I wrote this article to help you remove .Astra Ransomware. This .Astra Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
.Astra ransomware is the latest reincarnation of a win-locker dubbed GlobeImposter ransomware. The clandestine program was given this name because it pretends to be another win-locker. The program it mimics is called Globe ransomware. Malware analysts have found that there is no connection between the two programs. The GlobeImposter ransomware family has many members. The different builds of the win-locker ultimately work in the same manner. They are distinguishable for several features and characteristics. This includes the ransom note, the email account for communicating with victims, and the custom file extension.
As its name reveals, .Astra ransomware appends the .astra suffix to the names of the encrypted files. The nefarious program targets 34 file types, including text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, audios, videos, archives, and databases. The win-locker aims to encrypt the objects which contain important information. The developers of the virus communicate with people per email. It is still unknown which account this build is linked to. Experts have determined that .Astra ransomware utilizes a combination of RSA-2048 and AES-256 algorithms. This makes the cryptographic scheme sophisticated and hard to crack.
.Astra ransomware is distributed through spam emails. The covert program travels hidden behind an attached file. The sender will state that the appended document is an important notification. He can introduce himself as an official representative of a reputable organization, like the national post, the local police department, a courier firm, a bank, a government branch, a social network, a commercial platform, or an institution. The transfer of the secluded program will be performed with the help of a script or macro. Opening the attachment would unleash the virus into your system. Before following instructions from an email, do your research to confirm its authenticity. Check the contacts from the letter. You can visit the official website of the corresponding entity for reference.
Upon penetrating your computer, .Astra ransomware will start scanning the hard drive for vulnerable files and encrypt them. The sinister program will finish the process by leaving a ransom note. .Astra ransomware drops a message titled here_your_files!.html in the documents directory of the C:\ hard drive. In the note, the cyber criminals will explain the actions of their program and state what their demands are. The hackers require people to pay for having their files unlocked. They have cleverly stated that the amount of the ransom depends on how soon you write them a response. Whether you would really benefit from rushing to contact them is yet to be confirmed. To come to a conclusion, researchers need to examine separate cases from victims of the win-locker.
The victims of .Astra ransomware are instructed to pay in Bitcoins. This is a cryptocurrency which provides optimal security for online payments. The thieves accept the ransom in a virtual wallet and transfer it to their financial accounts. This allows them to avoid identification. Another measure they have taken is to hide their geographic location. This is accomplished with the Tor web browser. The hackers have hosted the payment website on the Tor network. The process of redeeming the infected data begins by contacting the hackers. .Astra ransomware assigns a unique ID to every victim which needs to be listed in the message. In response to your request, you will receive detailed instructions.
There is an option to have 1 file recovered for free, but certain limitations apply. The selected object has to be less than 1 MB in size. It should not contain important information. Archived files are not eligible. Our advice is not to pay the developers of .Astra ransomware. They are criminals. In many cases, victims of win-locker viruses have been swindled out of their money for nothing. There is no guarantee that the owners of the program will complete their end of the deal. They may not decrypt your files after you pay the ransom. It is best to look for an alternative solution. The shadow volume copies of the encrypted files can be used to restore them. There is a list of free tools below which can assist in the recovery.
.Astra Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, .Astra Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since .Astra Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: