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Cryptowall 3.0 Virus Removal

Cryptowall 3.0 Virus Removal

  • August 9, 2019

The Internet is filled with various viruses that are waiting for an accidental click to gain access to users’ computers. While a significant number of viruses infect devices to spam them with ads, other viruses have far more nefarious purposes.

Cryptowall 3.0 Virus Removal

Viruses like Trojans and ransomware are considered among the most dangerous malware on the web. These viruses are responsible for damaging computer systems, causing financial losses and taking computer files hostage.

However, there are only a few viruses that exhibit the characteristics of both these viruses. Such viruses can be difficult to detect and put their victims in jeopardy.

The infamous Cryptowall 3.0 is one such virus. In this article, we will discuss what the Cryptowall 3.0 Virus is and how you can remove it from your computer.

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CryptoWall 3.0 is a Trojan-ransomware that can cause irreversible damage to your computer. The notable thing about this virus is that it encrypts files on a computer using advanced encryption techniques.

The virus’ weapon of choice is the AES-256 (sometimes RSA-2048) encryption method. AES-256, the 256-bit version of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is used by high-end VPN services to ensure data privacy. Many government agencies use this method to conceal confidential data as well.

The method is renowned for being unbreakable (unless you use supercomputers). Therefore, it’s impossible to retrieve data through decryption once the virus gets hold of a person’s data. As a result, many victims have no choice other than doing what the hacker demands. In the case of CryptoWall 3.0, the demand is a ransom for decrypting these files again.

Usually, the ransom is set at $500, which has to be paid within 96 hours. If the victim fails to pay the amount in this timeframe, the hackers may increase their demand and ask for $1000 to allow access to the hacked files again.

Computer Ransom

Since extorting ransom through banking is bound to expose them to law-enforcement agencies, these criminals use Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin provide them a way to receive ransoms anonymously. Even then, such hackers use different Bitcoin addresses to extort money from each infected user.

As the majority of internet users use Windows, CryptoWall 3.0 targets all versions of Windows, including Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. This helps hackers attack a range of internet users and enables them to extort ransom from them.

Due to the way the CryptoWall 3.0 Virus operates, it becomes difficult to detect it, even for some antivirus programs. When CryptoWall 3.0 is installed on your computer, it creates a random executable file the %AppData% (or %LocalAppData%) folder of your system registry.

The executable files will start scanning the system memory for data files to encrypt.
The CryptoWall 3.0 Virus is programmed to target files extension that are known for having high values, such as .xls, .pdf, .doc, and .docx,. However, the virus is exceptionally dangerous and it can target over 200 types of file extensions, some of which are mentioned below:

  • .mdb
  • .pptm
  • .pptx
  • .ppt
  • .xlk
  • .sql
  • .mp4
  • .7z
  • .rar
  • .m4a
  • .wma
  • .avi
  • .wmv
  • .py
  • .m3u
  • .flv
  • .js
  • .css
  • .rb
  • .png
  • .jpeg

What makes CryptoWall 3.0 so hard to detect is that it does nothing to corrupt the files in your system. In the entire process, the virus only uses encryption, which is a normal technique to ensure data protection. As a result, many antivirus programs don’t associate the application with malware.

After finding the targeted files, the virus will then proceed to make copies of those files. However, these copies will not be mere duplicates of the original files. Instead, these files would be encrypted versions that are inaccessible to the user. Once encryption of these targeted files is completed, the virus will delete all the original files.

As the virus deletes these files one by one, it will create a text file containing a ransom note for the victim. Conventionally, the malware names this file as HELP_DECRYPT.txt and places it in each folder where a file has been encrypted.

To get the victim’s attention, the virus also changes the Windows desktop wallpaper to HELP_DECRYPT.html. Both ransom note and the wallpaper will contain information on how the victim can access the payment site.

Even here, the hackers maintain complete anonymity and the note enlists the URL of a TOR website. TOR websites are different from usual websites and are much more difficult to trace than traditional websites. Here, the victim will find out how much ransom they have to pay and how they can make the payment.

TOR logo

The virus is dubbed CryptoWall 3.0 because of how far it goes to protect the identity of its developers. However, the dangers of this virus don’t end here. If you launch an executable to restore the affected files, it will also try to hijack the .EXE extension in your system. After that, it will attempt to delete the shadow copies of the encrypted files to ensure you cannot retrieve them.

This is why we recommend removing the CryptoWall 3.0 Virus from your system before attempting to recover lost files.

Read on to learn how to remove the CryptoWall 3.0 Virus from your machine.

