DataKeeper ransomware (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2018

DataKeeper virus Removal Guide

What is DataKeeper ransomware?

DataKeeper – ransomware as a service which has been spread around as nguyen police report.pdf.exe

Image of DataKeeper ransomware

DataKeeper ransomware is a file-encrypting virus that was released in January 2018. Malware is available on the dark web as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)[1] program. The crypto-virus is designed to target Windows operating system, lock files with RSA-4096 keys and demand to pay the ransom in Bitcoins. Recently, the virus was noticed spreading around with the help of nguyen police report.pdf.exe file that mimics police and has a great potential to infect unaware users.

Name DataKeeper
Type Ransomware/RaaS
Encryption algorithm RSA-4096
Propagation Spam. Uses nguyen police report.pdf.exe file as a notification from Police
Encrypts Images, audio, video files, archives, databases
Removal Use ReimageIntego to fix the system

Evil-minded people who decide to obtain DataKeeper ransomware are given these functions and properties that they can customize:

  • the amount of ransom asked for data recovery;
  • possibility to attach PDF, dox, xls or other files to output malware executable;
  • multithread encryption;
  • optional network shares encryption;
  • ability to run with administrative rights and remove system restore points;
  • self-running feature on remote devices.

Therefore, DataKeeper virus can operate as an ordinary crypto-virus that allows cybercriminals to collect ransoms from computer users who opened obfuscated email attachments or downloaded other malicious content.

DataKeeper can encrypt various types of files, including Microsoft Word documents, various types of image, audio or video files, archives, databases, etc. The appended file extension during data encryption is unknown. It seems that anyone who gets this RaaS can set their preferred suffix.

The size of the ransom can also be set by each of a crook who obtains the malicious program. However, transferring money to the provided Bitcoin wallet address might not lead to data recovery. Thus, you should remove DataKeeper ransomware and try other methods to recover files.

Authors of ransomware might threaten you into paying more money or disappear as soon as they receive your Bitcoins. Thus, we do not recommend having business with them and risking to increase yours loses.

For DataKeeper removal we highly recommend using ReimageIntego or another malware removal tool that can quickly wipe out all malicious components from the system. Unfortunately, security software cannot restore encrypted files. However, our team provides data recovery suggestions at the end of the article.

Picture of DataKeeper ransomwareAnyone who obtains DataKeeper ransomware can customize it and collect the ransoms from computer users.

Dissemination methods of the ransomware virus

The ransomware itself can be obtained on the dark web. Anyone who gets the virus can use personalized methods to spread this malicious program. Main methods used by ransomware to spread around are:

  1. Malicious spam email attachments. Usually, the letter informs about important information and asks to check the information in the attached document.
  2. Malware-laden ads. Advertisements on legitimate and popular websites might include malicious content or redirect to infected websites. Often they offer software updates, security programs or great shopping offers.
  3. Fake software downloads and updates. Freeware or shareware websites or P2P networks often include malicious programs that look like legitimate tools. However, cracked software is most of the time harmful.
  4. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Criminals use network scanners to find unprotected or insecure RDP connections and use brute force tools to attack the system.
  5. Exploit kits.[2] Authors of ransomware use specific software known as exploit kit to look up for security vulnerabilities to install malware on the computers.

Security specialists from bedynet.ru[3] remind that it’s not enough to install the powerful antivirus to be fully protected from ransomware. Many cyber threats are capable of bypassing security software if you click on a malicious link or download obfuscated malware on the system.

Therefore, it’s recommended to watch your actions online and create backups. In case of cyber attack, they will be extremely important.

Instructions to delete DataKeeper ransomware virus from the computer

To remove DataKeeper from the computer, you have to use reputable malware removal software. Ransomware viruses are one of the most dangerous types of cyber threats. Thus, they can make numerous changes to the system and install harmful components that can be hard to identify and remove manually.

We recommend using ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes for safe DataKeeper removal. Automatic malware elimination software can quickly identify and clean the infected computer. Note that for data recovery you will need backups or other software. Security tools are not capable of decrypting files.

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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 DataKeeper virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

To eliminate DataKeeper ransomware from the system using antivirus or anti-malware, follow these steps:

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 DataKeeper using System Restore

This method might also help to get rid of ransomware:

  • 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 DataKeeper. 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 DataKeeper removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Method 1. Data Recovery Pro

This professional software is designed to restore files that are corrupted after system wreckage or accidentally deleted. However, it might help to restore some of the encrypted files too.

  • 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 DataKeeper ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, you can follow these steps and restore individual files:

  • 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”.

Method 3. ShadowExplorer

If DataKeeper virus did not delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you can restore encrypted files using ShadowExplorer.

  • 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.

DataKeeper decryptor is not available yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from DataKeeper and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, 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
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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