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.astra File Virus – Removal and Data Recovery Guide

.astra file virus globeimposter ransomware ransom note here_your_files html sensorstechforum

This article provides a detailed removal guide to the new variant of GlobeImposter ransomware virus and recovery alternatives for corrupted .astra files.

The .astra file virus is a malware of ransomware type that corrupts target data stored on the infected machines and extorts ransom from victims. The threat appears to be a new iteration of the GlobeImposter ransomware that employs massive attack campaigns generally against European and American users. After two versions that have been released last week – .725 and ..726, security researchers reported another one that renames encrypted files with the malicious file extension .astra and drops a ransom note file called here_your_files!.html

Threat Summary

Name .astra File Virus
Type Ransomware
Short Description Globeimposter ransomware encrypts files on your computer, appends the extension .astra to them and displays a ransom message afterward.
Symptoms Your valuable files become inaccessible and are renamed with the extension .astra. For their decryption a ransom note appears on the PC screen and demands a ransom payment.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .astra File Virus.
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.

.astra File Virus – Spread Techniques

The authors of .astra file virus are using spam email campaigns as a preferred spread technique of the ransomware payloads. The emails usually pose as legitimate sources and provide file attachments that need to be downloaded and started on the PC. It is known that GlobeImposter ransomware code may be hidden in one of the following file types:

→.docx, .exe, .js, .wsf, .hta, .vbs, .htm

The files can be zipped in an archive file and once you double click them after the unzipping they cause the ransomware infection. Exceptions are the .docx files that mainly contain the ransomware payload as an embedded content that should be enabled to trigger the infection.

.astra File Virus – More Information

Once the malicious file is executed it connects a hacked domain controlled by hackers, downloads .astra file virus and runs it. Additionally, the threat drops more malicious files and creates processes to support its effective system infection. Some of the processes set the Windows system to avoid sleep mode so the ransomware can encrypt the target files. Others are used for adding the malicious payload in the start group of Windows apps through the registry editor. For the purpose .astra file virus may add new registry value strings 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

This allows its payloads to be executed automatically whenever the system starts.

To prevent file restore from the Shadow Volume copies, it runs the command line “vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet” and removes all shadows.

Finally, the ransomware generates and drops an HTML file in all folders that contain encrypted files. The file is called here_your_files!.html. It informs that particular files have been encrypted and provides instructions on how to pay to get them back. Below you can see the beginning of the .astra file virus ransom message:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. lf you want to restore them, write us in TOR Browser, hxxp://cr7icbfqm64hixta.onion, Install the TOR Browser from this link http.//torproject.org ,in body of your message write your ID
You have to pay for decryption Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1 Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bicoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
• Do not rename encrypted files.
• Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss…

.astra file virus globeimposter ransomware ransom note here_your_files html sensorstechforum

It is not clear what the demanded ransom amount is, however it should be transferred in Bitcoins. To prevent further malware attacks it is NOT recommended contacting criminals and under no circumstances paying the ransom. There is no guarantee that cyber criminals will be strict enough to send back the decryption key even after the ransom payment.

.astra File Virus – Encryption Process

The ransomware first scans files in all of the partitions on the infected machine. It then encrypts almost each file that potentially contains valuable information – documents, images, videos, music, text files, databases, archives, projects, etc. It reads the file and if it is not part of its exclusion list then encrypts the file content using the RSA algorithm overwriting the original content with encrypted content. Afterward, it appends .astra to each encrypted file name to identify that the file has been encrypted. Since GlobeImposter uses an RSA-2048 cipher algorithm to encrypt files, it’s very hard to be cracked. The good news is that alternative data recovery solutions are available and may help to get back some .astra files. Check step “Restore files encrypted by .astra File Virus” from the ransomware removal instructions below.

Remove .astra File Virus and Restore Data

The .astra file virus should be removed as soon as possible from the infected computer because its presence endangers your new files and the security of the whole system. Beware that it has a complex code that has modified various system settings, values, and processes in order to ensure its stable attendance on the PC. For the best removal results, security experts recommend the assistance of professional anti-malware tool.

After the removal process, it is good to back up all encrypted .astra files and then try to recover some of them as it is pointed at step “Restore files encrypted by .astra File Virus” below.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online 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 .astra File Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File Virus.

Ransomware infections and .astra File 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 .astra File Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File Virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .astra File Virus.

Ransomware infections and .astra File 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.


.astra File Virus FAQ

What is .astra File Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.astra File 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 .astra File Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..astra File 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 .astra File 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 ..astra File Virus files?

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

One way to restore files, encrypted by .astra File 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 "..astra File 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 ..astra File 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 .astra File 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 .astra File Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..astra File Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .astra File 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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