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Threat Summary

Name of SoftwareCryptoWall 3.0 Virus
TypeTrojan-Ransomware
Danger LevelThe virus is “Highly Dangerous” and can cause irreparable damage to your system. Not only does it make encrypted files unusable, but sabotages any attempts to recover those files again. 
SymptomsThe CryptoWall 3.0 Virus operates in the dark and will conceal itself like a Trojan until it succeeds in its mission. Victims can learn about the malware attack after they see the notice of ransom either in the affected folder or on their desktop wallpaper.
Distribution Method

The CryptoWall 3.0 Virus uses stealthy distribution techniques, such as social engineering. It can infect your computer through deceptive notifications, fake warnings, and spam emails.

Other times, the ransomware will hide like a Trojan in seemingly innocent text, pdf documents or downloadable torrents.Moreover, it can also affect your system through ads that have malware or corrupted links.

Detection Tool

CryptoWall 3.0 is a highly sophisticated virus that can even get around some antimalware programs. Therefore, you need a reliable antivirus program to detect the virus and remove it completely.

TotalAV is a great tool for detecting all kinds of viruses, regardless of how advanced they are. We recommend our readers buy the full premium product to protect their systems from advanced viruses, such as CryptoWall 3.0 in the future.

The CryptoWall 3.0 Virus is highly sophisticated and can only be removed with the help of a powerful antivirus program like TotalAV. If you are not sure of buying TotalAV, you can avail its 7-day free trial to see how capable the application is.

Alternatively, you can also avail the full 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service. Just follow TotalAV’s own guideline for claiming a refund.

TotalAV Antivirus icon

In order to remove CryptoWall 3.0 from the computer permanently, follow each step mentioned below:

Step#1:

First off, open your web browser, type “TotalAV download” in the address bar, and hit Enter. Thereafter, click on TotalAV’s official website in the search results. Download the free version

of the application clicking on “Download Now.”

Antivirus download page

Step #2:

Click on the downloaded file “TotalAV_Setup.exe” on the bottom left of the screen to start the installation process.

TotalAV Antivirus downloaded file

Step #3:

Select the “Install” button on the resulting window and choose ‘Yes’ when the operating system asks for your permission. After that, wait until the installation process completes.

Antivirus installation

Step #4:

After the installation process is completed, you need to restart your computer in Safe Mode. Running the computer in Safe Mode will allow you to remove all the existing problems from your computer effectively.

Safe Mode stops start-up programs, including hardware drivers, and malware applications from disrupting malware removal. Therefore, you need to restart Windows in Safe Mode before using TotalAV. Just act on the following measures to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10.

  • Open the run command interface by pressing “Windows Key + R” simultaneously. After that, type “msconfig” to open settings.
msconfig
  • Once the system configuration is open, click on the Boot option available in the top section of the window.
Boot option
  • After that, select the checkbox beside the label “Safe Boot,” click on “Apply” and select OK.
Safe boot option
  • Once you select the Safe Boot option, a System Configuration window will pop up to ask permission for restarting the device. Choose “Restart” and wait until the computer turns back on.
System Config restart

Step #5:

Search for the TotalAV antivirus, and open the application. After that, select “Antivirus” on the left panel of the window and then click on the “System Scan” option. Doing so will make the options for full system scan available. Select the System Scan icon to start a full system scan to detect all the viruses present on your computer.
Virus Scan

Step #6:

Allow TotalAV to ‘Take Action’ against all malware and delete these hazardous elements from the system. However, it’s possible that some viruses may survive the initial clean-up. The majority of these surviving viruses will be Trojans that are trying to conceal themselves as normal programs.

Step#7

These programs will end up in the “Quarantine” section. Since CryptoWall 3.0 is part Trojan, it’s likely that it is among the applications trapped in the Quarantine section. Firstly, select the white checkbox on top of all other checkboxes and then select the “Delete” option to remove all remaining malware files.present on your computer.

Virus Delete Quarantine

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CryptoWall 3.0 is a dangerous polymorphic virus that can encrypt user files, thereby making them unusable. On top of that, it can sabotage any attempts of recovery and even delete the shadow copies of the encrypted files.

If victims don’t pay the ransom amount, they will lose precious data permanently. Unfortunately, even if they pay the ransom amount, there’s no guarantee that they’ll recover the files in the state they wanted.

The malware is so powerful that it can even trick some antivirus programs. Therefore, no ordinary antivirus can work against the virus. The only way to get rid of CryptoWall 3.0 is to install a powerful antivirus, such as TotalAV.

The antivirus will delete all core files of CryptoWall 3.0 from your system. Buying TotalAV will ensure that you remain safe from all viruses in the future. Don’t waste your time and get TotalAV antivirus today.

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