THREAT REMOVAL

.pumax Files Virus – How to Remove It

This article has been created to help explain what is the .pumax file extension ransomware and how you can remove it plus restore the encrypted files.

A new ransomware virus, carrying around the .pumax file extension has been detected by users. The virus is a variant of the STOP ransomware viruses and is very similar to the

.puma files variant, suggesting that they are possibly made by the same people. If you want to know more about the .pumax files virus and how you can remove it from your computer and how you can try and restore files, encrypted by it on your PC, we advise you to read this article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name.pumax Files Virus
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA variant of the notorious STOP ransomware viruses. Aims to encrypt the files and then as victims to pay ransom to be able to open them again.
SymptomsFiles are encrypted with an added .pumax file extension. A ransom note may appear, with instructions on paying the ransom.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .pumax Files Virus.
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.

.pumax Virus – Update December 2018

There is a decrypter tool released for .puma, .pumax, and .pumas variants of STOP ransomware. The tool was released thanks to the Proof of Concept by AfshinZlfgh and Michael Gillespie’s finishing touches. You can download it via the .puma, .pumax, .pumas Decryption Tool link. The tool requires a pair of an original file and its encrypted version.

.pumax Virus – Distribution Methods

There are more than one infection methods in relation to .pumax files virus. One of those tools is to use the ransomware virus in a malspam attack. Such attack involves sending the malicious file via e-mail and making it a if the virus is a legitimate document of some sort. In the e-mails, the crooks may imitate as if the e-mails come from shipment company and other big companies, like:

  • FedEx.
  • PayPal.
  • eBay.
  • Amazon.
  • DHL.
  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • Twitter.
  • Google.

The outcome of this may be that the victim is tricked that the file is important one and downloads and opens it. Usually the files pose a “must-see” type of documents, like:

  • Invoices.
  • Receipts.
  • Password stolen documents.
  • Security report or log for the user’s online account for a certain site.

But this is not the only way via which you can become a victim of the .pumax ransomware virus, since this infection can also be spread as a result of being uploaded online and posing as a legitimate program that users aim to download. Such can often turn out to be:

  • Portable versions of programs.
  • Software license activators.
  • Cracks.
  • Hacktools.
  • Patches.
  • Key generators (Keygens).

.pumax Ransomware – Activity

Since the 24th of November, the .pumax variant of STOP ransomware has started infecting computers. The virus is from the ransomware type and it uses the ransom note !readme.txt which it drops upon infection. The ransom note has the following contents:

====================!ATTENTION PLEASE!====================
Your databases, files, photos, documents and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .pumax
The only method of recovering files is to purchase an decrypt software and unique private key.
After purchase you will start decrypt software, enter your unique private key and it will decrypt all your data.
Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.
You need to contact us by e-mail pumarestore@india.com send us your personal ID and wait for further instructions.
For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files – you can send us a 1-3 any not very big encrypted files and we will send you back it in a original
form FREE.
Discount 50% avaliable if you contact us first 72 hours.
=====================================================
E-mail address to contact us:
pumarestore@india.com
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
BM-2cXonzj9ovn5qdX2MrwMK4j3qCquXBKo4h@bitmessage.ch
Your personal id:

Once infected a computer, the .pumax files virus may drop Its malicious files in the following directories of Windows:

  • %Desktop%
  • %User’s Folders%
  • %Temp%

The files that are dropped on the desktop in relation to .pumax ransomware could be the following:

→ !readme.txt
delself.bat.
{random name}.exe
encrypt.pdb

After this has been done, the ransomware virus may also tamper with the following Windows Registry sub-keys:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ScreenSaveTimeOut
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
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

After this is done, the .pumax variant of STOP ransomware may also execute a .bat file which deletes the backups of your computer by entering some or all of the following commands as an administrator in Windows Command Prompt:

→ sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

.pumax Files Virus – Encryption Process

The .pumax files virus is the type of ransomware whose main purpose is to get your files to not work, also known as a cryptovirus. To reach it’s goal, the virus uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm for the file enciphering procedure and it combines this cipher with CFB encryption mode. The files are encrypted with a zero IV and one 32 byte key is generated for the files. The maximum encryption size is 0x500000 byte, which is around 5 MB of space, according to ID Ransomware’s blog post.

To encrypt the files on your computer, the .pumax virus scans for the files, based on their file extensions (.jpg, .avi, .bmp, .png, .docx, etc.). The virus aims to encrypt only files that are important and often used, but it stays away from critical Windows files that may damage your operating system. The file type it aims to encrypt could be the following:

  • Documents.
  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Archives.
  • Virtual drives.
  • Backup files.
  • Database files.
  • Presentations.
  • Photoshop and other files.

The outcome of the encryption is that the files are no longer usable and they have the .pumax file extension that is added to them. The files look like the following after the encryption:

Remove .pumax Ransomware and Try to Restore Encrypted Files

Before starting to perform any form of removal of this virus, we strongly suggest that you backup your files on a flash drive or other external memory carrier, just in case.

For the removal process of the .pumax files virus, we suggest that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been created with the main purpose to get you to remove the .pumax virus files and objects either by manually hunting for them or by doing it automatically. For maximum effectiveness during the removal, security experts recommend to remove this virus automatically, preferably by downloading an advanced anti-malware program. This is because such tool aims to make sure that all the files and objects related to .pumax files virus are fully removed and the ransomware is erased completely. More so, such software can also protect your computer against threats in the future as well.

If you want to try and restore as many encrypted files as possible, we would suggest that you follow the file recovery methods in the instructions below. They are alternative means by which you could theoretically bring back at least some of your files, but they are no 100% guarantee to recover all the data.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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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 Spy Hunter
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 .pumax Files Virus from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files Virus.

Ransomware infections and .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files Virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .pumax Files Virus on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac .pumax Files Virus aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money.

This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. 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 Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:


.pumax Files Virus FAQ

What is .pumax Files Virus ransomware and how does it work?

.pumax Files 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 .pumax Files Virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..pumax Files 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 .pumax Files 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 ..pumax Files Virus files?

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .pumax Files 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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