Ransomware attacks have become a severe cybersecurity threat, causing financial losses and operational disruptions for individuals, businesses, and government entities. Water ransomware, also known as the Water virus, is a member of the Phobos ransomware family. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the Water ransomware in detail, its impact on your computer, and the steps you can take to remove the infection and decrypt your files.


Understanding Water Ransomware

Water ransomware is a type of crypto virus that encrypts files on your computer, making them inaccessible. The ransomware appends the victim’s ID, aquaman@rambler.ua email address, and the “.water” extension to the filenames. For example, it changes “1.jpg” to “1.jpg.id[9ECFA84E-3499].[aquaman@rambler.ua].water”. This encryption process renders the files useless until a ransom is paid to the attackers.

The Water Ransom Note

When the encryption process is complete, Water ransomware displays a ransom note to the victim (info.txt and info.hta). The note warns that the victim’s data has been encrypted and can only be unlocked with the software provided by the attackers. It emphasizes the severe consequences of attempting decryption independently or through third-party software, which may result in irreversible data loss.

The ransom note also advises against seeking assistance from intermediary or recovery companies, as it may lead to permanent data loss or deception by these entities. It provides contact details (aquaman@rambler.ua) for the attackers and outlines a timeframe within which the victim must reach out. Failure to comply may result in the dissemination of the victim’s data to all interested parties.

Text of the Water Ransomware note:

Unlocking your data is possible only with our software.
Important! An attempt to decrypt it yourself or decrypt it with third-party software will result in the loss of your data forever.
Contacting intermediary companies, recovery companies will create the risk of losing your data forever or being deceived by these companies. Being deceived is your responsibility! Learn the experience on the forums.
Write us to the e-mail: aquaman@rambler.ua
Write this ID in the title of your message –
If you have not contacted within 2 days from the moment of the incident, we will consider the transaction not completed. Your data will be sent to all interested parties. This is your responsibility.
People who you will find on the internet saying they can help you will try to scam you. Videos to youtube and other sites are fake so you shouldn’t believe it. Do not pay anyone who cannot provide an example proof files. Do not forward a payment to anyone with btc apart from us. You can get your exemplary proof file for free by contacting us with your company email.
Not a single file will be sent to any other email except the company one (This is a precaution in order to for you to not get scammed) Contacting any other third party or data rescue companies will create the risk of losing your data forever or you getting scammed by these firms. Getting scammed or not is up to you. Learn about the experiences of other people on the forums.
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.
If you have not contacted within 2 days from the moment of the incident, we will consider the transaction not completed. Your data will be sent to all interested parties. This is your responsibility.
Don’t be afraid to contact us. Remember, this is the only way to recover your data.

How Water Ransomware Infects Computers

Cybercriminals distribute Water ransomware through various methods, including malicious email attachments, compromised websites, and exploit kits targeting software vulnerabilities. They often disguise themselves as legitimate entities and send misleading emails to trick users into opening malicious links or infected attachments. Visiting compromised websites, clicking on malicious advertisements, and downloading pirated software or cracking tools can also lead to ransomware infections.

Water ransomware, like other variants in the Phobos family, exploits weaknesses in Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) services to infiltrate systems. It commonly targets weak account credentials using brute force and dictionary attacks, gaining unauthorized access to systems lacking sufficient account security measures.

Major Consequences of Water Ransomware

Water ransomware not only encrypts files but also disables the firewall, making the targeted system more vulnerable to malicious operations. It deliberately eradicates Volume Shadow Copies, eliminating potential restore points that could help recover encrypted files.

Moreover, Water ransomware can retrieve location data and employ persistence mechanisms capable of excluding specified locations from its purview. This increases the difficulty of detecting and removing the ransomware from the infected system.

Protecting Yourself from Water Ransomware Infections

Preventing ransomware infections requires a multifaceted approach. Here are some essential steps to protect yourself from Water ransomware and other similar threats:

  1. Be wary of unexpected or unsolicited emails, especially those urging immediate action or containing suspicious links or attachments.
  2. Keep all software, including the operating system, up to date with the latest security patches.
  3. Use reputable antivirus or anti-malware software to detect and block ransomware infections.
  4. Exercise caution when visiting websites, avoiding clicking on suspicious links or ads, and sticking to reputable sources for downloading software and files.
  5. Regularly back up your important data and store it on external devices or cloud services. Ensure that the backup is disconnected from the internet to prevent ransomware attacks targeting backups.

