THREAT REMOVAL

.MASTER File Virus – Remove BTCWare and Restore Data

This article has been created to help you remove the latest BTCWare ransomware from your computer and show how to restore .master encrypted files.

A new version of the notorious BTCWare ransomware has appeared in the wild. The ransomware virus aims to append AES encryption on the important files in the computers infected by it, making the files no longer able to be opened. Then the latest .master BTCWare ransomware variant demands victims to pay a hefty ransom fee in order to get back the encrypted files. In case your computer has been infected by this ransomware variant, we strongly urge you to read this article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name.master BTCWare
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionEncrypts the files on the infected computer using AES algorithm. Demands ransom payoff in BitCoin. The ransom varies.
SymptomsThe files are encrypted with the .master file extension added to them. The virus drops a ransom note, named !#_RESTORE_FILES_#!.inf.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .master BTCWare.
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.

.master File Virus Distribution Methods

The .master variant of BTCWare is spread in methods that are approximate to all the other variants of this virus. Given that BTCWare is an evolved CryptXXX ransomware varuses, the .master ransomware may also utilize methods of distribution which are similar to it as well. The primary and most often encountered method of infection is via different e-mail spam campaigns. The spam messages aim to deceive the user that they are from legitimate companies such as:

  • Amazon.com
  • eBay.com
  • PayPal.com
  • FedEx.
  • DHL.

The e-mail messages may contain deceptive statements int hem such as:

“Dear Customer, Greetings from Amazon.com
We are writing to let you know that the following item has been sent using Royal Mail.
For more information about delivery estimates and any open orders, please open the order invoice attached.
Your order number: #241-24244152-12412312441”

Along the e-mail there may either be a web link that may lead to the infection or the malicious infection file itself may be embedded.

Besides this method of infection, there are also multiple other approaches for distribution of the .master file ransomware, despite them being less likely. These are via a fake updates, fake setups, key generators, game cracks or license activators uploaded on suspicious sites.

BTCWare .master Virus – Analysis

After the user PC is infected with the loader infection file, the BTCWare ransomware may drop more than one malicious files on the infected computer. The files may be a main executable which encrypts the files adding the .master file extension and multiple support files that ensure the virus has administrative privileges and the settings on it are modified so that the encryption is uninterrupted. The malicious files may be dropped in the following Windows directories:

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

Among the files is the ransom note of BTCWare .master variant, named !#_RESTORE_FILES_#!.inf which has the following message to victims:

[WHAT HAPPENED] Your important files produced on this computer have been encrypted due a security problem
If you want to restore them. write us to the e-mail: BM-NBMlDiESngzuunchijMjPEcv4qur@bi
or makedonskiy@gmx.com
You have to pay for decryption in 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 to us up to 3 files for free decryption.
P1ease note that files must NOT contain valuable information
and their total size must be less than 1Mb
[How To OBTAIN BITCOINS] E
The easiest way to buy bitcoin is LocalBitcoins site.
You have to register, click Buy bitcoins and select the se11er
by payment met od and price
https://loca1bitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
[ATTENTION] Do not rename encrypted files
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data 105
If you not write on e-mail in 36 hours – your key has been deleted and you cant decrypt you
Your ID:

In addition to this, modules of the virus may have functions in them that allow them to perform malicious activities. These functions may give the .master file virus administrative permissions that allow It to perform different activities. One of those may be to delete the shadow volume copies on the infected computer via the administrative vssadmin command in Windows Command Prompt:

→ vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet

Other activity of the .master file virus may include to tamper with the Windows Registry Editor, more specifically, create custom value strings with data in them to run it’s malicious executables on startup. The usually targeted registry sub-keys for this to happen are:

  • Run
  • RunOnce

.master Ransomware’s Encryption Process

In order to encrypt files on the computers it has already infected, the .master BTCWare variant uses an AES encryption algorithm. However, this encryption is different in comparison to the other BTCWare variants, because it has been patched and created to be significantly more difficult to decrypt. This variant of BTCWare may scan for and encrypt files with the following file extensions:

→ .1c, .3fr, .accdb, .ai, .arw, .bac, .bay, .bmp, .cdr, .cer, .cfg, .config, .cr2, .crt, .crw, .css, .csv, .db, .dbf, .dcr, .der, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxg, .eps, .erf, .gif, .htm, .html, .indd, .iso, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .kdc, .lnk, .mdb, .mdf, .mef, .mk, .mp3, .mp4, .mrw, .nef, .nrw, .odb, .ode, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .orf, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pdd, .pdf, .pef, .pem, .pfx, .php, .png, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .psd, .pst, .ptx, .r3d, .rar, .raw, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .sql, .sr2, .srf, .srw, .tif, .wb2, .wma, .wpd, .wps, .x3f, .xlk, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .zip

After it completes encrypting files, the .master BTCWare virus adds it’s distinctive file extension to the encrypted files, making them look like the following:

After the files belonging to this ransomware virus have been encrypted, it may also connect to a remote server of the cyber-criminals and send information from the user’s computer, like decryption keys plus the IP address or other data.

Remove BTCWare and Restore .master Encrypted Files

Before actually removing this virus, we advise you to backup the .master encrypted files on another drive, just in case.

After having done this, you can follow the removal instructions below to safely remove BTCWare .master ransomware from your computer. In case you are having difficulties in removing this ransomware manually, security experts strongly advise to use an advanced anti-malware tool for the automatic removal.

Regarding the decryption of the files, unlike the other variants of BTCWare that are decryptable, unfortunately, this variant is not. But we suggest you to check this article often as we will monitor the situation and provide an update, if free decryption is possible. In the meantime, you might want to try and use the methods for restoring files that are alternative to direct decryption. They are in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .master BTCWare”

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 .master BTCWare from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .master BTCWare

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 .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare.

Ransomware infections and .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare:

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 .master BTCWare. 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 .master BTCWare. 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 .master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare. 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 .master BTCWare:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and .master BTCWare 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.


.master BTCWare FAQ

What is .master BTCWare ransomware and how does it work?

.master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..master BTCWare 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 .master BTCWare 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 ..master BTCWare files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .master BTCWare 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.

1 Comment

  1. AvatarJorge Noguera

    no funciona

    Reply

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