THREAT REMOVAL

.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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Malware Removal Tool

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.

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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 .UselessFiles virus from Windows.


Step 1: 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


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 .UselessFiles virus 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 .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.


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 .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.

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 .UselessFiles virus.

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 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 .UselessFiles virus from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall .UselessFiles virus 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 .UselessFiles virus:

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 .UselessFiles virus. 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 .UselessFiles virus. 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 .UselessFiles virus 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 .UselessFiles virus. 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 .UselessFiles virus:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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

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 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.


.UselessFiles virus FAQ

What is .UselessFiles virus ransomware and how does it work?

.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 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 .UselessFiles virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..UselessFiles virus 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 .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.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

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.

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

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% 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 .UselessFiles virus 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 .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. 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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