Reporting Water Ransomware to Authorities

If you become a victim of Water ransomware or any ransomware attack, it is crucial to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. By providing information to law enforcement agencies, you can help track cybercrime and potentially assist in the prosecution of the attackers.

Here is a list of authorities where you should report a ransomware attack, depending on your residence address:

  • USA: Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3)
  • United Kingdom: Action Fraud
  • Spain: Policía Nacional
  • France: Ministère de l’Intérieur
  • Germany: Polizei
  • Italy: Polizia di Stato
  • The Netherlands: Politie
  • Poland: Policja
  • Portugal: Polícia Judiciária

Removing Water Ransomware

Removing Water ransomware from your infected computer is a crucial step towards regaining control over your files and restoring normalcy. Here are some methods you can use to eliminate the ransomware:

  1. Automatic Malware Removal: To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. We recommend using SpyHunter, a professional automatic malware removal tool.

    Try SpyHunter

    SpyHunter is a powerful tool that is able to keep your Windows clean. It would automatically search out and delete all elements related to malware. It is not only the easiest way to eliminate malware but also the safest and most assuring one. The full version of SpyHunter costs $42 (you get 6 months of subscription). By clicking the button, you agree to EULA and Privacy Policy. Downloading will start automatically.

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    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.

    Download Stellar Data Recovery

    Try MailWasher

    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.

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  2. Manual Removal: Manual removal of ransomware can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires advanced IT skills. It involves identifying and deleting malicious files and registry entries associated with the ransomware. If you are experienced in malware removal, you can follow comprehensive manual removal guides available online.

It’s important to note that while antivirus programs can remove the malware, they typically cannot decrypt your encrypted files. The decryption process may require specialized tools or the involvement of the ransomware developers themselves.

Decrypting Water Ransomware-Encrypted Files

Decryption of Water ransomware-encrypted files without the involvement of the attackers is a challenging task. In most cases, only the ransomware developers hold the encryption keys required for decryption. However, there are some steps you can take to potentially recover your files:

  1. Check for Available Decryption Tools: Visit the No More Ransom Project website, which provides a collection of decryption tools for various ransomware infections. Search for Water ransomware and see if any decryption tools are available.
  2. Data Recovery Tools: Use data recovery tools such as Stellar Data Recovery to recover deleted or corrupted files. These tools can sometimes retrieve previous versions of files or restore data from backup locations. Download Stellar Data Recovery

Remember to keep your expectations realistic when attempting to decrypt your files. Success is not guaranteed, and it’s always advisable to consult with cybersecurity professionals or reputable data recovery services for assistance.

Creating Data Backups for Future Protection

Creating regular data backups is essential for protecting your files from ransomware attacks. By having up-to-date backups, you can restore your files without paying the ransom. Here are some best practices for creating data backups:

  1. Partition Management: Store your data in multiple partitions and avoid storing important files within the partition that contains the operating system. This way, if you need to format the system partition, your data will remain safe in other partitions.
  2. External Storage Devices: Back up your data to external hard drives, flash drives, or other storage devices. Keep these devices unplugged when not in use to prevent ransomware attacks from infecting the backups.
  3. Cloud Storage: Consider using cloud storage services like Microsoft OneDrive to back up your important files. These services provide secure storage and the ability to access your files from anywhere.

Regularly update and test your backups to ensure their integrity and usability in case of a ransomware attack.


Water ransomware poses a significant threat to individuals and organizations, encrypting files and demanding ransom payments for decryption. By following preventive measures, reporting incidents to authorities, and utilizing effective malware removal tools, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to Water ransomware or any other similar crypto virus. Remember to regularly back up your data to protect it from potential ransomware attacks and always stay vigilant against suspicious emails, websites, and downloads.

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