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

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware
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Crystal ransomware infects the system with the help of additional malware

Crystal ransomware virus

Crystal ransomware is a computer malware that uses AES encryption to corrupt files on a target computer. The malware disables Windows Firewall to avoid detection. The virus arrives into the system in tandem with a malware downloader and a flooder[1]. The virus aims to thoroughly corrupt victim’s files and demands a ransom.

Once installed on the system, the virus employs Rijndael encryption algorithm[2] (also known as Advanced Encryption Standard or AES) to encode all of the victim’s files. It typically targets pictures, documents, videos, databases and other relevant files.

It goes without saying that the purpose of this virus is not to corrupt the data permanently – the files can be decrypted, but only with the help of a decryption key that is sent to criminals’ servers. Unfortunately, without criminals’ help, there is no way to retrieve this key.

Typically, frauds leave a ransom note asking for a ransom paid in Bitcoins, but in this case, the ransomware doesn’t leave any notes on the system. Cyber security experts assume that this virus is only an in-development version of something more dangerous that might be released in the future.

If you turned on your personal or work computer and found your files marked with .CRYSTAL file extensions, you should immediately run an anti-malware software to wipe the malware off your computer.

For Crystal removal, we strongly suggest using Reimage software. It will help you to identify the backdoor, flooder and other malware pieces that came with the ransomware. To remove Crystal virus efficiently, check instructions we added.

Typical behavior of ransomware and distribution techniques used

Ransomware usually spreads via email spam, Trojans, exploit kits and other malware dissemination techniques, says NoVirus.uk experts[3]. While you have to be careful when browsing the Internet, opening emails or visiting unknown Internet sites, it is also very important to prepare for an unexpected ransomware attack properly. Here’s how to do it.

  • Ransomware is a malicious program that is usually launched from an executive file. However, cyber criminals tend to obfuscate this file or use .js or .word files as additional tools that look less suspicious, but contain a script that connects to a remote server, downloads and executes the malware.
  • To prevent ransomware from corrupting your system, install anti-malware software and create a data backup. These two tasks will prepare you for an unexpected malware infiltration.
  • Now, to avoid ransomware viruses in general, we suggest staying away from vague-looking email letters. You must pay attention to the sender’s email address because it is the number one sign revealing that someone’s trying to scam you. If you notice that it looks unprofessional, do not open files or links included in the message.
  • Continuously update the programs you have. Download the updates from official software vendors only. Do not trust shady third-party sites or, even worse, pop-up ads!

Remove Crystal ransomware and related malware

Crystal is a virus that infects the computer system with the help of additional malware pieces. Therefore, it is important not only to remove Crystal virus but also the flooder and the backdoor that comes with it. To eliminate these threats, rely on an anti-malware software. Update it to the latest version and attack the malware by running a full system scan.

You can seriously damage your computer system if you try to perform a manual Crystal ransomware removal. The malware is highly sophisticated, and it uses various obfuscation techniques, so it is likely that you won’t find all of its files (unless you are an extremely skilled programmer). Use the guide provided below to clean your computer system.

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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 Crystal 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 Crystal virus Removal Guide:

Remove Crystal using Safe Mode with Networking

Crystal removal can be completed only when in Safe Mode with Networking. To put your computer in this mode, you have to use the provided guidelines.

  • 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 Crystal

    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 Crystal removal.

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

Remove Crystal 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 Crystal. 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 Crystal removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Speaking of data recovery, the chances to do anything without a data backup are low. If you have a data backup, remove the virus and plug the backup in to import the necessary files. If you don't, we suggest testing these methods.

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

Try Data Recovery Method (Method 1)

The first method to recover your files is to perform a computer scan using Data Recovery Pro software. It helps to identify recoverable files and attempts to fix them. However, when dealing with a sophisticated encryption, it might not be possible to do that without having a decryption key.

Recover using ShadowExplorer (Method 2)

The second method you can try is to perform a system check using ShadowExplorer. This software allows finding Volume Shadow Copies (if the virus didn't delete them from the system). These copies can be used for data recovery. Sadly, deleting these copies is usually one of the primary tasks that malicious computer programs complete after infecting the system.

  • 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 Crystal and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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