How to Decrypt Ransomware-Encrypted Files

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files on the victim’s computer, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. To decrypt files encrypted by ransomware can be difficult and time-consuming, but it is possible.  

In this article, we will discuss some of the methods available to decrypt ransomware-encrypted files and how you can recover your data.

How ransomware encryption works

Ransomware encrypts files using an encryption algorithm, which makes it impossible to access the file unless you have the decryption key or password. There are two encryption methods: symmetric and asymmetric. They differ in levels of complexity and security. Some recent ransomware uses hybrid encryption, mixing symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms.

After gaining access to your network through a vulnerability (check ways cyber attacks happen), threatened actors (hackers) will add their payloads to the compromised computer. Then it will remain hidden on the system until triggered. Once activated, it will use its own ransomware encryption algorithm. The ransomware then usually displays a message on the victim’s computer which states that their files have been encrypted and they must pay a ransom in order to decrypt them.

Methods to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware

The most effective way to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware is by using a tool specifically designed to decrypt them. Several companies offer “ransomware decryptors” that can be used to break the encryption and restore access to your files without paying a ransom.

However, these tools are often only able to work with specific types of ransomware. So you will need to identify the type of ransomware that has encrypted your files before you can use a decryptor. You can use our free ransomware ID tool to discover which ransomware encrypted your files.

Be aware that sometimes your data might get corrupted after the decryption.
It is also possible to recover files from backups, which may avoid the need for decryption entirely. Backups are an essential part of any cybersecurity strategy since it protects against data loss.

3 ways to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware

1. Decryption Tool. A decryption tool is a specialized software program designed to decrypt ransomware-encrypted files. It works by using the encryption key or password, which was used to encrypt the file, in order to convert it back into its original form. Security software providers, such as Avast and Emsisoft, offer free decryptors for some types of ransomware.

2. Ransomware Recovery Service. These services provide users with tools and techniques for recovering their data without paying a ransom or using a decryptor tool. If you don’t have a backup or if there is no decryptor available, these services are your only hope to restore your data. Usually, these services also work on ransomware removal and forensics reports. Contact Proven Data recovery experts 24/7 for emergency data recovery service. 3. Paying the Ransom. Although you should avoid this due to security risks associated with paying the ransom, it is sometimes necessary if all other methods fail. Seek legal advice before paying the ransom. We strongly advise against ransom payment.

7 Steps for ransomware response & data recovery

Step 1: Identify the ransomware variant

In order to successfully recover from ransomware-encrypted files, it is important to first identify the type of ransomware that has been used. You can do it by researching the ransom message or by scanning the system with an anti-malware program that has ransomware detection capabilities. Additionally, some companies offer specialized ransomware identification services.

Step 2: Back up encrypted files

Once you have identified the ransomware, it is important to back up any encrypted files before attempting recovery. Backing up your data allows you to restore it in the event that decryption fails or other methods of restoring access fail. It also helps with the criminal investigation following the attack.

Step 3: Incident forensic report

Incident forensic reports can be used to document the attack and provide details on how it occurred. Which can help you to protect yourself from future attacks.

Step 4: Report to law enforcement

Every victim must report ransomware to authorities for further investigation of the attack. This will not only help you to get your files back but also can help prevent future attacks and identify the perpetrators.

Step 5: Remove the ransomware

Once the ransomware has been identified and reported, it is important to take steps to remove it from the affected systems. This should be done using an anti-malware program that is specifically designed for removing ransomware.

Step 6: Recover the data

After the ransomware has been removed, it is then possible to attempt data recovery. Depending on the type of ransomware that has been used, this could involve using a decryptor tool or restoring from backups.

Step 7: Implement preventative security measures

Finally, it is important to implement preventative security measures in order to reduce the risk of a future attack. This should include regular backups as well as implementing strong cybersecurity solutions such as anti-malware programs and firewalls.

Additionally, training staff on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams can help mitigate many of the risks associated with ransomware attacks.

Prevention is the Best Cure

The best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of ransomware is by taking preventive measures.

This includes

  • Keeping all software up-to-date
  • Using strong passwords
  • Applying two-factor authentication
  • Avoiding suspicious emails or links
  • Backing up important data regularly.

By following these steps, you can reduce the chances of becoming infected with ransomware significantly.

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