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.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
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Encrypts the files on the infected computer using AES algorithm. Demands ransom payoff in BitCoin. The ransom varies.
Symptoms The files are encrypted with the .master file extension added to them. The virus drops a ransom note, named !#_RESTORE_FILES_#!.inf.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .master BTCWare.
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.

.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”

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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  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Step 1: 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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3


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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall .master BTCWare and related malware 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.
delete ransomware from windows step 1


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2


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"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious 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.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 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: 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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5


Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .master BTCWare.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the 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?

.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 algorithms 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.

Can .master BTCWare Ransomware Cayse Damage?

Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

Should I Ignore Viruses, Like .master BTCWare?

No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.

Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.

How Does .master BTCWare Infect?

Via several ways..master BTCWare Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.

What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?

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.

Can I Restore "..master BTCWare" Files?

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% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How To Get Rid of .master BTCWare Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.

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.

What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?

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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way 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.

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer.

Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.

Can .master BTCWare Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.

Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.

It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

About the .master BTCWare Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .master BTCWare how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.


How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the .master BTCWare ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.


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.

1 Comment
  1. Jorge Noguera

    no funciona

    Reply

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