EDW Ransomware (.EDW File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Edw virus falls within the Dharma ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (images, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, creating the FILES ENCRYPTED.txt files in each folder containing encrypted files.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review

It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!

When we talk about the intrusion of unfamiliar programs into your computer’s work, the proverb “Forewarned 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.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware 6-day trial available.
EULA | Privacy Policy | GridinSoft

@topcybersecuritySubscribe to our Telegram channel to be the first to know about news and our exclusive materials on information security.

What is Edw virus?

☝️ A strictly correct description for the Edw is “a Dharma family ransomware malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed by this pattern: .edw. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be renamed to “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[edward22w@aol.com].edw”.

In each directory with the encoded files, a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt text file will appear. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can get this tool after contacting edward22w@aol.com by email. That is basically the scheme of the crime.

Edw summary:
NameEdw Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.edw
Ransomware noteFILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contactedward22w@aol.com
Detection2Win32/GenKryptik.FWOS, Worm:Win32/IRCbot.I, Win32/Packed.VMProtect.E
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .edw extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Edw virus

The FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file coming in package with the Edw malware states the following:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email edward22w@aol.com or edward22w@tutanota.com

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

Edw Virus - encrypted .edw files

An example of encrypted .edw files.

How did my computer get infected with Edw ransomware?

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

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for malefactors to have the Edw virus settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer file transfer.

If you access your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a malware item enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan file model3. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your machine pretending to be something legal. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that corrupts your data. As the update package can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know what you download until you get it. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove the Edw virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your files, the Edw virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware4 can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes racketeers would unblock few of your files so you know that they indeed have the decryption program. As Edw virus is a relatively new ransomware, anti-malware designers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.

Of course, if the tamperers succeed in encoding victim’s critical data, the hopeless person will most likely comply with their demands. Despite that, paying to racketeers gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After getting the ransom, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports about hackers just vanishing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud storage or at least on an external disk. Surely, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.

Edw is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Bbyy, Zfdv, Bbzz, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Edw are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: files become inaccessible, their extensions changed, ransom notes are found in every folder containing encoded files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But naturally, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ tool to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avoid ransomware infection?

Edw ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour yourself from its attack within several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters 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?). If the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter carefully. A fake email will always have a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, untrusted programs are very hard to distinguish from trustworthy software, because trojans sometimes have the functionality you need. You can try to find information on this program on the anti-malware message boards, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, check them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.

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 system.

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 “Yes” 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 system for Edw 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 “Clean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

🤔 Can I somehow access “.edw” files?

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

🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Edw malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

Absolutely not! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with real viruses. The malware that has infected your PC is must be still functional and launching checks periodically to encode any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been said above, the Edw malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your computer after some time.

🤔 What should I do if the Edw virus has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Many of the encoded files might still be at your disposal

  • If you sent or received your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to send those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got 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 too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a notebook, mobile, flash memory, etc.

HINT: You can use data recovery utilities7 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the virus 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.

I need your help to share this article.

It is your turn to help other people. I have written this article to help people like you. You can use the buttons below to share this on your favorite social media Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.
Brendan Smith
How to Remove EDW Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: EDW Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

Sending
User Review
4.21 (14 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

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. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  7. Here are 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.

Leave a Reply

Sending

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.