THREAT REMOVAL

.armage Files Virus – How to Remove and Restore Files

This article has been created with the purpose to help explain what is the .armage files virus, what are .armage files and how to remove the malware associated with them and try to restore as many of them as you can.

A new ransomware infection, going by the name Armage ransomware has been detected by security researcher Leo to encrypt the files on the computers that have been targeted and infected by it. After doing the encryption, Armage ransomware drops a ransom note, called Notice.txt which has instructions on how to pay a hefty ransom fee in BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to recover the encoded files and get them to work again. If you computer has been infected by the .armage files virus, we recommend that you read this article and learn how to remove this virus and restore as many files as possible.

Threat Summary

Name Armage
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Aims to encrypt the files on the compromised computers shortly after which extort victims to pay ransom and decrypt the files.
Symptoms The files on the compromised computers are encrypted with an added .armage file extension and a ransom note, called Notice.txt is also dropped on victim PCs.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Armage.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

.armage Ransomware – How Does It Infect

For the .armage files virus to infect the computers of it’s victims, the virus may use a wide variety of infection tactics. The .armage ransomware virus may come in your hard drive as a result of two main tactics – either you having to download the malicious payload by yourself or if the cyber-criminals have somehow managed to convince you into downloading or executing the payload. The third-scenario is if you PC has previously been hacked by other viruses that may download the payload of the malware onto your computer.

If the malware has entered your computer as a result of you having to download it’s malicious payload by yourself, be advised that it may have been hiding behind an executable or other type of file that only seems to be legitimate at first glance. Such types of files are often downloaded objects of interest, like:

  • Setups of programs the user is looking for.
  • Tools, patches, cracks or other software license activators.
  • Key generators.
  • Portable versions of programs.

In addition to this, the .armage files virus may also arrive via your e-mail, by being masked as a reputable attachment from a company which is well-known by everyone to increase the trust in victims. Such e-mails are cleverly thought out, for example:

In addition to spam e-mails the ransomware may also come downloaded via other malware that has previously infect your PC, such as Trojans, Worms, Rootkits and other, more advanced viruses, that have Read & Write permissions over Windows and control over your computer network. Either way, the main indicator of compromise that has been associated with Armage ransomware has been detected to be the following:

SHA256: 67697dcd8493f287a880cff6165b903bfe1daf3b55814e90de879cd1fb8df004
Size: 809.5 KB

.armage Files Virus – Activity

Once infected your computer, the .armage files virus may connect to a remote host and download it’s malicious payload files. The files may be one main executable file that encrypts the data on your PC and other support files and they might be spread in different directories across your computer. The directories in which the files, dropped by Armage ransomware may reside are usually the following:

  • %Local%
  • %AppData%
  • %Temp%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%

In addition to dropping the files on your computer, the Armage ransomware also drops it’s ransom note file, called Notice.txt and it has the following contents:

Your files had been encrypted Please send me $100 to get your files back
Send your information includes Security code, Computer name and Username to truongquocvifigmail.com
Your security code is: {CODE HERE}
After receiving password, run TQVDecrypt on your desktop to decrypt files

After downloading the payload, the Armage ransomware infection performs series of unwanted activities on your computer among which may be to create mutexes, schedule tasks on your computer and modify registry entries, all with the purpose of ensuring that an unobstructed encryption takes place and that the ransomware obtains permissions to run as administrator on your computer.

If the Armage ransomware modifies your Windows Registry Editor, it will likely attack the Run and RunOnce registry sub-keys, located in the following keys:

→ 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 addition to this, the Armage ransomware may also delete the shadow volume copies on your computer and also stop Windows Recovery services. This usually occurs when the virus runs the following commands as an administrator in Windows Command Prompt:

→ sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

.armage Files Virus – File Encryption

Armage ransomware may first scan your computer for the files it wants to encrypt and the virus usually targets files that you use very often, while in the same time skipping important Windows files, so that you can still use your PC to it’s full extent. The files that may be encrypted by Armage ransomware may be of the following file types:

→ .psd, .jpeg, .docx, .doc, .arj, .tar, .7z, .rar, .zip, .tif, .jpg, .ai, .bmp, .png, .xlsx, .pptx, .accdb, .mdb, .rtf, .odt, .ods, .cd, .ldf, .mdf, .max, .dbf, .epf, .1cd, .md, .db, .pdf, .ppt, .xls, .cdr, .odb, .odg

To encrypt the files once they are detected, Armage ransomware may firstly create copies of the original files, but those copies may in fact be the encrypted siblings of the originals. Then, Armage ransomware generates a decryption key and deletes the original files. The files, encrypted by Armage ransomware are so far undecryptable and look like the following:

Remove Armage Ransomware and Restore .armage Encrypted Files

If you have become an unfortunate victim of this ransomware virus, a viable method to remove it is if you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been made in order to show you how you can make sure this virus is gone from your computer either manually or automatically, depending on how much experience you have with deleting malware by yourself. If you lack such experience or want a fast and easy solution, be advised that experts often advise victims to remove ransomware viruses, like Armage safely and automatically by using an advanced anti-malware software. Such program will scan your computer for all of the malicious objects, belonging to Armage ransomware and remove them in a safe manner permanently, while using it’s real-time shields to make sure that your PC stays safe against future threats.

If you want to restore files, encrypted by Armage ransomware, we advise you to try the alternative tools for file recovery underneath this article in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by Armage” below. They have been created with the main goal to serve as a temporary substitute solution and help you recover as many encrypted files as possible, until researchers devise a decrypter that works 100%.

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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 Armage from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Armage

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 Armage 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 Armage 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 Armage 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 Armage 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 Armage.

Ransomware infections and Armage 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 Armage from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Armage 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 Armage:

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 Armage. 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 Armage. 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 Armage 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 Armage. 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 Armage:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Armage.

Ransomware infections and Armage 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.


Armage FAQ

What is Armage ransomware and how does it work?

Armage 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 Armage ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Armage 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 Armage 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 .Armage files?

You can't. At this point the .Armage 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 .Armage files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Armage 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 ".Armage" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Armage 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 Armage 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 Armage ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Armage files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Armage 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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