Ransomware attacks traditionally function by infecting targets with malware that denies victims access to their files by encrypting them and then demanding a ransom to unlock or decrypt the files
If the victim refuses to pay the ransom, they will be permanently denied access to their files. As is the case with most ransomware attacks, there is no guarantee that attackers will keep to their words if you agree to pay the ransom. Over the past few years, ransomware attacks have intensified. There are now more than 50 variants of ransomware in circulation, and more are springing up and coming up with new modus operandi, new features, and better encryption. This is not something anyone should overlook. So what should you do in situations like this?
Here’s our list of the eight best Ransomware File Decryptors:
- Kaspersky Provides several tools you can use to decrypt ransomware encrypted files without paying any ransom. However, the tools are targeted at specific ransomware infections.
- AVG Provides a range of free ransomware decryption tools that can help decrypt ransomware encrypted files.
- Emsisoft One of the top-rated ransomware decryption software that one can have on a Windows PC.
- Trend Micro Ransomware File Decryptor Designed to decrypt files that have been encrypted by 27 families of known ransomware.
- Avast Provides ransomware decryption tools for some of the most popular types of ransomware out there.
- Quick Heal Ransomware Decryption Tool Can decrypt files encrypted by 17 variants of ransomware.
- McAfee Ransomware Recover (Mr2) A framework that supports the decryption of files that various variants of ransomware have encrypted.
- No More Ransom A project by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, and McAfee to help ransomware victims retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.
The best option is to focus on preventive measures. Conduct simulation attacks and penetration tests, and ensure that any existing security holes are patched as soon as possible so that attackers won’t be able to exploit those vulnerabilities. Provide regular security awareness training to your workforce, and ensure that security best practices such as the principles of least privilege and multi-factor authentication have been implemented across all systems and users.
How to Decrypt the Encrypted Files Without Paying Ransom?
If for whatever reason, you still get infected by ransomware, there are several tools you can use to decrypt your files depending on the variant of ransomware you are dealing with. Firstly, note that no single tool out there can decrypt all types of ransomware variants. Instead, every decryption tool is designed to deal with a particular variant specifically. Therefore you need to determine what ransomware variant encrypted your files by looking at the warning message presented by the ransomware. Once identified, you can use the decryption tool specifically designed to deal with that ransomware. Secondly, before going ahead with the decryption, be sure to remove or quarantine the ransomware infection from your system. Failure to do this will result in your files being encrypted all over again.
Most decryption tools can decrypt files encrypted by popular variants of ransomware such as Wannacry, Petya, NotPetya, TeslaCrypt, DarkSide, REvil, Alcatraz Locker, Apocalypse, BadBlock, Bart, BTCWare, EncrypTile, FindZip, Globe, Jigsaw, LambdaLocker, Legion, NoobCrypt, Stampado, among others. Ransomware developers are quick to respond when a new decryptor is released. They do this by modifying their malware to make it resilient to the decryptor. In turn, the developers of ransomware decryptors also have to update and adapt their software in what seems like an arms race to ensure its effectiveness. This is why most decryptors do not come with guarantees. This article will review the eight best ransomware decryption tools to help you unlock encrypted files.
The Eight Best Ransomware File Decryptor Tools
1. Kaspersky Anti-ransomware Tools
Kaspersky provides several tools you can use to decrypt ransomware encrypted files without paying any ransom. However, the tools are targeted at specific ransomware infections. As such, you must identify the ransomware infection you are dealing with before selecting the ideal tool to decrypt files. Below are the various ransomware file decryptors from Kaspersky:
- Shade Decryptor: The Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Shade ransomware attempts to encrypt files on a victim’s computer and makes them inaccessible. The Kaspersky Shade Decryptor tool decrypts files infected by all versions of Shade ransomware. ShadeDecryptor works by searching for the decryption key in its database. If the key is found in the files is decrypted. Otherwise, a request will be sent to the Kaspersky server for additional keys which require internet access. Shade Decryptor is available for download free of charge.
- Rakhni Decryptor: The Kaspersky Rakhni Decryptor tool decrypts files infected by all versions of Rakhni ransomware, including Agent.iih, Aura, Autoit, Pletor, Rotor, Lamer, Cryptokluchen, Lortok, Democry, Bitman, and many more. Rakhni Decryptor is available for download free of charge.
- Rannoh Decryptor: Rannoh Decryptor decrypts files affected by all versions of Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Rannoh (Rannoh ransomware) includes those with AutoIt, Cryakl, Crybola, Polyglot, and Fury file extension. The tool is available for download free of charge.
- CoinVault Decryptor: CoinVault Decryptor decrypts files affected by all versions of Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.CoinVault. CoinVault decryptor Is available for free.
- Wildfire Decryptor: Decrypts files affected by Wildfire locker or files with the WFLX extension. Wildfire Decryptor is freely available for download at no cost.
- Xorist Decryptor: Decrypts files affected by ransomware of the family Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Xorist and Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Vandev (Xorist and Vandev). The tool is also freely available for download at no cost.
