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Sage 2.2 Ransomware (Restore .sage Virus Files)

This article is created to help you remove Sage 2.2 ransomware virus from your computer and try to restore files encrypted with the .sage file extension added to them.

“!HELP_SOS.hta” is the file which users see on every folder with important files encrypted by the latest version of Sage ransomware. This virus is from the file encryption type, meaning that it renders the files on the computers it infects unable to be opened. Sage has lately seen more popularity primarily because of the fact that the virus was reported to be spread via a very massive spam campaign of e-mail spam messages, carrying .zip archives with malicious documents or .js scripts in them. In case you have become a victim of the Sage 2.2 ransomware virus, we recommend you to read this article and learn how to remove Sage 2.2 and restore files encrypted with the .sage file extension.

SensorsTechForum team is actively investigating the 2.2 version of Sage. More information will be available in the hours to come.

Threat Summary


Sage 2.2

Type Ransomware
Short Description This ransomware infection is an updated version of the Sage 2.0 ransomware. Encrypts files on the compromised computer and asks the user to visit a TOR-based web page for further instructions.
Symptoms The user may witness ransom note, named !HELP_SOS.hta and the important files on the computer may be encrypted with an added padlock icon on them.
Distribution Method Via an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss Sage 2.2.
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.

Sage 2.2 Ransomware – How Does It Infect a PC

For the infection process, this version of Sage ransomware may use malicious e-mail spam that contains deceptive messages. The messages may be of various types and aim to convince potential victims into opening malicious .zip file attachments to those e-mails. Examples of deceptive topics that could be used to infect with Sage 2.2 are:

  • “Your PayPal transaction is complete.”
  • “Suspicious activity on your online bank account. (Bank Name)”.
  • “Your Invoice.”

There may be many other e-mails sent out infecting with Sage ransomware and they all may carry archives as file attachments. The archives may be randomly named, like “6207_ZIP.zip”, for example. In the .zip file, there are two types of files which cause an infection:

  • A JavaScript .js file which immediately causes an infection after being opened.
  • A Microsoft Office document .doc file which causes an infection when you click on Enable Content button to enable macros. These macros have malicious script in them.

Sage 2.2 Ransomware – What Happens After Infection

After the moment the user PC has been infected by the Sage 2.2 virus, an unsecured port may be used to connect to the cyber-criminals distribution sites and download the payload on the infected computer.

The payload of Sage 2.2 ransomware consists of multiple executable and temporary files, it may contain a .dll type of modules and it also contains the Wallapaper of Sage 2.2 ransomware and it’s “Decryption Instructions” ransom note. This ransom note is also named “!HELP_SOS.hta” and when opened, displays the following message to the victim:

“File recovery instructions
You probably noticed that you can not open your files and that some software stopped working correctly.
This is expected. Your files content is still there, but it was encrypted by “Sage 2.2 Ransomware”.
Your files are not lost, it is possible to revert them back to normal state by decrypting.
The only ay you can do that is by getting “SAGE Decrypter” software and your personal decryption key.
Using any other software which claims to be able to restore your files will result in files being damaged or destroyed.
You can purchase “SAGE Decrypter” software and your decryption key at your personal page you can access by following links.”

The ransom note of the virus also has a web link which of course leads to Sage ransomware’s decryption page, which has not changed much. The web page is still well-developed, like in the Sage 2.0 version.

Sage 2.2 Ransomware – Encryption Analysis

Regarding the encryption of the files, Sage 2.2 ransomware uses a strong encryption algorithm. This cipher renders files on the compromised computers no longer openable. The virus attacks


Once the Sage 2.2 virus detects that there are such types of files on the computers that have been infected, it immediately renders them no longer able to be opened and adds the .sage file extension to the files. The files appear like the image below:

The Sage Ransomware virus also may delete the shadow volume copies of the infected computer, in addition to the encryption of the files. This is performed to destroy any possibilities of recovering them via an administrative command, called vssadmin:

Remove Sage 2.2 Ransomware and Try Restoring .sage Encrypted Files

Before performing the removal process of Sage ransomware, recommendations are to focus on performing a back up of the encrypted files on a removable drive or in the cloud.

Then, we recommend following the removal instructions below. They are created with the one and only purpose of assisting you isolating the virus in Safe Mode and then locating the malicious files of Sage 2.2 ransomware. For maximum effectiveness during the removal process of Sage 2.2 ransomware, researchers recommend using the automatic approach and scanning for the virus by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.

After having removed Sage 2.2 ransomware, it is strongy advisable to try and recover the encrypted files using some alternative methods, since at the present moment direct solution for free is not available. We have suggested some of those tools in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Sage 2.2” but we recommend you to use them on your own risk.

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.


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

About the Sage 2.2 Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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.


1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Sage 2.2 from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Sage 2.2


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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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.

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 Sage 2.2 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.


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.


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

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Sage 2.2.

Ransomware infections and Sage 2.2 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.

Step 6: How to Restore Files Encrypted by Ransomware (Video Guide)

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Sage 2.2 from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall Sage 2.2 and remove related files and objects

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 Sage 2.2:

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 Sage 2.2. 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 Sage 2.2. 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2. 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

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Sage 2.2:


SpyHunter for Mac

Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Sage 2.2.

Ransomware infections and Sage 2.2 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 top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Sage 2.2 FAQ

What is Sage 2.2 ransomware and how does it work?

Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 .Sage 2.2 files?

You can't. At this point the .Sage 2.2 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 .Sage 2.2 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Sage 2.2 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 ".Sage 2.2" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 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 Sage 2.2 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Sage 2.2 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Sage 2.2 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.

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:

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

  1. Nahuel Benvenuto

    va a salir algo que desencripte los archivos infectados en el futuro cercano?

  2. Nahuel Benvenuto

    can you help me with the method 4 please? i dont know what to do with this, will a decryption key come in teh near future?

  3. Yohan Torres


  4. Vencislav Krustev

    Hello, for method 4 you have to either reinfect a computer and monitor the communications all the time or if you havent deleted the current virus that has infected your computer, you should try resetting it and setting wireshark to capture packets on starupt i.e. when the virus encrypts files and communicates. In the link below, there are some communications intercepted in relations to the previous Sage versions:


    For more information on how to run Wireshark on system startup, please refer to this blog post:


    1. Nahuel Benvenuto

      there is any chance of tracking the criminals? they have a website in .onion and you can send them messages, they have to go to prison

      1. Vencislav Krustev

        unfortunately, all onion websites traffic goes through the Tor network, meaning through random machine every time. These machines are called nodes and the only ones who can track traffic this way are the people in control of the exit nodes of the Tor network, which is not just everyone.

    2. Nahuel Benvenuto

      i did remove the virus, any way i can simulate an infection in some safe way so they cant affect any file? tehere is a true chance of getting the encryption key doing this? but how do it decrypt them once i have it? thanks a lot

      1. Vencislav Krustev

        Well, if you have the decryption key, contac me and I will research a method to see if it can be factorized.

      2. Mehdi Blidi

        how did you remove it? and did you get back your files?

  5. globaldiplomat

    Nahuel Benvenuto,vencislav
    is there any way to recover sage affected files?
    all anti virus anti malware and data recovery software cost more than my PC.The manual methods are not working as system restore icon itself have gone missing.

  6. idp generic avast

    we should prevent the virus before it encrypt all the data into a garbage and decoding is very dangerous it lost all the data, but i think you should keep track to decode it.


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