In case that your files have become impossible to open and they all end up with a strange extension, then you have probably become a victim of a Ransomware-type program known as [email protected] A strange message may have appeared on your screen, informing you about an encryption, which has locked your files. To unlock them, the message says that you need to pay a ransom if you want to get them back. Surely, your data is valuable to you and you want to restore it, but is there a way to do that without paying? If this is the question that is bothering you, here you may find a solution. Our “How to remove” team has prepared a removal guide with instructions that will help you do two things. Firstly, you would need to remove the infection from your system and secondly, you may try to restore some of your files with the tips we will suggest below. But before that, it is a good idea to read more about this ransomware and get familiar with its nasty way of infecting users, as well as how to stay away from it in the future.
Ransomware – one threat, many names.
Compared to other malicious threats such as Trojan horses, viruses or Spyware, Ransomware has remained relatively unknown. This is because it could be found under different names such as cryptoware, cryptovirus, cryptoworm or even cryptotrojan. As you may notice, they all contain the word “crypto”, which comes from a special method of files securing, known as encryption, that is the basis of the Ransomware. Encryption has been used for a long time to secure data and sensitive information from unauthorized access and is currently referred to as the strongest data protection algorithm that is available.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have found a way to incorporate this strong encryption method into an illegal money-making scheme. They have developed [email protected], which is a cryptovirus with the ability to encrypt files, found on an infected machine. Then it asks the victims to pay ransom if they want to restore their files. The ransom that is required is usually quite high and may vary from a couple of hundreds to a couple of thousands of dollars. Theoretically, victims should pay for a decryption key, with the help of which, hopefully, they could restore their files. However, there is no guarantee for that. That’s why ransomware is extremely nasty and malicious software. It is currently spreading online and infecting unsuspecting users in large numbers all around the world causing losses of millions.
How can [email protected] infect you?
What happens during the [email protected] attack?
Once it gets through, [email protected] immediately starts to lock your files and usually remains unnoticed until the encryption process is over. If you try to open any of the files, you would simply get an error message. The file extension may be changed to an unrecognizable one such as “[email protected]”. What is even nastier is that [email protected] may delete the previous versions of the files and the system backups in order to prevent you from restoring them. When it finishes its nasty job, the ransomware reveals itself with a ransom note on the screen. It states that you need to pay ransom if you want to “release” your encrypted files. The hackers promise to send you a decryption key, once the payment is made. However, if you don’t pay on time, they may threaten to double the ransom or even delete the decryption key, this way leaving your data impossible to open. Usually, the crooks require payments in Bitcoins, which is an untraceable online currency that helps them stay anonymous.
Don’t rush with a payment!
Fulfilling the demands of cybercriminals gives you no guarantee that you will really be able to restore your data. Very often the decryption key that is given doesn’t work, or the victims don’t get a decryption key at all. In fact, there is nothing that could make the crooks really send you anything, once they get their money. Moreover, dealing with such criminals while your computer is compromised may hide even greater risks for your security. With a malware break through your system, the hackers may introduce a bunch of malicious programs, gain control over your computer or infect you with spyware or data tracking applications.
Bringing control over your PC back and removing the infection is a better idea than making the crooks richer. That’s why our advice is not to rush with any payment until you try everything possible to get rid of the infection and restore your files. The steps that you will see below may help you do so. There is also a very helpful removal tool that can detect the malicious files and automatically delete them. For those of you, who want to deal with the infection manually, we have prepared a removal guide with detailed instructions on how to remove [email protected] from your system. Please, follow the instructions closely and let us know how it worked for you.
|Danger Level||High (Very dangerous cryptovirus that encrypts your files and requires a ransom to be paid)|
|Symptoms||High resource usage may be noticed, followed by revealing of the ransomware with a ransom not on the screen.|
|Distribution Method||Targeted email spam campaigns, Trojan horse infections, malicious attachments.|
|Detection Tool||Ransomware may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
[email protected] Removal
Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
This is the first preparation.
The first thing you must do is Reveal All Hidden Files and Folders.
- Do not skip this. [email protected] may have hidden some of its files.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
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:
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.
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Right click on each of the virus processes separately and select Open File Location. End the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.
Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter. Once 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 make a big mistake.
Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field:
Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check our for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!
How to Decrypt files infected with [email protected]
There is only one known way to remove the virus’ encryption that MAY work (no guarantees) – reversing your files to a previous state. There are two options you have for this:
The first is using a system backup. Search for Backup and Restore in the windows search field —–> “Select another backup to restore files from”
If you have no backups, your option is Recuva
Go to the official site for Recuva and download its free version. When you start the program, select the file types you want to recover. You probably want all files. Next select the location. You probably want Recuva to scan all locations.
Click on the box to enable Deep Scan. The program will now start working and it may take a really long time to finish, so be patient and take a break if necessary.
You will now get a big list of files to pick from. Select all relevant files you need and click Recover.
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