CryptoShadow Ransomware Virus (Removal Steps and Protection Updates)

The CryptoShadow ransomware is a new HiddenTear family iteration, our removal guide will give you more details about it and in-depth removal instructions.


File Extensions


Solution #1
You can skip all steps and remove CryptoShadow with the help of an anti-malware tool.

Solution #2
CryptoShadow ransomware can be removed manually, though it can be very hard for most home users. See the detailed tutorial below.

Spam Email Campaigns, malicious ads & etc.

CryptoShadow Ransomware Description

The CryptoShadow ransomware is a recently discovered malware threat. According to the research this is a new strain of the HiddenTear malware family and we expect that it follows the same behavior patterns.

Upon infection the ransomware encrypts target user file data using the AES or RSA ciphers and may institute system changes to retain persistence. We assume that it affects the extensions targeted by the core virus:

“.txt”, “.doc”, “.docx”, “.xls”, “.xlsx”, “.pdf”, “.pps”, “.ppt”, “.pptx”, “.odt”, “.gif”, “.jpg”, “.png”, “.db”, “.csv”, “.sql”, “.mdb””.sln””.php”, “.asp”, “.aspx”, “.html”, “.xml”, “.psd”, “.frm”, “.myd”, “.myi”, “.dbf”, “.mp3”, “.mp4”, “.avi”, “.mov”, “.mpg”, “.rm”, “.wmv”, “.m4a”, “.mpa”, “.wav”, “.sav”, “.gam”, “.log”, “.ged”, “.msg”, “.myo”, “.tax”, “.ynab”, “.ifx”, “.ofx”, “.qfx”, “.qif”, “.qdf”, “.tax2013”, “.tax2014”, “.tax2015”, “.box”, “.ncf”, “.nsf”, “.ntf”, “.lwp”

The virus crafts a ransomware note bearing the name “LEER_INMEDIATAMENTE.txt” on the user’s desktop which contains the following message:

Sus archivos fueron encryptados por CryptoShadow, vea el archivo exe para mas informacion!.”

The message is written in Spanish and a machine translated-version of it means:

Your files were encrypted by Crypto Shadow, see the exe file for more information !. ”

Most of the anti-spyware vendors have already added its signature to their updated definitions list.

CryptoShadow Ransomware Distribution

CryptoShadow ransomware is distributed as a counterfeit Internet Explorer installer and updater. The captured samples use the process’s name iexplorer.exe.

Such viruses are usually distributed via email spam campaigns, malicious ads and browser hijackers. The criminal operators may also use various social engineering tricks to trick the targets into becoming victims of the ransomware.

CryptoShadow Ransomware – How To Remove it and Prevent It From Coming Back

There are two ways of removal:

CryptoShadow Ransomware Removal

For a faster solution, you can run a scan with an advanced malware removal tool and delete CryptoShadow completely with a few mouse clicks.

STEP I: Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network
This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently.

    1) Hit WIN Key + R


    2) A Run window will appear. In it, write “msconfig” and then press Enter
    3) A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named “Boot
    4) Mark “Safe Boot” option and then go to “Network” under it to tick it too
    5) Apply -> OK

Or check our video guide – “How to start PC in Safe Mode with Networking

STEP II: Show Hidden Files

    1) Open My Computer/This PC
    2) Windows 7

      – Click on “Organize” button
      – Select “Folder and search options
      – Select the “View” tab
      – Go under “Hidden files and folders” and mark “Show hidden files and folders” option

    3) Windows 8/ 10

      – Open “View” tab
      – Mark “Hidden items” option


    4) Click “Apply” and then “OK” button

STEP III: Enter Windows Task Manager and Stop Malicious Processes

    1) Hit the following key combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
    2) Get over to “Processes
    3) When you find suspicious process right click on it and select “Open File Location
    4) Go back to Task Manager and end the malicious process. Right click on it again and choose “End Process
    5) Next you should go folder where the malicious file is located and delete it

STEP IV: Remove Completely CryptoShadow Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of CryptoShadow requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete CryptoShadow ransomware with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

STEP V: Repair Windows Registry

    1) Again type simultaneously the Windows Button + R key combination
    2) In the box, write “regedit”(without the inverted commas) and hit Enter
    3) Type the CTRL+F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable
    4) In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Further help for Windows Registry repair

STEP VI: Recover Encrypted Files

    1) Use present backups
    2) Restore your personal files using File History

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Type “restore your files” in the search box
      – Select “Restore your files with File History
      – Choose a folder or type the name of the file in the search bar


      – Hit the “Restore” button

    3) Using System Restore Point

      – Hit WIN Key
      – Select “Open System Restore” and follow the steps


STEP VII: Preventive Security Measures

    1) Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
    2) Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
    3) Secure your web browser.
    4) Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
    5) Disable macros in Office documents.
    6) Use strong passwords.
    7) Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
    8) Backup regularly your data.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

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Author : Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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