How to remove Astra virus and restore encrypted files

Astra ransomware virus

Astra is the dangerous software getting into machines mostly through e-mail spam and Trojans. Occasionally hackers use exploits to take control over the computer, but they are speedily fixed. After penetration, ransomware examines the hard disc to find the files for encryption and their general worth. At the moment, any modern ransomware can encrypt image, audio, text and video files in all known extensions. Special attention is paid to business information, since businessmen are the priority target for hackers. All software in the system will be untouched since fraudsters want only information. Encryption is performed via well-known AES and RSA algorithms, and it is so complicated that that it cannot be bruteforced. Such complexity creates foundation for such an incredible success of this type of viruses in last years: usual user, even if he has a fairly good knowledge of the computer, won't ever be able to restore the data, and will have to pay ransom. The single manner to recover files is to hack the scammer's website and get the master key. Also there's a chance to withdraw encryption keys via defects in viruse's program code. When encrypting files.

That page is about ransomware called Astra that gets into machines around the world, and cyphers their files. In this page you will find important information on what is Astra, and the uninstalling of Astra from your PC. Except that, we'll tell you how to get back the cyphered information, if possible.

The knowledge of computers is very important in modern world, as it helps customer to guard the machine from computer viruses. It's sad to say, but 90% of customers comprehend the importance of computer literacy only when ransomware takes over their laptops. To guard yourself, you need to keep in mind a three elementary principles:

    • Closely inspect your e-mails, specifically the messages which have attached files. If such a message was sent from an unknown sender and it tells about obtaining some prize, a lost package or something similar, this is most likely a scam letter. The other effective sort of such letters is a forgery for biz correspondence. It is normal to take an interest and read the letter even if it's sent to the improper address, but don't forget that one click on the attached file might cost you lots of money, efforts and time.
    • Don't accept any alterations to the PC, coming from unknown programs. The easiest method of file recovery is the restoration from Shadow Copies, so scammers have included the elimination of those copies in the primary functionality of viruses. However removal of copies requires admin rights and operator's verification. If you'll stop for few seconds before accepting the checkbox, it can save your files and your efforts.
    • Keep an eye on the state of your PC. Information encryption is a complex act that uses a large amount of hardware resources. In the first minutes after the infection, the computer slows down, and the encrypting process emerges in Process Manager. You may catch this moment and unplug the workstation before information will be fully damaged. Surely, some data will be encrypted, but the rest of them will remain intact.

You should know that removing the virus is only the first and compulsory turn for the safe work of the machine. If you remove Astra, you won't get back the data instantly, it will take more measures written down in the "How to restore encrypted files" part. In case of ransomware we don't provide the manual deletion instruction, since its complication and the probability of mistakes will be extremely high for common user. We don't advise you to delete ransomware by hand, since it has many defensive mechanisms that can interfere you. Modern malware can fully erase corrupted data, or part of it, when trying to uninstall the virus. This is very bad, and the below part will assist you to deal with it.

Removal instruction

Step 1. Boot into Safe mode

Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe

Safe mode. Step 1

On the tab Boot select Safe boot

Safe mode. Step 2

Step 2. Check Startup folder

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable unknown programs in the Startup tab


Step 3. Check hosts file

Modify hosts file, that located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ .

Hosts file.Step 1

Open the file with Notepad and delete suspicious strings.

Hosts file.Step 2

It has to look like this:

Hosts file.Step 3

Step 4. Scan the system with antiviral scanner


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Step 5. Disable Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable Safe boot in the Boot tab

Deactivate Safe mode

After eliminating the virus from the machine, you should restore the corrupted information. In fact, this is not literally decryption, since the encryption manners used by scammers are extremely complicated. Ordinarily, to get back the data, you should ask for assistance on specialized communities or from celebrated malware fighters and AV program manufacturers. If you're more interested in the by-hand file recovery - read our article, which shows all the very effective methods.

To restore information, follow the article about files decryption.

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