What is Vari file extension
.Vari file extension is an extension that is used by the newest variant of STOP (djvu) ransomware to mark files that have been encrypted. Vari ransomware is a malware created by criminals that restricts access to the victim’s files by encrypting them and demands a ransom for a pair of key-decryptor, necessary for decrypting files. Files encrypted with .vari extension become useless, their contents cannot be read without the key that the criminals have. Fortunately, there is a free Vari File Decrypt Tool called ‘STOP (Djvu) Decryptor’ that allows in some cases to decrypt encrypted files. Scroll through this article below to learn more about this decrypt tool and how to use it, as well as alternative ways to recover the contents of encrypted files.
What is Vari ransomware
First discovered recently, Vari ransomware is the newest version of STOP ransomware. This is already the is the 246th variant (v0246) of STOP ransomware. Like other variants, it encrypts all files on the computer and then demands a ransom for decryption. This virus encrypts files using a strong encryption method, which eliminates the possibility of finding a key in any way. For each victim, Vari uses a unique key with a small exception. If the virus cannot establish a connection with its command and control server (C&C) before starting the encryption process, then it uses an offline key. This key is the same for different victims, which makes it possible in some cases to decrypt files that were encrypted during the ransomware attack.
Vari has the ability to encrypt files of any type, regardless of what is in them. But it skips files with the extension: .ini, .dll, .lnk, .bat, .sys and files named ‘_readme.txt’. Thus, the following common file types can be easily encrypted:
.odb, .kdc, .lrf, .wpt, .zw, .mpqge, .ntl, .srw, .arch00, .wpd, .odp, .2bp, .iwd, .cfr, .cas, .fpk, .cr2, .upk, .wpe, .cer, .qdf, .wbz, .3fr, .ff, .gho, .itdb, .rim, .xbdoc, .p7c, .itm, .bc6, .wp5, .css, .avi, .wpd, .pptm, .yml, .wmo, .xlsx, .wbc, .wma, .rtf, .svg, .forge, .psd, .re4, .xf, .wp6, .ncf, .kf, .map, .zip, .js, .vpk, .sidn, .db0, .raf, .mdb, .mdbackup, .layout, .png, .wp, .pfx, .yal, .dng, .dbf, .docm, .esm, .ibank, .vpp_pc, .hvpl, .1st, .sav, .blob, .xyp, .webp, .xlsm, .xbplate, .rw2, .bsa, .x, .asset, .cdr, .orf, .wotreplay, .bay, .wpa, .gdb, .crt, .zabw, .jpeg, .wm, .wsc, .sr2, .mddata, .rwl, .ysp, .wn, .ppt, .fos, .xlsm, .slm, .iwi, .1, .wbm, .ybk, .m4a, .wmf, .menu, .pst, .xlsb, .ai, .wp4, .mdf, .t12, .eps, .pdf, .vcf, .wp7, .mcmeta, .kdb, .wpb, .sid, .ptx, .fsh, .erf, .7z, .hplg, .xdb, .wps, .sql, .docx, .xlk, .sum, .csv, .d3dbsp, .zdc, .xld, .lbf, .zif, .zi, .xlsx, .apk, .r3d, .sb, .wma, .z3d, .3ds, .arw, .y, .bc7, .pak, .lvl, .wire, .xyw, .wmv, .tor, .rofl, .sidd, .ws, .big, .pkpass, .wri, .xmind, .mov, .wmd, .vdf, .sie, .epk, .bik, .p7b, .wps, .odc, .raw, .xx, .wot, .wbmp, .xwp, .tax, .vfs0, .xmmap, .pem, .hkx, .xml, .bkf, .ods, .wsh, .litemod, .indd, .3dm, .der, .pdd, .flv, .jpe, .rar, .nrw, .z, .xy3, .t13, .accdb, .srf, .rb, .m2, .bkp, .wbd, .wgz, .m3u, .p12, .xls, .wdb, .desc, .wb2, .syncdb, .xxx, .webdoc, .dcr, .dwg, .w3x, .0, .odt, .vtf, .rgss3a, .wpw, .xpm, .x3d, .ltx, .txt, .wsd, .das, .x3f, .doc, .zdb, .hkdb, .icxs, .dxg, .zip, .crw, .ztmp, .mrwref, .xdl, .mef, .wcf, .xls, .psk, .pptx, .itl, .wmv, .wav, .xlgc, .dazip, .snx, .jpg, .dmp, .qic, wallet, .xar, .xll, .pef, .wpl, .mlx, .wpg, .wbk
Each file that has been encrypted will be renamed. This means the following. If the file was called ‘document.docx’, then after encryption, it will be named ‘document.docx.vari’. Vari virus can encrypt files located on all drives connected to the computer. Therefore, files located in network attached storage and external devices can also be encrypted. It encrypts file by file, when all the files in the directory are encrypted, it drops a new file in the directory, which is called ‘_readme.txt’. Below is the contents of this file.
All directories with encrypted files have this file. But the contents of this file are the same everywhere. This file contains a message from Vari creators. In this message, the criminals report that all the files were encrypted and the only way to decrypt them is to buy a decryptor and key. Attackers demand a ransom of $490, if the victim does not pay the ransom within 72 hours, then the ransom will double to $980. Vari authors left two email addresses that the victim must use to contact them. To confirm the possibility of decryption, criminals offer to decrypt one file that does not contain important information for free. But it’s obvious that there is no guarantee that even by paying the ransom, the victim will be able to decrypt all files that have been encrypted.
|Name||Vari ransomware, Vari file virus|
|Type||Ransomware, Crypto malware, File locker, Filecoder, Crypto virus|
|Encrypted files extension||.vari|
|Ransom amount||$490,$980 in Bitcoins|
|Detection Names||Trojan/Win32.MalPe.R342604, Trojan.GenericKDZ, W32.AIDetectVM.malware1, Win32/GenKryptik.EQKF, Trojan.TR/AD.InstaBot.AR, UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic, Malware-Cryptor.Limpopo, Spyware.KpotStealer, Trojan:Win32/Caynamer.A!ml|
|Symptoms||Personal files won’t open. Your documents, photos and music now have a different extension. Files named such as ‘_readme.txt’, ‘READ-ME’, ‘_open me’, _DECRYPT YOUR FILES’ or ‘_Your files have been encrypted” in every folder with an encrypted file. Ransom note in a pop-up window with cybercriminal’s ransom demand and instructions.|
|Distribution methods||Phishing emails that contain malicious attachments. Malicious downloads that happen without a user’s knowledge when they visit a compromised webpage. Social media, like web-based instant messaging programs. Malvertising campaigns.|
|Removal||Vari ransomware removal guide|
|Decryption||Vari File Decrypt Tool|
Vari authors scare victims by saying that encrypted files cannot be decrypted without paying a ransom. And unfortunately this is true, the contents of the files cannot be read while the files are encrypted, and a key and decryptor are needed to decrypt them.
Fortunately, Emsisoft created a decryptor (Vari File Decrypt Tool). This decryptor can help each victim to decrypt .vari files for free. But in addition to the decryptor, the key is still necessary. As we reported above, the ransomware can use two types of keys. An offline key can be determined by researchers, but only criminals have an online key. Thus, files encrypted with so called ‘offline key’ can be decrypted. And all files that have been encrypted with so called ‘online key’ cannot yet be decrypted. In this case, the alternative methods listed below in this article can be used to recover the contents of these files.
How to remove Vari ransomware virus, Decrypt/Recover .vari files
If your documents, the files of your friends or colleagues, were encrypted with Vari ransomware virus, then you need to follow a few steps listed below that will help you to find and remove Vari, as well as decrypt or restore the encrypted files. It is very important to read the entire instruction manual carefully and make sure to understand it all. We advise you not to skip any steps, each of the steps is very important and must be completed by you. In order not to get confused and not miss an important point in the instructions, we recommend that you print this article or open it on your smartphone.
- How to remove Vari ransomware virus
- How to decrypt .vari files
- How to restore .vari files
- How to protect your PC from Vari ransomware
How to remove Vari ransomware virus
Before you start decrypting or recovering .vari files, you need to remove Vari ransomware and its autostart entries. This must be done since otherwise the ransomware may re-encrypt the restored files. You can stop the ransomware from working, as it is not difficult to do. Another option is to perform a full system scan using free malware removal tools capable of detecting and removing ransomware infection.
