THREAT REMOVAL

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

NameVurten
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe Vurten virus is a newly discovered malware that encrypts the target data with .improved extension.
SymptomsThe victims will find that their files are encrypted with the .improved extension.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, File Sharing Networks, Exploit Kits
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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.

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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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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.


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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 Vurten from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Vurten

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 Vurten 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 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.


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 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.

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 Vurten.

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 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 Vurten from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Vurten 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 Vurten:

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 Vurten. 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 Vurten. 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 Vurten 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 Vurten. 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.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Vurten on your Mac.

Ransomware for Mac Vurten aims to encode all your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decode, unless you pay money.

This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files, but only in some cases. 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 Mac app by clicking on the link underneath:


Vurten FAQ

What is Vurten ransomware and how does it work?

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 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 Vurten ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Vurten 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 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. At this point the .Vurten 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 .Vurten files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

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

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% 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 Vurten 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 Vurten ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Vurten files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Vurten 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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