Vanguard Ransomware - How to remove

Vanguard Ransomware

Vanguard Ransomware is a dangerous ransomware virus that might infect your computer and steal files. Actually, not steal, but hijack them and ask for the ransom in order to retrieve them. First of all you need to understand that removing the virus and restoring locked files is two separate tasks and both of them needs to be done.

First of all, you should remove the infection from your computer. It’s not that difficult if you have the right tools for the job. You should scan your computer with reliable anti-malware application. We suggest to use either Spyhunter for this task. Either one of these apps should detect and eliminate Vanguard Ransomware in no time. It will also protect your computer from similar infections in the future, so it’s worth to keep it installed. You can use other anti-malware software of your choice as well.

In case you do not want to download any additional anti-malware software, there is a way to remove Vanguard Ransomware manually too. However, this process might be complicated therefore we recommend to take a look at our step-by-step Vanguard Ransomware manual removal guide – you can find it below this article. We have developed it to assist you through this complicated process o virus removal. Just do your best to complete all steps correctly and you should be able to eliminate Vanguard Ransomware manually by your own.

Now things get even more complicated when talking about encrypted files. It might be difficult or sometimes even impossible to unlock them. To learn more about it please continue reading this article. If you have some questions regarding this topic, feel free to ask them in the comments section below and we will do our best to answer them all.

About Vanguard Ransomware

As we have mentioned above, this infection is listed as ransomware so the main goal of it is to infect computers, lock files and then request money in order to unlock them.

Once inside of your system Vanguard Ransomware will run a scan of all files stored on your hard drive. It is trying to detect files that could possibly be encrypted and basically that’s any file – photo, audio or video file, text document and so on. When the scan is over, it will lock certain files and add an extension to all of them – *нет данных*. So if you have a file “photo.jpg” now it will look like “photo.jpg*нет данных*” and you will be not able to open it anymore. Extension *нет данных* means “no data” (translated from Russian) and it is impossible to open files of this type. Right immediately after that you will notice a .txt file on your desktop. It is so called ransom note. Open it and you will find all the information about the situation and how you should pay the ransom. The text of ransom note:

Your personal files and documents have been encrypted with AES-256 and RSA-2048!
Decrypting your files is only possible with decrypt key stored on our server.
Price for key is %bitcoin% BTC (Bitcoin).
1. Send %bitcoin% BTC to %bitcoinaddress%
2. Wait some time for transaction to process
If you do not pay within %hoursvalid% hours key will become DESTROYED and your files LOST forever!
Removing this software will make recovering files IMPOSSIBLE! Disable your antivirus for safety.’

Do not think that the virus is targeted to Russian users only as the extension is in Russian – as reported users all over the world get infected with this particular ransomware.

As you can see in the message above, you will be asked to pay certain amount of money via Bitcoin payments system in order to retrieve your files. However, we do not recommend to do that – there are no guarantees that you will retrieve your files even after paying the ransom. In addition to that, you support cyber criminals by paying the ransom so it’s not something you would want to do.

Unfortunately, there are no valid decryptor available at the moment, but we will keep you updated. The only way to restore your files is to perform a system restore and set your system back to the time previous of infection. However, to be able to do that you have to have a valid copy of a hard drive that was made before Vanguard Ransomware infected your computer. Here’s instructions how to perform system recovery:

How to recover Vanguard 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 Vanguard 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 Vanguard 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 Vanguard Ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore Vanguard 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 Vanguard 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 Vanguard 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.

Manual removal

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