VapeLauncher virus - How to remove

Inhale and exhale to prepare yourself for a novel ransomware infection called VapeLauncher. It has been concluded that it is related with an older variant which was discovered in October of 2016. CryptoWire is the sample that inspired the creation of VapeLauncher virus. Its main targets are mostly random computer owners and their unprotected data. This sample makes demands for 200 US Dollars that have to be sent in form of a bitcoin currency. For that reason, 200 USDs have to converted into 0.16366 BTC and delivered to the hackers’ bitcoin wallet. In the main table that functions as the ransom note, two buttons “Buy Bitcoins” and “Decrypt Files” are noticed. It is presumed that by clicking on them, you will receive more information about to witch account bitcoins have to be send. In addition to that, the ransom note also identifies the number of files that have been encrypted.

Features of VapeLauncher virus

It is evident that VapeLauncher virus will use cryptography to damage files, but security researchers have not specifically identified which algorithm is chosen. The variant leaves filenames the same as they were before, but appends an .encrypted.[extension] ending to it. Victims are prohibited from launching files that have been selected to be encoded. According to the ransom table that VapeLauncher virus displays, the only possible method for file recovery is spending 200 USD on a decryption code. We cannot describe it as a solid option: hackers might ignore you after the bitcoins are sent or provide you with a key that does not solve the encryption problem.

VapeLauncher virus has been detected to target a very specific audience: Minecraft players. A tool to improve and make this game easier has been detected to deliver the payload of this variant. If you notice file somewhere on bizarre file-sharing domains or other sources, you should not download it without a decent amount of deliberation. After the malicious executable enters your device, it will initiate a series of changes. It will begin by appending entries in the Windows Registry Keys. Then, it might contact its C&C server to inform hackers about a successful infiltration into a device. However, a file Vape Launched.exe is also identified as a payload of VapeLauncher virus. If you happen to stumble upon any of these two malicious payloads, you are not to download them.

VapeLauncher virus can also act like any other ransomware sample: close certain processes, add new ones, scan your devices for files and finally, after ending the encryption procedure, demand a fee for the private decryption key. It can also initiate commands so the Shadow Volume Copies would not longer be available. Do not get involved with VapeLauncher ransomware as it would not be wise to place your confidence on people that invaded your privacy. Many ransomware victims have paid the ransom, but their files remained to be locked.

Is it possible to recover files VapeLauncher virus has corrupted?

A custom decrypter has not been released for VapeLauncher virus. It remains to be an unsolved threat. However, if flaws are discovered in the encryption process or the structure of this variant, we are sure that security analysts will manage to create a cure for it. For now, you could try to restore files by exploiting universal techniques. File-recovery can be done with tools that have already been created. In addition to that, there is a number of online storages that will help you back up your valuable data. More information about file-recovery can be found at the very end of this article.

How does VapeLauncher virus reach internet users?

VapeLauncher ransomware spreads as a helper tool for the Minecraft game. If you won’t be tempted to cheat, the misery of a ransomware infection will be avoided. Such unreliable software should be avoided at all times. It can be found in file-sharing domains or be recommended in deceptive email letters. Be careful when opening random messages that are found in your inbox. Some of them can be a part of a spam campaign.

You can remove VapeLauncher virus by using an anti-malware tool. If you do not have such a useful program, we recommend you try Spyhunter or Hitman. The latter fighters will not give up until your computer system is clean from malware infections.

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

Step 3. Restore VapeLauncher 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 VapeLauncher 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 VapeLauncher 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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