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

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
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CoNFicker ransomware gets a backup: Saramat version emerges

Alternative Conficker ransomware names

CoNFicker virus operates as a crypto-virus [1] which encodes files and demands payment. Interestingly, it is not related with the notorious Conficker worm [2] which was one of the most active cyber infections in 2008 and 2009. Back then, the parasite has infiltrated millions of private and even state computers which resulted in the loss of over 9 billion dollars. 

The virus continued to live on and evolved into a complex malware of different shapes and sizes that continues its legacy to this day. The experts are not sure whether the ransomware that shares its name also shares the same creators or the criminals have simply chosen this title due to its infamous history. Both these viruses are equally bothersome and infecting your device with either of them may result in financial losses, system damage and corrupted data.

While the activity of the malware was low since its appearance on the cyber space, developers have revived it by releasing .saramat variation. It is created on the basis of HiddenTear[3], though it has links to Ryzerlo malware as well. It presents the same old GUI.  Besides its saramat.exe file, the malware also drops decrypt.txtautorun.inf, and img.jpg files. French users[4] should be especially wary of the infection.

Thus, in this article, we will explain how to remove CoNFicker from the infected device ASAP. You can start the computer recovery by running a thorough scan of your system with antivirus software such as Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. After you are done, you may then try applying the techniques suggested at the end of the article to recover the encrypted files.

The working principle of this ransomware is simple: it infiltrates computers, encrypts the files it finds saved on it and then demands the victim to pay ransom for their recovery. Nevertheless, there is a lot in between that defines this particular threat. For instance, when the virus is done encrypting files, it appends .conficker extensions next to them. It also drops a ransom note called Decrypt.txt on the infected computer. The note contains the following text:

C_o_N_F_i_c_k_e_r R_A_N_S_O_M_W_A_R_E
#####
Attention! Attention! Attention! Your Files has been encrypted By C_o_N_F_i_c_k_e_r R_A_N_S_O_M_W_A_R_E
#####
Send 0.5 Bitcoin To @ 1sUCn6JYa7B96t4nZz1tX5muU2W5YxCmS @
#####
If Send 0.5 Bitcoin We will send you the decryption key C_o_N_F_i_c_k_e_r Decryptor
#####

Of course, you should not send Bitcoin [5] to the criminals’ account, nor should you use C_o_N_F_i_c_k_e_r Decryptor to unlock your files. Complying with the extortionist's demands may cause more trouble than benefit. Thus, we recommend you to perform CoNFicker removal instead. You will find suggestions on how to do that at the end of this article. So, do not waste time and get on with it!

Ransomware distribution trends

It is no longer a secret that ransomware like CoNFicker often employ Trojans [6], exploits and other deceptive techniques to spread around and infiltrate computers. Obtaining antivirus software and upgrading your general computer security may diminish the risk of such attacks, but there is always a chance you might be encroached upon.

You should acknowledge such possibility and prepare for it before it’s too late. One of the best ways to protect your data is to make a backup [7] of it and save it on some separate storage device. Data protected this way can be recovered in cases when it is accidentally deleted, corrupted or, in this particular case, encrypted by CoNFicker ransomware.

Eliminate CoNFicker infection

If you want to prepare for the CoNFicker removal in the best way possible, you should first obtain a software that you could rely upon to perform the virus elimination from the system. When such program is installed, run the full system scan with it and observe the procedure.

If you notice your antivirus cannot initiate the scan, it might be the virus is blocking it from doing that. In such a case, you will have to go through some manual decontamination steps before you are able to remove CoNFicker virus from the computer properly. Follow the instructions below not to get lost in the elimination process.

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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 CoNFicker 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 CoNFicker virus Removal Guide:

Remove CoNFicker using Safe Mode with Networking

As we mention in the article, CoNFicker is not an easy virus to get rid of. You might need to decontaminate it first before you can even get your antivirus running. The guidelines below will explain how to stop the malicious activity on your computer:

  • 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 CoNFicker

    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 CoNFicker removal.

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

Remove CoNFicker using System Restore

Below we introduce another method which may be applied when deleting the virus from the computer.

  • 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 CoNFicker. 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 CoNFicker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro — a software that will help recover files encrypted by CoNFicker.

Data Recovery Pro is your quick recovery solution that may help restore files encrypted by the ransomware.

Give Windows Previous Versions feature a spin and roll back your files:

Here you will learn how to use Windows Previous Versions feature and recover important files on your computer. Don't forget that this method only works if the System Restore function has been enabled pre-attack. 

  • 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”.

Recover files from Volume Shadow Copies using ShadowExplorer

This method of data recovery can be applied in cases where ransomware leaves Volume Shadow Copies of the infected files in tact. If the virus destroys them, we're afraid you will have to stick to the previous two recovery options.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from CoNFicker 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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