The Rugj virus is a powerful file-encrypting malware program that will put your files in an inaccessible state, making it impossible to open or use them without a special key. The purpose of the Rugj virus is to force its victims to pay a ransom.
If you have been targeted by this malware and its encryption has already been placed on your files, then the extensions of those files would have been changed to Rugj, which would indicate that those files cannot be opened through any conventional means, and you’d need a unique private key that the virus creates during the encryption process to open those files.
Once the Rugj virus puts its encryption on the files that it has targeted, the malware would automatically put a ransom-demanding note on your screen in the form of a notepad file or an on-screen pop-up. In either case, the text in the message conveys the same message – send a certain amount of money to the hackers in the form of Bitcoins, and you’d get the key for your files or refuse to meet the hackers’ demands and lose your data forever. Of course, if the virus hasn’t managed to take over any significantly-important files or if any such files had been previously backed up by you, then you won’t need to do anything other than to remove the virus. However, if important data that hadn’t been backed up has become encrypted by Rugj, then you’d need to calmly and carefully assess your situation in order to make the best decision as to what to do next.
The Rugj Virus
The Rugj virus is a dangerous piece of malware known for causing the most important files of its victims to become inaccessible. The Rugj virus applies a powerful encryption algorithm to the targeted files to ensure nobody can open them until a ransom is paid.
If the virus has gotten hold of some valuable files for which you don’t have any backups, don’t rush towards the ransom-payment option, as sending your money to the hackers may do more harm than good. The only thing that such a course of action guarantees is that any money you send to the blackmailers would be forever gone for you. What doesn’t get guaranteed, however, is whether you’d receive the key to release your files. For this reason, we strongly advise you to seek alternative options to decrypt Rugj files before considering the payment option as a possible course of action.
The Rugj file decryption
The Rugj file decryption is the process of restoring access to files that have been locked by the Rugj virus. The Rugj file decryption requires a unique private key that the virus creates while it is in the process of locking the targeted files.
The private keys for decrypting the files locked by any Ransomware virus are held by the hackers behind the Ransomware, who require a ransom payment in exchange for the keys. However, in some cases, it may be possible to use specialized decryption software to reverse engineer the private key and thus return your files to normal without the need to pay the ransom. Such decryption software is available for free but is Ransomware-specific, so each decryptor tool can only deal with specific types of Ransomware. In the case of Rugj, there is a decryptor tool for files locked by it, and we will show you how to use it at the end of this post. Before you try to decrypt any files, however, you need to make sure that the virus is completely gone from your computer. The process of deleting the Rugj virus and ensuring that your system is malware-free will be the focus of the next lines.
Important points to consider before attempting the Rugj removal
There are a couple of important things you need to take into consideration before you start preforming the removal steps.
- First and foremost, if you haven’t done this already, now is the moment to disconnect any external drives, USB sticks, phones, or tablets from the infected computer in order to stop the virus from encrypting whatever files are stored in them.
- Next, consider disconnecting your PC from the Internet and opening this guide on another device. The reason for this is to prevent XXX from connecting to its creators’ servers and receiving new instructions from them.
- Thirdly, even though it is not advisable to pay the hackers the demanded ransom sum, if this is your only remaining option, and you’ve decided to go for it, then we recommend not deleting the virus yet. Instead, it’ generally better to postpone the removal for after you’ve paid the ransom and hopefully received the private key for your files. Of course, after that, you still need to delete Rugj.
- Last, but not least, note that it is possible that the virus may have automatically removed itself from your computer to prevent anyone from reverse-engineering the decryption key. That said, even there are no visible Ransomware symptoms, completing the guide is still strongly advised just to be sure that the virus is truly gone.
How to remove the Rugj virus
To remove Rugj, you can either use a reliable anti-malware program to automatically erase the virus or complete the following manual steps:
- First, look in Control Panel > Uninstall a Program for any program that may have caused the infection and perform its uninstallation.
- Also ensure there aren’t any rogue processes that are still active on the computer by using the Processes section of the Task Manager.
- Thirdly, you must clean the AppData, LocalAppData, Temp, WinDir, and LocalAppData folders from malicious files.
- Lastly, see if any unauthorized changes have been made to the Hosts file, the Tasks Scheduler, and the Registry, and override such changes.
To ensure that each step is completed correctly, it’s strongly advised that you take the necessary time to read the more detailed description that we’ve shared below before you start the removal process.
Detailed steps for removing Rugj
If the virus has entered your PC through another program that has served as a malware-carrier, then you need to open the Start Menu, type Uninstall a Program, and hit Enter to see a list of all programs installed on your PC. In that list, look for anything that has been installed around the time of the Ransomware infection and if you find a program that could be related to the attack by Rugj, select its entry in the list, click the Uninstall option that will appear at the top, and then perform whatever uninstallation steps show on your screen. Be sure to carefully read the removal settings (if there are any) so as to use the ones that would ensure full removal of the unwanted/malicious program.
