Ishtar Ransomware Virus (Removal Steps and Protection Updates)

The Ishtar ransomware is a dangerous threat that encrypts target user files with a strong cipher and demands a ransom payment to restore access to the compromised data. Read our guide to learn more about the malware and how to remove it.


Name
Ishtar

File Extensions
adds an “ISHTAR” prefix to the file name, does not affect the file name extension.

Ransom
Varies

Solution #1
Ishtar Ransomware can be removed easily with the help of an anti-malware tool, a program that will clean your computer from the virus, remove any additional cyber-security threats, and protect you in the future.

Solution #2
Ishtar Ransomware can be removed manually, though it can be very hard for most home users. See the guide below.

Distribution
Phishing links, click bait ads, email spam, and others.

Ishtar Ransomware Description

The Ishtar ransomware is a new malware threat that features typical malware behavior. It targets specific user file name extensions and encrypts them with the AES 256 and RSA 2048 ciphers.

The interesting thing with this particular type of ransomware is that it doesn’t change the file name extension. It merely adds a preffix to the file name with the “Ishtar” name.

The first malware samples were spotted in the end of October 2016. The virus targets mainly the Russian and English speaking users.

The ransomware note is written in both languages and is named “README-ISHTAR.txt”. The English version of the note reads the following:

TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES PLEASE WRITE TO [email protected]
OR TO
BM-NBYR3ctSgr67iciT43rRNmHdHPAYBBK7 USING BITMESSAGE DEKSTOP OR https://bitmsg.me/

BASIC TECHNICAL DETAILS:
> Standard encryption routine: AES 256 + 2048.
> Every AES key is unique per file.
> Decryption is impossible without ISHTAR.DATA file (see %APPDATA% path).

Ishtar Ransomware has already been updated in the latest virus definition sets by the major anti-virus vendors.

Ishtar Ransomware Distribution

Ishtar Ransomware can be distributed via various means – email spam campaigns, malicious ads, browser hijacker redirects and software bundles downloaded from untrusted sources. We highly recommend that you follow good security practices to stay protected from this and other threats.

Ishtar Ransomware Removal

For a faster solution, you can run a scan with an advanced malware removal tool and delete Ishtar 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

Windows-key-plus-R-button-launch-Run-Box-in-Windows-illustrated

    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

    show-hidden-files-win8-10

    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 Ishtar Ransomware Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

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

    restore-your-personal-files-using-File-History-bestecuritysearch

      – Hit the “Restore” button

    3) Using System Restore Point

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

restore-files-using-system-restore-point

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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