.AAA File Extension
CryptoWall Ransomware Encrypted File
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What is a AAA file?
A file with an .aaa extension is a file that has been encrypted by version 3.0 of CryptoWall ransomware. It is encrypted with RSA-2048 encryption so it is not possible to open the file by simply changing the .aaa file extension.
Version 3.0 of CryptoWall ransomware is a type of malware utilized by cybercriminals that encrypts a user's files. It was prevalent in late-2015 and early-2016.
After the ransomware takes the files hostage, it forces the victim to pay the perpetrator to unlock the files. It is typically introduced to a victim's computer through spam emails with malicious links or file attachments. When an unsuspecting user downloads and opens the file attachment or clicks the embedded link in the email, the virus runs on the computer.
When the ransomware runs on a user's computer, it encrypts files on the computer and adds the .aaa extension onto the names of the files. The types of files typically targeted include personal documents, images, videos, and backup files, such as .JPG, .ODT, .PPTX, .XLSX, .MP4, and .WMV files. For example, a image.jpg file becomes image.jpg.aaa.
The virus then generates a HELP_YOUR_FILES.TXT, HELP_YOUR_FILES.PNG, or HELP_YOUR_FILES.HTML file in each folder on the user's computer that contains infected AAA files. The .HTML, .PNG, and .TXT files provide information explaining the hostile takeover of the user's files and how the user can recover his files by paying a ransom payment.
How do I recover my files that have been encrypted by the CryptoWall virus?
Currently, there is no program available to effectively restore infected files. If the user has a recent backup of his files, he can perform a system restore to remove the virus but any changes made to files after the backup was made will be lost.