The virus has appeared which uses a very strong encryption to encode files of infected computers. The virus is known as BitStak Ransomware, and it demands from affected users to make a payoff of roughly 50 US dollars in BitCoins (~0.08BTC). All users who have been affected by the BitStak Ransomware, are strongly advised not to pay any ransom money and instead focus on removing this malware from their computers. A preferable way for removal and file restoration you will find if you read this article thoroughly.
|Short Description||The malware encrypts users’ files asking the sum of approximately 50 US dollars for decryption.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ransom message set as a wallpaper. Files no longer accessible with changed names and an added .bitstak file extension to them.|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss BitStak Ransomware.|
|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.|
BitStak Ransomware – Spreading Methods
BitStak Ransomware – Activity Overview
As soon as it has been activated on the victim’s PC, BitStak may create a malicious executable that may have different names and be situated in key Windows directories, for example:
After creating its malicious executable(s), BitStak may use the Windows Registry Editor to add malicious registry entries in it. This may be done for the virus to run on Windows boot and start encrypting files. The following keys may be targeted by BitStak:
As soon as it runs on startup, BitStak Ransomware may target the following folders for encryption:
- %Program Files%
- %Program Files (x86)%
BitStak Ransomware has also been reported to detect and encrypt every file of the following type, if existing:
Not only this, but BitStak Ransomware also adds the .bitstak file extension and in addition to that changes the names of the encrypted files with alpha-numerical sequence, for example, if the original file is New Text Document.txt, the encrypted file is Z8932h3.bitstak
After doing this, BitStak uses a picture which it may set as a wallpaper on the infected machine. The picture has the following ransom message:
→ “Your all files are locked and encrypted with a strong encryption method. You cannot get your files back without paying. We expect you to make a payment in 3 days, or your files will be permanently deleted.
Your all files are locked. To release your files, you need to pay 40(eur) fee using Bitcoin as a payment method. If you have any external hard-drives plugged, remember to plug them before restoring or you won’t be able to restore them later.
40.00 EUR / 0.07867 BTC or…
45.464 USD / 0.07867 BTC
Or pay with Blockchain mobile app…
Verify your payment so you can get your files back.
Already paid? Verify now to restore your files.”
This is one of the few ransomware viruses that allow payment via a Blockchain mobile app. This is very clever because the payment is faster and easier as well. Cyber-criminals behind BlockChain Ransomware have really thought this through. Despite the offer, we strongly advise you not to pay the ransom fee and read our proposals for removal and file restoration below.
BitStak Ransomware – Removal and File Restoration
To remove BitStak, we advise you to use the instructions below. They are divided on manual and automatically based on how much experience you have with the removal of malware. In any case, we advise you to use the Automatic options, because for obvious reasons:
- It will remove other malware as well.
- All BitStak files and registry entries will be detected and permanently removed without any damage to the encrypted files.
- Your PC should be protected in the future from threats and unwanted programs and e-mails.
If you wish to restore your files, encrypted by BitStak for the moment decryptor has not been released. However, be advised that waiting for a decryptor to be developed by researchers is a way better choice than paying any ransom money to criminals and supporting their malicious activity this way. In the mean time we also advise you to check for backups, try system restore and data restoration software as well as Kaspersky’s free decryptors as well. You can find instructions for them if you check step “3. Restore files encrypted by BitStak” below.
- Guide 1: How to Remove BitStak from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of BitStak on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove BitStak in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase BitStak from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall BitStak from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove BitStak from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate BitStak from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable BitStak Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the BitStak Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this BitStak how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on BitStak?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the BitStak threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates
How to Remove BitStak from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove BitStak
Step 2: Uninstall BitStak 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by BitStak on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by BitStak 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.
Step 4: Scan for BitStak with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
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.
Video Removal Guide for BitStak (Windows).
Get rid of BitStak from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall BitStak and remove related files and objects
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 BitStak:
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 BitStak. 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 BitStak. 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 BitStak 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:
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 BitStak. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove BitStak files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as BitStak, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Video Removal Guide for BitStak (Mac)
Remove BitStak from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2:Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase BitStak from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall BitStak from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove BitStak from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the BitStak will be removed.
Eliminate BitStak from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by BitStak from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
What is BitStak?
The BitStak threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What are the symptoms of BitStak?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.
What types of Unwanted Programs are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to do if I have a "virus" like BitStak?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from BitStak?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.