THREAT REMOVAL

.Aes-ni File Virus – Remove and Restore Files

This article has been created to help you fully remove the AES-NI ransomware infection and restore .aes-ni encrypted files.

A ransomware virus has been detected in April 2017, oriented towards English-speaking users. The virus may spread worldwide, but it stops once it detects it has been activated on countries from the former Soviet Union. The AES-NI ransomware aims to encrypt the files on the computers infected by it using ECB mode and AES-256 encryption algorithm. It then locks the files with RSA-2048, generating unique decryption keys which are then sent to the servers of the cyber-criminals. Then, AES-NI drops a ransom note, named !!! READ THIS – IMPORTANT !!!.txt in which it demands a hefty ransom to be paid in order for the cyber-criminals to restore the encrypted files back to working state. In case you have been infected by the AES-NI ransomware, recommendations are to read this article.

Threat Summary

Name

AES-NI Virus

TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionEncrypts important documents and other files on computers it infects. Asks for a ransom to be paid.
SymptomsThe victim may see a ransom note, named !!! READ THIS – IMPORTANT !!!.txt and the files encrypted with and added .aes-ni file extension.
Distribution MethodVia an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss AES-NI 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.

AES-NI Ransomware – Infection Process

The infection file of the AES-NI ransomware may be a heavily obfuscated JavaScript that is malicious or a dropper file. It may also be a Trojan horse or other malware, such as botnet that has previously compromised the victim PC.

The distribution of the infection file may be conducted via massive spam e-mail campaigns that aim for one thing only – to trick users into either clicking on the malicious file or a malicious web link that is embedded within the body of the e-mail sent. One example of such message can be seen below:

Besides e-mail, cyber-criminals who are behind the AES-NI infection may authorize themselves to upload malicious files on file-sharing websites, like torrent sites, for example. Such files may be presented to the user as key generators to activate a license for a given program or a crack or patch for different software.

Other infection methods may include attacks via fake updates or as a result of a malicious browser redirect. Such can happen if the user has an ad-supported potentially unwanted application, also known as PUA.

Once an infection has happened, by any of those scenarios, AES-NI ransomware’s malicious files may be dropped on the infected computer. They include:

  • !!! READ THIS – IMPORTANT !!!.txt
  • .key.aes_ni files
  • Exectuable files located in the %System Drive%, %AppData% or %Windows% folders.

.Aes-ni File Virus – Infection Activity

Besides the primary malicious files of AES-NI, the virus may also create duplicate files or support modules of different file types (.dll, .tmp, .vbs, .bat, .exe) that may be located in the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %Windows%
  • %System32%

The activity of the virus may also include the modifications of Windows Registry sub-keys in a way that the malicious executable that encrypts files runs on system start-up. The keys targeted for this 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

In those keys, the AES-NI virus may create custom value strings with the path to the malicious files, so if you are removing the virus manually, you can open the key and see where the malicious file is located.

The AES-NI virus also performs a check of the location of the compromised computer, and if the computer is from one of the former Soviet Union countries, the AES-NI ransomware self-deletes and does not encrypt any files.

Other activities of the AES-NI ransomware infection may include the modification of the Window Shadow copies via the following administrative Winodws Command prompt command lines:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c
vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet
bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no
bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures

The Encryption Process of AES-NI Ransomware

To encrypt files, this ransomware virus uses the so-called ECB encryption mode. This encryption mode includes several different encryption sequences. The mode is also known as Electronic Code Book mode. This mode is used when more than one block of data with the same key is encrypted once. The encryption algorithm for the ECB mode is called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and is the strongest AES-256 bit. Then , the AES-NI ransomware may combine the file encryption with the RSA algorithm which generates a unique decryption key for each file or set of files. The decryption keys may then be sent via encrypted connection to the servers of the cyber-criminals who are behind AES-NI ransomware.

Among the files encrypted by AES-NI ransomware may be the following:

  • Documents.
  • Music.
  • Videos.
  • Recordings.
  • Images.
  • Database files.