If you are currently unable to delete the program for whatever reason, simply continue with the guide and once you are finished with all the other steps, try the uninstallation again.
Now, to make sure that there aren’t any Rugj processes running in the background, type Task Manager in the Start Menu, press Enter, and look for any suspicious items in the Processes tab. If you see a process that has the same or a similar name as any program you may have tried to uninstall in Step 1, right-click the process, Open the File Location, then return to the Task Manager, right-click again on the rogue process, and click the End option. Then go to the folder you just opened and delete everything that’s in it.
You must also look for other processes with unusual names, especially if they have suspiciously-high memory and CPU usage. To see if any such processes are truly harmful, look up their names and also scan the contents of their location folders with the help of the powerful free malware scanner shown below.
Again, if a rogue process is found in your Task Manager, you need to quit it and delete the location folders where its files are stored.
If Rugj is still in the system, it may attempt to restart any of its processes that you may have managed to stop, so, to make sure it doesn’t succeed in doing so, boot your computer into Safe Mode by following the steps from the linked page.
Now you must make sure that no malware data is left on your computer, but you must first “unhide” the hidden files and folders on your PC. To do that, search for Folder Options in the Start Menu, open the first icon from the results, click its View tab, and check the Show hidden files, folders, and drives setting, after which click on OK.
Now open the Start Menu again, type %AppData%, and press the Enter key. Sort the files that are stored in the folder that appears on your screen according to their creation date, and then delete everything after Rugj entered your PC. Once you do this, the same thing must be done with three other folders: %LocalAppData%, %WinDir%, and %ProgramData%.
Next, you should visit the %Temp% folder and there you must delete everything that’s stored in it. To do this quickly and easily, press Ctrl + A, then press Del, and click on OK – this will delete every file and folder in Temp.
For this step, first search for Task Scheduler in the search box of the Start Menu, and once you open the Task Scheduler app, click its Task Scheduler Library folder in the top left. Next, look at the Task listed in the center of the window and delete the pens you think maybe malicious or that you are not familiar with by right-clicking them and selecting Delete.
After that, if you are on Windows 10, open the Task Manager and click on Startup. If you are on Windows 7, type msconfig in the Start Menu, press Enter, and open the Startup tab in the System Configuration window. Now, look at the listed items, disable the ones you deem suspicious and untrusted, and click OK.
Now open the drive where your OS is installed – on most computers, that’s the C: drive – and go to the following folder: Windows/System32/drivers/etc. In that folder, double-click the file named Hosts, choose Notepad as a program to open the file with, and then look at the text in the file. If anything is written past the two “Localhost” lines at the end of the file, copy whatever text might be there and send it in the comments section. Soon, a member of our team will let you know if that text is from the malware and if you need to delete it from Hosts.
For step 6, you must first press Winkey + R, then type regedit.exe in the small search box that pops up, and hit Enter. When asked if you are sure you want to start the program and give it permission to make changes to your system, click Yes. When the program (Registry Editor) opens, go to its Edit menu and, in it, click on Find. Now is the Registry Editor Find box to search for Rugj and then delete whatever may be found. Always make sure to repeat the search after every item that you may delete to check if there aren’t any other rogue items left in the Registry. We also recommend searching for items related to the program from Step 1 and deleting them as well.
The final thing you must do in the Registry is to go to the locations shown below, to look for strangely-named items in them, and to tell us about anything suspicious you may find there. By “suspicious”, we mean any items with names that look like randomly-arranged sequences of numbers and letters, similar to something like this “0239ur0390932ru0923ie0932i”.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main
How to decrypt Rugj Virus files
To decrypt Rugj Virus files, you can use a specialized decryptor tool to reverse-engineer the decryption key for your locked files. However, to be able to decrypt Rugj Virus files in this way, you will need to find several original versions of encrypted files.
If you can find accessible original versions of a couple of the files that the virus has encrypted, you can use the following steps to try to get a decryption key for the rest of your files – the process of doing so is free, and it involves the use of a specialized decryptor tool.
- First, find several pairs of files as we mentioned and then download the decryptor tool available on this page.
- Right-click on the downloaded file and select Run as Administrator.
- Click Yes when you are required to give your Admin permission to start the program.
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions for using the program.
- Now select the Browse buttons in the program’s window, navigate to the one of the file pairs, and select the corresponding files.
- If you can find a notepad file of the ransom note, use the browse button in the Ransom Note section to navigate to it and use it for finding the key.
- Click Start and wait as the decryptor tries to find a key for your files. If it gives you an error message, try using another pair of files (this is why it’s recommended to have several pairs at your disposal).
- If a key is found, browse to the directory where there are encrypted files and use the tool to decrypt them. If the program skips any files, it means that means they require a different key that is unknown to the program.