Covid-20 ransomware (Simple Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

Covid-20 virus Removal Guide

What is Covid-20 ransomware?

Covid-20 ransomware – a cryptovirus demanding $1 million in BTC for a decryption tool

Covid-20 ransomwareCovid-20 ransomware is a data-locking malware that asks for 1 million worth of bitcoin for a decryption tool

Covid-20 ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all files on an infected computer in order to ask for a ransom for a decryption tool. Unlike many other ransomware, such as Qlkm, 2021, Ziggy, Atek, and others, the this threat prevents victims not only from accessing their files but from starting their devices.

As soon as Covid-20 file virus payload file accesses the system, it encrypts the files with a military-grade encryption algorithm and restarts the device. When the computer is booting up, a ransom note appears asking for $1 million worth of Bitcoin to be sent to cybercriminals.

The ransom note has only one operational field where victims of Covid-20 ransomware could enter a decryption key required to unlock the infected device and decrypt the data, but since there's no contact information provided in the ransom note, victims have no other choice but to remove it.

name Covid-20 ransomware
type Crypto-malware, file-locking virus
Ransom note Pop-up when the computer is rebooting
Ransom amount Assailants want to receive $1 million in cryptocurrency Bitcoin
Distribution Spam emails, deceptive ads, malicious sites, file-sharing platforms
Virus removal This cryptovirus doesn't let the computer to start. The infection might be removed with Safe Mode with Networking. At the bottom of this article, we provide a free, detailed tutorial on how to do it
System Repair Once the cyber infection is removed, run a full system scan with the ReimageIntego app to ensure normal system performance

Cybercriminals are always working to improve the methods to deliver their created malware. Everyday computer users can get their devices infected by ransomware in many different ways:

  • File-sharing platforms
  • Spam emails
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks[1]
  • Drive-by downloads
  • Deceptive ads, and others.

In many cases, if computer users didn't keep backups of their essential files, it's tough to recover data without the people's intervention behind the cyberattack. But if the victims meet the threat actors' demands, it motivates them to infect more computers and provides finances to do that.

Creators of Covid-20 file virus didn't leave any contact information in the ransom note, as the whole message looks like this:

You Became a Victim of the Covid-20 Ransomware
All Your Files Are Encrypted With Military Grade Encryption Algorithm
If you want to get your data back please pay me $1000000 worth of bitcoin
Any other attempt to Restore Data will Fail
Reinstalling Windows has Been Blocked

Enter Decryption Key:

So the only, and for better or worse, the best choice that the victims have is to remove Covid-20 ransomware. The most effective method to do that is by entrusting this task to professional anti-malware applications such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes that would locate, isolate and remove the infection with a push of a button.

Although, since this cryptovirus prevents computers from booting up, the elimination must be performed in Safe Mode with Networking. We provide detailed instructions for accessing the mode and removing the infection at the bottom of this article.

After Covid-20 ransomware removal, users should consider performing a system tune-up as various system files and settings might have been altered during the infection. Experts[2] recommend using the ReimageIntego system repair tool for this task.

Covid-20 ransomware virusCovid-20 ransomware is a type of computer virus that locks not only users' files but also prevents them from accessing their devices completely

Most popular ransomware delivery techniques

Threat actors are always developing more sophisticated, harder to detect malware and new, more advanced ways to distribute it. But our research shows that spam emails and file-sharing platforms are still some of the most prevalent ways they're spreading their creations.

Spam emails containing either links to malicious websites or infected attachments can look exactly like the ones you would get from your shipping or shopping company, bank, etc. The difference is in the details. Look for various inconsistencies such as grammatical errors, different domain names, and alike, to determine whether the email sender is legit. And better yet, don't open any shady looking hyperlinks and scan all downloadable email attachments with powerful AV tools.

Another sure way to catch cyber infections is by downloading various files from file-sharing platforms, especially popular torrent sites. Cybercriminals disguise their distributed ransomware by naming it as an expensive pirated software installer, popular game cracks,[3] or anything similar that would lure the unaware user into downloading it. As soon as such torrent is downloaded, users find out that they got much more than they expected. Refrain from using such websites.

Instructions for Covid-20 ransomware removal from affected devices

This article's culprit differs from other file-locking parasites as it prevents the infected devices from booting up and eliminating it in normal Windows mode. That's why Covid-20 ransomware removal might be a little tricky. But that's why we are here – to help you.

We provide detailed instructions just below this chapter on how to remove Covid-20 ransomware when starting the device in Safe Mode with Networking. You will still have to use anti-malware tools to do it. If you don't have any or the default one can't eliminate the cyber threat, we recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Once the computer infection is gone, we highly recommend performing a full system repair with the ReimageIntego tool as during the encryption, various system files and settings might have been corrupted, which may lead to abnormal behavior exhibition such as crashing, performance loss, etc.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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 Covid-20 virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

To get rid of the infection, reboot your computer and start it in Safe Mode with Networking

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 Covid-20 using System Restore

Threat removal with 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 Covid-20. 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 Covid-20 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Covid-20 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 Covid-20, you can use several methods to restore them:

Restoring files with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro software could be able to restore encrypted files.

  • 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 Covid-20 ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Individual file recovery with Windows Previous Version feature

This feature might enable users to restore files to their previous versions one at a time.

  • 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”.

Using Shadow Explorer for data recovery

Shadow Explorer might help cyberattack victims with file recovery.

  • 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.

No decryption tools are currently available

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Covid-20 and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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