Kiano Ransomware


Kiano is a cryptovirus aimed at blackmailing victims for money. Kiano encodes the victims’ documents, rendering them unavailable, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.

Kiano Ransomware

The Kiano virus ransom note

If you don’t agree to pay the demanded ransom, you may lose all locked information and face a major data loss since the encryption that the Ransomware can apply will make the files inaccessible without a decryption key. 

Here we will address all the specifics of Kiano and will provide you with a removal guide which will hopefully help you remove the infection and recover some of your files without paying a ransom.

The Kiano Ransomware

The Kiano virus is an infection of the Ransomware type that blocks access to user files through encryption. After completing the encryption process, the Kiano ransomware keeps the corresponding decryption key in secret and demands a ransom to give it to the victims.

Kiano, Qscx and the other programs based on Ransomware get distributed in many different ways. We usually advise our readers to be extremely careful when surfing the web as such file-encrypting viruses may be attached to some unwanted emails or spam messages on social media. The so-called “malvertising” is another common method for the distribution of Ransomware. That’s why it is not a good idea to click on random ads and redirect links as they may lead to malware-infested pages where you might get your system infected with the virus without even knowing it.

The Kiano file encryption

The Kiano file encryption is a code that converts user files into inaccessible bits of data. As soon as the Kiano file encryption code is applied to the files, a ransom-demanding message appears on the screen of the victims and demands a payment in return for a decryption key.

KIANO file

The Kiano ransomware file

In order to make the victims pay for their data’s release, the Ransomware seeks to lock the most important and valuable data in the infected system. Therefore, it targets files that belong to the most widely used data formats. The ransom-demanding message that gets displayed after the encryption has taken place provides specific payment details that you need to strictly follow when performing the transfer of the ransom. In exchange for your money, the hackers who are in control of the infection promise to send you a special decryption key.

It is extremely important, however, that you do not take any actions out of fear and frustration because not only may you lose your money in vain but also decrease your chances of recovering the files. There is a possibility that the hackers may disappear with the ransom that you may have agreed to pay without sending you anything. There is also a possibility that the decryption key they promise to send may not work, which is why we generally don’t encourage you to transfer any money without exploring some alternative solutions first.

Some of the possible solutions might include contacting someone with expertise in getting rid of these viruses. It might just turn out to be the right solution. Or you can try to remove Kiano with the help of the instructions in the removal guide below. This will at least leave you with a clean computer to which you can connect any file backup sources that you have to possibly recover some of the information. However, even if you manage to remove the malicious software, the encrypted data may remain inaccessible. In this case, we encourage you to take a look at the section with the file-recovery suggestions below or check out our list of free decryptors for different Ransomware versions.


Name Kiano
Type Ransomware
Danger Level High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
Symptoms Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.
Distribution Method From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.
Data Recovery Tool Not Available
Detection Tool

Remove Kiano Ransomware


Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).



Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 


Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
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    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.


    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:


    Go in Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

    • Please note that ransomware may even include a fake Manufacturer name to its process. Make sure you check out every process here is legitimate.


    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press EnterOnce inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. 

    Search for the ransomware  in your registries and delete the entries. Be extremely careful –  you can damage your system if you delete entries not related to the ransomware.

    Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field:

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check out for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!


    How to Decrypt Kiano files

    We have a comprehensive (and daily updated) guide on how to decrypt your files. Check it out here.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    About the author

    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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