APT ransomware / virus (Free Guide)

APT virus Removal Guide

What is APT ransomware virus?

APT ransomware menaces U.S. companies

APT is a term used to describe advanced persistent threat tactics adapted in APT virus distribution, and we are going to talk about this virus today. When a group of malware researchers investigated ransomware attacks on U.S. companies, they have discovered that criminals behind some of these attacks used APT techniques and tools that were previously associated with Chinese government-supported intrusions. While previously security researchers used to think that ransomware viruses are mostly developed by middle-level cyber criminals, some security firms say that there were more than six attacks at the beginning of 2016 suspiciously similar to state-sponsored attacks that revealed a whole new level of sophistication. For example, hackers exploited vulnerabilities in application servers in order to infect more than 100 PCs in every attacked company. When asked about these allegations, China’s Foreign Ministry replied that if these suspicions were made with a “serious attitude,” the country would treat the problem seriously, but now these allegations are only “rumors and speculation” about China’s online activities. According to malware researchers, these APT ransomware attacks can be made by hackers who have resigned from their work in the government.

As you probably know, viruses like APT ransomware are extremely dangerous as they encrypt files with uncrackable encryption and demand money, but in most cases, they can implement more dangerous activities such as steal data, infect computer networks, and so on. If you ever become a victim of a ransomware attack, make you sure you remove APT or a different ransomware variant from the system immediately. Paying the ransom is not recommended, as frauds do not always provide the decryption software. APT removal instructions can be found under this article. To detect the virus, you will need to use an anti-malware software, so if you do not have one, use ReimageIntego or a different reliable tool.

APT virus

Distribution methods

APT attacks allow the cyber criminals to take control of a computer or a network and stay there without being detected. Such viruses can be installed on target computers manually or be downloaded from the Internet by mistake. Cyber criminals spread malware via email, compromise ad networks and make malware-laden ads appear even on secure websites, or bundle the infectious software with bogus software updates that are frequently advertised on shady Internet websites. There are plenty of ways to accidentally infect the computer with malware, so it is advisable to protect the computer with anti-malware tool. It is very hard to identify malicious content online, and even the most experienced PC users can be deceived.

How to remove APT ransomware?

Users who wish to remove APT virus or any other malicious program or file should employ automatic malware removal tool to clean the computer. Malicious viruses often drop several additional malware examples on the system to cause as much damage as possible, so it is better to check the system with an automatic tool in case of suspicion. APT removal instructions are provided below – in order to run the anti-malware program, you will need to prepare your PC for that first. Most likely the virus will not allow you to start the computer protection tool, so you will have to reboot it in Safe mode with networking in order to deactivate and erase the virus completely.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of APT virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove APT 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 APT. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that APT removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove APT from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If you ever get infected with APT malware or a different ransomware-type virus, please, do not pay the ransom. Criminals seek to make victims pay by blackmailing them, so it goes without saying that you should not support such criminals by paying them ransoms that they demand. Encrypted data can always be restored from data backups, so find the storage device you have imported data copies to and move them to your computer then. Just do not forget that the infection should be entirely uninstalled before plugging the data storage device into the PC. 

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

Restore data with Data Recovery Pro

It is not advisable to pay the ransom for criminals who try to blackmail you.  Instead, use Data Recovery Pro – it might decrypt your files, so that you do not have to pay money to frauds.

  • 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 APT ransomware;
  • Restore them.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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