It is very important to scan the computer for malware, as security researchers found that spyware could be installed on the infected computer along with the Vari ransomware. Spyware is a very dangerous security threat as it is designed to steal the user’s personal information such as passwords, logins, contact details, etc. If you have any difficulty removing the Vari virus, then let us know in the comments, we will try to help you.
To remove Vari ransomware, follow the steps below:
- Kill the Vari ransomware process
- Disable the Vari ransomware Start-Up
- Delete the Vari ransomware Task
- Delete the Vari ransomware File
- Scan computer for malware
Kill the Vari ransomware process
Press CTRL, ALT, DEL keys together.
Click Task Manager. Select the “Processes” tab, look for something suspicious that is the Vari ransomware then right-click it and select “End Task” or “End Process” option. If your Task Manager does not open or the Windows reports “Task manager has been disabled by your administrator”, then follow the guide: How to Fix Task manager has been disabled by your administrator.
It is not difficult to detect a process related to the Vari ransomware. When looking for a malicious process, pay attention to the process icon and its name. Most often, this ransomware has a process name in the following format: 4-characters.tmp.exe. For example: C5D0.tmp.exe, b3c0.tmp.exe, A78C.tmp.exe. If you do not find a process with a similar name in the list of processes, then most likely the Vari ransomware has finished working. But keep in mind, if you do not remove the ransomware autostart entries, as demonstrated below, and do not delete its file, then after a while it may start again, and if it finds unencrypted files, immediately encrypt them.
Disable the Vari ransomware Start-Up
Select the “Start-Up” tab, look for something similar to the one shown in the example below, right click to it and select Disable.
Close Task Manager.
Delete the Vari ransomware Task
Type “Task Scheduler” in the search bar. Click Task Scheduler app in the search results. Click “Task Scheduler Library” in the left panel. On the right panel, right-click to “Time Trigger Task” and select Delete.
Close Task Scheduler.
Delete the Vari ransomware File
Run Task Manager and select the “Start-Up” tab. Right click to the Vari ransomware Start-Up entry and select Open File Location as shown below.
A directory containing one file will open in front of you, this file is the Vari ransomware. It needs to be removed. If you try to delete it immediately, then you will not succeed, since this file is protected from deletion.
To delete this file, you need to do the following. Right-click on the file, select Properties. In the window that opens, select Security tab. Next, click the Advanced button below. A window will open as shown in the following example.
Click Disable inheritance. In the Block inheritance dialog box that opens, select the first item (Convert inherited permissions…) as shown below.
In the Permission entries list, select “Deny Everyone”, click Remove button and then OK. Close the file properties window. You should now be able to remove the Vari ransomware File. Right-click on the file and select Delete.
Scan computer for malware
Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is a malware scanner that is very useful for detecting and uninstalling Vari ransomware. The steps below will explain how to download, install, and use Zemana to scan your PC and remove ransomware, malicious software, adware, trojans, spyware, worms and other security threats for free.
Please go to the link below to download Zemana AntiMalware installer called Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup on your system. Save it on your Desktop.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
Run the install package after it has been downloaded successfully and then follow the prompts to install this utility on your machine.
During install you can change some settings, but we recommend you do not make any changes to default settings.
When setup is finished, this malicious software removal tool will automatically start and update itself. You will see its main window such as the one below.
Now click the “Scan” button to start scanning your PC for the Vari ransomware, other malicious software, worms and trojans. A scan may take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the count of files on your personal computer and the speed of your machine. When a malware, adware software or potentially unwanted apps are found, the number of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the checking is finished.
When Zemana is finished scanning your personal computer, it will open a list of found threats. Once you’ve selected what you wish to delete from your system click “Next” button.
Zemana will delete Vari crypto virus, other kinds of potential threats like malware and trojans and move the selected items to the program’s quarantine. After disinfection is done, you can be prompted to reboot your computer to make the change take effect.
In order to be 100% sure that the computer no longer has the Vari malware, we recommend using the Kaspersky virus removal tool (KVRT). It is free and easy to use. It can scan and remove ransomware, spyware, potentially unwanted applications, worms, trojans, adware and other malware. KVRT is powerful enough to find and uninstall malicious registry entries and files that are hidden on the machine.
