What is Self ransomware?
Self is a file locking virus derived from big ransomware family – Crysis/Dharma. Upon infiltration, the virus makes changes to the system configuration including Task Manager and Windows Registry. Also, it runs an executable file in the %AppData% folder to begin the encryption procedure. Afterward, cybercriminals blackmail victims to pay up in the ransom note presented in the form of a pop-up window. However, it is not the best option no matter how important these data are for you. If your computer is infected with Self ransomware, there is no reason to pay for decryption of your files, because in most cases cybercriminals will ask for more money, even if you pay the full ransom cost. Instead, you may use this tutorial to remove Self ransomware and decrypt .self files.
Once the encryption procedure is done, you won’t be able to open files with .id-xxxxxxxx.[email@example.com].self extension unless they are decrypted. Here, Self ransomware displays a pop-up and window and creates FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file. Cybercriminals urge users to contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org to know the ransom amount and solve the problem as soon as possible. As usual, cybercriminals offer free decryption of several files to prove that they can really decrypt the victim’s files. Typically, such virus programs encrypt data securely enough so that you have no choice but to purchase decryption tools from cybercriminals. Regular backups will save you these problems. It is worth noting that the files remain encrypted even after the removal of the ransomware, its deletion only prevents further encryption.
The content of the pop-up window:
All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail email@example.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:firstname.lastname@example.org
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
The content of FILES ENCRYPTED.txt ransom note:
all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
Write email email@example.com
We strongly recommend not to comply with their requirements because there are no guarantees that you will obtain your files when the transaction happens. On the contrary, there is a high risk of being deceived and simply left with nothing. Of course, they claim the opposite, that it is supposedly not in their interests to trick you. Think for yourself, why should they send you the key, if they have already received a ransom from you? The only reliable way to solve the problem is to remove Self ransomware from the system using appropriate software in order to stop the malicious actions of the virus and then restore your data from the backup.
Screenshot of Self encrypted files:
At the last stage of the infection stage, this ransomware may delete all shadow volumes on your computer. After that, you will not be able to carry out the standard procedure for recovering your encrypted data using these shadow volumes. There are two solutions to remove Self Ransomware and decrypt your files. The first is to use an automated removal tool. This method is suitable even for inexperienced users since the removal tool can delete all instances of the virus in just a few clicks. The second is to use the Manual Removal Guide. This is a more complex way that requires special computer skills.
How Self ransomware gets on my computer?
Cybercriminals use various techniques to deliver the virus to the target computer. Ransomware viruses can infiltrate victims’ computers more than in one or two ways, in most cases, cryptoviral extortion attack is carried out with the help of the following methods:
- This is the most used distribution method. Cybercriminals use fraudulent emails to pose as official organizations or business companies (receipts, winning notifications, confirmation of order; bank messages, and so on) to lure unsuspecting users into clicking on a malicious attachment – just one click to make your files inaccessible. To mislead the user and make it look like an official email, cybercriminals add an extra symbol to the email address, for example, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, you may see service[.]@paypal.com or service[_]@paypal.com. That’s why you should always pay attention to received emails and identify the sender to make sure that this is from a trusted source. Also, the presence of grammatical and typographical errors in the text of the message indicates that this is a fake. If nothing’s wrong, scan attachment with antivirus software first and then you can open it. Compliance with all these rules will help you save a lot of nerve, time and money.
- Hackers use the special toolkit to exploit known vulnerabilities in systems or applications. That’s why you should always make Windows updates on time and keep them up to date. Remember that these updates close the security holes in the system through which the virus can enter your computer. Make sure that your operating system itself is not outdated and is officially supported, for example, Windows XP, Vista, 7 are no longer supported.
- Various dubious web-sources can contain malicious scripts or hyperlinks that can infect your system. Our advice – avoid visiting P2P sites and websites with illegal content (pirated software, movies, music). Use only legitimate services and remember – there’s no free lunch in this world.
