THREAT REMOVAL

How to Remove Diskwriter Virus — Restore Encrypted Files

Diskwriter virus is an advanced computer viruses that is classified as a ransomware as it shares many of the features found in them. However the samples associated with it delete the victim data instead of encrypting them.

Threat Summary

Name Diskwriter
Type Ransomware
Short Description The Diskwriter virus is a dangerous wiper virus that has the ability to delete user data.
Symptoms Users will be unable to boot their computers.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Diskwriter.

DiskWriter Virus – Infection Spread

The Diskwriter virus can be deployed via an executable file using various means. One of the most popular ways is to send it via spam email messages. The most effective methods rely on social engineering tricks that attempt to trick the users into interacting with the dangerous content. The preferred strategy is to insert hyperlinks that lead to the samples hosted on a download site. The criminals typically use graphics and text taken from legitimate services. The efffective campaigns tend to use familiar sounding domains in order to fool the users into accessing them. The other method used with email messages is the direct file attachment of the malware files.

In the last few years we have noted the rise of two alternative ways to spread viruses. The criminals can opt to bundle the dangerous code into software installers. They are made by taking the legitimate setup files from their official vendor sites and modifying them to include the malware code. In a similar way the criminals can customize documents of different types (spreadsheets, presentations and rich text documents). They are usually disguised as notices, contracts or other files that may be of user interest. Once they are opened by the users a notification prompt appears which asks them to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the threat is downloaded from a hacker-controlled site and executed on the local machine.

Various hacker-controlled download portals can carry the threat. They are usually modeled after legitimate sites by using similar sounding domain names and web design. Often viruses are spread on file sharing networks such as BitTorrent as well posing as legitimate apps.

Advanced malware delivery tactics that can produce Diskwriter virus infections include the use of browser hijackers. They represent hacker-created malware browser plugins that are made for the most popular software: Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. They usually attempt to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site and download their private data. Such scripts can be used to spread malware such as this one.

DataKeeper Virus — Update October 2018

A recent email phishing campaign carrying the DataKeeper ransomware virus has been spotted. The criminal collective behind it are spreading messages that pose as being sent by law enforcement authorities with an attached file file called nguyen police report.pdf. Upon opening them a built-in message prompt may appear asking the built-in scripts to be run. This will lead to the virus infection.

The actual contents of one sample message is the following:

Police Report File: #32456543AFA34543

Please wait while we download your file. This may trigger your antivirus software. Do not block otherwise report will be deleted from our servers. Thank you.

The analysis reveals that the message itself is actually a double extension executable file. Upon interacting with it a PDF file will be launched reading the file. However at the same time the malicious process will have already started and the virus deployment started.

When the malicious process has started it will proceed with its behavior tactics. One of the most important changes made to the host computers is the stealth protection mechanism. As discussed below it will scan the system for programs that can interfere with the virus execution: primarily sandboxes and anti-virus osftware. Advanced viruses may also affect virtual machine hosts when detecting that they are run inside a hypervisor. This is done in order to disable the host and avoid analysis.

Another dangerous action is the data extraction of the installed web browsers. The engine has been spotted to search for the most popular software and if they are found their data will be harvested. The list of target information includes the following:

  • Cookies
  • Bookmarks
  • Settings
  • History
  • Stored Credentials
  • Site Preferences

DiskWriter Virus – Technical Data

The DiskWriter virus is a ransomware threat that has been specifically built in order to extort the victims for a ransomware fee and sabotage their systems. At the moment there is no information about its creator(s), it is believed to be the work of an experienced hacker or criminal collective.

It appears to execute itself in in several stages the first of which is the preparatory one. In order to access the deep operating system mechanisms the virus engine launches an advanced information gathering module. It is configured in order to create a complete profile of the target machine by collecting metrics related to the hardware components and installed system software. Once this is done it may continue further with private data by extracting data that can personally expose the victims identity: name, address, phone number, geolocation, interests, passwords and account credentials.

Many advanced threats like this one may also implement a stealth protection mechanism that can protect the instance from security software. Using the harvested data it can detect if there are any system services that can disrupt the execution of the Diskwriter virus engine. The list includes most anti-virus software, virtual machines and sandboxes and debugging environments. The usual behavior is to either bypass their real-time engines or entirely remove them. In certain cases they can be configured into removing themselves if they are unable to do so.

As a consequence of the advanced infection the Diskwriter virus can also initiate a network connection with a remote host. In such cases the acquired information can be sent to the hacker controllers. This is also an effective method to deploy additional threats or take over control of the systems in a manner similar to Trojans.

Once all components have completed execution a wiper is started. It is designed to replace the Master Boot Record which is responsible for hosting the boot loader code. As a result of this the victims will be unable to start their computers. An interesting feature implement is the automatic shutdown once the virus has finished with the payload delivery. The users will find that their computers will automatically shut down once all components have finished executing. Once they start their machines again they will see the following message:

Ooops,your important files are encrypted.
If you see this text,then your files are not accessible,because they’ve been encrypted.Maybe you’re busy looking for a way to recover your files,but don’t waste your time.Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.
In order to decrypt.Please Send $300 worth of Bitcoin to this address:
1GZCw453MzQr8V2VAgJpRmKBYRDUJ8kzco

According to the technical analysis the current samples associated with the DiskWriter virus are not proper ransomware but malware that seek to delete the user data instead of encrypting it. The users are promised decryption if they pay the quoted fee.

In this situation the best strategy is to remove the malware threat and attempt to use a data recovery software. Refer to our instructions below.

Remove DiskWriter Virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got compromised and is infected with the DiskWriter ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written below.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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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 Diskwriter from Windows.


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

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 Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter.

Ransomware infections and Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter:

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 Diskwriter. 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 Diskwriter. 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 Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter. 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 Diskwriter:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

Ransomware infections and Diskwriter 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.


Diskwriter FAQ

What is Diskwriter ransomware and how does it work?

Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Diskwriter 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 Diskwriter 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 .Diskwriter files?

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

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Diskwriter 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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