Vortex Ransomware – Remove and Restore .Aes Files

Vortex Ransomware – Remove and Restore .Aes Files

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.

Threat Summary

Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer and displays a ransom message afterward.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt your files and put the extension .aes to them after it finishes its encryption process.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Vortex


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Vortex.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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

Update! CERT.PL – the Computer Emergency Response Team of Poland, have issued a statement about a decryption tool available for the ransomware described in this article.

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 [email protected], 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:

Vortex Ransomware
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 protected] lub [email protected]
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:

Vortex Ransomware
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 protected] or [email protected]
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.

Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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