TAR-Fluffy ransomware - How to remove

Do not be distracted by a delightful title and a mascot of TAR-Fluffy ransomware infection. Despite featuring a picture of an executable, containing a picture of a fluffy, tiny animal, the seriousness of this variant should not be underestimated. This specific example should be aiming at a specific audience: English and French speaking users since victims can choose in which language they wish to become acquainted with the instructions. Files are not identified as lost: victims simply have to send 0.039 BTC which is only 44.79 US Dollars. Still, ignore the fact that TAR-Fluffy ransomware does not require for a massive amount of bitcoins. Ironically, hackers indicate that victims can send MORE bitcoins if they wish to. Crazy, right? Encrypted data will be appended with .lock75 extension and we do not think we have seen it before. In five days time, after the ransomware virus reveals itself, people are expected to send the ransom to a specified bitcoin wallet: 1D4yXNh45nur1KVNqnPZ5T7nep5Y1KDbwx.

TAR-Fluffy ransomware: explained in more detail

Of course, we are discouraging our readers from following the specified instructions. We do not have a slightest drop of trust for hackers: they are vicious people who won’t be true to their promises. The seemingly adorable infection has a couple of websites, seemingly designed to open up for TOR users. In reality, they are actually designed to open in other browsers as well.

At first, the infection might trigger a screen-locker, which will present the primary and most important aspects about the infection. However, not just anyone can enter the website: TOR websites of TAR-Fluffy virus appear to be concealed from people that are not involved with it. Victims will receive special access codes that will allow them to access websites.

Once the website launched, people are introduced with a selection to proceed with either French or English language. Then, the user is expected to enter the access password and the jumbled text, which is supposed to help hackers confirm that TOR websites are being visited by real victims, not bots. After “submit” is pressed, the main interface of TAR-Fluffy virus will be displayed. Once again, the ransomware will remind victims of its bitcoin address, the required sum of bitcoins. If people encounter a problem, they are able to contact the hacker via a section called “A question? A problem? Contact support here”.

Authors of TAR-Fluffy ransomware reveal that they operate with both AES-256 and an unidentified cipher of RSA. It is possible that devices with Windows operating systems are targeted by this fluffy monster, but everyone should be cautious. However, this infection is not completed and its main distribution might occur later. For now, it is just a potential threat. Fluffy.exe is one of the suspected files that could act as a payload of TAR-Fluffy ransomware. Surprisingly, this fluffy infection is also skilled at hiding its presence from security software: many weaker tools cannot recognize it as malicious. IP addresses that might be associated with the hackers of TAR-Fluffy are from Sweden and Romania, but more information is yet to be revealed.

Prospects of decryption: TAR-Fluffy ransomware

TAR-Fluffy is not active and in full speed, which means that there might be no actual victims of it yet. However, this infection does not appear extremely easy and if the crooks manage to finish it, users will definitely hear more about this infection. For now, it is still in a development stage. If you do not want to lose your files in an unfortunate situation when TAR-Fluffy ransomware (or basically any other crypto-virus) encrypts them, you should be aware of the most optimal ways of securing data. The best tip that we can give you is clear: backup, backup, backup. As long as you keep backups of your valuable files, you will not be threatened by a possibility of losing them in one of the source.

Explanations of potential ways that TAR-Fluffy ransomware can be distributed

We cannot determine with which strategy of distribution will the authors of TAR-Fluffy ransomware go. It might be that they will use social networking platforms and distribute fake, malicious content. Additionally, the same deceptive info, URLs, files can be transmitted via email letters. If we are informed about a strategy that TAR-Fluffy virus chooses, we will not hesitate to inform our visitors.

In case TAR-Fluffy crypto-virus starts posing a real threat, people are advised to use anti-malware tools to get rid of the infection. Spyhunter, Malwarebytes and Hitman are anti-malware tools that will show evident signs of efficiency and loyalty.

How to recover TAR-Fluffy 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 TAR-Fluffy 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 TAR-Fluffy 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 TAR-Fluffy virus. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore TAR-Fluffy 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 TAR-Fluffy 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 TAR-Fluffy 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.
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