SHTORM Virus 🔐 (.SHTORM Files) — How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Shtorm virus belongs under the Phobos ransomware family. A harmful program of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, text files, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, creating the info.txt text files in every directory containing encrypted files.
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What is known about the Shtormvirus?

☝️ A scientifically accurate designation for the Shtorm is “a Phobos family ransomware-type infection”.

The pattern of renaming is the following: id[xxxxx].[contact-email].SHTORM. As a part of the encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be turned into “report.docx.id[9ECFA84E-3351].[[email protected]].SHTORM”.

In each folder that contains the encoded files, a info.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 ransomware developers. You can get this decrypting software after contacting [email protected] via email. That is pretty much the scheme of the felony.

Shtorm summary:
Name Shtorm Virus
Ransomware family1 Phobos ransomware
Extension .SHTORM
Ransomware note info.txt
Contact [email protected]
Detection Crytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) get a .SHTORM extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Shtorm virus

The info.txt document coming in package with the Shtorm malware states the following:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: [email protected].
If we don\'t answer in 24h, send messge to telegram: @Stop_24
Or write us to the TOX messenger: 0DDF76854C8F9E3287F5EC09E4A3533E416F087BC4F7FEFD330277288F96575DFE950C3168DD

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

Shtorm Virus - encrypted .SHTORM files

That is how encrypted “.SHTORM” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Shtorm ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most popular methods for tamperers to have ransomware planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer networks.

If you access your inbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those emails. They are very likely to have a ransomware item attached to them. So it is even riskier to open any attachments that come with letters 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 example, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that compromises your data. Since the installation file can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer networks like BitTorrent or eMule, the danger 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. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the directory containing the downloaded items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How do I get rid of the Shtorm virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Shtorm virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware3 can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often racketeers would unblock several of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. Since Shtorm virus is a relatively new ransomware, security software designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption instruments are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the hackers succeed in encoding victim’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After receiving the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports about malefactors simply vanishing after getting the ransom 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 storage. Obviously, that might be not enough. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working upon when it all started. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the system is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Shtorm, that work similarly. For instance, Hhoo, Vvmm, Hhee, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Shtorm are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: files become blocked, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encoded files.

Some fortunate people were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a criminals’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avert ransomware injection?

Shtorm ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can armour yourself from its injection in three easy steps:

  • Ignore any emails from unknown mailboxes with unknown addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (can you win in a money prize draw without participating in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email carefully. A hoax letter will always contain mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or untrusted programs. Trojans are often shared as a part of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” to prevent the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to tell from reliable ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try searching for 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, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your personal computer.
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 “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 computer for Shtorm 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

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Is it possible to open “.SHTORM” files?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.SHTORM” files are decrypted.

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

It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

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

No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete active viruses from your system. The malware that has attacked your computer is must be still active and it scans your system periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has already been said, the Shtorm malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide malefactors with easy access to your computer in the future.

🤔 What actions should I take if the Shtorm malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a flash memory drive with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To suppress this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 And what should I do now?

Some of the encrypted data can be located elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared images or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks pages, and cloud storage might have all those files too.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a notebook, cellphone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery utilities6 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but remember: you can do it only after you remove the virus with an antivirus 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 SHTORM Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: SHTORM Virus

Description: SHTORM Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .SHTORM 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. 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 are Best Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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