Styx ransomware - How to remove

Styx ransomware virus has been officially detected on 14th of December. However, one security researcher claims to have discovered it a while back, but got distracted due to a more intimidating crypto-virus. From the looks of it, the malware is not related to any previous infections. Therefore, it cannot be associate with any of the authors of existing ransomware. Kristina malware was also one of the infections that did not appear to be related with any preceding cyber threats.

Styx crypto-virus encodes files with AES-256 and wants $300 as a ransom

It has been mentioned that Styx crypto-virus might actually function as a bot. When communicating with its Command&Control server, the malware can run various processes and open websites. The initiated tasks or web pages are going to be assigned by the C&C server. Furthermore, it will transfer the password to the Styx Ransomware.

Styx ransomware

According to the ransom note called 0_HELP_DECRYPT_FILES.txt, the Styx virus will use AES-256 bit encryption to damage digital files. An unusual feature is the deadline: all of the victims have to pay the demanded ransom until 20th of December, 2017. If not, then the files are going to be permanently lost.

In exchange of file-decryption, authors of Styx ransomware are requiring $300. According to the current exchange rates of bitcoin, it would equal 0.017220 BTC. After this ransom is paid, people are required to send email letters to [email protected]. Every victims will find a personal identifier in the main .txt file. This information, together with individual bitcoin transaction ID, will need to be sent to hackers.

It appends .styx extension to encoded data. The ransomware has many samples analyzed and all of their functions are similar. It is labeled as Generic.Ransom.WCryG and is indicated as a rather evasive infection. The virus could be transmitted via such deceptive files like FacebookHackerTool V4.7.exe, which is labeled as Gen:Heyr:MSIL.Bladabindi.1. Another sample is STX.exe, STX1.2.exe or Application.exe. These samples have been collected since 25th of November, meaning that the infection circulated around for a while without being properly investigated.

Should you pay the ransom that authors of Styx crypto-malware demand?

The answer to this question is simple: no. There are no guarantees that you will recover files after payment. Hackers are definitely not the most promise-keeping individuals and we doubt that they will stick around to provide you with functioning decryption software. On the other hand, they might send you an alleged decryptor which will not actually work. Cyber criminals only care about the money: who says they will not disappear after ransoms end up in their bitcoin wallets? (Ransomware line crossed: Hackers no longer decrypting after payment) Consider this argument very carefully before deciding to pay 300 dollars.

If you have stored your files in a backup storage or an USB, there is no reason to consider paying the fee for decryption. The only thing you have to do is remove the Styx ransomware and retrieve files from the alternative source. If you do not have this option, you can try recovering data with universal file-decryption tools. More information on this can be found at the end of this article. If hackers were not smart enough, it might be that the Shadow Volume Copies are still left intact.

How does a ransomware like Styx virus attack your device?

Internet surfers are usually targeted with malspam. This means that malicious files are sent around as attachments in email letters. Most security researchers emphasize that it is not recommend to open messages from unknown senders. Even if you do open the letter, do not click on suspicious links or download potentially dangerous attachments. If you do, your operating system will have to undergo severe changes.

For the purpose of keeping computer devices safe, we feel like it is essential to have an anti-malware tool. Spyhunter is one of the appropriate programs to download and regularly use. This reliable tool will provide you with all the necessary functions. You will be able to run in-depth analysis of your operating systems. One the other hand, we also offer you a possibility of manual removal. However, average Internet surfers might not be capable of implementing all of the enumerates steps correctly.

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

Step 3. Restore Styx 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 Styx 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 Styx 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.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *