I wrote this article to help you remove X3M Ransomware. This X3M Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
X3M is one of the newest members of the already huge family of ransomware which grows in numbers day by day. Hackers are developing more and more ransomware products to serve their malicious purposes. In other words, to rip people off. Ransomware has become quite the moneymaker for crooks but for the users, it is a plague. It encrypts everything you have on your machine and then asks for a ransom in exchange for a decryptor. There is a reason why ransomware is considered the worst cyber infection out there. It will not only blackmail you for money but it will also double-cross you.
X3M has entered your system without you realizing. It is only after it had locked your files when it decides to reveal itself. Once in, the parasite doesn’t waste any time but immediately starts the encryption process. Everything you have on your machine gets locked with a strong encryption algorithm. Pictures, videos, files, Word documents, presentations, work-related stuff, etc. You cannot access any of them anymore.
X3M adds to each locked file one of the following three extensions: “_locked”, “_r9oj” or “_x3m”. Seeing any of them appended to your files means that they are now encrypted. Trying to move or renamed them won`t help you either. The ransomware has turned them into useless gibberish. And then, it moves on to the next step. It drops its ransom note. Usually, this is a text file which you can find on your desktop as well as in every folder containing locked data. The X3M`s ransom note states:
As you can see, this is a message from the crooks who are explaining your situation. According to them, the only way of getting back your files includes paying 0.8 Bitcoins for the “interpreter” and you have to contact the crooks via the firstname.lastname@example.org email for more details. 1 Bitcoin equals about $600 so this is not a small amount but this is not the point. The point is that you have no guarantees even if you pay. How do you know that the crooks will keep their end of the deal? You can`t. And there is a high change that they don’t send you a decryptor at all. These people only care about getting your money. They couldn’t care less about your locked files.
Or, imagine if they send you one that doesn’t work. And even if they send you the right one and it does work, the tool only goes so far. It decrypts your data but it does not remove the infection. This means you have given your money for nothing as the ransomware can attack you again in a couple of hours. So, forget paying as an option. Aside from the huge chance to get double-crossed, you are exposing your personal information to these strangers. Do you really want to jeopardize your privacy like that? We have a much better option. Use our removal guide down below and get rid of the pest for good. Also, you can unlock your data at absolutely no cost.
How to protect yourself from ransomware? Of course, dealing with X3M is your number one priority right now, but once you delete it, make sure it, or any other infection, won`t come back to bite you. First of all, purchase a good anti-malware program and regularly check your PC to be sure it is clean. Second, understand how infections (ransomware included) travel the Web and do your best to avoid them.
Parasites need your permission to enter and, as they know you won`t give it lightly, they are relying on tricks to get it. Stay away from illegitimate pages, sites. Be extra careful with the emails you receive and which ones you open. When installing bundled software always opt for the Advanced settings which give you complete control over the installation. To sum up, always be on the alert because there is one thing that infection need more than the tricks – your distraction. Don’t provide it and keep your machine safe.
X3M Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, X3M 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 X3M 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: