ransomware / virus (Easy Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps virus Removal Guide

What is ransomware virus? ransomware is looking for victims right now

Computer users should beware of virus, which is a new ransomware variant that hails from Apocalypse ransomware family[1]. This ransomware strain is also known under Al-Namrood ransomware name, and it has been torturing victims for almost a year now. ransomware virus is a program that can infect your system and damage[2] your personal files, and most likely you won’t even have time to react to the attack because the virus encrypts the data in minutes[3]. The indicated virus hasn’t changed much if compared to its previous version – it only provides a different email address to the victims. Respectively, it drops a ransom note called md5.txt and changes names of the files it encrypts this way: [original filename].ID-[8 characters+victim’s country code][].[14 characters]. The ransomware uses AES encryption[4] to lock victim’s files securely, and it throws the decryption key to criminals’ servers right after completing the encryption procedure. ransomware virus renames files after encrypting them. The extension consists of victim's ID, country's code, email address and a random file extension.

Speaking of data decryption, we can say that there are some Al-Namrood and Apocalypse decryption tools available, but they were created for previous versions of these viruses. However, you might need to wait for a while until malware analysts find a way to crack the new ransomware. Some malware researchers say that the virus’ code most likely was improved and that basically explains why previous decryption tools do not help to decrypt files with .ID-[8 characters+victim’s country code][].[14 characters] extensions. However, you should not lose hope because malware analysts proved that Al-Namrood versions could be decrypted without paying the ransom. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to scan your PC with anti-malware software like FortectIntego and remove virus completely. This way, you will toss out all dangerous files created by the virus, as well as all other shady programs. After eliminating the virus, you can try to restore your files using methods described below the article. As we said, there is hope that malware analysts will discover an antidote for files encrypted by virus, so do not rush to collect money for the criminals.

How does this virus infect the computer?

According to the latest reports, Al-Namrood ransomware versions are mostly pushed to servers that have remote desktop services enabled. Attackers attempt to log into target computers via RDP[5] using brute-force attacks. To prevent such attacks, security experts advise users to set up two-factor authentication, create a PRO and change default RDP port from 3389 to another free port. However, you might also become a victim of ransomware attack if you tend to explore strange-looking emails in your Inbox folder. Remember – the easiest way to “invite” a ransomware virus into your computer is to willingly open links or attachments that come with messages from unknown senders. Cyber frauds often pretend to be someone they’re not, so if you received a letter from someone who claims to be from Amazon or Paypal, do not rush to open the files attached to the message. It is highly advisable to check sender’s email address online and see if it is actually associated with the company one claims to work for. If you opened a suspicious attachment and it infected your PC with ransomware, follow instructions provided below.

How to remove ransomware?

The first thing that malware analysts recommend doing is removing the ransomware from the system; however, we must point out that ransomware is no regular software and it won’t suggest using its uninstaller. You will have to identify, locate and remove virus step by step because it tends to spread its files all over the computer system. The best way to clean your PC system after ransomware attack is to perform removal using professional malware removal tools. Do not forget to reboot your PC using instructions provided below.

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Fortect Happiness
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


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

Remove 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 FortectIntego 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.

First of all, you should remove ransomware virus and then try one of the provided data recovery methods described below. Of course, if you have a data backup, you won’t even need to bother yourself reading all of these instructions. In such case, all you need to do is to remove the virus and plug the drive with data copies into a computer. Do not move them from the backup to the computer – copy them and paste them to a certain folder. This way, you will have a backup in case your computer gets hit by ransomware one more time.

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

Try rata recovery software

The Internet offers various applications and you can also find a lot of useful data recovery tools. However, our teams recommends using Data Recovery Pro because it can effectively restore damaged, deleted, or modified files. Although it might not succeed in decrypting all of your files, we suggest trying it anyway.

  • 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.

Use free decrypters

You can try to run Apocalypse decrypter or Al-Namrood decrypter to restore files corrupted by virus. These tools are known to be capable of recovering files encrypted by these ransomware versions, and they might help you to restore files corrupted by ransomware. However, we cannot confirm their effectiveness at the moment, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

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 FortectIntego, 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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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