acute Files Virus (Phobos Ransomware) – Remove It

acute Files Virus (Phobos Ransomware) – Remove It

.acute files virus ransomware note

Update August 2019. What is .acute files virus .acute files virus is also known as .acute ransomware and encrypts users’ files while asking for a ransom.

The .acute file virus is a new malware that originates from the well-known Phobos ransomware family. It is a modified version of the original threat and is probably being operated by a yet unknown criminal collective or individual hacker. By taking the familiar behavior patterns it can launch a series of malicious actions that can extract data, steal user data and cause many system issues. The end goal of this threat is to encrypt user data and blackmail the victims. Signs of infection include the generation of a ransomware note and the renaming of files with the .acute extension.

Threat Summary

Name.acute files virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA data locker ransomware designed to damage computer systems and encrypt valuable personal files.
SymptomsImportant files are locked and renamed with the .acute extension. Ransom message insists on payment for a files decryption tool.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .acute files virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .acute files virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

.acute Files Virus — Update August 2019

The acute ransomware which processes data wit the .acute file extension has recently been observed in several attack campaigns.

This particular threat is known to enforce a complex ransomware infection which can commit various system changes. It doesn’t require an active Internet connection in order to make the necessary file processing that will encrypt the target user data. This is done according to a built-in list of target user data. The acute ransomware will also run in the background without raising awareness. What’s particularly dangerous about this infection is that it will also process the data found in the available network shares. Several persistent mechanisms are used in order to make the acute virus very difficult to remove. Some of the ransomware code is obfuscated and encrypted making it very hard to detect. When these modules are requested they will be decrypted in real time and called.

.acute Files Virus – Distribution and Impact

The .acute files virus is a new release of the Phobos ransomware which is being spread against victims worldwide. It is very probable that the hackers behind it have customized the main engine by themselves in order to create this custom release. The alternative is for them is to pay other hackers to make the .acute derivative.

The infection data can be distributed using a variety of methods, the most popular of them are the following:

  • Documents and Installers — The hackers can embed the necessary installation scripts via macros in documents and also in setup packages of programs.
  • Scam Emails and Sites — This is one of the most widely used strategies that take advantage of the fact that most computer users can be easily deceived into thinking that they are accessing legitimate contents. The hackers coordinate email campaigns and can craft sites that are hosted on domains that sound legitimate and safe.
  • Malicious Web Browser Extensions — A widely used mechanism for the creation of viruses is the inserting of the relevant code into plugins for the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded to the relevant repositories using fake or stolen developer credentials.

When the .acute files virus is delivered onto a given computer it will immediately start to execute its built-in behavior pattern. Common modules that are run are also part of previous Phobos ransomware strains. An example is information gathering module which can hijack data that can be used to identify both the users and their machines. This is particularly useful for generating unique signatures for every infected host. Furthermore the hard disk and memory scan can reveal if there are any security programs and services available on the computers. The security bypass module can be used to remove or block the execution of applications such as: anti-virus programs, firewalls, sandbox environments, virtual machine hosts.

Usually this is followed by system changes that include modifications to the boot options thereby starting the virus engine when the computer is powered on. In some cases this also disable access to certain recovery menus and options. If any changes are made to the Windows Registry then existing values can be modified or new ones specific to the virus can be added.

One of the most dangerous aspects of having an active .acute files virus infection is the fact that it can be used to deploy other threats including Trojans depending on local conditions or by a trigger made by the hackers. The actual file encryption will follow — target user data will be processed by a powerful cipher according to a built-in list of file type extensions. Like previous Phobos ransomware it will act against data such as the following: archives, backups, databases, multimedia files and etc. All processed files will receive the .acute extension and a ransomware note will be generated in order to blackmail the victims into paying the hackers.

Remove .acute Files Virus and Attempt to Restore Data

The so-called .acute files virus is a threat with highly complex code that heavily damages both essential system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system securely again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could follow our step-by-step removal guide.

In the event that you want to attempt to restore .acute files with the help of alternative data recovery methods, do check step four – Try to Restore files encrypted by .acute Files Virus. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.


Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove .acute files virus from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .acute files virus


Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.

4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.

Step 2: Uninstall .acute files virus and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.

3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .acute files virus on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by .acute files virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.

2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.

3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for .acute files virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.

It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.


If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .acute files virus.

Ransomware infections and .acute files virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

If the above link does not work for you and your region, try the other two links below, that lead to the same product:


2. On the download page, click on the "Download" button:

3. Click on "Save File" button:

4. Accept all agreements and click "Next":

5. After all the "Next" steps, click on "Install" and then wait for the installation to complete:

6. Run the software. Click on the location to scan for missing or deleted files and click on "Scan":

7. Wait for the scan to complete, it may take some time. Be advised that this scan is not 100% guaranteed to recover all files, but it does have some chance to get your data back:

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of .acute files virus from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall .acute files virus and remove related files and objects

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to .acute files virus:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.

5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to .acute files virus. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to .acute files virus. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.

7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove .acute files virus via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as .acute files virus. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Step 2: Scan for and remove .acute files virus files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as .acute files virus, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.

Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .acute files virus on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac .acute files virus aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:

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