Verasto ransomware is a malware that originates from STOP/DJVU family with over a hundred variants as of this writing. It is very notorious for encrypting all major file types like documents, photos, videos, music, databases, and so on. Verasto’s focal point of infection is to encrypt these files and request ransom payment from victims should they wish to restore the data to its original form. Clearly, this creation by cyber criminals are so damaging and at the same time aims to swindle money from innocent victims who made a huge mistake downloading the ransomware.
Malicious advertisements claiming to be software update or enhancement tools are the usual channel that spreads the executable file of Verasto. Attackers also utilizes malicious mass-mailing campaign and attaches the file to easily reach target users and misleads them by faking the sender, pretending to be from a known organizations.
Once downloaded and installed, Verasto executable files starts to exploit the infected computer and begins to encrypt files with its military-grade algorithm, which is actually very hard to decode. During the file-locking process, the virus also renames the file and appends it with .verasto extension. Therefore, photo1.jpg will become photo1.jpg.verasto after completing the encryption. Leaving an instruction (readme.txt) that contains contact address and recovery procedures is the last phase of the attack.
The message specifically states that no other solution except for buying the unique key and decryption tool is the only method to recover all .verasto encrypted files. Hence, attackers are demanding $490 – $980 ransom money defending how sooner victims can contact them and proceed with the transaction.
With assigned unique ID for each computer/victim, sharing the tool and unique key is obviously not feasible. However, malware researchers are continuously finding a solution to restore .verasto files in legal and helpful way and in fact, there are handy tools available. Learn more about the said free decryption tool below.
How to Remove Verasto Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Verasto 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 Verasto ransomware.
7. Finally, click on Start Scan begin checking the computer for malware and similar threats.
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 Verasto’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 Verasto. 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 Verasto 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 Verasto have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Verasto Decryption Tool
So far, this Verasto 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 (.Verasto)“, please copy and submit the information to the same website to include your ID on the next update of the decryption tool.
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 Verasto 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 Verasto
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 Verasto.
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 Verasto 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.