Download Kaspersky virus removal tool on your computer from the following link.
Author: Kaspersky® lab
Category: Security tools
Update: March 5, 2018
After downloading is finished, double-click on the Kaspersky virus removal tool icon. Once initialization procedure is complete, you’ll see the KVRT screen as displayed in the figure below.
Click Change Parameters and set a check near all your drives. Click OK to close the Parameters window. Next click Start scan button for scanning your PC system for the Vari crypto virus and other malicious software. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your personal computer. When a threat is found, the count of the security threats will change accordingly.
When the scan get finished, KVRT will prepare a list of unwanted applications and crypto malware as shown in the following example.
Review the results once the tool has finished the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply click on Continue to start a cleaning process.
How to decrypt .vari files
All files with the ‘.vari’ extension are encrypted. Their contents cannot be unlocked simply by removing this extension or completely changing the filename. To decrypt .vari files, you need a decryptor. Fortunately, there is a free Vari File Decrypt Tool that can decrypt .vari files. Below we provide instructions on where to download and how to use Vari File Decrypt Tool.
To decrypt .vari files, use Vari File Decrypt Tool
- Download Vari File Decrypt Tool from the following link.
STOP Djvu decryptor
- Scroll down to ‘New Djvu ransomware’ section.
- Click the download link and save the ‘decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe’ file to your desktop.
- Run decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe, read the license terms and instructions.
- On the ‘Decryptor’ tab, using the ‘Add a folder’ button, add the directory or disk where the encrypted files are located.
- Click the ‘Decrypt’ button.
Vari File Decrypt Tool is a free tool that allows everyone to decrypt .vari files for free. At the moment, the decryptor can only decrypt files that have been encrypted with an offline key. Unfortunately, if the files were encrypted with an online key, then the free decryptor is completely useless. In this case, there is a chance to restore the encrypted files using alternative methods, which are described below.
How to find out which key was used to encrypt files
Since Vari File Decrypt Tool only decrypts files encrypted with the offline key, each Vari’s victim needs to find out which key was used to encrypt the files. Determining the type of key used is not difficult. Below we give two ways. Use any of them. We recommend using the second method, as it is more accurate.
Find out the type of key using ‘_readme.txt’ file
- Open the ransom demand message (‘_readme.txt’ file).
- Scroll down to the end of the file.
- There you will see a line with the text ‘Your personal ID’.
- Below is a line of characters that starts with ‘0246’ – this is your personal id.
Find out the type of key using ‘PersonalID.txt’ file
- Open disk C.
- Open directory ‘SystemID’.
- Open file named ‘PersonalID.txt’. This file lists ‘Personal ID’s that match the keys that the virus used to encrypt files.
The ‘Personal ID’ is not a key, it is an identifier related to a key that was used to encrypt files. If the ID ends with ‘t1’, then the files are encrypted with an offline key. If the ID does not end with ‘t1’, Vari virus used an online key. If you could not figure out how to determine which key was used to encrypt files, then we can help. Just write a request here or in the comments below.
Vari File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant online ID”
If, when you try to decrypt .vari files, Vari File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant online ID: *
Notice: this ID appears to be an online ID, decryption is impossible
It means that your files are encrypted with an ‘online key’ and their decryption is impossible, since only the vari authors have the key necessary for decryption. In this case, you need to use alternative methods listed below to restore the contents of encrypted files.
Vari File Decrypt Tool : “No key for New Variant offline ID”
If, during decryption of .vari files, Vari File Decrypt Tool reports:
No key for New Variant offline ID: *t1
Notice: this ID appears be an offline ID, decryption MAY be possible in the future.
It means the following: your files are encrypted with an ‘offline key’, but the key itself has not yet been obtained by security researchers, in this case, you need to be patient and wait a while, in addition, you can also use alternative ways for recovering encrypted data.
If for some reason you were unable to decrypt the encrypted files, then We recommend to follow the news on our Facebook or YouTube channels. So you ‘ll know right away that it ‘s possible to decrypt .vari files.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to remove Vari ransomware, Decrypt/Recover .vari files.
