TowerWeb ransomware - How to remove

TowerWeb ransomware

TowerWeb ransomware is an atypical ransomware threat since it does not use any encryption algorithm and cannot be called as a file encrypting virus or any other similar names. TowerWeb ransomware acts by corrupting the Registry and writing command lines via CMD.exe.

About TowerWeb Ransomware

‘‘Payment_Instructions.txt’’ file is dropped in every folder of corrupted files. The desktop wallpaper is replaced with ‘‘Payment_Instructions.jpg’’ file containing the ransom note in yellow and white on the black background and with an image of a mask on the right corner. The contact e-mails provided in the note are: [email protected] or [email protected]. Interestingly, TowerWeb ransomware swaps the mouse buttons. It is done by executing the following command line – ‘‘RUNDLL32 USER.DLL, SwapMouseButton’’. The hackers demand for 100 USD to be payed in BTC (Bitcoins) within 24 hours or 150 USD (also payed in BTC) after 24 hours. They threaten to delete all the victim’s data after 72 hours, including the deletion of the operating system.

There is even a slightly different version of TowerWeb ransomware. It differs from the first variant in the size of the ransom required, which is 125 USD within 24 hours and 199 USD after 24 hours. The computer’s system will also continuously restart when this virus runs. But this can be stopped by going to Start, then, – Run and executing the following command – ‘‘shutdown -a’’. TowerWeb virus straightforwardly deletes the data of the user’s profile, %TEMP% directory and the Recycle Bin. So, it can be assumed that these cyber criminals do not have any decryption key because, in fact, there is no encryption, just the deletion of the files accomplished by the ransomware. It follows, then, that there is no point in paying the ransom.

How is TowerWeb Ransomware Distributed?

Even though TowerWeb ransomware is quite different from over ransomware viruses, it is distributed quite the same. If a spam e-mail from an unknown sender or an official one has hit the spam folder of your e-mail account, you can be sure that this is a Trojan Horse. Ransomwares thrive on this deceitful practice. TowerWeb virus can also be spread by infected domains and files which are not incorporated in the spam e-mails. These domains can hide behind suspicious pop-ups and the suspicious software updates can have malicious codes running on them. Thus, it is paramount to have a credible security tool installed and updated, as well as updating software from reliable sources only.

How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by TowerWeb Ransomware?

TowerWeb ransomware is being examined by cyber security experts at the moment to get more knowledge about its operating principle. You can use Google Drive, Cloud Services, external hard drive, etc. to retrieve your data. If you did not use any of these external storage services or devices, please make use of them in the future. At the present situation, utilize Shadow Volume Service to get Shadow Volume Copies. If this does not work, employ data recovery applications, for instance, Recuva. The latter tool has already been reported effective by the affected users. But first of all, remove the ransomware virus with Spyhunter or Hitman or use the Task Manager in the case of manual removal. Automatic removal with the latter security scanners is recommended against manual deletion since ransomwares typically install other malware on the affected system. If you have chosen to implement manual elimination of TowerWeb ransomware, head for the manual removal guide below.

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

Step 3. Restore TowerWeb 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 TowerWeb 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 TowerWeb 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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