In other words, [email protected] encrypts the files on the computers it infects. And as a result of this, the files become unreadable to anyone without a corresponding decryption key. Speaking of which, ransomware like [email protected], Roger Ransomware, .Agho typically targets all sorts of file formats, including the most commonly used types such as text documents, images, videos, audios, etc.
The idea behind the whole scheme is that users are robbed of their most valuable data and then that data is used as leverage for extortion purposes. The hackers behind such malicious software demand they be paid a certain amount of money (typically in Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency) in order to be sent a decryption key. And that decryption key, as mentioned, is what is said to help undo the encryption and make the affected files accessible again.
However, there are a number of issues if you decide to go along with these demands. For one, there’s no telling that the cybercriminals behind [email protected] will indeed send you the decryption key they promise. And for another, even if you do receive a key, that still doesn’t mean it will work. For all you know, you may have received one that wasn’t meant for you. And trust us when we say this: the hackers don’t offer refunds.
The [email protected] virus
The [email protected] virus uses a very complex encryption algorithm to prevent any software from reading the encrypted data. Hence, the [email protected] virus robs its victims of access to their most precious files.
This is how ransomware has managed to become such a lucrative criminal scheme. And that is also why ransomware has exploded in recent years. Furthermore, the use of cryptocurrencies has also offered a helping hand to this industry, although unwittingly. Because the hackers most commonly demand they be paid in Bitcoin or some other form of cryptocurrency, this allows them to preserve their anonymity and avoid persecution.
The [email protected] file encryption
The [email protected] file encryption process is often lengthy and tedious. And sometimes, the [email protected] file encryption may result in a significant system slowdown that may give the ransomware’s presence away.
However, in most cases the process doesn’t have any symptoms that would alert the victim user. This is another advantage that ransomware like [email protected] has: stealth. If it has managed to bypass the security mechanisms of the system, then there’s pretty much no stopping the ransomware.
So for this reason, after you have removed [email protected] with the help of the below removal guide, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to prevent such attacks in the future.
One of the best ways to do this is by storing backup copies of your most important data on at least two other locations. And then aside from that be sure to regularly update your OS and install reliable security software on your machine – preferably with ransomware definitions. Last but not least, be mindful of the web locations you visit, and the type of content you interact with online so as to avoid potential malware sources.
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Remove [email protected] Virus
Before completing any of the removal steps that you will see in this guide, you must start your computer in Safe Mode as this will isolate the malware processes and hopefully prevent the virus both from causing more harm/encrypting more data and from hindering your attempts to have it removed. If you need help entering Safe Mode on your PC, you can find the necessary instructions in our guide on how to enter Safe Mode for different versions of Windows.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Now you must enter the Task Manager of your PC and try to find the process of the Ransomware if it is still active. Using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard combination is the quickest way to start the Task Manager. Once you open it, select Processes and then explore the list of processes that are currently running on the computer.Ones that consume lots of RAM or Processor power are the most likely to be linked to the Ransomware, especially if their names do not suggest that they are linked to a program that is open at the moment. Do not expect to find a process carrying the name of the [email protected] virus here – the Ransomware would likely try to hide its process by giving it a different, less suspicious name. Still, if you see anything that seems to carry a similar name, stop that process by selecting it and then clicking on the End Process button.
After you have carefully looked through all the processes and think you may have figured out which one is coming from the Ransomware, first look up the name of that process. It is possible that a process from your OS may look suspicious to you so you must first figure out if that’s the case. Obviously, you are not supposed to tamper with OS processes. Once you have ruled out this possibility, select the suspicious process, right-click on it, and go to its File Location. All the files that you see in the location folder need to be tested for malware. You can use your own antivirus or anti-malware tool for testing the files but we can also offer you our free online scanner – you can simply drag-and-drop the suspicious files to it and it will tell you if there’s malware code contained inside them.
If after the scan is finished the results tell you that any of the tested files are infected/malicious, you must go back to the process related to them and end it. Then you should delete the entire folder that is its file location.
You should also check if there are any startup items on your computer that may be linked to the malware. To do this, search for System Configuration in the windows search field (under the Start Menu), open the first icon, and select the Startup tab from the System Configuration window. If any of the items you see listed there have Unknown in the Manufacturer column and/or have suspicious-looking names, uncheck them by removing their tick, Apply the changes, and then click on Ok.
Needless to say, if there is an entry there that carries the name of the virus, you should uncheck that one too.
Copy-paste this into the Windows search box and press the Enter key: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. This will bring you to the Hosts file for your PC – a file oftentimes targeted by different forms of malware. In it, if you see that there are any lines written below Localhost, then it is likely that the Ransomware has made changes to this file and you must reverse those changes to help remove the virus. However, not everything below Localhost means that the Hosts file has been hacked so you must first send us the IP addresses you see there by writing us a comment with them and we will tell you if you need to take any further action here.
If we tell you in our reply that the IPs you have under Localhost are likely from the Ransomware, you will have to delete those IPs and then Save the file.
In this step, you must go to the Registry Editor, find all items that have been added to it by the Ransomware and delete them. However, you must be very careful to not delete something that you aren’t supposed to. There are many important settings and data related to your OS stored in the Registry and if you delete the wrong thing this could have severe consequences for your system so you must be very cautious and if you are uncertain about whether you are supposed to delete something, it is always better to first ask us by writing us a comment on this page.
To enter the Registry Editor, type regedit in the Start Menu and open the regedit.exe file. You will have to provide your Admin permission to the Registry Editor to make changes in the computer so do this and then, once in the Editor, click on Edit and then on Find. In the small search box, type in the name of the virus and then select Find Next. If there are any results with the name of the Ransomware, select them and delete them by pressing the Del key or by right-clicking on them and then selecting Delete. Click on Find Next again and delete the next found entry and keep doing this until there are no more items in the Registry with the name of the malware.
Afterwards, locate the following Registry directories:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main
In them, you must look for folders with long and unusual names. If you see anything that, for example, has a name that consists of a long sequence of characters, this is a strong sign that this item shouldn’t be there and should be deleted. Delete any such items you find in these directories but be sure to consult us through the comments section if you are not sore about something.
Finally, under the Start Menu, copy-paste the following lines and hit Enter after each to open the folders they correspond to.
In those folders, you must delete the most recently added files so sort the contents of those folders by date and delete everything that has been added from just before the Ransomware infected you to the current moment. In the Temp folder, delete everything.
How to Decrypt [email protected] files
The steps shown thus far explain how to remove the Ransomware virus but removing the threat doesn’t equal getting your files released from its encryption. It is necessary to remove the virus in order to increase your chances of successful recovery but to recover the files themselves you will need to try some of the available recovery methods that do not involve the payment of the ransom. In this how to decrypt Ransomware guide, we have shown you the most popular and effective recovery methods and we advise you to visit it and see if any of the suggested solutions there allow you to restore your data.
In case the instructions this far did not help you get the virus removed, we suggest you can try the specialized and tested anti-malware tool from the current page and/or use our free online malware scanner that is also available here. Also, do not forget that you can always request further assistance from us by telling us about your problem donw in the comments.