After the encryption process has completed, the AES-NI ransomware sets a custom file extension to the encrypted files and they appear like the following:

The final step of the encryption process is to notify the victim of the encrypted files. This happens by dropping the ransom note of the virus, named !!! READ THIS – IMPORTANT !!!.txt. It has the following content:

==========================# aes-ni ransomware #==========================
█████╗ ██████╗██████╗ ███╗ ██╗ ██╗
██╔═██╗██╔═══╝██╔═══╝ ████╗ ██║ ██║
██████║█████╗ ██████╗███╗██╔██╗██║ ██║
██╔═██║██╔══╝ ╚═══██║╚══╝██║╚████║ ██║
██║ ██║██████╗██████║ ██║ ╚███║ ██║
╚═╝ ╚═╝╚═════╝╚═════╝ ╚═╝ ╚══╝ ╚═╝
SORRY! Your files are encrypted.
File contents are encrypted with random key (AES-256 bit; ECB mode).
Random key is encrypted with RSA public key (2048 bit).
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND you NOT to use any “decryption tools”.
These tools can damage your data, making recover IMPOSSIBLE.
Also we recommend you not to contact data recovery companies.
They will just contact us, buy the key and sell it to you at a higher price.
If you want to decrypt your files, you have to get RSA private key.
In order to get private key, write here:
0xc030@protonmail.ch
Also there is one fast way to contact us.
If you are familiar with Jabber, write us to JID: zooolo@darknet.nz (it is Jabber, not e-mail address!)
You can get Jabber account for example at https://www.xmpp.jp/signup
IMPORTANT: In some cases malware researchers can block our e-mails.
If you did not receive any answer on e-mail in 48 hours,
please do not panic and write to BitMsg (https://bitmsg.me) address:
BM-2cVgoJS8HPMkjzgDMVNAGg5TG3bb1TcfhN
or create topic on https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ and we will find you there.
Also it will be better if you download Tor browser here: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en
Download, install and run it; then visit our site (from Tor browser): http://kzg2xa3nsydva3p2.onion/index.php
Please do not visit this site from standard browser: it just will not open. You need Tor Browser to open .onion sites.
There is a form, you can write us there if all e-mails are blocked and we will contact you very fastly.
If someone else offers you files restoring, ask him for test decryption.
Only we can successfully decrypt your files; knowing this can protect you from fraud.
You will receive instructions of what to do next.
You MUST refer this ID in your message:
{Unique ID}Also you MUST send all “.key.aes_ni” files from C:\ProgramData if there are any.
==========================# aes-ni ransomware #==========================

Source: id-ransomware-blogspot.bg

Remove .AES-NI Virus and Get Your Data Back

Before removing the AES-NI ransomware, it is strongly recommended to back up all your files. Then, we advise following the removal instructions down below. They are carefully designed to help isolate the threat first and remove it second. For maximum effectiveness, experts strongly advise removing AES-NI ransomware automatically by performing a scan with a particular anti-malware software. It will also protect the system in the future.

For the restoration of the files, keep following this article, as a free decryptor is yet to be released. However, you can still restore chunk of the files by using some of the alternative methods for file recovery below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by AES-NI Virus”.

Avatar

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.


OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove AES-NI Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove AES-NI Virus

OFFER

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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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.

IMPORTANT!
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 AES-NI 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by AES-NI Virus.

Ransomware infections and AES-NI 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:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of AES-NI Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall AES-NI Virus and remove related files and objects

OFFER
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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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 AES-NI 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
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for AES-NI Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by AES-NI Virus.

Ransomware infections and AES-NI 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:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


AES-NI Virus FAQ

What is AES-NI Virus ransomware and how does it work?

AES-NI Virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files.

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithm how to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

How does AES-NI Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.AES-NI Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, containing virus attachment.

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users.

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way, you may become a victim of AES-NI Virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to open .AES-NI Virus files?

You can't. At this point the .AES-NI Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .AES-NI Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by AES-NI Virus ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

How Do I restore ".AES-NI Virus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .AES-NI Virus files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How do I get rid of AES-NI Virus ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate AES-NI Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .AES-NI Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like AES-NI Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If nothing works?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

  • Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
  • Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.
  • Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.
  • You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

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