.Irfk is a ransomware cryptovirus which uses a very complex encryption algorithm to block the access to the private data of the victims. .Irfk secretly locks personal files stored on the infected computer and then asks for a ransom payment in exchange for their decryption.
Ransomware viruses can secretly infect any computer and take its data hostage or lock its screen. This type of malicious software has been around for some time now but over the last decade or so it has become one of the scariest cyber threats on the Internet. Over a short period of time, security experts have encountered a rise in these nasty threats, and on this page, we will focus our attention on one of the most recent representatives of this malware group – a ransomware infection called .Irfk.
The .Irfk virus
After the .Irfk virus has rendered your files inaccessible, it will usually generate a disturbing ransom message somewhere on your screen or inside the folders with encrypted data. The hackers behind the .Irfk virus usually ask for a certain amount of money (typically in the form of some cryptocurrency) and promise to send back the decryption key as soon as they receive the payment.
Unfortunately, there are numerous issues with this blackmailing scheme. The key that the hackers promise may not always work and, sometimes, even after the ransom payment has been issued, the hackers may still decide not to send the decryption code and ask for more money instead. Because of that, trying any available alternatives such as the ones from the following guide is the advisable course of action.
The .Irfk file encryption
The .Irfk file encryption uses a complex algorithm to lock its victims’ files. And to make matters worse, the .Irfk file encryption usually runs without any noticeable symptoms, making it nearly impossible to detect and stop in its tracks.
The instructions in the guide below may prove effective if you are trying to remove the ransomware. However, while the elimination of the virus is very important for the safety of your system, we need to warn you that the recovery of your files may require some additional steps. Sadly, there aren’t too many effective data-restoration alternatives that can be applied. Generally, you will have to rely on your external backup copies, but we have also added a separate file-restoration section with some suggestions that may potentially help you get some of the sealed files back.
Still, you should keep in mind that, no matter what course of action you decide to take, there is no guarantee about the full recovery from the ransomware attack. That’s why we recommend that you think about future protection of your PC and files with reliable security software and regular file backups of your most important files.
If you want to complete this guide from start to finish, it is a good idea to bookmark it now because in the next steps a system restart will be required. Alternatively, you can open the guide on another device and follow it from there.
For the smooth and flawless completion of the next steps, we highly recommend that you reboot the compromised computer in Safe Mode. If you need assistance with that, simply follow the instructions from the link.
When you are done and the computer restarts, come back to this page and proceed with the .Irfk removal steps below.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
One of the key factors that helps .Irfk and other sophisticated ransomware infections to secretly encrypt the files of their victims is the fact that they run a number of well-hidden malicious processes in the background of the infected computer. These processes may often use the names of legitimate programs to conceal themselves, therefore, detecting them could be a challenge.
Still, this is one of the first things that you need to do if you want to remove .Irfk successfully. So, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC together to open the Task Manager and immediately head to the Processes Tab.
In there, first search for processes with random names or unusual activity. To decide if they are really dangerous, select each of them and right-click on it. Then, from the pop-up list of options, select Open File Location.
When you see the files of the selected process in question, scan them with the help of the powerful free online virus scanner below:
Then, end the process if the files you scan turn out to be infected, and delete their folders.
Note: Don’t hesitate to scan the files of any process that you suspect to be malicious and act accordingly to stop it.
In case that malware has compromised your computer, one of the signs of hacking could be the unauthorized changes in the Hosts file. That’s why, the next thing we recommend you to do is copy the line below and paste it in the Start menu search bar, then press Enter:
The Hosts file of your computer will immediately open the screen. In the text of the file, search for Localhost and check if some suspicious-looking IP addresses have been added there at the bottom.
If you spot some Virus Creator IPs below “Localhost“, just as on the example image above, please copy them and write to us in the comments, so we can take a look at them and advise you on what to do.
