ADAGE Virus πŸ” (.ADAGE Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Adage virus belongs to the Phobos ransomware family. Ransomware of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (photos, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, leaving the info.txt files in every folder containing encrypted files.
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Adage virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically correct denomination for the Adage is “a Phobos family ransomware infection”.

The renaming will be executed by this pattern: id[xxxxxx].[contact_email].adage. In the process of encryption, a file named, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.id[1E857D00-2250].[wewillhelpyou@qq.com].adage”.

In each folder with the encoded files, a info.txt text file will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can obtain this decryptor after contacting wewillhelpyou@qq.com via email. That is basically the scheme of the malefaction.

Adage summary:
NameAdage Virus
Ransomware family1Phobos ransomware
Extension.adage
Ransomware noteinfo.txt
Contactwewillhelpyou@qq.com
Detection2Trojan:Win32/Ramnit, Trojan:Win32/ExtenBro!MSR, Trojan:Win32/Selfdel.C
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .adage extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Adage virus

The info.txt file accompanying the Adage malware states the following:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: veritablebee@protonmail.ch.
If we don\'t answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: viadolorosa@tuta.io

In the picture below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Adage looks like. Each filename has the “.adage” extension appended to it.

Adage Virus - encrypted .adage files

That is how encrypted “.adage” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Adage ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most popular methods for criminals to have ransomware settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer-to-peer networks.

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

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme3. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your PC pretending to be something different. For instance, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some service. But what is unpacked reveals itself a harmful program that compromises your data. Since the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to trust the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never guess what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is finished.

How to remove the Adage virus?

It is important to note that besides encrypting your data, the Adage virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your machine to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned program can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often racketeers would decode few of your files so you know that they do have the decryption program. Since Adage virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. However, the anti-ransomware instruments are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the evildoers succeed in encrypting someone’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. Nevertheless, paying a ransom does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of ransomware developers just disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The best safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external drive. Surely, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that one you were working on when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also advisable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Adage, that work similarly. Examples of those are Vvwq, Oori, Ooxa, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Adage are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become encrypted, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in every folder containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate people were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avert ransomware infiltration?

Adage ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can defend yourself from ransomware injection taking three easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are expecting (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious letter with caution. A fake email will always have mistakes.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked software, most likely as a β€œpatch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. Try to find information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal way is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect armor for your system.
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 PC.

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 Adage 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€” Are the “.adage” files accessible?

Unfortunately, no. You need to decipher the “.adage” files first. Then you will be able to open them.

πŸ€” The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

It’s good if you have fΠ°r-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. All other solutions require time.

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

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete active threats from your computer. The virus that has infected your system is probably still functional and running scans periodically to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the initial attack. As it has already been said, the Adage malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your computer in the future.

πŸ€” What actions should I take if the Adage ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your system. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” And what should I do now?

Some of the blocked files can be found elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to post those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, mobile, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, removing the authentic ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the ransomware itself with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following official 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 ADAGE Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: ADAGE Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated 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 are the top 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.

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