THREAT REMOVAL

Remove CryptoWall 5.1 Ransomware and Restore .locked Encrypted Files

CryptoWall-51-sensorstechforum-ransom-note-main-ransomwareCryptoWall’s encrypter is back in CryptoWall 5.1 variant and it is used in a ransomware virus which pretends to be Cryptolocker. The virus uses the .locked file extension which it ads after encrypting the files of the infected computer with an immensely strong AES-256 encryption algorithm and asks from users to pay 250 Euros to get them back. CryptoWall has been through many changes and many consider it to be the virus causing most damage in comparison to all ransomware viruses. If its encryptor is back this is a strong indicator that the CryptoWall gang may be back in business. Everyone who has been infected by CryptoWall 5.1 should immediately take actions for removing the virus and trying to restore the .locked files using alternative solutions to gain back access to their files like the ones in this article.

Threat Summary

NameCryptoWall 5.1
TypeRansomware Trojan
Short DescriptionCryptoWall 5.1 encrypts files with a strong AES-256 cipher asking 250 Euros for decryption.
SymptomsFiles are encrypted with the .locked file extension and become inaccessible. A ransom note with instructions for paying the ransom may shows on the screen.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, File Sharing Networks.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss CryptoWall 5.1 Ransomware.
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.

CryptoWall 5.1 Ransomware – How Does It Infect

The cyber-criminal gang behind CryptoWall 5.1 may use different spam techniques with the one and only purpose of tricking users to into opening its malicious URLs or executables containing its payload.

Just like CryptoWall 4.0 Ransomware and CryptoWall 3.0, it may employ several methods that may result in successful cyber-attack on the unsuspecting user:

The most widely employed method is via spam e-mail. And this is not just small spam campaigns. CryptoWall has always been associated with massive spam, like the famous Fake Windows 10 Free Upgrade Spam, which appeared last year. It looks like a message appearing to be sent from Microsoft Corporation. Users have reported tat such e-mails may be associated with fraudulent URLs or malicious files containing JavaScript or Exploit Kits embedded in .ZIP e-mail attachments.

Another form of attacks by CryptoWall 5.1 may be associated with phishing e-mails, however such attacks are more likely to be present when a user or an organization is targeted by a hacking syndicate. Since most enterprise organizations usually have local networks configured securely by their system and network administrators, hackers may get information about the organization and then send a spam message that appears to be coming from the e-mail from someone important In the organization, like the CTO, CFO or CEO, saying something like “Important! I need you to read thoroughly and reply!”

There is also the chance that the user is being redirected via a malicious URL, which is posted in e-mail bodies, on social media and other communication platforms. Ad-supported PUPs(Potentially Unwanted Programs) may also cause direct browser redirects which may infect the user’s computer and cause immense damage not only by CryptoWall 5.1 but other malware as well.

CryptoWall 5.1 Ransomware In Detail

After CryptoWall 5.1’s payload has been dropped on your computer, the virus might immediately begin changing its settings. First, it may create one or more files in the following Windows folders:

  • %Roaming%
  • %AppData%
  • %Temp%
  • %User’s Profile%
  • %Windows%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalRow%

After creating its malicious files, CryptoWall 5.1 may also modify different registry keys, like the Run and RunOnce keys which enable it to start when Windows boots up:

→ HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Before It starts the encryption process, CryptoWall’s 5.1 version may carefully scan for specific file extensions of widely used files, like videos, music, photos, databases and others:

→.3dm, .3ds, .3fr, .mcmeta, .vfs0, .mpqge, .kdb, .db0, .dba, .rofl, .hkx, .bar, .upk, .das, .iwi, .litemod, .asset, .forge, .ltx, .bsa, .apk, .re4, .sav, .lbf, .slm, .bik, .epk, .rgss3a, .pak, .big, wallet, .wotreplay, .xxx, .desc, .py, .m3u, .flv, .js, .css, .rb, .png, .jpeg, .txt, .p7c, .p7b, .p12, .pfx, .pem, .crt, .cer, .der, .x3f, .srw, .pef, .ptx, .r3d, .rw2, .rwl, .raw, .raf, .orf, .nrw, .mrwref, .mef, .erf, .kdc, .dcr, .cr2, .crw, .bay, .sr2, .srf, .arw, .3fr, .dng, .3g2, .3gp, .3pr, .7z, .ab4, .accdb, .sql, .mp4, .7z, .rar, .m4a, .wma, .avi, .wmv, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zip, .sie, .sum, .ibank, .t13, .t12, .qdf, .gdb, .tax, .pkpass, .bc6, .bc7, .bkp, .qic, .bkf, .sidn, .sidd, .mddata, .itl, .itdb, .icxs, .hvpl, .hplg, .hkdb, .mdbackup, .syncdb, .gho, .cas, .svg, .map, .wmo, .itm, .sb, .fos, .mov, .vdf, .ztmp, .sis, .sid, .ncf, .menu, .layout, .dmp, .blob, .esm, .vcf, .vtf, .dazip, .fpk, .mlx, .kf, .iwd, .vpk, .tor, .psk, .rim, .w3x, .fsh, .ntl, .arch00, .lvl, .snx, .cfr, .ff, .vpp_pc, .lrf, .m2, .jpe, .jpg, .cdr, .indd, .ai, .eps, .pdf, .pdd, .psd, .dbf, .mdf, .wb2, .rtf, .wpd, .dxg, .xf, .dwg, .pst, .accdb, .mdb, .pptm, .pptx, .ppt, .xlk, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xls, .wps, .docm, .docx, .doc, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .ach, .acr, .act, .adb

For the encryption process, CryptoWall 5.1 uses a very strong AES cipher has been employed with a strength of 256 bits. In addition to this, CryptoWall 5.1 additionally adds unique identification to the infected user. The encoded files are appended the .locked file extension, for example:

encrypted-file-cryptowall-5.1-sensorstechforum

After encryption, the files cannot be opened with any program. The only 100 percent working direct solution appears to be either paying the cyber-criminals for a unique decryption technique like purchasing a key and a decryptor made by them.