How to restore .vari files
As we already said, the Vari File Decrypt Tool can only decrypt files encrypted using the so called ‘offline key’. What to do when files were encrypted with an online key? Even in this case, everyone has a chance to recover the contents of encrypted files. This is possible due to the existence of several alternative ways to restore files. Each of these methods does not require a decryptor and a unique key, which is in the hands of criminals. The only thing we strongly recommend that you perform (if you have not already done so) is to perform a full scan of the computer. You must be 100% sure that Vari ransomware has been removed. To find and remove ransomware, use the free malware removal tools.
Recover .vari files with ShadowExplorer
The Windows OS (10, 8, 7 , Vista) has one very useful feature, it makes copies of all files that have been modified or deleted. This is done so that the user can recover, if necessary, the previous version of accidentally deleted or damaged files. These copies of the files are called ‘Shadow copies’. One tool that can help you recover files from the Shadow copies is ShadowExplorer. It is very small tool and easy to use. Unfortunately, ransomware often delete Shadow copies, thus blocking this method of recovering encrypted files. Nevertheless, be sure to try this method.
Visit the following page to download the latest version of ShadowExplorer. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: September 15, 2019
After the downloading process is complete, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to ShadowExplorer-0.9-portable and select Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the ShadowExplorerPortable folder as on the image below.
Launch the ShadowExplorer utility and then choose the disk (1) and the date (2) that you want to restore the shadow copy of file(s) encrypted by the Vari crypto malware as displayed in the following example.
Now navigate to the file or folder that you want to recover. When ready right-click on it and click ‘Export’ button as displayed on the image below.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using Shadow Explorer.
Use PhotoRec to recover .vari files
Another alternative way to recover encrypted files is to use data recovery tools. We recommend using a program called PhotoRec. This tool is free and does not require installation. Below we will show in detail how to use it to restore encrypted files.
Download PhotoRec by clicking on the link below.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 1, 2018
After downloading is done, open a directory in which you saved it. Right click to testdisk-7.0.win and choose Extract all. Follow the prompts. Next please open the testdisk-7.0 folder as shown in the figure below.
Double click on qphotorec_win to run PhotoRec for Windows. It will open a screen as on the image below.
Select a drive to recover like below.
You will see a list of available partitions. Choose a partition that holds encrypted personal files as on the image below.
Press File Formats button and choose file types to recover. You can to enable or disable the recovery of certain file types. When this is complete, click OK button.
Next, click Browse button to select where restored files should be written, then press Search. We strongly recommend that you save the recovered files to an external drive.
Count of recovered files is updated in real time. All recovered files are written in a folder that you have selected on the previous step. You can to access the files even if the restore process is not finished.
When the recovery is finished, click on Quit button. Next, open the directory where restored files are stored. You will see a contents as displayed on the image below.
All recovered personal files are written in recup_dir.1, recup_dir.2 … sub-directories. If you’re searching for a specific file, then you can to sort your recovered files by extension and/or date/time.
This video step-by-step guide will demonstrate How to recover encrypted files using PhotoRec.
How to protect your PC from Vari ransomware
Most antivirus apps already have built-in protection system against the ransomware. Therefore, if your personal computer does not have an antivirus program, make sure you install it. As an extra protection, run the HitmanPro.Alert. All-in-all, HitmanPro.Alert is a fantastic tool to protect your computer from any ransomware. If ransomware is detected, then HitmanPro.Alert automatically neutralizes malware and restores the encrypted files. HitmanPro.Alert is compatible with all versions of MS Windows operating system from Windows XP to Windows 10.
Installing the HitmanPro Alert is simple. First you’ll need to download HitmanPro.Alert by clicking on the link below. Save it directly to your Microsoft Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: March 6, 2019
When the download is done, open the file location. You will see an icon like below.
Double click the HitmanPro Alert desktop icon. When the tool is launched, you will be displayed a window where you can choose a level of protection, as shown on the screen below.
Now press the Install button to activate the protection.
To sum up
This guide was created to help all victims of Vari ransomware virus. We tried to give answers to the following questions: how to remove ransomware; how to decrypt .vari files; how to recover files, if the Vari File Decrypt Tool does not help; what is an online key and what is an offline key. We hope that the information presented in this manual has helped you.
If you have questions, then write to us, leaving a comment below. If you need more help with Vari ransomware related issues, go to here.