||Use antivirus programs (Spyhunter, others) to find and remove malware,
protect your device – improve your passwords, restrict the visibility of your RPD, etc.
How Optimus ransomware works
Optimus corrupts data
Optimus ransomware is a file-encrypting program. It gets on a computer, uses cryptography to corrupt files, then tells the victim to contact the cyber criminals via “[email protected]” or another email address. The people behind Optimus tell their victims to pay a ransom of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in exchange for getting a program to fix their files.
Optimus ransomware can do a lot of harm to the infected computer:
- It corrupts files. It breaks them and makes them impossible to read. It also deletes all the backups that it can find.
- With Optimus, you might also notice malicious modifications to your settings, such as your security apps not working correctly.
The signature of Optimus ransomware is this:
[original file name].[original extension].id[[random]].[[email protected]].optimus
This is the format that Optimus uses to change the names of each file that it encrypts. It appends a long string after the original file name. It includes a unique ID and an email address that belongs to the malicious actors behind the Optimus ransomware attack.
Back from retirement?
Ransomware experts believe that Optimus is a new version of Ziggy ransomware. That’s very strange, though, because Ziggy has been retired. Its authors shut down and even released master decryption keys so that their previous victims could get their files back. Apparently, they were regretful, or maybe just scared of being caught by law enforcement.
It’s possible that there was a disagreement within the Ziggy team. Maybe someone completely new got control over the malware. It’s just not clear right now what is going on.
It’s also not yet known how Optimus ransomware spreads. There are many paths for ransomware to infect a system. Sometimes, malicious actors use multiple methods at the same time.
How to fix your files
The best defense against ransomware is having good backups: offline backups or correctly configured cloud backups (Ransomware Attackers Use Your Cloud Backups Against You).
If you can afford to, don’t contact the criminals. It’s very risky to deal with them. You might lose your money and fail to get the tools to fix your files (either because the cybercriminals take the ransom money and then ignore you or because of technical issues). If you reveal too much information about yourself, you might also be targeted again.
There might be some other ways to get your data back.
- You could wait – maybe Ziggy’s decryptor can be used to help the victims of Optimus? Check Nomoreransom.org from time to time. For now, make a backup of the Optimus-encrypted files.
- File recovery programs (like EaseUS) can help you restore some of the lost data.
How to delete Optimus ransomware
Use an antivirus program, such as Spyhunter, to find and remove all malware.
After that, it’s good to make sure that the attackers can’t get in again. If you suspect that RDP was used to get into your system, improve its security (Secure Your RDP Access Responsibly). Reset your passwords to make sure that the criminals behind the Optimus attack can’t use them again.
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover Optimus 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 Optimus Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Optimus RansomwareAfter restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Optimus Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Optimus Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume CopiesIf 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 Optimus 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 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 Optimus Ransomware encrypted filesThere 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.