Viruses are an integral part of the life of a modern computer user. Users of the Microsoft Windows operating system are especially affected by them. Of course, there are viruses for other operating systems, but there are much fewer of them. Systems such as MacOS and Linux are more secure from outside intrusion and loss of user files. More recently, a new XTBL encryption virus has appeared on the Internet. How to decrypt lost data and generally protect yourself from this virus? We will analyze this question a little lower.
What is the XTBL virus
XTBL is a virus that uses a 1024 bit encryption code. Once on the computer, it remotely encrypts the user's files. Mostly striking music and photos. After the end of the encryption process, the files receive the extension ".xtbl" and can no longer be opened. It is useless to try to rename files with ".xtbl" extension. If such an attempt is made, they will be immediately deleted by the virus. And forever.
The user receives a system message that his data is encrypted and an offer to read the "Readme.txt" file for more information. This file contains instructions fordecryption. And it says that the user must send a certain amount to the specified address. And in response, they will send him a key and an XTBL decryptor. Although they usually don't send anything.
Here is a brief description of this virus. Agree, it’s rather unpleasant to pay a large amount for no one knows what. At the moment, XTBL is the most dangerous virus, since free antiviruses cannot detect it. Yes, and such giants as NOD or Kaspersky can detect it only if it is not modified.
Methods of contracting the virus
There are several ways to "hook" XTBL. They are especially relevant for Windows users. Since the virus usually hides in executable files with the extensions ".exe", ".scr" or ".bat". Life is much easier for Linux or MacOS users, since these extensions are simply not supported in their OS. So, the main ways of getting a virus:
- By email (some file attached to the letter).
- Through hacking programs for licensed products. The so-called "cracks".
- When unpacking an archive downloaded from an unreliable source.
These are the main ways of infection. Remember, if in a letter sent to you you see an attached document like "Report.doc.exe", do not open it under any circumstances. The XTBL file of the virus may be present there. Well, of course, you should not even go to dubious sites and download pirated software.
How the XTBL virus works
The algorithm of the virusis based on remote encryption of user data. After penetration, the virus slowly encrypts individual files. At the very beginning of the process, it can still be stopped. Just kill the process in Windows Task Manager. After that, of course, you need to clean the system with special programs, but not any antivirus will do. To remove, you need some powerful product like Kaspersky.
XTBL virus uses 1024 bit encoding. It is unrealistic to decipher the result of his malicious work on your own. It will take thirty years to select a decryption combination. When you try to rename an encrypted XTBL file to some "normal" format, the file is completely deleted. And not at all in the basket and without any warning. Therefore, if you have become its victim, you should not immediately carry out any manipulations with encrypted information.
After successful file encryption, the virus will self-destruct. That is why it is then impossible to detect. And you “as a gift” are left with the “.xtbl” format, which cannot be opened by any currently existing programs. Unlike similar viruses, XTBL uses an "advanced" encoding algorithm. In addition, apparently, the decryption key is generated using the computer name. That is why standard decryption programs do not help. Even the anti-virus giants don't have an algorithm for decrypting the effects of XTBL. Simply put, if your files are encrypted with an XTBL virus, then it is unlikely that anything will help you.
Some XTBL modifications can also remove OS backup points. So use the function"Previous versions of files" may not work.
Ways to decrypt files
Unfortunately, there are no specific effective ways to eliminate the consequences of the virus. A normal and stable XTBL decoder cannot be found, it exists in nature. Moreover, the virus is constantly being modified, and in some cases it is even difficult to identify it.
The only thing you can do after successfully removing the virus is to contact information recovery specialists. But even here, no one will give a 100% guarantee that all your files will be returned. Usually this method helps only 70% of users. But this is a good result.
If there are backups, then there should be no problems. It is enough to "cure" XTBL with one of the most powerful antiviruses. After that, you can start restoring files from the backup. If there is no copy, then you can use the standard Windows function "Previous versions of files". Of course, the chances of success are extremely small. Few manage to overcome the XTBL virus. How to decipher his "creativity" is still not really known. But do not lose hope that decryption tools will be developed one day.
How to avoid such sad consequences
No antivirus will give you a 100% guarantee of protection against malware. Even the coolest. To prevent the consequences of the virus, you need to regularly create backup copies of files (backups). The main thing is not to be too late. If you trycopy the XTBL file, the virus will immediately delete it.
Backups are best created in specialized programs, as they use a file format that no virus can infect. Also, don't store it on your computer. It is advisable to write to a disc to avoid possible infection.
Methods of protection and treatment
To protect against this virus, it is recommended to use software products that have already proven themselves in the market of anti-virus systems. For example, Kaspersky, NOD 32 or Dr. Web. Of course they are paid. However, in the presence of a paid license, these companies can not only help with protection. If your files are encrypted with an XTBL virus, they may try to create a special decryptor just for you. Definitely worth the money spent.
To cure and remove the XTBL virus, the first step is to boot the operating system into safe mode. All subsequent operations should be performed only in it. After that, you should start the antivirus and select a "deep" scan. The process, of course, will drag on for a couple of hours at least, but there is hope for finding and removing the virus. Files with the “.xtbl” extension are not considered a threat by the antivirus. So they're not going anywhere, and in time you'll be able to start trying to decrypt.
Other viruses from the same "family"
The XTBL virus is not the only one. Although the most "cool". There are a lot of ransomware out there now. All kinds of "lockers"by hook or by crook they are trying to shake money out of ordinary users.
Some time ago there was a popular "SMS-locker", which also encrypts the user's files. But unlike XTBL, it also targeted system files. On one "fine" day, when the computer was turned on and the OS loaded, the user saw a system message about blocking and instructions for sending money. The computer did not turn on. But with these viruses, everything was much easier. A banal reinstallation of the OS helped, unlike XTBL. I didn't have to think about how to decrypt the files.
As you can see, there are a lot of viruses in the computer world. Some do not bring any tangible harm and look completely harmless. But some "monsters" can make you "sweat", raking up the consequences of their work. The main thing is not to forget about precautionary measures and perform simple infection prevention.
It's good if you "catch" some mild virus. And if suddenly something serious like XTBL? How to decipher his "doodle" - we have sorted out, of course, there are few chances, but they are!