The next thing that you need to do is to search the system for malicious startup processes that have been secretly added by .Irfk. To do that, type msconfig in the Start menu search field and press the enter key from the keyboard: In the System Configuration window that opens, select the Startup tab:
Make sure that you uncheck the checkmark of any startup item that looks suspicious, has “Unknown” Manufacturer or a random name. If you can’t decide which items could be related to the ransomware, it is a good idea to research them online before you disable them. Then, when you are done, click the OK button to save the changes.
After you stop any background processes, disable the dangerous startup processes, and check for unauthorized changes, the next place where you need to search for .Irfk-related traces is the system’s registry.
To do that, type Regedit in the Start menu search field and press Enter – this will open the Registry Editor.
Next, with the Editor open, press CTRL and F together and carefully write the name of the ransomware in the Find box.
If any entries matching that name are found in the results, they most likely need to be deleted, as they belong to the infection. Just be very careful when you are about to delete entries from the registry because any wrong deletions may do more harm than good and corrupt your OS and the programs installed on it.
Attention! To avoid damage to your system, please use a professional removal tool to remove any malicious entries related to the ransomware!
Next, after you clean the registry, it is a good idea to manually search the locations listed below for random files and folders. To do that, type each of them exactly as they are shown in the Start menu Search Field and press Enter:
If you spot anything unusual that has been added around the time that the .Irfk attack happened, it most likely need to be deleted. You also don’t need to keep anything in the Temp folder, so make sure that you select all of its content and delete it.
How to Decrypt .Irfk files
The final step of dealing with .Irfk is the recovery of the encrypted files. This, however, is a specific process that requires a comprehensive guide. For your convenience, we have created such a guide on how to decrypt your files. that you can check out here.
Just, please make sure that .Irfk has been fully removed from your computer before you try any of the steps in there. To do that, you can run a full system scan with the anti-virus program we recommend or scan any dubious files with our free online virus scanner.
.Irfk is a highly-advanced malware program that, once inside the attacked PC, secretly launches a data-encrypting process and, through it, locks up all of the important user data. After .Irfk is done with the encryption, it demands a ransom payment from the victim for the decryption key.
Usually, the users attacked by viruses like .Irfk get informed about the demanded ransom through a note that the virus automatically generates on the screen of the infected computer. Such Ransomware notes typically serve the purpose of informing the victim about what has happened to their files and threatening them that, if the ransom isn’t paid according to the instructions provided in the message, those files will never become accessible again. In most cases, the victim is required to purchase Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency specified by the hackers and make the payment using that currency. The idea is to make the transaction untraceable, thus ensuring that the hackers retain their anonymity.
It is strongly inadvisable to make the ransom payment unless you really have no other choice.
.Irfk is a very dangerous virus program that functions as an extortion tool that keeps the user’s most important files hostage in order to obtain blackmailing leverage. The .Irfk virus uses a process known as data encryption through which makes all targeted files inaccessible.
In most cases, only a special private key can unlock the files that have been encrypted. Obviously, the key for your files is held by the hackers behind .Irfk and they want you to pay a ransom for it. The good news is that, in many cases, there may not be any need to acquire that key. For instance, if there are any backup copies of your encrypted files that are saved on other locations, then you can recover your files from those locations, but only after you have removed the Ransomware from the infected computer. Also, if the encrypted files are not all that important to you, then you can simply delete them, and remove the virus (following the instructions from this page). Finally, if you really need your files back but don’t have any backups of them, there are a number of alternative recovery methods you can try.
To decrypt .Irfk files, we strongly recommend that you first attempt to use alternatives to the ransom payment before you consider the payment as an option. Bear in mind that paying the ransom to decrypt .Irfk files doesn’t guarantee the file’s recovery.
Unfortunately, the only thing that is guaranteed if you pay the money is that you will never get that money back even if you don’t receive a decryption key or if you get a key that doesn’t work. For this reason, we typically advise our readers to refrain from opting for this course of action unless all other alternatives have been exhausted and if the files locked by the Ransomware are so important that they’d be worth taking the risk and paying the demanded ransom amount.
Here, it must be said that no alternative method can guarantee that your files will be restored, but at least, if you try such methods, you won’t be sending your money to the cybercriminals behind .Irfk.