2. AVG Anti-ransomware Tools
AVG has a range of free ransomware decryption tools that can help decrypt ransomware encrypted files. The tools are specifically designed to deal with the following family of ransomware: Apocalypse, Bart, BadBlock, Crypt888, Legion, SZFLocker, TeslaCrypt ransomware tools. Furthermore, AVG also has a built-in ransomware protection feature in its endpoint security products, such as AVG Internet Security. This helps protect files in endpoint devices and prevent ransomware attacks by blocking file modification, deletion, and encryption.
3. Emsisoft Ransomware Decryption Tools
Emsisoft is one of the top-rated ransomware decryption software that one can have on a Windows PC. In addition, Emsisoft has a long list of free specialized tools for decrypting various strains of ransomware such as PClock, CryptoDefense, CrypBoss, DMA Locker, Xorist, Apocalypse, WannaCryFake, Cyborg, and many others.
Emsisoft ransomware decryption software is among the top-rated in the industry. However, Emsisoft tools do not provide any guarantees about the integrity of the decrypted files. Therefore, the decryptor will not remove any encrypted files after they have been decrypted unless this option is specifically disabled, mainly if you have limited storage space.
4. Trend Micro Ransomware Tool
Trend Micro ransomware file decryptor is designed to decrypt files that have been encrypted by 27 families of known ransomware, including popular strains such as WannaCry, Petya, TeleCrypt, Jigsaw, CryptXXX, and TeslaCrypt(Version 1, 2 3, 4). Just like others, Trend Micro ransomware file decryptor is not a universal one-size-fits-all software. Instead, it requires you to identify the ransomware family you are infected with or the ransomware file extension name before selecting the ideal tool to decrypt files.
Suppose you don’t know the ransomware name or file extension. In that case, the tool may automatically analyze the file and identify the ransomware based on the file signature or ask you to provide additional information about the files; otherwise, select the “I don’t know the ransomware name” option. You will also be prompted to select a target file or a folder on your computer to perform the decryption operation. However, the tool is efficient enough to identify various ransomware file types and decrypt them. Of course, there is no 100% guarantee about its effectiveness all the time or the integrity of the translated files. Trend Micro provides details about the limitations of the tool for your information.
5. Avast Anti-ransomware Tools
Avast provides ransomware decryption tools for some of the most popular types of ransomware out there. Avast ransomware decryption tools are designed to decrypt files that 27 families of known ransomware have encrypted. Before using this tool, Avast recommends that you ensure all traces of the ransomware infection have been removed from your computer.
The Avast anti-ransomware tools are easy to install and use and don’t require any special configuration. Simply download the zip file, unzip it, and launch the application (as an administrator) via their associated executable files. It can be set to scan any location on the disk where you suspect the encrypted files to be, such as local or network drives as well as custom folders. In addition, the Avast decryptor relies on a known file format to verify that the file was successfully decrypted during the decryption process.
However, just like others, Avast does not guarantee that the decryption will be successful or effective. Avast recommends backing up encrypted files in case something goes wrong during the decryption process. In addition, Avast provides a free anti-ransomware tool that helps to prevent ransomware attacks and other types of threats.
6. Quick Heal Ransomware Decryption Tool
Quick Heal ransomware decryption tool can decrypt files encrypted by 17 variants of ransomware. The application automatically scans your infected device for supported encrypted files and then attempts to decrypt them, replacing the encrypted files with the decrypted ones. Follow the steps below to decrypt a file using this tool:
- Click Download Tool, save and extract the zip file on the system having the encrypted files.
- Right-click on the extracted file and select “Run as administrator” to view the Decryption Window.
- Press Y to start the scan. The tool will automatically scan the entire system for supported encrypted files. When an encrypted file is found, the tool will decrypt the file in its respective folder while keeping a copy of the encrypted file simultaneously.
- After the scan is complete, the decryption tool will show the final status displaying the number of encrypted files found and how many were successfully decrypted. The detailed information about the decryption status of each file can be obtained from the ‘Decryption.log’ generated in the same folder of the tool.
- After that, you can open the decrypted files and verify if they are accessible/readable again.
Quick Heal also has an in-built active protection mechanism that mitigates ransomware attacks by preventing malware from automatically executing when introduced via removable storage devices.
7. McAfee Ransomware Recover
McAfee Ransomware Recover (Mr2) is a framework that supports the decryption of files that various variants of ransomware have encrypted. The tool can unlock user files, applications, databases, applets, and other objects infected with ransomware. The good thing about this tool is that it is regularly updated as the keys and decryption logic required to decrypt files held for ransom by criminals become available. Before using this tool, McAfee recommends you do the following:
- Make sure your machine has network connectivity.
- Terminate and quarantine existing ransomware on your system by updating your antimalware product’s latest signature before running a specific decryption tool.
- On Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, make sure you have the patch or update for this Microsoft security advisory installed on your system.
8. No More Ransom
The No More Ransom project is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, and McAfee to help ransomware victims retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals. The project also aims to educate users about how ransomware works and what countermeasures can effectively prevent infection.
No More Ransom has the most extensive collection of decryptor tools and a repository of keys that can decrypt over 100 ransomware strains out there. If you don’t know which ransomware attacked your system, simply upload two sample files from your PC. Once you upload them, the website will identify the ransomware and provide you with the necessary decryption tool, if available.