Crowti update – CryptoWall 3.0

After almost two months of hiatus over the holidays, a new campaign of Crowti tagged as ‘CryptoWall 3.0’ has been observed. It uses a similar distribution channel as before, having been downloaded by other malware and serving as a payload through exploits.

The graph below shows the spike after two days of no activity from 288 unique machines affected by this malware:

Figure 1. Sudden spike from CryptoWall 3.0 activity this month.

Figure 1.  Sudden spike from CryptoWall 3.0 activity this month.

It still follows the same behavior as previous variants, with minimal modifications such as changes in ransom notification file names:


The files are still customized for each infected user with a personal link to decryption instructions page that are still done over Tor network. Tor (anonymity network) is a free software which enables online anonymity for users who attempt to resist censorship.

Figure 2.  HELP_DECRYPT.PNG displays after the files have been encrypted in the system indication information about the malware attack.

Figure 2.  HELP_DECRYPT.PNG displays after the files have been encrypted in the system indication information about the malware attack.

Figure 3. HELP_DECRYPT.TXT details the instructions to go to the decryption page that is customized for each infected user.

Figure 3. HELP_DECRYPT.TXT details the instructions to go to the decryption page that is customized for each infected user.

Figure 4.  HELP_DECRYPT.HTML details the instructions to go to the decryption page that is customized for each infected user.

Figure 4.  HELP_DECRYPT.HTML details the instructions to go to the decryption page that is customized for each infected user.

Figure 5.  Decryption service or payment page that requests 500 USD/EURO for the first 167 hours or the ransom demand, which increases over time.

Figure 5.  Decryption service or payment page that requests 500 USD/EURO for the first 167 hours or the ransom demand, which increases over time.

As far as coverage goes, Microsoft detects this threat and encourages everyone to always have Microsoft security software up to date, and enable Microsoft Active Protection Service Community (MAPS).

Customers using MAPS can take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud protection and are protected with the latest threat variants. MAPS is enabled by default for Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender for Windows 8.1.

You can check if MAPS feature is enabled in your Microsoft security product by selecting the Settings tab and then MAPS.  This is also referenced in our previous blog on Crowti, ‘The dangers of opening suspicious emails: Crowti ransomware‘, which discusses other steps that users can take to protect their PC.

MAPS window

Marianne Mallen


Comments (76)

  1. TammyRSmith says:

    Starting to see bitcoin just about everywhere!

  2. adwbust says:

    Cant you detect the tor traffic with NIS or whitelist the official tor package and tor bundles from sourceforge and tag unknown tor packages/bundles as suspects? UAC on Windows 10 should have a data shield to prevent unauthorized access and modification
    of users' files. UAC already protects system paths anyway.

  3. Dane Kantner says:

    Enterprise customers with Windows-based file servers that are 2008 R2 and newer would be keen to add a passive Windows File Screen passive audit rule that will send them an alert upon the presence of someone saving any of these files to their share:


    These are the files in the reverse chronological order that various variants have used. You can do this in the File Resource Manager tool, which you may have to install if not already installed. See for more information.

    If you're in a NAS environment such as NetApp, you could actively scan file shares for these files using a PowerShell script on a scheduled task; I've updated my script on TechNet as of yesterday AM with the latest file names to detect these Crypto3.0 files: I have seen infections go for 3-4 days without detection. Even in a purely Windows world, you could actually schedule this to run on individual workstations for alerting
    that it's infecting a given systems' local hard drives.

    This will allow you to immediately take action and track down an attacking system; I've seen variants run on a share for 5+ days without anyone reporting.

  4. adwbust says:

    Despite MAPS already monitoring known malware filenames and paths and getting samples, the lab still lags at detection. Maybe there's already a signature but MSE just can't update/connect out or was disabled. Do something about that weakness MMPC?

  5. adwbust says:

    Even if you get alerted for creation of those files, it's too late? The malware already did its dirty work. Maybe prevent access to paths and files the malware usually targets? MSE should be able to block those suspect accesses via a behave rule! What's
    MMPC doing? Slacking?

  6. PatRick says:

    Things are encrypted on a folder by folder level. You would be best to have the file screen immediately shut down the file server when it detects this. This way you will lose 1 folder for certain, and maybe part of a second before the server is down. Sending
    out an alert is not enough as the delayed response time will mean more data lost that needs to be recovered from backup. This will give you time to disconnect the infected machine from the network and then you can bring the server back online.

    1. Martin says:

      “Things are encrypted on a folder by folder level. You would be best to have the file screen immediately shut down the file server when it detects this.”
      How can I configure this in File Screen?

  7. TJ says:

    Yes when you detect it with an FSRM file screen its too late but it lets us shut down the infected machine immediately and limit the scope of the damage.

    With previous variants we blocked executing files from certain locations and that worked well. Has anyone found where this file gets put on the local machine to execute?

  8. Ap says:

    It is dropped in the appdataroamingaeb folder and is run from there.

    Just had to clean it from a users system.

  9. Manoj Sharma says:

    I have same problem in my computer server. Most of the folder were damaged. Anyone can help me to recover entire data. If anyone have solution, Please share with us.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Manoj Sharma

  10. Phgunggong says:

    my files such as Image and Videos been encrypted,
    Is there no chance to recover it? 🙁

  11. art says:


    How I can remove for sure from Windows Server 2008 ?
    I don't really need to decrypt files because I 've got backup, but when I put a backup the files such


    reappears day after 🙁

    So I would like to clean for the good this thing plz



  12. darking says:

    No chance of recovery if you do not have either shadow copies enabled (some versions of crowti disable that) or have a backup of a unencrypted file.

  13. Pepo says:

    From what I heard, there is no way to recover those files unless you pay. It is a good time to start working on back up solution to avoid future similar issues 🙂

  14. art says:

    darking, that's what I said in my previous message: I don't really need to decrypt files because I 've got backup 😉

    I know that you can't decrypt the encrypted files.

    My question is how to remove the malware itself, clean for good my server of this *** without formatting whole machine ?

    Tnank you.

  15. adwbust says:

    art instead of a backup, don't you keep an image that you can restore from? or even a backup drive that you can swap? also, why don't you ask your antivirus provider for clean up support? they might be able to decrypt the files also – unlikely though.

    the issue here is Windows allows the execution of the scr without a prompt! add the scr to the list of executable extensions that trigger a prompt for user permission. UAC and MSE also don't prevent the disabling of shadow copy! even if MSE monitors that disabling
    behavior, it's only passive aka it only reports back to MMPC and doesn't block it! MSE sucks at detecting the dropper and crowti itself – they should change their lab philosophy to Prevention is better than cure; proactively detect the malware in the first
    place. MSE is so traditionally reactive and in this case, they can't clean/decrypt the files even if you submit samples. just sad.

  16. brntwood says:

    "backup" GREAT idea – – – – but this )(&)*(& )(*&&%( thing has hit my entire NAS backup as well as IT'S backup. (I automatically have 2 backups – both got hit (So – now what?) 🙁

  17. ajaske says:

    This is really discouraging. I have McAfee and the virus got through – they say 'Oh – sorry – still working on that one.' It is somewhat random what I lost – only a few .pdf and .docx files, but it got all of my ProTools files – .ptx – however, I can import
    the underlying audio and other types of files. The .ptx files give an error message of "The document could not be opened because it was created in an older version of ProTools." I keep thinking maybe there is some way to undo something here to get it to recognize
    that it is the appropriate file extension. I can create new files that are .ptx – no problem.

    I tried using RStudio as apparently with CryptoWall 1.0 it would create another copy with a funky name that could still be opened, but this version seems to not do that – I searched for files across my drives.

    I had all these files on an external drive. No – I didn't backup and am learning the hard way. It will take awhile to recreate the ProTools files from the audio, but it is doable. There are only about 6 files out of the hundreds that I would consider critical,
    so it is really not worth paying the ransom – I don't think I would do it anyway just out of fear it would only lead to more problems and more ransom.

    I spent hours yesterday on the phone with Dell and they say they removed the virus. but I'm doing a scan with SpyHunter4 just to get rid of everything and probably will search for the files mentioned above on all my drives to try to get rid of them I wish my
    virus protector was a bit better protector and I guess I will take to backing things up – seems expensive for just a few files, but they entail a lot of work. I am pretty pissed off at the IT community in general – it feels like they create these threats just
    to sell more product – like banks selling fraud protection.

  18. brntwood says:

    I've just got to ask…… Anyone have any experience/knowledge about the experience if they if fact PAY the ransom?? I do have a image copy of the PC that got hit – so I CAN recover the initial PC – But like I mentioned – this (*)(&***)(*(* thing hit
    all 3 copies of my data! irreplaceable data! These other drives were mapped from the original PC. (BTW – NO idea where/how got this. — NO questionable web browsing. Major retailer, major manufacturer and "review" sites. (Bet it was one of those)

  19. blake says:

    Just got hit by Cryptowall 3.0 in my Server 2008R2 environment. I ran 3 different AV scans and none of them detected it, I had to manually hunt down the .exes hidden in the users profile (i just deleted the entire profile to be safe), as well as another
    randomly named .exe in program data. Came in through a spam email as an attachment, but didn't run the encryption until they logged out and then back in.

    What is weird is that this virus didn't do a very good job at encrypting files, it hit a few random .txt files in one of my shares, but left the user's documents alone and didn't hit any important data on a different share (although it did create the "HELP_DECRYPT"
    files in some directories on that share, none of the files seem to be encyrpted that I am aware of). It also tried to delete my shadow copies on the affected server, that was blocked though thanks to permissions. If this was an admin user that got hit I probably
    wouldn't be sleeping tonight…

    I have backups of everything so no permanent damage (other than losing my entire evening combing though everything to sort this out), but this is the second time this client has been hit by a ransomware virus (last time it was cryptolocker) and my AV programs
    (Symantec is the main "protection") were useless! Hate these virsues, such a PITA.

  20. adwbust says:

    hey blake, if you still have those exe files (importantly the dropper/attachment) can you submit them to ? it'll help mmpc clean (not decrypt) machines through msrt.

    brntwood keep the encrypted files so you can decrypt them when someone finally cracks cryptowall 3.

    windows should intercept encrypt calls and only allow them to proceed if process is whitelisted and signed or allowed by user via prompt. windows 10 team what do you think?

  21. adwbust says:

    those on the enterprise environment, do you employ srp on your machines to prevent infection in the first place?

  22. adwbust says:

    Hey mmpc, don't you think it's time mse's NIS monitor and warn of excessive/suspect i2p and tor traffic?

  23. Mcnugget says:

    Cryptowall can't be cracked. The developers went through the trouble of using a high security private and public RSA key, and keep the private key stored on a server and they even use a web based decrypting program to reverse the changes. All which can
    only by accessed by using TOR networks. The only way anyone will be able to force the key to decrypt will be through the typical exploitation route, which could be impossible or lengthy. They release improved versions so I'm assuming they patch the issues
    and find new attack vectors.

    I had a work computer hit, it snuck in through outdated chrome extensions. We have a strict policy on what traffic can be viewed. I was actually on the phone with our IT department, troubleshooting a printer, and simply closing and reopening the browser window
    a few times was what triggered it to get in. It encrypted the desktop files and all files in the documents folder, which is where we keep certificates used to access a virtual terminal. Without working certs, we are out of business. I was able to restore the
    certs by pulling out old copies saved in the shadow volume. The virus does delete several shadow volumes but it missed a few. It also makes changes to the Internet explorer security settings to prevent automatic downloads of files (to prevent victims from
    downloading security tools), and it adds entries to the start-up folder. This is truly nasty malware. I highly suggest what most folks have stated–offline backups. Have a drive ready that is disconnected after a backup. Get a copy of shadow explorer, just
    to be safe.

  24. Nino says:

    I got this virus (Cryptowall 3.0.on feb-05-2015. It is my home PC with Windows XP SP3, Avira AV. Virus start to encrypt files in folders in alfabetic order so I loose all folders which name start with letter A and B (on all hard drives, 2 of them). Took
    me two days to manually remove this virus from registry and then with Microsoft Defender and/or Malwarebytes clean or exe and dll''s from disk.Search in registry all Run keys (form hklm, hkcu and all other users), then key Winlogon (Windows NT), subkey Notify).
    Restart PC in Safe Mode with networking, start regsvr32.exe, clean regisstry, download Malwarebytes or Defender, let them do the rest and then restart Normaly. Immidiate go to Control Panel, Task Scheduler and remove task for virus. You are done.

    Better way to clean registry is to use Farbar Recovery Scan Tool.
    I agree with Mcnugget, Google Chrome got something with all this mess. I notices that Chrome (when started and trying to open my default page – Yahoo) will show me messge that it can't open page ("untitled") with dialog what to do: Kill page or Wait? After
    10 sec or so that window will vanish and evyrything seems normal After I removed virus that error was gone.

  25. Frustrared says:

    We're you able to decrypt the crypts files? I have files that were infected but haven't figured how to decrypt

  26. Idris (Im ANGRY) says:

    if anyone find a way to decrypt the crypted fies please help me, thousands of my personal media and work files was encrypted by this ugly cryptowall 3.0. i have no back up files nothing!! only way for me is to decrypt the actual files.

  27. Kevin says:

    As far as I know, there is no way to decrypt the files. Maybe years from now someone will figure it out. Paying the ransom works in only about 75% of the cases. It generally WON'T get all your files back. When it doesn't work, the Cryptowall group demands
    that you turn your computer over to their malware again (re-infwct it) so they can try to figure out what went wrong. And of course they can't! If you like supporting ISIS, pay the ransom.

  28. johnjohn says:

    There is no way to decrypt it. IF you pay the ransom, it can be undone, but otherwise, no way.

  29. Bobby K says:

    There's no recovery possible at this point. If you pay the ransom, you still may not get your files back – and of course, when people pay it makes schemes like this profitable so we'll get more of them in the future.
    It give me no pleasure to say it, but if you got hit like I did, you're just out of luck. paying the ransom is just letting yourself get hit twice.

  30. JC says:

    I got hit too and I had my backup external hard drive plugged in at the time so it infected everything on that too.. This is devastating for my company, I lost tons of files..

  31. Henry Langston says:

    Had a customer get hit with crypto virus. Put extension .ecc on MS Office files, PDF, WMA, JPG. Got some files back from sent mail in outlook and some deleted files back using GetDataBack but all the rest are toast. Any help decryption would be great.
    It was a windows xp sp3 machine.

  32. adwbust says:

    everyone should tell what security app was on the machine when it was compromised. also, submit samples to mmpc and upload to virustotal.

  33. Shad0wguy says:

    Have a client who got hit with this. Didn't get all the files on their shares, but really screwed them over good. I've told them to update to Windows 7, but oh well. If they don't have a backup then they'll have to pay, but you can be sure I'll be setting
    up a backup going forward.

  34. Joel says:

    Using Sophos antivirus and machine got hit and it progressed into some of the server shares. Sophos has not detected it at all. We have a good tape backup but what a pain in the butt.

  35. adwbust says:

    crowti is now using chm to distribute itself. mmpc it's time to make a behavior sig for that. the windows team should also make UAC or the default chm reader of windows prompt user if chm wants to connect out and drop files.

  36. curious says:

    Windows 7 gets it to @shadow … so why would it matter

    I've read some tech blogs where the encryption key was cracked….so there are government backed private industries that can encrypt stuff but it's a crazy insane process.

  37. adwbust says:

    mmpc needs to create behavior rules for chm and macro droppers!

  38. Rugbyboy says:

    I got hit with this end of Jan, I think it was thro a Jamie Oliver website, as soon as I got it I removed it with Malwarebytes and Defender but the damage was done, I had some backups but not for everything so lost a couple of days work, even the shadow
    files were encrypted, why cant Microsoft pick this up and allow a setting to never encrypt my files, any way best advice is keep backing up and never leave mem sticks ord ext hard drives plugged in.

  39. adwbust says:

    @curious cryptolocker is cracked but not cryptowall. no one has cracked the master key yet. latest variant deletes shadow copy. backup and system lockdown are the ways to go. mmpc and windows team should work together to counter it and similar threats'
    infection vector without being paranoid and compromising performance, usability.

  40. adwbust says:

    @rugbyboy sorry to hear that. that's why IE through Smartscreen cloud should now check for and disable unwanted and outdated/insecure addons under manage addons! firefox does that already! IE team are you listening? do the check everytime IE starts up.
    all files dropped by IE outside of/bypassing the download prompt should be munged – file extensionless and attempt to access/move/modify out of IE protected cache by local software should result to a prompt.

  41. Brian says:

    I keep my backup drive connected, but locked with bitlocker. Anyone have any experience if drives locked with bitlocker are able to be damaged?. Seen a number of these recently, a little concerned about my backup security now.

  42. adwbust says:

    @brian if crowti encrypts the whole drive then yes but as of now it only encrypts select files.

    can't windows filter the call to encrypt files? make sure the request is coming from signed/trusted application? or at least always prompt user for such action? but if uac does employ some form of collective cloud AI (embed Smartscreen cloud on win10!) then
    it should catch suspect (based on origin/age/fuzzy/etc) files on execution apart from just basing file safety rep off signed certs.

  43. adwbust says:

    since crowti 3 for now only targets select services, files and paths, mse should be able to monitor those actions if mmpc creates a behavior rule. i don't know if mse will block or just report the suspect behavior back to the lab and get a sample. even
    so, the damage has been done and a sheep was sacrificed so mmpc can protect others. 😀

    there are tools out there that blocks crowti from accessing said files and paths. or you can configure windows' software restriction policy yourself.

  44. adwbust says:

    @brian well it seems other locker malware encrypt backup container files so your best bet is to keep your backup drive unplugged or at least read only.

    mmpc do you even monitor other locker malware apart from crowti? make a blog post about locker malware in general, how they infect, how to prevent infection, possible clean up and stuff youre doing to ensure mse is effective against them.

  45. FotS says:

    @Curious, just to comment on the "Windows 7 gets it too, so why would it matter?" It matters because XP is no longer receiving security updates, hence it's easier for it to get infected than 7.

  46. Homeboy says:

    Have any of you seen the variant of locker that changes the file date/time? No ransom info files. We have a search running in SCCM to detect crypto but this new variant does not have those and still renders files useless. The only way you can tell is that
    every file in the directory has the time/date stamp changed, and, of course the file is rendered useless. Anyone seen this? Makes it almost impossible to detect. These guys are swine! It has cost my company $$$ and wasted hours of my time restoring from backups.
    We seem to get hit at least 2 X per month over 5 locations! Spend my whole time eradicating viruses instead of doing REAL WORK! What a waste!

  47. Comp-Tu says:

    I have encountered this now on many of my client's computers. So far, our church has been protected quite well using network box out of Texas. As soon as something is detected in the world, they push detection and filters to the box and it stops them dead in their tracks. This is our third year using the network box. It is not cheap but it does the trick and it does it well.

  48. Comptu says:

    I am truly sorry to hear of those of you who have been hit by this dastardly extortion ring. I affirm what was said earlier that it cannot be decrypted. I know of two different clients that actually paid the ransom and got nothing in return. Yes, it is really that bad.

  49. MHzTweaker says:

    I have a client that was infected a week ago. Because he had not backed up his company QuickBooks files in 4 months he REALLY needed his data back.

    His quickbooks files were damaged.

    In short, he had me buy bitcoins and pay the $700 ransom. I got the decrypt package.

    It does not work.

    DO NOT PAY THIS RANSOME!!!!!! This whole thing is a SHAM!!!!!!

    Even though it was not my money, I still feel just really angry and sick inside because I know what this guy is going to have to go through to recreate invoices for for 4 months worth of work in his service business. He doesn't even know who owes him money

    My advice is do not make matters worse by paying these f$%^ing criminals!!!

  50. Do these criminals use the info says:

    I was on immigration website today doing a application for a customer and then it all started with the payment confirmation page. My concern is my data is tax return info I do have back up of some but not for last two weeks I really wonder if they will
    try and open these files since there is financial info there. My software does encrpyt any way but still worried.

  51. Assclown says:

    Dude, it's 2015 and you are still running XP?!?!? Sorry but you deserve it.

  52. Could the stolen data be a HIPAA Data Breach? says:

    If I understand correctly how CryptoWALL works it uploads your data to the criminals servers and then encrypts it. My worry is this, if the data that gets uploaded happens to be ePHI and the criminals have possession of it unencrypted then does that constitute
    a HIPAA Breach?

  53. broph22 says:

    You can get your files back by simply right clicking on the folder (or file), and select "restore previous versions". This is assuming you have previous restore points.

  54. restoring files says:

    Is there a way to restore these infected files? I have no "previous version" available.

  55. Offsite Backups says:

    I have had 3 clients hit with this. Only one paid the ransom and we were able to get his files back (which was a pain). What seems to be the key is limiting permissions, having backups that are on a drive with very limited access and offsite backups. This
    virus will encrypt any mapped drive that you have permissions too. This variant deleted restore points and shadow copies. I have been stressing backups and using updated software to clients. Some have listened, some haven't.

