Remove Stone Ransomware (Decrypt .stone Files)

By | Posted on June 12, 2019 | Updated on June 14, 2019

Stone ransomware is a file-locking malware with special task of encrypting targeted files on the infected computer. It is impossible for ordinary users to restore encrypted files due to sophisticated AES-RSA algorithm applied by attackers in order to make it unusable. As stated in the recovery text file, paying $980 for unique personal key and decryption tool is the only method of recovering .stone files.

Messing with the infected files may corrupt it and be forever useless, and odds of guessing the unique key combination are virtually impossible due to cryptographic complexity. The only way and certainly best method to regain access to all data is by restoring a backup copy from a separate media like DVD or USB Hard Drives. Hence, not all computer users are practicing this precautionary measure.

Alternatively, victims could concede to attacker’s demand by paying the ransom money as stated in the ransom note (_readme.txt). However, please consider that you are transacting with cyber criminals that are notorious for swindling money from computer users. Chances are, they may delay the delivery of .stone decryption tool and unique key and increase the ransom money for unexpected fees.

Stone Ransomware

Since Stone ransomware is a variant of STOP/DJVU family, malware researchers are positive that there are ways to decrypt .stone files using the STOPDecrypter tool developed by Demonslay335. As always, recovering files for thousands of victims each with unique ID may not come in an instant. Victims needs to seek advice and submit the unique ID in order to have a matching private key and decrypter. Please see the complete guide below.

How to Remove Stone Ransomware

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Stone 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 MB3-Setup-[version].exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. At the last stage of installation process, click the Finish button. The program should launch momentarily.

5. On Malwarebytes Anti-Malware console, select Scan from the menu to see available Scan Method.

6. Next, click on Threat Scan. This is the most complete scan method that will surely find any hidden malicious objects associated to Stone ransomware.

7. Finally, click on Start Scan begin checking the computer for malware and similar threats.

MBAM-threatscan

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 Stone’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)

download-msrt

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 Stone ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

msrt-icon

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.

msrt1

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Stone 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.

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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.

msrt3

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 Stone ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Stone Decryption Tool

So far, this Stone 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. You may download StopDecrypter (by Demoslay335) from this website.

If you received a message stating that “No keys were found for the following IDs (.Stone)”, please copy and submit the information to the same website to include your ID on the next update of the decryption tool.

StopDecrypter Information

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 Stone 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 Stone 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 Stone 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 Stone ransomware infection.

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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.

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