Another addition to the variants of STOP/DJVU is Boston ransomware. Just like previous versions, this one normally spreads in a misleading manner where it can convince user to download a file or execute an email attachment.However, the norms of sending Boston ransomware via spam email is observe in recent attacks. Maybe there is a higher success infection rate on this scheme and therefore it became cyber crooks favorite channel to distribute the virus.
Once executed on the computer, Boston ransomware drops certain files on various system folders. It will also communicate to remote server to further infect the computer with additional harmful files. Each file has its own function and is capable of updating itself to be more dominant. With supplementary executable files, Boston ransom virus can disable local security applications like anti-virus and anti-malware. This allows the threat to carry out harmful task without being detected. Blocking user’s access to security websites is also another concern for authors of Boston ransomware and it has specific code to implement this.
The final and focal point of the attack is to encrypt files on infected computers using a sophisticated algorithm that no ordinary computer users may be able to decode. All infected files are appended with .boston extension as a form of classification and to prevent users from opening it using installed applications.
After completing the encryption process of targeted files, Boston will generate a ransom note stating how users may be able to recover .boston files. In fact, it is clearly stated on the note that only way to restore infected data is by paying the ransom amounting to $980. Though, attackers are willing to give a half of the price discount if victims will be able to conduct payment within 72 hours after the initial attack. Below is the screenshot of Boston ransomware readme.txt file.
How to Remove Boston Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Boston virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.
Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with ESET Rogue Application Remover (ERAR)
1. Download the free scanner called ESET Rogue Application Remover.
Download Link for ERAR (this will open a new window)
2. Choose appropriate version for your Windows System. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start the program. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file ERARemover_.exe.
4. On ESET Rogue Application Remover SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS, click Accept to continue.
5. The tool will start scanning the computer. It will prompt when it finds Boston virus and other malicious entities. Follow the prompt to proceed with the removal.
Stage 2: Double-check for Boston’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool
1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.
3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Boston. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Boston virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.
6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.
7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.
8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Boston have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Boston Decryption Tool
So far, this Boston decryption tool works only for files that were encrypted using offline keys. This happens sometimes if the virus is unable to communicate to remote server to obtain unique keys; instead, it will use offline keys when encrypting files. However, there is a little chance of recovering files using this tool due to limited available offline keys that were integrated with this decryption tool.
For additional information (download link, supported versions, instructions) about StopDecrypter, please proceed to ransomware decryption tool archive page.
If you received a message stating that “No keys were found for the following IDs (.boston)”, please copy and submit the information to the official download page to include your information (log file) and have it archive in case decryption software becomes available.
We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below.
Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool
Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Boston virus infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.
3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.
Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Boston
Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Boston.
1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.
2. Install the program with the default settings.
3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.
4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Boston infection.
5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…
6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.