  56. Mr Green says:

    After reading all the comments, one thing is still certain.
    There was no mention of any software that will 100% definitely block such an attack on workstations or servers.
    In other words, we're sitting ducks.
    Other than having backups, there is no protection for Microsoft users as AV software does not detect it as malware.
    Crowti will rule the world and the whole time we're making backups, fighting fires and not stopping the cause of the fire.
    Do you realise the power Crowti now has?

    In the past, if a virus/malware attacks PCs, the AV companies quickly roll out definition updates and cures and we were protected.
    How can this piece of malware still reign after its first inception? No AV definition update, no cure?

    Can we have questions to these 4 questions.
    1. Is there any software out there that will make a Windows machine, whether it's XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10 immune to such an attack?
    2. Does Crowti's creations affect other operating systems, like Linux, OSX, etc?
    3. How can there not be one person or team or system in this entire world, intelligent enough, to break the encryption and create the decryption software?
    4. How can the security agencies of the world, with all their state of the art surveillance systems and highly trained operatives, not track these Rulers of Data, find them and permanently remove them from society?
    Cut hands and toes off, cut out tongues, burn down their buildings, make an example. They are costing the world millions and lives are in jeopardy because of them.
    No jail sentence will stop them from carrying on doing what they are capable of doing when they get out again. They'd rather do networking in jail and come out even worse criminals with better skills.

  57. adwbust says:

    yes there are preventive tools but the comments moderators wont post my comment. theyre protecting the interests of mmpc products not the users'. lol. use cryptoprevent (or the bitdefender equivalent) and cryptolocker tripwire. MS should really release
    a software restriction policy profile (restrictions similarly employed by cryptoprevent) update on windows updates that users can opt to import. i also hope the onedrive team consider my suggestions.

    if it's brolock then it's multiplatform as it locks the browser. there's ransomware for android. only a matter of time until you see variants on other platforms – that is if the authors dont find the Windows ecosystem viable and profitable anymore. but that
    would also mean no profit for security vendors. lol.

    um encryption and privacy tools are made without backdoors. hopefully speaking. but if there were backdoors why would the devs or government use them and make them public just for a typical case?

  58. adwbust says:

    Mmpc have you got your hands on a rombertik sample? UAC should prompt for initiation of restart/shutdown/log off and access to mbr and windows home folder. Add behavior rules for mse too but i dont expect much because your guard monitor is passive and
    the vlab approach is reactive.

  59. adwbust says:

    Mmpc does mse detect the iframe, js, fiesta kit and ransomware discussed on malwarebytes blog? Hopefully smartscreen blocked the js url?

  60. adwbust says:

    Those who were victimized by coinvault ransomware, try kasperskys decrypt tool.

  61. Mohona says:


  62. John says:

    For anyone still reading this. There is a way to globally disable file encryption if using active directory.

    Here' s the option that disables file encryption via GPO: Computer configuration/policies/administrative templates/system/filesystem/NTFS/ Do not allow encryption on all NTFS volumes.

    1. Kevin says:

      John, we have this policy enabled but still managed to get our fileshare encrypted recently when one of our users opened a crypto email 🙁

  63. Sammmm says:

    just pay the ransom and clear the virus if you value the files, just did today 🙂

  64. Souldjer777 says:

    SUGGESTION: Someone in Microsoft Server Team needs to write a script that detects read / writes / modifications to X amount of files in X amount of time by "CLIENT 1" and an alert is created and / or the system account "CLIENT 1" is suspended. HOW ABOUT

    Sammmm – you can't pay these people d.a. Then your just multiplying the threat factor by increasing their resources.

  65. Dave says:

    Whos to say that Sammmm is not a part of crypto and giving someone hope to promote their income?

  66. Someguy McGee says:

    seems like the exploit knows how Microsoft makes it's mistakes, KEEPING ALL EGGS in ONE Basket. since microsoft is pushing users to have microsoft acounts, wouldn't it help with prevention to authorize encryptions via the microsoft account, since you can't
    even LOG IN to your account without having to go through some silly verification process? further, only allow any encryption WHATSOEVER that first passes THROUGH the account (with verification and logging of encryption keys), so that:
    1. the malware hits a snag before it begins (eggs now in 2 baskets),
    2. the malware can be back-tracked from the separate verification servers,
    3. if somehow the malware can push false verification, the key would be accessible still with logging procedures, perhaps with a protocol that will only authorize encryption that has been logged externally, OR only allow encryption to happen externally, so
    that the external encryption service can verify that the encryption is done so with the correct key that will be logged to the account, and that the file would be first held externally until the external server can verify the encrypted copy (now on the end
    user's unit) was in-fact correctly encrypted. if it does not match up, the un-encrypted copy can be stored there for the end-user to retrieve, and the compromised system can be locked out from authorization of encryption, stopping it from spreading/damaging.

    or, push a security protocol that is optional, but allows you to disable encryption either alltoghether, or without first backing up the files.
    i'm no PC guru, i'm sure there are holes in my theory, but to not express one's thoughts would be worse then to have one's thoughts heard and shot down. -Someguy McGee

  67. Help! says:

    Who all have paid the ransom and and got their data back?

  68. Attacked last week says:

    3 business days down. Paid. Got our files unlocked. Small business. I have gone though most of these posts and have not seen anything relating to turning this cyber attack – for lack of a better term. Is there anyone out there trying to fix this problem
    – is there someone we should be reporting this too? Why is this just the way it is – why is it ok?

  69. khun.fu says:

    infected 12 oct 15 – run Mse – Ransom:HTML/Crowti.A – alert "severe" – action "removed" .After 3 days I still have the 4 items of Crowti on any start of the PC.
    From [] : Alas and alack, if you get rid of Help_Decrypt, the infection remains
    So by my understanding unless an external backup of everything. (that I don't have) or an excluded ransom payment The solution is FORMAT ALL and say byebye to all your data. (Mine 700 GB) If I can say by good luck ??!! just 8years on collecting music. jpeg
    pictures etc.

  70. pcprotect says:

    Hi everyone i found this solution how to backup or in other

    words how to protect your files and documents of this

    CryptoWall virus

    Good luck

  71. Nina says:

    Is there a way of changing the file type after crypto 3 has changed it? I can change the syntax, but it won’t let me chnage the file type. The way I have my files, I know the ones that are either jpeg images or pdf images. It would help alot if there was a way to just change the file type or get past the pdf or image display programs from stopping them when the file type is wrong.
    Any help?

    1. David Johnson says:

      Still people just don’t get it. the files are not just renamed. The contents of the file is encrypted and then the extension is changed. You can disable EFS on your network and it doesn’t disable encryption. If you want to disable encryption entirely rip out .net framework and anything that depends on it. Disable all encryption protocols and say good bye to accessing https websites. All you can do is keep your AV up to date, meaning daily or more frequent updates. Backup, backup, backup (did I say backup?). The only item you have control over is ‘prevention’ If prevention fails then wipe the machine and restore from backup.

  72. Hello. The most important thing is what happens after the event of encryption!
    What possibilities are there for recovering files encrypted by BitCoinMiner into gobbledgook including information on Ransom payment as demanded in HELP_YOUR_FILES.PNG?
    Hope this will serve thousand (maybe millions of victims!)
    Thank you. Robin

  73. Leon Glover says:

    There are ways to stop initial infection as well as ransomeware activation and data exfiltration. You can leverage your existing network devices — firewall, router, switches and DNS servers — to block inbound and outbound traffic to known sources of malware distribution through intelligent device configuration. Firewalls with properly configured inbound allow and block rules will give you an effective high-pass network filter against known malicious traffic. ThreatSTOP’s customers typically see a 20% to 30% reduction in network edge traffic. With properly configured outbound blocking of IP traffic, you can minimize the risk of malware activation and data exfiltration. DNS firewalls (uses your DNS server as a security layer to screen DNS input queries and the parts of the DNS resolution chain) provide a good layer of defense for outbound traffic such as malware c2c activation and data exfiltration. RPZ provides a well tested enforcement mechanism for DNS firewalls — .

    The key to this approach is to have your network devices updated with timely and accurate threat information so the blocking / allows evolve with the attackers infrastructure to minimize false positives. The threat intelligence must be moved to the network devices at machine speeds to keep up with the constant attacks and evolving malicious infrastructure.

    If you are interested in finding out more, please take a look at