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.UselessFiles Ransomware Virus – How to Remove and Restore Data

This article has been created in order to help explain to your what is the .UselessFiles ransomware virus and how to remove this infection from your computer plus how to try and restore files, that have been encrypted by it.

A new ransomware sample was detected by MalwareHunterTeam to append the file extension .UselessFiles on the files of the computers it infects after the malware encrypts them. The virus’s primary purpose is to make sure that the files remain no longer openable, until the victim pays ransom in BitCoins. These activities may result in the victim being extorted in return for his or her files. If your computer has been infected by the .UselessFiles virus, we recommend that you read this article and learn how to remove this ransomware from your computer and how to restore the files encrypted by the virus.

Threat Summary

Name .UselessFiles virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Aims to encrypt the files on your computer after which extort you into paying a ransom fee to make them openable again.
Symptoms The main symptoms of this virus are a ransom note, called “UselessFiles!” and the files encrypted with the same name as a file extension added to them.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .UselessFiles virus.
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.

.UselessFiles Ransomware – How Does It Infect

The UselessFiles ransomware may use several methods in order to infect computers.

The main method via which this ransomware virus infects the computers of victims is believed to be via spammed e-mail messages. These may contain malicious e-mail attachments and malicious web links. The e-mails can often be mistaken for legitimate ones as cyber-criminals become more and more advanced in their efforts to disguise them. They often make it seem as if the e-mails come from legitimate companies, like:

  • PayPal.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Facebook.
  • eBay.
  • Amazon.
  • DHL.
  • FedEx.

The e-mails themselves may contain files, such as malicious documents, containing macros. These look like legitimate Microsoft Word .doc types of files, but in reality their primary goal is to get the user to open them and click on “Enable Content” after which the malicious macros are triggered. In addition to this, the e-mails may also spread .SFX archives and other archived files, like .js files or .wsf and even .hta files, causing the infection via malicious scripts.

Besides via e-mails, the .UselessFiles file ransomware may also be replicated via other methods, like pretending to be a legitimate program, uploaded online. Such programs are often uploaded on third-party websites for software and they most often pretend to be:

  • Installers for software or games.
  • Patches.
  • Key generators.
  • Cracks.
  • Software License activators.

UselessFiles! Ransomware – More Information

The main idea behind the UselessFiles! Ransomware is to get the victim to pay a hefty ransom fee in order to decrypt the files for him or her. To get to it’s end goal, the virus first drops it’s malicious files. They may be of the following file types;

.exe; .htm; .hta; .vbs; .dll; .tmp;

These files may exist under different names, pretending to be legitimate programs, like Notepad or they may have completely random names. They may be detected in some of the following Windows directories:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Temp%
  • %Roaming%

After the malicious files are dropped, the UselessFiles ransomware may begin to perform various different types of activities on the computer, which include touching system files of Windows and creating mutexes. The virus also reads system information and may check if it’s running on a virtual drive in order to self-delete and shut down to prevent security analysts from analyzing it’s code.

The UselessFiles! Ransomware may also perform other activities on the computers of victims, which may include modifying the Run and RunOnce Windows registry sub-keys by adding value strings with random data within them which aim to get the malicious files of the ransomware to run automatically when you log in Windows. The sub-keys have the following locations:

→HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Among the malicious activities of the .UselessFiles ransomware may also be to make sure that the shadow volume copies of your computer are deleted, and to do this, it may trigger Windows Command prompt with the following commands to be executed without you even knowing it:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet & bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no & bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures”

Last but not least, the .UselessFiles virus also opens It’s ransom note type of file, which has the following instructions for the victims of the virus:

UselessFiles!

Ooops,your files have been encrypted!
[What Happened to My Computer?
Your important files are encrypted-
Many of your documents, photos, videos, databases and other files are no longer
accessible because they have been encrypted. Maybe you are busy looking for a
way to recover your files, but do not waste your time- Nobody can recover your
files without our decryption service-
Can I Recover My Files?
Sure- We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily.
But if you want to decrypt all your files, you need to pay-
How Do I Pay?
Payment is accepted in Bitcoin only-Please check the current price of Bitcoin
and buy some bitcoins-And send the correct amount to the address specified in
this window-Once the payment is checked, you can start decrypting your files
immediately.
We strongly recommend you to not remove this software, and disable your anti-
virus for a while, until you pay and the payment gets processed. If your anti-virus
gets updated and removes this software automatically, it will not be able to
recover your files even if you pay!
Send 300$ worth of bitcoin to this address:
{BitcoinAddress}

.UselessFiles Ransomware – File Encoding

To encrypt the files on the victim’s computer, the .UselessFiles ransomware may begin to scan for often used types of objects, such as:

  • Documents.
  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Audio files.
  • Archives.
  • Virtual drives.
  • Other often used file types.

The malware is extremely careful not to encrypt important Windows files, since this may break your OS. After encryption, the files may appear like the following:

Remove .UselessFiles Ransowmare and Restore Your Important Data

If you want to remove the .UselessFiles ransomware infection from your computer it is strongly recommended that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been created in order to best make sure that this malware is gone. If manual removal does not seem to work for you, be advised that according to security experts, the best way to remove malware, like the .UselessFiles ransomware is to do it automatically with the aid of an advanced anti-malware program. Such software has the capability of making sure that the malware is fully gone and your system is fully secure, without the need to reinstall your Windows whatsoever.

If you wish to restore the files that have been enciphered by this infection, it is strongly advisable to try the alternative methods for file recovery in step “2. Restore files encrypted by .UselessFiles Virus” underneath. They may not be 100% effective in the recovery of all the files, but may assist you in restoring as many encrypted files as possible.

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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  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Step 1: Scan for .UselessFiles 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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3


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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

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

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 2: Uninstall .UselessFiles virus and related malware 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.
delete ransomware from windows step 1


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2


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"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .UselessFiles 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 .UselessFiles virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 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: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .UselessFiles 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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
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.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5


Step 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .UselessFiles virus.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and .UselessFiles 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 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.


.UselessFiles virus-FAQ

What is .UselessFiles virus Ransomware?

.UselessFiles 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 algorithms 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.

Can .UselessFiles virus Ransomware Cayse Damage?

Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

Should I Ignore Viruses, Like .UselessFiles virus?

No, you should never ignore ransomware. It can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom.

Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered.

How Does .UselessFiles virus Infect?

Via several ways..UselessFiles virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, 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 .UselessFiles 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 ..UselessFiles virus files?

You can't. At this point, the ..UselessFiles virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryptionkey for the particular algorithm.

What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?

Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your ..UselessFiles virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore "..UselessFiles virus" Files?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..UselessFiles virus files. 

These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How To Get Rid of .UselessFiles virus Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program.

It will scan for and locate .UselessFiles virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..UselessFiles virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .UselessFiles virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts.

What to Do If I Cant Get The Files Back?

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 can be re-downloaded from the web.
  • Another clever way 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:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

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

Can You Stop Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files.

Can .UselessFiles virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it.

In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid.

Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can infect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.

Can Ransomware Attack Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine.

It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Interpol and others have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

About the .UselessFiles virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this .UselessFiles virus 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 .UselessFiles virus 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.


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.

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