Koler ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
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Android ransomware called Koler uses old tricks to coax out money from victims

Koler virus

Koler virus is an Android ransomware which infiltrates smartphones or tablets and locks their screen, preventing victims from accessing the data stored on the devices and demands payment for its recovery.

The lockscreen ransomware [1] travels around as a Pornhub application which the visitors of adult-themed websites are offered to install when trying to view certain content. The criminals try to make Koler removal as difficult as possible to receive the most benefit.

Experts believe that Koler is merely an Android adaptation of the infamous Windows ransomware virus called Reventon which has been locking computers since 2014. Three years have passed since then but the virus creators still hoping to catch their victims on the same bait.

When the app is installed, it automatically takes over administrative privileges of the device and drops an official-looking lockscreen which claims that FBI blocked the device because of the illegal activity on the device. The message is very similar to the one that Reventon was using back in 2014. The full message reads:

As a result of full scanning of your device, some suspicious files have been found and your attendance of the forbidden pornographic sites has been fixed. For this reason your device has been locked. Information on your location and snapshots containing your face have been uploaded on the FBI Cyber Crime Department’s data center. First of all, familiarize with the positions stated in the section “The Legal Basis of Violations”. According to these positions your actions bear criminal character, and you are a criminal subject. The penalty as a base measure of punishment on you which you are obliged to pay in a current of three calendar days is opposed. The size of the penalty is $500

Attention! Disconnection of disposal of the device or your attempts to unlock the device independently will be apprehended as unapproved actions interfering the execution of the law of the United States of America (read section 1509 – obstruction of court orders and section 1510 – obstruction of criminal investigations). In this case and in case of penalty non-payment in a current of tree calendar days from the date of this notification, the total amount of penalty will be tripled and the respective fines will be charged to the outstanding penalty. In case of dissent with the indicted prosecution, you have the right to challenge it in court. To make a penalty payment, go to section “Payment Penalties”.

The message is a good example of malicious social engineering [2]. The extortionists employ well made up scare tactics to make victims pay the 500 dollar ransom via anonymous payment platform MoneyPak so that the banking transactions not be traced back to their fraudulent owners.

While Windows virus versions were aimed at individual countries and altered ransom notes depending on whether the PC was infected in Italy, Portugal, Greece [3] or other countries of the world, this malware seems to be targeted purely towards the US users, hence the FBI theme.

If you live in the US and have become a victim of clickjacking, make sure you remove Koler from PC without delay. After you perform the elimination with the help of mobile antivirus software like Reimage or manually, you should be able to access your files again

The virus infiltration and prevention in more detail:

Koler started spreading throughout the Android devices after the cyber criminals embedded fake pop-up ads with malicious PornHub app download link on several pornographic websites. The users had no idea they were downloading a ransomware-laden Trojan on their devices, so the realization that they have been infected only struck them when the fake FBI alert showed up on the screen.

Experts have a few suggestions what can be changed to avoid similar incidents in the future:
First, you should avoid visiting shady websites that may be potentially harmful to your PC
If you do land on such pages purposefully or by accident, you should not interact with any ads, links, pop-ups or similar content and leave these sites immediately. Also, DO NOT open .exe files if they get automatically downloaded on your PC.
Finally, make sure you always have the protective shields on and that your security software is running the latest version.

Remove Koler virus from your device to re-access your data:

There are three basic steps of steps Koler removal:

  1. Boot the Device in Safe Mode
  2. Disable administrative rights for unknown third-parties
  3. Uninstall PornHub app

After you are done with these steps, the virus should be gone from your device. To make sure you won’t have to remove Koler in the future again, you should obtain a reputable mobile antivirus software. Just to be safe, you should also create backup copies of important files from your device.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Koler ransomware virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Koler virus Removal Guide:

Remove Koler using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Koler

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Koler removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove Koler using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Koler. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that Koler removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Koler and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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