Severity scale:  
  (98/100)

Cryptgh0st ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Cryptgh0st – a virus that can stealthily get into your system and encrypt data

Cryptgh0st virus  

Cryptgh0st is nasty ransomware virus that can lock your files and make them inaccessible. For encryption, this virus uses AES-256 encryption algorithm and adds “.cryptgh0st” file extension. And after the file is renamed, it becomes impossible to open and use. This data can be anything from your text documents or family photos to video and audio files.

Name  Cryptgh0st 
Type Ransomware
Encryption AES-256
Extension used “.cryptgh0st” 
Ransom note “READ_TO_DECRYPT.html”
Danger level High. Locks files, demands ransom, can affect  Windows registry.
Decryption No tool for decryption. 
Contact email  cryptgh0st@protonmail.com
Distribution Infected spam email attachments.
Removal Best removal tool for Cryptgh0st ransomware is Reimage

Immediately after the encryption,Cryptgh0st ransomware places a ransom-demanding message in every existing folder on your computer. This file is called “READ_TO_DECRYPT.html” and contains virus developers' information about encryption, ransom amount, contact email, timer, etc.:

!!! THIS ISNT A JOKE !!!
!!! ALL YOUR COMPANY DATA GOT ENCRYPTED !!!
!!! READ THE TEXT !!!

YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED USING A
STRONG AES-256 ALGORITHM.

YOUR IDENTIFICATION IS
[redacted 32 bytes]

SEND 0,03 BTC TO THE FOLLOWING WALLET
[redacted]

AND AFTER PAY CONTACT cryptgh0st@protonmail.com
SENDING YOUR IDENTIFICATION TO RECOVER
THE KEY NECESSARY TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES

IF YOU ARE NOT PAYING IN THE NEXT 48H
ALL YOUR FILES WILL BE REMOVED FOR EVER

As you can see from the ransom note,.cryptgh0st virus demand to pay 0.03 Bitcoin[1] for data recovery which is an average size of the payment. However, this might be only a waste of money.  The file decryption tool might not even exist, and virus developers only allegedly have it. The only safe way to recover your files is replacing them with an external backup.

Authors of Cryptgh0st virus also use blackmailing technique and threatens to delete files if they do not receive the payment within 48 hours. Malware researchers cannot confirm if it's possible or not. However, specialists from virusi.hr[2] tell that such threats are usually false. But it does not mean that the virus should be kept on the system for longer period of time.

While .cryptgh0st file virus resides on the computer, it might cause numerous problems, such as:

  • make the system vulnerable to other cyber threats;
  • open backdoor to other malware;
  • make programs unresponsive;
  • disable computer's security.

Therefore, ransomware attack is not only damaging to your files. It also puts your computer and security at risk. For this reason, you need to remove Cryptgh0st as soon as you learn about the attack. Unfortunately, there's no way to restore all files corrupted by ransomware. You can back access to your documents, audio collection and photos only if you have backed up them before.

However, the fact about complicated data recovery procedure should not motivate you to contact cyber criminals. We highly recommend focusing on Cryptgh0st removal instead of risking to lose the money too. Virus elimination requires using reputable and strong tools to make sure that all malware-related components are wiped out from the machine. For this task, we recommend using Reimage, but first, you should reboot the PC to Safe Mode with Networking as explained at the end of the article.

Avoid opening any spam email attachments

Email box fills up immediately and that is inevitable, but you need to be aware of the dubious content and do not open letters that you have no idea about. Especially when there is an attachment. They might contain cyber threats, such as ransomware, spyware[3] and other malware.

Before opening an email attachment, you need always double-check the information and make sure that you were supposed to get it and it is safe to open. For instance, if you received an information about parcel delivery issues, but you haven't ordered anything, this letter is not for your. Also, if you received an email that asks to print some documents or check invoice information, but you are confused why you were sent this, this letter is not for you too.

Unexpected letters that usually urge to open attached documents most of the time spread malware. So, keep away from them to keep your system virus-free and files secure from encryption.

 

Immediate Cryptgh0st removal is vital: the guide for ransomware elimination

We have already mentioned, that ransomware can cause various problems to the computer, not only encrypts files. For this reason, you must remove Cryptgh0st as soon as you can. Use certified tools like Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, or Malwarebytes Anti Malware for the job and be sure that infection is not going to happen again.

If you decide to remove Cryptgh0st using other tools or malware blocks our suggested software, you should reboot your device to Safe Mode with Networking. We have provided the explanation below. Also, you will find a data recovery options. Sadly, the official decryptor is not released yet. However, some third-party tools might help if you do not have backups.

 

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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 Cryptgh0st ransomware. 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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To remove Cryptgh0st virus, follow these steps:

Remove Cryptgh0st using Safe Mode with Networking

If you cannot run automatic ransomware removal, follow these steps and boot  to Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 Cryptgh0st

    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 Cryptgh0st removal.

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

Remove Cryptgh0st 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 Cryptgh0st. 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 Cryptgh0st removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Cryptgh0st 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 Cryptgh0st, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try to restore encrypted files with Data Recovery Pro:

This program can help to recover accidentally deleted or corrupted files.

Windows Previous Versions feature can be used for individual file recovery

This feature can help you if the System Restore function was enabled on your computer before the ransomware attack. Follow these steps:

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might recover .Cryptgh0st files

If the virus did not delete Shadow Volume Copies you can use this tool for recovering files

  • 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.

Cryptgh0st decrypter is not available yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Cryptgh0st and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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