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Vurten Virus – Remove and Restore .improved Files

Vurten virus is a new ransomware that has recently been discovered by virus researchers, it encrypts target data with the .improved extension. At the moment the collected so far samples seem to be test versions of the malware. Further updates to the Vurten virus can include additional components.

Threat Summary

Name Vurten
Type Ransomware
Short Description The Vurten virus is a newly discovered malware that encrypts the target data with .improved extension.
Symptoms The victims will find that their files are encrypted with the .improved extension.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Vurten.

Vurten Virus – Infection Spread

The Vurten virus can be distributed using various methods depending on the end targets. The hackers can optimize the malware delivery by using the most appropriate strategy for the desired scale of attacks.

A common way is to create spam messages that utilize various social engineering techniques in order to blackmail targets. The criminals can opt to use malware hyperlinks that link to the Vurten virus files hosted on hacker sites. Usually the criminals take text and graphics from well-known Internet services and sites. The messages are customized in order to appear as being sent by the companies rather than computer criminals. Another strategy would be to directly attach files to them.

The Vurten virus can be embedded in various payloads that are widely available through various sources. Usually the two most common ways are the following:

  • Infected Installers — The Vurten virus can be inserted into software installers that have been taken from their official vendor sites. Usually the criminals target popular instances such as creativity apps, system utilities and games.
  • Malware Documents — The hackers behind the Vurtue virus can embed the malware code into files of different types: presentations, spreadsheets and rich text documents. Once the recipients open the associated files they will be greeted by a notification prompt which asks them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done then the virus will be downloaded from a remote location and executed on the compromised machine.

The criminals can make use of another method that has become popular in the last few years — browser hijackers. They represent malware browser plugins that are usually distributed on the plugin repositories operated by the major browsers. The instances are listed using elaborate descriptions and counterfeit developer credentials and user reviews. They are usually made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer.

Vurten Virus – Technical Data

The security analysis of the Vurten virus does not reveal a correlation with any of the known malware families. At the moment the full analysis is not yet complete and the captured samples contain only basic functionality. It is possible that the threat is still in development or preliminary testing before being released once again.

Future versions of it can include various additional components. An example is an information gathering which can be started once the malware has infiltrated the systems. It is programmed to extract data of different kinds from computers. It is usually classified into these two groups:

  • Personal Data — It is composed of information that can directly expose the victims identity. Their name, address, interests, location, account credentials and passwords.
  • System Data — This type of data usually consists of information related to the installed hardware components and certain operating system and software configuration files.

The gathered information can then be used for analysis and stealth protection. By analyzing the harvested data the Vurten virus can counter applications that can interfere with its execution. Examples include anti-virus software, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments. If any of them are found their engines can be stopped or the application may altogether be removed. In advanced cases the malware strains can be programmed into deleting themselves to avoid detection.

Further updates to the base version of Vurten virus may include a variety of different system modifications. An example one is the removal of the recovery menu. This is the result of boot menu options manipulation which prohibits the users from using this manual recovery method. Another issue is the modification of the Windows Registry which can result in application failure and overall system stability issues. If the virus impacts any system services, they might be rendered partially non-working or even disabled.

Some malware also have the ability to institute a permanent network connection to a hacker-controlled server. It can be used to gather the harvested data and send arbitrary commands to the infected hosts. An interesting proposition is the remote control capabilities that are very similar to standalone Trojans.

Vurten Virus — Encryption Process

Once all malware components of the Vurten virus have executed correctly the ransomware module is launched. Like other similar threats it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. Typically it seeks to target the following data:

  • Backups
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Documents
  • Databases

The following extensions are being targeted (taken from a recent malware sample):

.$db, .001, .002, .003, .08, .09, .10, .11, .7z, .ab, .abk, .accdb, .accde, .accdr, .accdt, .accdw, .accft, .ade, .adi,
.adl, .adn, .arc, .arm, .arz, .asd, .ate, .ati, .bac, .bak, .bak2, .big, .bkp, .bkup, .bup, .c, .cal, .cat, .cbs, .cbu, .cc,
.cls, .cmf, .cnf, .conf, .cpp, .crypt12, .crypt5, .crypt6, .crypt7, .crypt8, .crypt9, .cs, .csv, .cxx, .dat, .db, .db3, .dbf,
.dbs, .dbt, .dbv, .ddl, .def, .dex, .doc, .docm, .docm, .docx, .docx, .docxml, .dot, .dot, .dov, .dqy, .dropbox, .dsc, .dsk,
.dsn, .eml, .emlx, .fdb, .fpt, .frm, .frt, .gho, .ghs, .grv, .gz, .gzip, .h, .hc, .hdi, .hds, .hfs, .hfv, .hlog, .htm, .html,
.ib, .ibc, .ibd, .ibz, .imm, .ism, .jpg, .kdb, .kdbx, .latex, .ldf, .ltr, .maf, .map, .maq, .mar, .maw, .mbf, .mcd, .mdb, .mdbhtml,
.mdbx, .mdf, .mdf, .mdn, .mig, .mpp, .mrg, .msg, .mwb, .myd, .myi, .mysql, .nbf, .ndf, .nvram, .obk, .odif, .odm, .odp, .ods, .odt,
.one, .opt, .ori, .orig, .ort, .pages, .pdf, .pdf, .phl, .pla, .pln, .ppt, .pptx, .pst, .pub, .pvm, .qbquery, .rar, .rtf, .rul, .sal,
.scn, .sco, .sdf, .sln, .sqb, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlitedb, .sqr, .tar, .tc, .tc, .tib, .tmd, .tmd, .trc, .txt, .txt, .vbk, .vbm, .vbox-prev,
.vdi, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmcx, .vmdk, .vmem, .vmsd, .vmsn, .vmss, .vmtm, .vmwarevm, .vmx, .vmxf, .volarchive, .vpcbackup, .vrb, .walletx, .wbb,
.wdb, .wim, .win, .wks, .wrk, .xld, .xlk, .xls, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xml, .xps, .zip

All target data is renamed with the .improved extension. The malware engine uses a strong cipher that encrypts the user files. It can only be recovered by first removing the virus.

A ransomware note is created in a file called UNCRYPT.README.txt which contains the following message:

Your entire network sensetive data was encrypted with our strong algorithm.
To recover your data send $10000 to the bitcoin address: 1Ln9RxSRuDqqFhCTuqBPBKRMeyhVhRaUG4
If you do not send money within 7 days, payment will be increased double.
After payment you will receive decryption software.
Contact email: vurten_knyert@protonmail.com

Remove Vurten Virus and Restore Your Files

If your computer got compromised and is infected with the Vurten ransomware virus, you should have some experience with removing viruses before tampering with it. You should get rid of the ransomware fast before it can spread further on the network and encrypt more files. The recommended action for you is to remove the ransomware completely by following the step-by-step instructions written below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Step 1: Scan for Vurten 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 Vurten 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 Vurten 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 Vurten 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.

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 Vurten


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 Vurten.

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 Vurten 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.


What is Vurten Ransomware?

Vurten 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.

What Does Vurten Ransomware Do?

Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

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

How Does Vurten Infect?

Via several ways.Vurten 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.

Another way you may become a victim of Vurten 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 .Vurten files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .Vurten files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key 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 .Vurten files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore ".Vurten" Files?

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

Can I 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 Vurten 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.

Can a 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 Vurten Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Vurten 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 Vurten 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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