A.E.S.R.T Virus πŸ” (.A.E.S.R.T Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The A.e.s.r.t virus belongs with the ransomware type of malicious agent. Harmful software of this type encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, leaving the pop-up window open once the encryption is over.
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When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb β€œForewarned is forearmed” describes the situation as accurately as possible. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware is exactly the tool that is always useful to have in your armory: fast, efficient, up-to-date. It is appropriate to use it as an emergency help at the slightest suspicion of infection.
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What is A.e.s.r.t virus?

☝️ A strictly correct description for the A.e.s.r.t would be “a ransomware-type infection”.

A.e.s.r.t appends its extra .A.E.S.R.T extension to every file’s name. For example, an image named “photo.jpg” will be renamed to “photo.jpg.A.E.S.R.T”. Just like the Excel sheet with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.A.E.S.R.T”, and so on.

In each directory with the encoded files, a pop-up window will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. That is basically the scheme of the malefaction.

A.e.s.r.t outline:
NameA.e.s.r.t Virus
Extension.A.E.S.R.T
Ransomware notepop-up window
Detection1Win32/GenKryptik.GCRJ, VHO:Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Deyma.cyv, Generic.Trojan.HackTool.DDS
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .A.E.S.R.T extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by A.e.s.r.t virus

In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the A.e.s.r.t looks like. Each filename has the “.A.E.S.R.T” extension appended to it.

A.e.s.r.t Virus - encrypted .A.E.S.R.T files

That is how encrypted “.A.E.S.R.T” files look.

How did A.e.s.r.t ransomware end up on my PC?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

There are currently three most popular ways for malefactors to have ransomware working in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer file transfer.

If you open your mailbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a harmful item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme2. A Trojan is an object that gets into your PC pretending to be something else. For instance, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some service. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful program that encodes your data. Since the update file can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy resources. Also, it is a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How do I get rid of the A.e.s.r.t virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the A.e.s.r.t virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your computer to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware3 can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Sometimes tamperers would decode several of your files so you know that they really have the decryption program. Since A.e.s.r.t virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. However, the decoding instruments are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the tamperers do the job of encrypting victim’s critical data, the hopeless person will most likely fulfill their demands. Despite that, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of hackers simply vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The best solution against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud disk or at least on an external disk. Obviously, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also advisable to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.

A.e.s.r.t is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. Examples of those are Fatp, Powd, Bowd, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the A.e.s.r.t are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become inaccessible, their extensions changed, ransom notes are created in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some lucky people were able to decrypt the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infiltration?

A.e.s.r.t ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can defend your system from its attack in three easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown mailboxes with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a lottery without participating in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the dubious letter with caution. A hoax letter will always have mistakes.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often shared as a part of cracked products, most likely under the guise of β€œpatch” which prevents the license check. But untrusted programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy ones, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information on this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect shield for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

Download Removal Tool.

You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:

Run the setup file.

When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your computer.

Run Setup.exe

An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click β€œYes” to continue with the installation.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your computer for A.e.s.r.t infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

Click on “Clean Now”.

When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

πŸ€” How can I open “.A.E.S.R.T” files?Can I somehow access “.A.E.S.R.T” files?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.A.E.S.R.T” files you will not be able to access them.

πŸ€” What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

It’s good if you have fΠ°r-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. All other solutions require time.

πŸ€” You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the A.e.s.r.t virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real viruses. The ransomware that has attacked your system is most likely still active and launching checks every so often to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the infection. As it has been mentioned above, the A.e.s.r.t ransomware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your computer in the future.

πŸ€” What should I do if the A.e.s.r.t virus has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

In such a case, you need to prepare a memory stick with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your system. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” What can I do right now?

Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach

  • If you exchanged your critical files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old PC, a portable device, mobile, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can use data recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the virus with an antivirus program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove A.E.S.R.T Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: A.E.S.R.T Virus

Description: A.E.S.R.T Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .A.E.S.R.T extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. Encyclopedia of threats.
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. Here’s the list of the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

One Response

  1. Papuchin November 24, 2022

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