I wrote this article to help you remove Onion Ransomware. This Onion Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
In this article, we will focus on the nth cyber infection that is torturing users – the Onion ransomware which is an upgraded version of the CTB Locker infection. Regardless its origin, Onion is a ransomware and this means it is incredibly dangerous. In fact, some experts say that the ransomware pieces are the most dreaded viruses that you can possibly encounter. This reputation is totally deserved, though. And Onion, as a classic ransomware, doesn’t stand out. It does what all other infections of this type do. First, it enters your system in silence. Then, it encrypts all of your files with a strong encryption algorithm. And finally, it blackmails you for money. Those are the three main steps. Let`s get into details.
First, how does Onion enter undetected? Did you download it on purpose? We doubt it and yet, here it is. Ransomware infections are still programs and they need your permission on their installment. However, if they ask straightforwardly, you would never give them green light. That’s why they turn to tricks. That’s right. Onion sneaks into your machine because it managed to dupe you into approving it. The tactics a ransomware can use are many. For example, one of the most popular ones involves online spam messages. Whether it is an email message, a Facebook message or a Skype message, it doesn’t matter.
Crooks can send you a malicious link or attachment and if you are not careful, you practically invite the pest on your machine. Other techniques are shady pages, unverified download sources, fake updates, freeware, third-party ads, etc. A ransomware can even use the help of a Trojan to get it. This is why you need to be more vigilant. Any of the above-mentioned tricks will work IF you are careless. Crooks prey on your negligence. Without it, they cannot succeed. So, don’t grant it. It is much easier to prevent an infection from entering than trying to remove it later on. Be cautious and keep your machine safe.
Once Onion is on board, it doesn’t waste any time. It immediately locates all of your personal files and locks them. All of your pictures, music, videos, documents, presentations, etc. are encrypted which means that you no longer have access to them. The ransomware turns your data into unusable gibberish and nothing you do can change that. Also, you will notice that your files now have a brand new “.onion” extension. Seeing this add-on is a sign that the encryption process is over. You cannot use any of your files anymore. The ransomware keeps them hostage. What for? Money, of course. This is the main goal. Ransomware pieces are only created to help crooks make money. You see where we are going with this, don’t you? The pest takes something of yours as a leverage and then extorts you.
When the file-locking process is complete, Onion drops a note for you. The ransom note that explains your situation and provides detailed payment instructions. According to these instructions, if you want your files back, you have to purchase a special decryption tool. The note states that once you pay, the hackers will send you the tool. However, there are no guarantees whatsoever. Can you trust that the same cybercriminals who locked your data will help you free it? No. Because they do not care about your files. They only care about money. Once they receive your payments, their job is done and they may not send you anything. But even if they give you the decryptor and you unlock your data, you still lose. Why? Because the decryptor only removes the encryption, not the infection.
Who`s to say that Onion won`t re-encrypt your files hours after restoring them? The parasite remains on your machine and this is way far from the desired result and the main reason why you should not pay. Not to mention that if you comply with the hackers` demand, you will be sponsoring them and helping them create more malware. And you are risking having your personal and financial data stolen as well. Forget about paying. Instead, use our removal guide below and get rid of this pest once and for all. The guide it easy to follow and completely free. When you finally remove Onion, you can try and free your data as well.
Onion Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, Onion 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 Onion 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: