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Decrypt .vvv virus extension files (TeslaCrypt 4.0 ransomware)

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Files with the .vvv extension are a byproduct of TeslaCrypt ransomware activity, where the virus encrypts one’s personal data and holds it for ransom.

It’s difficult to imagine a predicament worse than the aftermath of a crypto malware compromise. These cyber infections target a critical asset of organizations or end users – their data. They don’t steal it, though. Instead, valuable files stay on computers but the inner data structure becomes badly scrambled. To reach this goal, ransomware applications utilize cryptography. The contagion called TeslaCrypt uses a slurry of RSA-4096 and AES-256 algorithms to lock a victim’s information and create a high-entropy decryption key that’s kept on a remote C2 server. While encrypting data, this sample also concatenates the .vvv extension to every entry, which is an identifier of a specific malware iteration. Editing the filenames by obliterating this string will in no way make the encrypted objects accessible.

Encoded files with the .vvv extension
Encoded files with the .vvv extension

In order to explain to victims how they can get their ransomed data back, this ransomware creates what’s called ransom notes, which are effectively step-by-step recovery instructions. Different iterations of TeslaCrypt have used different names for these files. The .vvv one drops the following notes into all folders with no-longer-accessible data: Howto_Restore.FILES.txt, Howto_Restore.FILES.htm, and Howto_Restore.FILES.png. Regardless of the format, the information inside is identical. The warning message goes, “All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RSA-4096.” This sure sounds ironic, because the fraudsters use the word “protection” to denote blatant, unsolicited encoding. The bad guys’ plan is to make the victim visit their personal page by clicking one of several links in the notes.

Howto_Restore_FILES.htm ransom directions
Howto_Restore_FILES.htm ransom directions

The rogue Decryption Service page then insists that the user send 1 or 2 Bitcoins in order to purchase the private key. An option of decrypting 1 file for free via this site has a 500KB size restriction. Obviously, it is intended to prove that the recovery does work as long as the ransom is sent in. The extortionists rely on The Onion Router (Tor) technology to ensure that the traffic between them and the infected users cannot be tracked down. The use of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency is an important anonymization factor, too.

The .vvv files virus is usually executed on a computer after the user opens a phishing email attachment disguised as an invoice or suchlike official document. It’s either a .doc file or .zip archive. One way or another, people unknowingly activate the ransomware process themselves. Fortunately, the involvement of exploit kits in the distribution routine for this sample is quite a rare occurrence. Therefore, to avoid this infection it’s imperative to abstain from opening fishy email attachments and use an up-to-date version of reliable antimalware. Another important tip is to keep critical data backed up.

Automated removal of .vvv files virus

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download .vvv files virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Ways of non-ransom recovery of .vvv files

Cracking the crypto used by this ransom trojan is more of a science fiction thing rather than an attainable prospect for the masses. This is why the troubleshooting in predicaments of this sort is a matter of two approaches: one is to pay the ransom, which isn’t an option for many victims; and the other is to apply instruments that take advantage of the ransomware’s possible weaknesses. If the latter is your pick, the advice below is a must-try.

Backups can make your day

Not only are you a lucky person in case you’ve been backing up your most important files, but you’re also a wise and prudent user. This isn’t necessarily a resource-heavy activity these days – in fact, some providers of online services are allocating a sufficient size of cloud storage space for free so that every customer can easily upload their critical data without paying a penny. Having removed .vvv files ransomware, therefore, all you have to do is download your stuff from the remote server or transfer it all from an external piece of hardware if that’s the case.

Restore previous versions of encrypted files

A positive upshot of using this technique depends on whether or not the ransomware has erased the Volume Shadow Copies of the files on your PC. This is a Windows feature that automatically makes and keeps the backups of data elements on the hard drive as long as System Restore is enabled. The cryptoware in question is programmed to switch off the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), but it has reportedly failed to in some cases. Checking one’s options regarding this workaround is doable in two ways: through the Properties menu of each file or by means of the remarkable open-source tool called Shadow Explorer. We recommend the software-based way because it’s automated, hence faster and easier. Just install the app and use its intuitive controls to get previous versions of the encrypted objects reinstated.
Shadow Explorer

Data recovery toolkit to the rescue

Some strains of ransomware are known to delete the original files after the encryption routine has been completed. As hostile as this activity appears, it can play into your hands. There are applications designed to revive the information that was obliterated because of malfunctioning hardware or due to accidental removal. The tool called Data Recovery Pro by ParetoLogic features this type of capability therefore it can be applied in ransom attack scenarios to at least get the most important files back. So download and install the program, run a scan and let it do its job.

Download Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro

Ransomware Prevention Tips

To avoid the .vvv files ransomware and other file-encrypting infections in the future, follow several simple recommendations:

  • Toggle your email provider’s anti-spam settings to filter out all the potentially harmful incoming messages. Raising the bar beyond the default protection is an important countermeasure for ransom Trojans

  • Define specific file extension restrictions in your email system. Make sure that attachments with the following extensions are blacklisted: .js, .vbs, .docm, .hta, .exe, .cmd, .scr, and .bat. Also, treat ZIP archives in received messages with extreme caution

  • Rename the vssadmin.exe process so that ransomware is unable to obliterate all Shadow Volume Copies of your files in one shot

  • Keep your Firewall active at all times. It can prevent crypto ransomware from communicating with its C&C server. This way, the threat won’t be able to obtain cryptographic keys and lock your files

  • Back up your files regularly, at least the most important ones. This recommendation is self-explanatory. A ransomware attack isn’t an issue as long as you keep unaffected copies of your data in a safe place

  • Use an effective antimalware suite. There are security tools that identify ransomware-specific behavior and block the infection before it can do any harm.
These techniques are certainly not a cure-all, but they will add an extra layer of ransomware protection to your security setup.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download .vvv files ransomware removal tool

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