District ransomware (Virus Removal Instructions) - Decryption Steps Included

District virus Removal Guide

What is District ransomware?

District ransomware – a file encrypting virus which gives 96 hours for payment submission

District ransomwareDistrict ransomware - a file locking virus which uses the AES-256 cryptography to encrypt documents.

District ransomware[1] is a file locking cyber threat which enters the system through spam messages and creates dubious entries in the Windows Registry[2] section. Moreover, it uses the AES-256 cryptography[3] to lock documents that are located on the infected computer system. Once locked, the user cannot access encrypted files properly anymore. As a solution, criminals display a message called READ_IT.txt which purpose is to announce about the harmful activity and offer contact via ctrlalt@cock.li. Cybercriminals claim that files with the .sample.jpg.ctrlalt@cock.li.district or .district appendix will be recovered after the payment. However, it often is just a lie to convince users into paying the price.

Name District
Type Ransomware
Extension .sample.jpg.ctrlalt@cock.li.district, .district
Ransom message READ_IT.txt
Cryptography AES-256
Email address ctrlalt@cock.li
Demanded price No particular details about the ransom price are given in the text message
Activity begins in Windows Registry
Spreading technique Spam messages
Removal and fix Get rid of the virus automatically and use FortectIntego to fix the damage

Taking about the District ransomware virus encryption process, this dangerous file locking threat uses the AES-256 cryptography and locks all documents on the affected system. Nevertheless, codes appear to be different for every newly infected computer and this makes them almost impossible to identify.

Furthermore, District virus, just like other of its kind, demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption tool. Even though the crooks do not provide any detailed information, usually, cybercriminals urge for Bitcoin, Monero, or other cryptocurrencies. Such transfers do not require any personal information and keep the entire process secret and safe from identification.

Here a bell should have rung for you. The ability to stay secret lets the criminals escape without being punished. This is the main reason why victims are often left scammed and face money losses. Avoid such possibility and do not pay the demanded ransom. Better avoid any contact with the crooks and remove District virus as soon as possible.

For the District ransomware removal, you can use automatical tools which will ensure you that the entire process will be done successfully. Moreover, you can use FortectIntego or any other similar program to detect all damaged objects if there are any. Taking about file decryption, you can try our suggested data recovery methods which you can find below this article.

District ransomware virusDistrict ransomware is a dangerous cyber threat which gives 96 hours to perform the payment.

Avoid ransomware

Note that ransomware is often spread through spam messages. The hazardous payload comes attached to the phishing email and launches the virus once opened. Avoid opening unknown messages that you receive. If you are not expecting anything important at the moment, better eliminate all suspicious content.

Moreover, you should not hesitate to invest in a truly reliable and expert-tested anti-malware tool. Such computer security software is created to protect computer systems from various threats that might occur while browsing the Internet or performing other computing activities. According to malware experts[4], every user should install such program.

Get rid of District ransomware and all hazardous components

If you are wondering how to remove District virus, we have a great solution for you. Use reliable anti-malware tools to get rid of the cyber threat permanently. Moreover, you can download programs such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes and fix all damaged components. Taking about file recovery, look for decryption solutions below this text and follow each step carefully.

Furthermore, after you perform the District ransomware removal, you should carry out some computer system backups. Additionally, be prepared for the future – purchase a USB flash drive. Here you can place copies of important files so that no one will be able to reach them, except you. However, make sure that you keep the device unplugged when it is out of usage.

do it now!
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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 District virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Activate the Safe Mode with networking function by using this guide:

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 District using System Restore

Enable the System Restore feature to deactivate the ransomware virus:

  • 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 District. 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 District removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

To unlock encrypted data, you can try our suggested data recovery methods. We cannot guarantee that they will work 100 %, but they might be truly successful, so give them a try!

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

Try using Data Recovery Pro to get files back:

This method might help you recover important data if you follow each step as shown in the instructions.

  • 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 District ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature for data restoring:

This method might be helpful only if you have activated the System Restore feature in the past.

  • 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”.

Shadow Explorer can bring some important files back:

Note that this method has a big chance of not working if the virus deleted Shadow Volume Copies of affected 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.

There is no official decryptor for this ransomware discovered yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from District and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, 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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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