Guardware.exe Ransomware Virus (Removal Steps and Protection Updates)

The Guardware.exe ransomware is a new malware strain of a large malware family of dangerous viruses. To learn more about the threat our removal guide.


File Extensions
XTBL Pattern

3 Bitcoins

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

Solution #2
Guardware.exe 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.

Guardware.exe Ransomware Description

The first intances of the Guardware.exe ransomware was discovered by security researchers after hackers used it in live campaign attacks against various targets.

Upon infection the virus scans all network shares and encrypts all accessible locations if the user has write privileges. This makes it a very dangerous network Trojan that is able to compromise a lot of data, especially if the victim computer is located on a company network where data sharing is carried out.

Eveything is encrypted with a xtbl encryption pattern, an example of which is the following file type extension renaming sample:

filename_60DB3A7A.guardware@[email protected]

The ransomware note does not make the user visit a payment portal on the Web or in the TOR network but asks the user to send the criminals an email. Their response blackmails the user to send a ransomware fee of 3 Bitcoins to recover the affected files.

A through security analysis shows that the ransomware is a strain from one of the popular malware families and can be decrypted using Kaspersky’s Rakhni & Friends decryptor.

Guardware.exe Ransomware Distribution

The Guardware.exe ransomware is distributed mainly by infected Microsoft Word and other Office documents. They server as payload downloaders using infected macros which use various social engineering tricks to make the user download the actual ransomware executable binary.

Other methods of infection include the usual malicious ads and counterfeit software installation packages.

Guardware.exe Ransomware Removal

For a faster solution, you can run a scan with an advanced malware removal tool and delete Guardware.exe 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 Guardware.exe Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of Guardware.exe requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete Guardware.exe 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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