THREAT REMOVAL

EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware Delete and Fix the Affected Data

exotic-ransomware-sensorstechforum-com-ransom-noteEXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware is the newer version of the notorious EXOTIC Squad Virus, which has caused substantial damage in the past. Although there are several notable differences between these two parasites, their ultimate goal is the same – to make the victim unable to access his important personal files. EXOTIC 3.0 uses strong cryptography to modify the structure of your files in such a way that makes it impossible for you to open them. Whenever you attempt to do so, you are about to notice various errors messages such as “Windows cannot open this file”. In order to regain access to your valuable data, you will have to obtain a decryption key. The hacker standing behind EXOTIC 3.0, who introduces himself as ‘EVILTWIN’, is only willing to release this key if the victim pays a ransom. Since nothing can verify that the cyber criminal will honor his end of the agreement, it is not advisable to pay him the desired sum.

Threat Summary

Name

EXOTIC 3.0

Type Ransomware
Short Description The malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
Symptoms The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” prompting to pay 50$ in BitCoins as the picture above shows if you click on it.Appends the .exotic file extension to the encrypted files.
Distribution Method Via 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.
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.

How Is EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware Traveling Across the Cyberspace?

The security researchers are still investigating the exact distribution paths of this aggressive malware. Up to now, there is no evidence that EXOTIC 3.0 relies on some unique delivery tactics. The ransomware may affect your computer in case you agree to download software from random sites. It is a good idea to install all applications from their official webpages because otherwise you may provide some advanced malware like EXOTIC 3.0 with access to your system. The security researchers advise strongly against opening email attachments from unknown senders. Even if the file seems to be an innocent picture or MS Word document, it is better to ignore it unless you are 100% certain it is safe. Keep in mind that similar to previous Exotic versions the hackers may use social engineering tactics to trick the recipient into opening such files. For example, they may describe it as an urgent letter from your bank regarding unauthorized transactions or a message about an unexpected shipment.

What Makes EXOTIC 3.0 Ransomware Such a Dangerous Cyber Threat?

EXOTIC 3.0 is harmful software that may cause irreparable damage to your whole PC. It attacks all of the personal files of the victim, some of which he may need for his education or work. In addition to this data, you may also lose access to all photos and videos with great sentimental value. You will easily find which files have been hit by EXOTIC 3.0 when you take a look at their extensions. This ransomware appends “.exotic” towards the default file extension. The complex Trojan covers the whole desktop with an image, containing details about the attack. The hacker demands a payment of $50 in Bitcoins in exchange for the decryption key, which is supposed to fix your PC. The victim has limited time to act. Unless the payment is received within 72 hours, EVILTWIN threatens to destroy the valuable decryption key permanently.

Is There a Way to Break the Cryptography of EXOTIC 3.0 Manually?

EXOTIC 3.0 uses AES-128 to change the structure of your files and make them unopenable. While this isn’t the most advanced cryptography known to man, it is still very hard to break the cipher manually. Moreover, the decryption key is stored on Command and Control (C&C) servers and not your PC, which means it will be equally difficult to find it without paying the ransom. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix your PC without sponsoring cyber criminals. The first option is to attempt а system recovery with the built-in Windows function or special software. You may also wait for the security researchers to create a free decryption tool. If you are lucky enough to have a backup on some external device, you can easily import your files back to the PC.

No matter which option you choose, you should first eliminate all traces of EXOTIC 3.0. This malware affects various areas of the Operating System (OS), including the Windows registries, so the manual removal is not recommended for all users. If you delete the wrong files, you may make your OS unable to launch at all. The specialists suggest you use advanced security software to delete EXOTIC 3.0 permanently, after which you can attempt to restore the lost data.

To restore your files, unfortunately there is no direct decryptor released by malware researchers at this point. However, we have created alternative file restoration methods which you are welcome to try in step “2. Restore files encrypted by EXOTIC 3.0” below. Bear in mind that they are not 100% effective and this is why you should backup your files before attempting any of those alternatives.

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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 EXOTIC 3.0 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove EXOTIC 3.0

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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0.

Ransomware infections and EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0:

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 EXOTIC 3.0. 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 EXOTIC 3.0. 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0. 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 EXOTIC 3.0:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by EXOTIC 3.0.

Ransomware infections and EXOTIC 3.0 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.


EXOTIC 3.0 FAQ

What is EXOTIC 3.0 ransomware and how does it work?

EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 .EXOTIC 3.0 files?

You can't. At this point the .EXOTIC 3.0 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 .EXOTIC 3.0 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by EXOTIC 3.0 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 ".EXOTIC 3.0" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 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 EXOTIC 3.0 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .EXOTIC 3.0 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like EXOTIC 3.0 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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