This article will help you remove Vortex ransomware efficiently. Follow the ransomware removal instructions at the end of the article.
Vortex is a Polish ransomware cryptovirus. Whether it is just targeted at Polish-speaking users or not the ransomware could infect other users’ computers, as well. Your files will become encrypted and receive the extension .aes when the encryption process completes. Some malware researchers believe that the AES encryption algorithm with 256-bit ciphers is used for locking the files. The Vortex cryptovirus will leave a ransom note with demands for payment, written in the Polish language. Continue to read below to see how you could try to potentially restore some of your data.
|Short Description||The ransomware encrypts files on your computer and displays a ransom message afterward.|
|Symptoms||The ransomware will encrypt your files and put the extension .aes to them after it finishes its encryption process.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Vortex.|
|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.|
Vortex Ransomware – Update April 2018
With the help of Google Translate, you can see some of the information posted on the https://nomoreransom.cert.pl/vortex/ page below.
District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw informs you that it conducts proceedings PO II Ds 129.2017 against Tomasz T. responsible, among others for encrypting computers using the Vortex / Flotera / Polski ransomware viruses.
The tool on this page will allow you to obtain a key that can recover encrypted files.
Please note that at this moment the tool does not have keys from all campaigns in which the software encrypting files was used in. As new security measures are added, new keys will be added, so please check files that you have not been able to recover regularly.
If you managed to decrypt the files using the key obtained on this site, we kindly ask you to submit a notification of suspected offense together with the prosecutor in the nearest place of residence for your Police unit with reference to the case file PO II Ds 129.2017 District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw.
If you have an e-mail message that the perpetrator sent to you a malicious file, please save it on a CD/DVD (along with full headers and attachments) and hand it over to the police as an attachment to the interrogation protocol. It will not be necessary to submit for examination the computer on which the files were encrypted.
– District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw
Select or drag the encrypted file below to check if we have the key needed to decrypt it. The key recovery process can take about a minute. Only a small portion of the file will be sent.
Click and select the file or drag it here.
[EMPTY FIELD] Currently selected file: (missing).
In case files are encrypted with one of the first versions of the Vortex ransomware, you can try using the tool created by Michael Gillespie from MalwareHunterTeam: VortexDecrypter-Michael_Gillespie.zip.
If you managed to recover the key:
The recovered key can be used to decrypt files using the free AES Crypt program. The recovered key from one file should decrypt all encrypted files on your PC.
If you have any questions, please contact CERT.pl at firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively you can post a question below, in the comment section of this article.
Vortex Ransomware – Infection Spread
Vortex ransomware might spread its infection with various methods. The payload file which initiates the malicious script for this ransomware is being spread around the World Wide Web, and researchers have gotten their hands on one such payload file. If that file lands on your computer system and you somehow execute it – your PC will become infected. You can see the detections of such a file on the VirusTotal service:
Vortex ransomware might also distribute its payload file on social media and file-sharing services. Freeware which is found on the Web can be presented as helpful also be hiding the malicious script for the cryptovirus. Refrain from opening files right after you have downloaded them. You should first scan them with a security tool, while also checking their size and signatures for anything that seems out of the ordinary. You should read the tips for preventing ransomware found in the forum section.
Vortex Ransomware – Technical Analysis
Vortex ransomware is also a cryptovirus. Malware researchers believe that it might be targeting mainly Polish-speaking people, as its ransom message is written in the Polish language. The extension .aes is appended to all files that become locked after the encryption process is finished.
Vortex ransomware could make entries in the Windows Registry to achieve persistence, and probably launch or repress processes in a Windows environment. Such entries are typically designed in a way to launch the virus automatically with each start of the Windows operating system.
The note is written in Polish and gives details about the restoration of your files and how to pay the cybercriminals. You can view the ransom message that loads after file encryption below:
That ransom note reads the following:
Nie możesz znaleźć potrzebnych plików na dysku twardym? Zawartość Twoich plików jest nie do otwarcia?
Jest to skutek działania programu który zaszyfrował większość Twoich danych przy pomocy silnego alogrytmu aes-256, używanego min. przez służby mundurowe do zatajania danych przesyłanych drogą elektroniczną.
Jedyna metoda aby odzyskać Twoje pliki to wykupienie od nas programu deszyfrującego, wraz z jednorazowym kluczem wygenerowanym unikalnie dla Ciebie!
Gdy już postanowisz odzyskać swoje dane skontaktuj się z nami pod adrem e-mail: email@example.com lub firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Pliki odszyfrujemy za darmo aby udowodnić że jesteśmy w stanie tego dokonać, Za resztę niestety musisz zapłacić!
Cena za odszyfrowanie wszystkich plików: 199$
Uwaga! Nie marnuj czasu, czas to pieniądz za 4 dni cena wzrośnie o 100%!
A rough translation of that note in English states the following:
You cannot find the necessary files on your hard drive? The contents of your files cannot be opened?
This is the result of the program that encrypted the most of your data using strong algorithm AES 256-bit, used min. the uniformed services for disguising data transmitted electronically.
The only way to recover your files is to buy a decryption program from us, with a single key generated uniquely for you!
Once you choose to recover your data, please contact us at the e-mail address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Files can be decrypted for free to prove that we are able to do so, for the rest, unfortunately, you have to pay!
Price for the decryption of all files: $199
Warning! Do not waste your time, time is money for 4 days price will increase by 100%!
IP = ID =
The note of the Vortex ransomware states that your files are encrypted with the AES 256-bit encryption algorithm. A ransom sum of 199 US dollars is demanded as payment for unlocking your data. You are given 4 days as a deadline by the ransom criminals to unlock your files, or else the ransom sum will double in price. You should NOT under any circumstance pay these cybercriminals. Your files may not get restored, and nobody could give you any real guarantee for that. Moreover, giving money to these criminals will likely motivate them to create more ransomware or do other criminal activities.
Vortex Ransomware – Encryption Process
You should try to get those 2 files decrypted for free, as promised in the ransom message, as that might prove quite useful in case an actual decryption tool is released in the future.
A list with file extensions that the Vortex ransomware seeks to encrypt is available, and you can see exactly what file extensions will end up getting encrypted from that list given right here:
→.3g2, .3gp, .7z, .acc, .amr, .asf, .avi, .cpp, .cs, .css, .doc, .docx, .flv, .gzip, .html, .java, .js, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpg, .ogg, .ogv, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .py, .rar, .rb, .rm, .rmvb, .rtf, .swf, .tar, .txt, .vb, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx, .zip
All of the files that get encrypted will receive the same extension appended to them, and that is the .aes extension. The same extension is being used by another Polish ransomware, called Polski Ransomware.
The Vortex cryptovirus is quite likely to erase all the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows operating system by using the following command:
→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet
Keep on reading to find out what kind of ways you could try to potentially restore some of your files.
Remove Ransomware and Restore .aes Files
If your computer got infected with the Vortex ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
What is Vortex Ransomware?
Vortex 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 Vortex 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 Vortex?
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 Vortex Infect?
Via several ways.Vortex 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 Vortex 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 .Vortex files?
You can't. At this point, the .Vortex 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 .Vortex files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.
Can I Restore ".Vortex" Files?
Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Vortex 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 Vortex 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 Vortex ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Vortex files.
Also, keep in mind that viruses like Vortex 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 Vortex 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.
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 Vortex Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Vortex 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.
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.
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