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Buddy Ransomware Removal and Decryption Options

The infection rates of Trojan.Ransomcrypt.X have increased once again. Because of the text displayed on the ransom message (‘Hi Buddy!’), the file-encrypting threat is also known as Buddy ransomware. Thus, in this article we will refer to the threat as Buddy ransomware.

NameBuddy Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Trojan
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts specific files and demands a ransom in BitCoins.
SymptomsFiles with certain extension are encrypted and a ransom message is displayed.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Suspicious Sites
Detection toolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by Buddy Ransomware
User ExperienceJoin our forum to follow the discussion about Buddy Ransomware.
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.
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.

We have seen Buddy ransomware be active in the beginning of January 2016, almost a month ago. Unfortunately, reports by users indicate that the ransomware is again attacking users and demanding more money than before. In January, Buddy ransomware was asking for approximately 0.32 BitCoins which equals around $130. Now, the ransomware authors are demanding 0.77756467 BitCoins which is close to $290. In terms of technical specifications, Buddy ransomware hasn’t changed a lot. Continue reading to learn more about the threat.

Buddy Ransomware Distribution Techniques

Buddy Ransomware, or Trojan.Ransomcrypt.X, is classified as a ransomware Trojan. This means that the threat is most likely downloaded to a computer alongside another program. One way you could have gotten Buddy ransomware is via freeware downloads, p2p communities, torrents.

Another distribution method typically employed by ransomware authors is spam. Spam campaigns often distribute malware. That being said, Buddy ransomware may have arrived to your computer in a malicious email attachment. Keep in mind that malicious code can be hidden within the email body and may not require opening the attachment. That is why employing anti-spam techniques is crucial to your online security.

Learn how to protect your computer from aggressive spam campaigns

Buddy Ransomware Technical Description

Needless to say, once Buddy ransomware is in the system, a file encryption process will be initiated. Nonetheless, the threat will first make sure to spread copies of its readme file with the ransom note inside. Then, the ransomware will modify a registry entry so that it loads with every reboot of Windows:

→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\”Microsoft”

Other registry entries will also be altered, so that Windows Task Manager cannot be started:

→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\”Shell”

→HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\”DisableTaskMgr” = “1”

In addition, Buddy ransomware also keeps track of the Windows Task Manager and its associated process and makes sure it is shut down.

In terms of encryption, Buddy ransomware is known to locate and encrypt files with the following extensions:

.asp, .aspx, .csv, .doc, .docx, .html, .jpg, .js, .mdb, .odt, .pdf, .php, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .psd, .sln, .sql, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .xml

Once the files are encrypted, Buddy ransomware displays the ransom note and blocks the victim’s screen. Here is what the ransom note looks like:

buddy-ransomware-stforum

Buddy Ransomware Removal and File Restoration Options

There are two ways to try and restore your files:

  • Backups

The easiest and most efficient way to restore your files encrypted by ransomware is Backups. Once you have removed all ransomware traces, you can use your backups to bring back your data.

  • Shadow Volume Copies

Currently, there is no information if Buddy ransomware deletes Shadow Volume Copies from system. Once you have removed the threat completely, have a look at the 5th section of the instructions below the article.

Before you try anything, you should clean your system from all files associated with Buddy ransomware. The best way to do that is via anti-malware software.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Buddy Ransomware

1. Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

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For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

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3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

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While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu

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Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.

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Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.

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Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.

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Step 6: Click on Restart.
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Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove Buddy Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

2. Remove Buddy Ransomware with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Buddy Ransomware.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Buddy Ransomware.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

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It is highly 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.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

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Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
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Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Buddy Ransomware files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
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Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Buddy Ransomware in the future

3. Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

Security engineers recommend that you back up your files immediately, preferably on an external memory carrier in order to be able to restore them. In order to protect yourself from Buddy Ransomware (For Windows Users) please follow these simple steps:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
backup-1
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
w7-backup3
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
backup-3
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
backup-4
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Buddy Ransomware.
backup-5

1-Press Windows button + R
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2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
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3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
filehistory-3
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
filehistory-4
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Buddy Ransomware.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
sysdm
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
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3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
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5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Buddy Ransomware is on.
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Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
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2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
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3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Buddy Ransomware should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by Buddy Ransomware

4.Restore Files Encrypted by Buddy Ransomware

Security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods. Here are several suggestions:

To restore your data, your first bet is to check again for shadow copies in Windows using this software:

Shadow Explorer

If this method does not work, Kaspersky have provided a decryptors for files encrypted with the this and other encryption algorithms:

Kaspersky Decryptors

Another method of restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

There is also the technical option to use a network sniffer:

Another way to decrypt the files is by using a Network Sniffer to get the encryption key, while files are encrypted on your system. A Network Sniffer is a program and/or device monitoring data traveling over a network, such as its internet traffic and internet packets. If you have a sniffer set before the attack happened you might get information about the decryption key.

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove Buddy Ransomware Using Other Alternative Tools

Malwarebytes Anti-MalwareSTOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan for and remove Buddy Ransomware.
Step 1: Download Malwarebytes by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on ‘Next’ on the following 4 steps that will appear afterwards and after that click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button and check the ‘Launch MalwareBytes AntiMalware’ check box.

2. Scan your PC with MalwareBytes to remove all Buddy Ransomware associated files automatically.

Step 1: Launch MalwareBytes if you havent launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to update and then click on the blue ‘Scan Now’ button. If it doesnt start updating automatically, click on the blue ‘Update Now’ highlighted text.
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Step 3: At this point, after clicking the ‘Scan Now’ button, the system should start scanning your PC. It may take a while but be patient – it is worth it.
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Step 4: After the scan has been complete and all of the threats have been identified, click on the ‘Remove Selected’ button to delete them permanently.
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Step 5: Once the scan has completed, MalwareBytes will prompt you to restart your computer. It is recommended to save all your data you are working on before restarting.

1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Buddy Ransomware.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Buddy Ransomware associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
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Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the Buddy Ransomware threat: Manual removal of Buddy Ransomware requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.
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Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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