Severity scale:  

Remove virus (Virus Removal Guide) - Recovery Instructions Included

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware virus is a crypto malware that originates from Animus actors virus virus is a new threat that appeared early August 2018. According to researchers, authors of Animus switched over to using Scarab ransomware code. Extortionists use AES[1] military-grade encryption algorithm to lock up personal data, which makes files unusable and appends the extension to each of the affected files. Unfortunately, only hackers have access to the decryption tool, and victims need to pay ransom in cryptocurrency (typically Bitcoin) for it. All the information about the virus ransomware can be found in a ransom note called HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT which is placed into each of the compromised files' folder.

Name virus
Type Ransomware
Related ransomware Animus ransomware
A variant of Scarab ransomware
Cipher used AES 
Contact email
Decryption Backups or third-party apps only, no official decryptors created yet
Elimination Use reputable security software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes

AnimusLocker ransomware was quickly deciphered by malware hunters and became ineffective in a short period of time. Thus, researchers believe that due to the inability to fix flaws in its own code, hackers resorted to using more sophisticated one – Scarab. Although files of the several variants of the latter can be recovered using official decryptors, the experts still did manage to crack virus' code yet.

The virus enters machines in deceptive ways, but devices that are unprotected by security software are especially vulnerable. Therefore, malware researchers[2] recommend having powerful security software installed at all times. We highly recommend either Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes. ransomware makes several changes to the infected device:

  • Modifies Windows Registry.[3] This allows the virus to be launched with every Windows boot.
  • Deletes Shadow Volume Copies. This is the automatic Windows backup system.
  • Modifies all personal files by adding file extension. 

Several different files can be affected, including .doc, .pdf, .html, .dat, .zip, .jpg, .mp3 and similar. For example, picture.jpg is turned into Soon after locking the data, the crypto-virus uploads the ransom note on victims' computer that states the following:


XXX [redacted]


[WHAT HAPPENED] Your important files produced on this computer have been encrypted due a security problem. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail: The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.

[FREE DECRYPTION AS GUARANTEE] Before paying you can send to us up to 3 files for free decryption. Please note that files must NOT contain valuable information and their total size must be less than 1MB.

[ATTENTION] Do not rename encypted files. Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss. If you not write on e-mail in 2 day – your key has been deleted and you cant decrypt your files.

Hackers offer victims the “free” decryption service to prove that they can decode data. Please do not contact these people and remove virus from your computer instead. Regardless of what they say, you might not get any files back, as they might simply ignore you.

As soon as you perform full removal, you can try to recover your data. Unfortunately, the only safe way to decrypt files is by using backups. If you do not possess one, you can try to use third-party software, although chances of recovery are pretty low. is a variant of Scarab ransomware

Do not open spam emails casually – ransomware can be hidden inside

Spam emails have been around as long as the online advertisement was active – since the early 90s. While most of the spam emails that enter your inbox are most likely harmless, several phishing emails can end up there as well. The worst part is that some phishing emails are so well engineered that it is quite hard to recognize whether or not the message is legitimate or fake. 

It is true that many genuine emails might end up in the Spam folder. Therefore, you do not have to eliminate all of them straight away. Nevertheless, be sure to pay attention and learn to recognize fake emails. Check for grammar and/or spelling mistakes, questionable formatting, the referral (Dear Customer, Dear User and similar) and especially the “From” address, as is the best giveaway when it comes to phishing emails. If you notice anything suspicious, remove the email without thinking and never open attachments or click on links inside.

Additionally, security researchers recommend avoiding suspicious file-sharing, porn, and similar sites and installing reputable security software. Finally, updating backups regularly is a must.

Eliminate virus and then proceed with file recovery

Like we already mentioned, you should not proceed with file recovery before you remove the virus from your computer entirely. While it is possible to get rid of the malware manually, it is not recommended, as several changes made to the system makes it very difficult.

Therefore, we recommend downloading and installing Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or Malwarebytes for a full virus removal. Be aware that malware might block security software. In such case, enter Safe Mode with Networking and start the scan from there.

Only when the elimination is completed, you can proceed with file decryption. Either get them back from a backup or use third-party software. For the latter, check the instructions below.

do it now!
Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove virus, follow these steps:

Remove using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove virus safely, enter Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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

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

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

Remove using System Restore

You can also disable the virus by using System Restore:

  • 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 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

Although there is no official decryptor released yet, we do not recommend contacting cybercriminals. They might simply ignore you and never send you the key. Thus, you would be left with neither your files or money. If you have no backup, try one of the methods below.

If your files are encrypted by, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro might help you

Data Recovery Pro is an application designed to recover damaged or accidentally deleted files. In some cases, however, it does help to get back the data that was encrypted by ransomware.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions Feature could help you to recover separate files

This method only works if you had System Restore function enabled before the cyberattack occurred.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Try ShadowExplorer

ShadowExplorer will help you if the virus failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

No official decryptor is available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

If this free removal guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
About the company Esolutions


Your opinion regarding virus