Rumba virus - How to remove

This past week, but the weekend especially, was uneasy for so many users globally, because they were hit by new ransomware called Rumba virus. Actually, this threat, that adds the .rumba string to every file’s name it finds in the system, is not that new. It is an update of an old STOP (DJVU) ransomware. As we know, this cryptovirus has released tons of different modifications of itself with different extensions which were targeting old and new victims hoping to get the ransom. Although cybersecurity professionals already made decryptors for most of the variants, the new ones like Rumba virus keep coming up.

Couple days ago on January 19th, 2019, a well-known malware expert Michael Gillespie noted on his Twitter that the new Rumba threat, which is a version of STOP virus, has been seen in the cyberspace and soon after that, tons of help requests began flooding various security forums of ransomware victims from all around the world starting from Asia and Europe all the way to South America. While the decrypter for .rumba marked files is still on a way, this very widespread threat is distributing even further in very smart and cunning ways.

If you haven’t been hit by Rumba virus yet, we highly suggest taking a look at the Ultimate guide on how to prevent ransomware infections, and if you are, then please keep on reading this article, to find out what are your options now, when precious virtual memories and other important files are encrypted. Most importantly, don’t fall for crooks’ tries to make you Pay the ransom, because this only allows them to increase the demanded amount and create even more viruses.

Why is there ‘.rumba’ at the end of your files

Users, who have never dealt with ransomware, can really get confused seeing all files in their computer have their names enhanced with ‘.rumba’ extension. What is more strange, is that this modification happens so suddenly with no warning or request for the permission to do so. Well, the program that is responsible for all this commotion doesn’t even need your consent, because it’s a malicious ransomware virus, which encrypts victims’ files and asks for a payment in exchange for the locked data to be ‘released’ again. This is the main principle of how all crypto viruses, such as PpamCrypt0rAhihiBoom, work.

Rumba ransomware ransom note

As we mentioned before Rumba virus is just a newer version of another threat, however, there are no major differences in the virus itself, except for the name, appended extension and a slightly adjusted ransom note ‘_openme.txt’, which gives detailed explanations on what crooks expect from users, when their system gets compromised. But before you even see these features, ransomware performs a lot of background processes prior to presenting itself.


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It is believed that Rumba virus at the moment is mostly spreading through Various software exploits and KMSpico tool, which is an illegal Windows activator, which hackers like to use as a bait to spread their malware. Once the user opens or installs the infected program, Rumba ransomware gets initiated as well and begins performing malicious operations. It modifies Windows registry keys to stay persistent and gain authorization, bypasses antivirus protection, writes itself into various system folders to reappear after the computer gets turned off and on, looks for files suitable for the Encryption and etc. These processes don’t take long and typically are unnoticeable. Victim only gets to see the consequences.

When Rumba virus spots all the data it wants to encrypt it uses a Cipher to lock them, so only those who have the decrypting code would be able to access them, which of course is only the .rumba developers themselves. This allows them to demand ransom money but in order to let the victims know why their computer is infected Rumba ransomware drops the ransom text note on the screen and appends .rumba string to every affected files name (‘pictureofdog.jpg’ end up being ‘pictureofdog.jpg.rumba’). These are just Scareware techniques, that try to push users into paying, just like the content of the ransom note, saying that you should do it in 72 hours, that there is no other option and etc. But you must understand, that crooks cannot be trusted no matter what they say, and its a very common situation when victims pay but don’t get any promised decrypter back.

How to get rid of Rumba virus and restore the files

Rumba ransomware elimination should be the very first action you perform, before downloading any new files, which would get locked as well, or trying to recover the old ones. There are plenty of reputable malware removal programs that offer to scan, detect and get rid of any spyware, Rumba virus included, from your compromised PC. We suggest Spyhunter and Malwarebytes anti-malware. Such security software is specifically made to look for threats and their malicious files, therefore you can be sure that Rumba crypto infection is going to be removed with no problems, however, deleting it will not unlock unavailable data.

Finally, thanks to the same malware researcher M.Gillespie, there is a potential way to restore .rumba ransomware affected files. Here is a link to forums where you will find the original but updated STOP ransomware decryptor and instructions of what you need to restore your files. We don’t recommend trying other decryptors or methods to restore unavailable data, because they can make irreversible changes to already affected data, on the other hand, deleting Rumba virus is a must!

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How to recover the system from Rumba ransomware

There is a way to manually recover your whole operating system to the point prior to Rumba virus infection and get your files back, but only if you have backups. Because this method allows going back into some time in history which you saved, not only the infection will be gone, but also files are going to be unlocked as well. Mind you, it only restores the data that you made backups of. Below you will find the step-by-step guide on how to do so.

How to recover Rumba 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 Rumba 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 Rumba 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 Rumba virus. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Rumba 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 Rumba 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 Rumba 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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