Ransomware Removal Guide

Do you know what Ransomware is? Ransomware is a threat that attacks user’s computer after launching a malicious file. It encrypts all data on the system except files of the Windows operating system. Even though this malicious program is a clone of other similar infections, it is still impossible to decrypt it. Of course, the malware’s creators may offer you a tool to unlock your data. Nonetheless, in exchange of this decryptor, the user would have to pay a ransom. Unfortunately, in some cases, users lose the money they transfer because the cyber criminals do not keep up to their promises. Therefore, if you do not want to take any risks, we advise you to erase Ransomware instead. As you slide below, you should find the removal guide available at the end of the article.

The malicious file that infects the system could be distributed with email attachments. For example, it might be a fake PDF, Microsoft Word, invoice, or any other document that would look curious enough for you to open it. Sadly, spreading malicious files through Spam email is probably one of the most popular ways to distribute such malware. To avoid similar threats in the future, users could install a reliable antimalware software. It should be used at any time when there are doubts about suspicious files sent via email or downloaded from untrustworthy web Ransomware Removal Ransomware screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions

As Ransomware’s installation begins, it creates random executable files that are placed in the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%, %APPDATA%, %USERPROFILE%, %WINDIR%\Syswow64 and %WINDIR%\System32 directories. If it is hard to identify these files, users could navigate to the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run directory and look for random value names with the following value data: %WINDIR%\Syswow64\*.exe and %WINDIR%\System32\*.exe. The rest of the random executable files could be named in a similar manner.

What’s more, after the threat settles on the system, its next main task is to lock all data on the computer. The only data that Ransomware should not affect is the one, which belongs to the Windows operating system. In other words, it targets user’s personal files (e.g. photographs, pictures, videos, documents, etc.) and third-party software. The malware encrypted files should be marked with an additional .{}.xtbl extension.

This is the same email address that is also mentioned in a message, which is placed with the “How to get data back” file. It says “All of your files are encrypted, to get them back, write me to email:” As you see, the message does not say how much you might need to pay to unlock your data, although no matter how much they could ask, we would advise against paying the ransom. That is because you get no guarantees, and there is no way to get your money back in case something goes wrong.

Users who wish to get rid of the threat instead of paying the ransom to the cyber criminals can choose from two options. Firstly, if you follow the removal guide below, you can eliminate the Ransomware manually. Just, delete or modify data that is listed in the provided instructions. The second option involves antimalware software that you should install on the infected computer. Launch the security tool and click the button that initiates a full system scan. Wait till the process is over and press the deletion button. This option is especially recommended if there are other possible threats on the computer as this way you would erase them together with the ransomware.

Remove Ransomware

  1. Launch the Explorer (Windows Key+E) and navigate to these directories separately:
    %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    %USERPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  2. Find and erase random executable files from each of the locations given above.
  3. Close the Explorer. Press Windows Key+R, type regedit and click the Enter button.
  4. Find this particular path: HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop
  5. Locate a value name titled as Wallpaper.
  6. Right-click the value name, press Modify and instead of “Decryption instructions.jpg” type a title of another picture.
  7. Search for this path: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers
  8. Find a value name called BackgroundHistoryPath0.
  9. Right-click it, select Modify and instead of “Decryption instructions.jpg” type a different image title.
  10. Go to this particular directory: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  11. Look for value names with random titles.
  12. See if their value data points to these directories:
  13. Right-click such value names separately and select Delete.
  14. Close the Explorer, then empty your Recycle bin.

In non-techie terms: Ransomware is a malicious program created by the cyber criminals who only want to extort money from you. Needless to say that you cannot trust such people, so paying the ransom could be a dangerous solution. For instance, you might transfer the money according to their instructions and still not receive the decryption tool. In the worst case scenario, you would be not only unable to unlock data on the system, but also to get back your money too. Users who do not want to take such chances should simply erase the infection either with the removal guide above or with a security tool.