To communicate with Infected users, CryptoWall 5.1 may lock the screen of the infected computer and use a custom made ransom message which it displays on the Desktop in different languages. One of those languages is Italian, which means the virus targets Italian users. The message is written in Italian and is the following:

“Il tuo computer è stato infettato da Cryptolocker
Cryptolocker è un malware appartenente alla famiglia dei ransomware.
Questo virus è in grado di criptare con algoritmi asimmetrici i file della vittima.
Wikipedia: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker
Come faccio a ripristinare i miei documenti?
I tuoi documenti, foto, dati e altri file importanti (compresi usb, hard disk, percorsi di rete etc. ) sono stati criptati con un algoritmo asimmetrico a due chiavi, pubblica e privata.
Tutti i file sopra citati che hanno l’estensione .locked sono stati bloccati, per sbloccarli hai bisogno della chiave privata.
Come ottengo la chiave privata?
Mentre la chiave pubblica и stata salvata in una directory di sistema del tuo computer, quella privata и stata inviata sul nostro server, per ottenerla devi pagare la cifra di 250 €.
Appena l’importo sarà accreditato tramite uno dei metodi di pagamento riceverai tramite mail la chiave privata e potrai cosм riavere accesso ai tuoi dati
In caso contrario al termine delle 48h previste per il pagamento del riscatto la chiave privata verrà eliminata e non sarà più possibile recuperare i file.
ATTENZIONE: La rimozione di Cryptolocker non ripristina l’accesso ai file cittografati.
Contaсt: cryptowall51@sigaint.org” Source: Infected User
English Translation:
Your computer is infected with cryptolocker
Cryptolocker is a malware belonging to the family of Ransomware.
This virus can encrypt the victim’s files with asymmetric algorithms
Wikipedia: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker
How do I restore my files?
Your documents, photos, data and other important files (including USB, hard drives, network locations, etc.) have been encrypted with an asymmetric algorithm to two keys, public and private.
All files mentioned above having the .locked extension have been blocked; you need to unlock the private key.
How do I get the private key?
While the public key и been saved in a directory of your computer system, the private и been sent to our server, to get it you have to pay the amount of 250 €.
As soon as the amount is credited with one of the payment methods, you will receive by mail the private key, and regain access to your data.
Otherwise, at the end of 48h provided for the payment of the ransom, the private key will be deleted and it will no longer be possible to recover files.
CAUTION: Removing cryptolocker will not restore access to encrypted files.
Contaсt: cryptowall51@sigaint.org

The virus saves a public key on the user’s computer, most likely in a .KEY file and the private key it may send to the malicious server of the cyber-criminals behind CryptoWall 5.1. To gain access, it gives a deadline of 48 hours after which the cyber-criminals threaten to delete the private key.

CryptoWall 5.1 – Conclusion, Removal, and File Restoration

Malware analysts recommend not to pay any ransom to cyber-crooks because you support their cyber-criminal organization and malicious activities. In addition to that, it is no guarantee that these cyber-terrorists will give access to your files. However, you may want to contact the e-mail address cryptowall51@ sigaint.org to ask for the free decryption of one file which you may later use to attempt and factorize other keys which may decrypt the rest of the data. We have provided in step “3. Restore files encrypted by CryptoWall 5.1” alternative methods and decryptors which may assist you in the decryption process of the file encoded by CryptoWall 5.1.

But before attempting any decryption, backups or file restoration methods, we strongly advise you to remove it using an advanced anti-malware program. You can follow the tutorial below, since it is designed for maximum effectiveness and remove the virus automatically and swiftly. This will help detect all of its files, instead of costing you time to find them manually and increasing the risk of you losing your files. Furthermore, it is recommended to have an advanced anti-malware software since it also features a real-time shield protecting you from devastating threats like CryptoWall 5.1 in the future as well.

Researchers also believe that this ransomware has been created based on the HiddenTear open source project which has been the root cause for other ransomware viruses, like Strictor and Sanction ransomwares. Decryptor is expected to be released eventually and we urge you to keep an eye on this article and we will update it as soon as this is done. In the meantime you may try the methods in this article to attempt file restoration.

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 CryptoWall 5.1 from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove CryptoWall 5.1

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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1.

Ransomware infections and CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1:

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 CryptoWall 5.1. 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 CryptoWall 5.1. 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1. 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 CryptoWall 5.1:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by CryptoWall 5.1.

Ransomware infections and CryptoWall 5.1 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.


CryptoWall 5.1 FAQ

What is CryptoWall 5.1 ransomware and how does it work?

CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 .CryptoWall 5.1 files?

You can't. At this point the .CryptoWall 5.1 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 .CryptoWall 5.1 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by CryptoWall 5.1 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 ".CryptoWall 5.1" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 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 CryptoWall 5.1 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .CryptoWall 5.1 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like CryptoWall 5.1 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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