Files having the .seto extension are plainly unusable not only because it has an unusual file type but due to the applied encryption algorithm that as of now, no decryption software is available. Computer security enthusiasts named it Seto ransomware as obviously derived from the appended extension to selected files. Notably, the virus is attacking majority of user’s files like documents, spreadsheets, images, photos, videos, archives, databases, and so on.
Similar to previous versions as Gero, Hese, and Cetori, Seto frequently catches victims through spam email campaign where it can easily influence user to open the attached file by posing as correspondence from prominent organization. It is very unfortunate that Seto can evade some security applications and in fact, the virus can even end related processes leading to deactivation of anti-virus software.
Seto also spreads with the assistance of Trojan downloader that will first initiate contact with the computer. Then, its secondary payload is to fetch the Seto ransomware code from a remote server and execute it on the compromised machine. Additional means for this crypto-virus to reach random computers globally is through common ways of malware distribution and that is via malicious advertising campaign and software piracy.
If Seto ransomware manages to enter the computer, it will search the storage for valuable user’s files and encrypts them with complex algorithm. Simultaneously, infected files are appended with .Seto extension that further makes it inoperable because no software is associated to the said file type. Lastly, a ransom note will appear on the same exact location as the .Seto files containing messages on the procedures for file recovery. Unfortunately, amount required in order for users to obtain the private key and decryption software is a costly $980. Attackers can reduce the payment to $490 if victims can settle the payment in provided grace period. Below is an excerpt from the ransom note file (_readme.txt).
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.
How to Remove Seto Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Seto 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 alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.
Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool
1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)
2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.
3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.
4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.
5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.
6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Seto ransomware.
7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.
8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.
Stage 2: Double-check for Seto’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 Seto ransomware. 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 Seto ransom 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 Seto ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Seto Decryption Tool
Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Seto ransomware uses the alternate Offline Keys during encryption if there is a problem encountered while communicating to a remote command-and-control server. Follow the guide to start recovering .seto encrypted files.
1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .seto encrypted files first on a separate media (USB Drive, Flash Drive, DVD Discs, etc…).
2. Download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu from this archive page.
3. Right-click on decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe and click “Run as Administrator“. Windows may prompt “Do you want to allow this app…” just click Yes to continue.
4. By default, the tool will pre-populate the locations where encrypted files were identified. To include other directories, simply click Add Folder button.
5. To start recovering files infected by Seto ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.
We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below if the above procedure is not not effective.
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 Seto ransomware 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 Seto Ransomware
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 Seto ransomware.
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 Seto ransomware 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.