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

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware
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Cobra virus is a new variant of Crysis ransomware

Ransom notes by Cobra ransomware virus

Cobra ransomware is a new file-encrypting virus from the Crysis/Dharma ransomware family that was discovered in November 2017. The crypto-malware appends id-[id].[email].cobra file extension to the targeted files and delivers two ransom notes – info.hta and Files encrypted!!.txt.

Crysis ransomware family is known for launching RDP attacks.[1] However, it’s still unknown how Cobra virus spreads. However, it’s clear that once it finds the way to the system, it starts data encryption not only on the local device but continues spreading via mapped network drives and network shares. Thus, it might cause huge damage, considering the fact that it’s undecryptable.

The virus makes various files inaccessible by appending .cobra file extension. Once it's done, Cobra deletes Shadow Volume Copies that might help to restore files using third-party tools. Then it opens a ransom note in info.hta file as soon as a victim turns on the computer.

This file shows traditional Crysis ransom note. The message says that victims have to send an email to cranbery@colorendgrace.com with a unique ID number. Additionally, victims can send up to 5 files for free decryption that are not bigger than 10 Mb and does not contain “valuable information.”

After Cobra malware attack, victims should also find Files encrypted!!.txt file on the desktop. The second ransom note gives a slightly different information:

All your files have been encrypted,
to decrypt them contact us using the e-mail address:

cranbery@colorendgrace.com

As a proof we can decrypt 3 files for free.

It seems that crooks cannot decide if they want to be generous and decrypt 5 or 3 files for free. However, it doesn’t matter. These files might be the only ones you might manage to get back. Hackers are not reliable, so you should not follow their rules and remove Cobra ransomware immediately.

Ransomware might make numerous system changes and affect legit processes. For this reason, you should not try to delete malware-related components manually. You should opt for the automatic Cobra removal using Reimage or another malware removal program.

Ransomware distribution methods and precaution tips

As it was mentioned before, specific Cobra distribution ways are unknown. The Crysis ransomware family is spreading via RDP attacks. Therefore, the latest variant is expected to follow the same distribution method. However, security experts from Les Virus[2] warn that criminals might change or test new distribution strategies, such as:

  • malicious spam emails that trick into opening infected attachment;
  • malware-laden ads that might be displayed even on legit websites;
  • illegal downloads or software updates available on unauthorized third-party sites or pop-ups.

Users are advised to stay away from spam and unknown emails and especially their attachments. Open included documents only if you know the sender and the provided issue is real.

Additionally, you should stay away from suspicious or too-good-to-be-true ads that offer great shopping deals or warn about outdated software. If you need installing a new program or its update, you always have to choose official publisher’s sites. Finally, you should keep all your programs and operating system updated.[3]

Removal of the Cobra ransomware virus

The crypto-malware makes critical changes to Windows OS. For this reason, you should opt for the automatic Cobra removal in order to eliminate malicious components without damaging the system. Thus, you should obtain reputable malware removal software, such as Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware, and run a full system scan.

Malware is likely to block attempts to install, update or run security software. Thus, to remove Cobra ransomware, you should reboot the PC to Safe Mode with Networking to disable the virus. The instructions provided below.

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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 Cobra 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.
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Manual Cobra virus Removal Guide:

Remove Cobra using Safe Mode with Networking

In order to run automatic Cobra ransomware removal smoothly, you should reboot the device to Safe Mode with Networking as shown below:

  • 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 Cobra

    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 Cobra removal.

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

Remove Cobra using System Restore

This method might also help to clean computer from viruses:

  • 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 Cobra. 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 Cobra removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Unfortunately, Cobra is undecryptable virus. Thus, if you do not have backups, your chances to get back your data is not high. However, you should still try to additional recovery methods instead of paying the ransom.

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

Data Recovery Pro might help to restore corrupted files

This professional recovery software is designed to restore corrupted or deleted files. Thus, it might also recover some files with .cobra extension.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore has been enabled before ransomware attack, you should follow the step and copy the most important files:

  • 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”.

Cobra decryptor is not available.

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

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References