- Cybercriminals often abuse the built-in Windows feature – Remote Desktop Protocol to infect computer with ransomware. That way, they access target computer remotely and install virus manually. To avoid infection via RDP, you should set a different from 3389 TCP port and use a more strong password.
How to remove Self ransomware?
First of all, don’t panic. Follow these easy steps below.
1. Start your computer in Safe Mode with networking. To do that, restart your computer before your system starts hit F8 several times. This will prevent system from loading and will show Advanced boot options screen. Choose Safe mode with networking option from the options list using up and down arrows on your keyboard and hit Enter.
2. Log in to the system infected with the Self ransomware virus. Launch your Internet browser and download a reliable anti-malware program and start a full system scan. Once the scan is complete, review scan results and remove all entries detected.
Try Stellar Data Recovery
Stellar Data Recovery is one of the most effective tools that can recover lost and corrupted files — documents, emails, pictures, videos, audio files, and more — on any Windows device. The powerful scan engine can detect compromised files and finally save them to specified destination. Despite its advancedness, it’s very concise and simple so that even the most inexperienced user can figure it out.
Email security is the first line of defense against ransomware viruses. To do this, we recommend that you use MailWasher. MailWasher blocks ransomware viruses coming through spam and phishing, and automatically detects malicious attachments and URLs. In addition, malicious messages can be blocked even before the recipient opens them. Since the main source of the spread of ransomware viruses are infected emails, antispam significantly reduces the risk of a virus appearing on your computer.
You may find more detailed information about antivirus products in our article – Top 5 Antivirus Software for Windows
Restore your files using shadow copies
- Download and run Stellar Data Recovery.
- Select type of files you want to restore and click Next.
- Select the drive and folder where your files are located and date that you want to restore them from and press Scan.
- Once the scanning process is done, click Recover to restore your files.
How to decrypt files infected by Self Ransomware?
You can try to use manual methods to restore and decrypt your files.
Decrypt files manually
Restore the system using System Restore
Although the latest versions of Self Ransomware remove system restore files, this method may help you partially restore your files. Give it a try and use standard System Restore to revive your data.
- Initiate the search for ‘system restore‘
- Click on the result
- Choose the date before the infection appearance
- Follow the on-screen instructions
Roll the files back to the previous version
Previous versions can be copies of files and folders created by Windows Backup (if it is active) or copies of files and folders created by System Restore. You can use this feature to restore files and folders that you accidentally modified or deleted, or that were damaged. This feature is available in Windows 7 and later versions.
- Click the encrypted file and choose Properties
- Open the Previous Version tab
- Select the latest version and click Copy
- Click Restore
How to prevent your system from Ransomware?
No one is safe from infection with a virus that secretly encrypts your data. But in order to minimize this risk, you need to follow the rules:
1. Always make Windows updates on time and keep them up to date. Remember that these updates close the security holes in the system through which the virus can enter your computer.
2. The most efficient way to avoid data loss is of course to make a backup of all important data from your computer. It is enough just to synchronize the necessary folders with one of the cloud services, so as not to be afraid to see the text requiring the payment of bitcoins in exchange for a decryption key. It can be a cloud or a remote hard drive on the network. If you store all your files on the Internet, the likelihood of virus infection will be lower. Do not make copies to external hard drives, as this could damage them.
3. Since spam email is the most popular form of spreading ransomware-type viruses, the user should never open email attachments without first having scanned them with antivirus. Just clicking on the link or opening the attachment can damage the operating system (Windows) in a few minutes, damage important data and infect other machines with the virus.
4. All previous methods do not matter if you do not have a reliable antivirus. The presence of anti-virus protection on your computer can prevent all these unpleasant surprises. Anti-virus protection will protect you from malware, money loss, time loss, invasion of your personal life. Now the antivirus market is so huge that it is difficult to make a choice in favor of one of them. If you have not decided who to give preference to, we suggest you familiarize yourself with our Top 5 Antivirus Software for Windows