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El Polocker ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Why should you be careful not to get infected with El Polocker?

By today’s standards, El Polocker virus is a relatively old infection. It has been around for over a year now, and its creators are not willing to terminate its distribution. Otherwise called Los Pollos Hermanos, this virus seems to be based on a famous TV show “Breaking Bad.” Nevertheless, apart from the references to this show, this ransomware is no different to other viruses of the same category, though it seems to be targeted specifically to the Australian computer users. The virus enters the computers deceptively, and once it is there, it immediately activates and starts the system scan. During the scan, the virus looks for specific documents (the main working files, mostly) and locks them using AES encryption. The key to this data called seckeys.DONOTDELETE is also placed on the computer, but unfortunately, it is put through the RSA encryption, so the victims have no access to it either. Consequently, the data can only be bought out from the ransomware creators, who are the only ones to hold the master key. In their ransom note, the hackers demand around $450 USD. Even though the virus may feature familiar themes and even cause a smile, collaborating with the cyber criminals is the last thing we recommend doing. It is much safer to simply remove El Polocker from the infected computer and try to recover your data some other way. If you want to eliminate the virus without causing additional damage to the infected system, you should use professional antivirus software, such as Reimage.

An illustration of the El-Polocker virus

Questions about El Polocker ransomware virus

Talking more about how El-Polocker works, it is important to mention that when it is done scanning the computer, it appends .HA3 extension to every encrypted file. Sadly, the victims usually notice the infection when the virus is spread through all of the folders, and there is little that can be done about it. By this time, the virus probably has already deleted the shadow volume copies, disabled the System Restore and terminated the Windows Automatic Startup Repair function. What it is especially worrying is that the virus may also encrypt data on open network shares, regardless of whether they are mapped or not. That is why it is especially important to protect not only the device itself but the network as well. In case the virus already managed to find its way to your computer, or you suspect you might have accidentally downloaded it on your device, you should be quick to take action at once. But before you go, we suggest reading through the El Polocker removal tips provided at the end of this article.

How can you recognize this virus?

As we have already mentioned, once the El Polocker takes over the computer, the hijack will be evident from the ransom note and unusual file extensions added to the encrypted files. But there are some signs of potential threat you can look for before the infection actually hits. Ransomware viruses often travel through deceptive email attachments and El-Polocker is not an exception. The virus can reach your Inbox as a DHL penalty notice, supposedly informing about some unpaid fees. The email contains an attached DropBox link to a Zip file. This file actually contains a malicious PowerShell script which activates the virus. If you have recently downloaded anything similar on your device, scan your computer with some reliable antivirus software for the sake of the safety of your files. Nevertheless, despite all the safety precautions, you should always make additional copies of your most important files and store them on some external drive.

Tips on El Polocker removal and file recovery:

It is only natural that when the users get infected with a ransomware virus, file recovery becomes their main priority. However, what should be taken into consideration first, is the El Polocker removal. It is very important to eliminate the virus and it additional components because as long as it stays on the computer, your data will be at a high risk. There are two methods that can be used to remove El Polocker from your computer. The already mentioned automatic one which employs antivirus utilities for the virus elimination and the manual approach. The instructions for the manual elimination are presented at the end of this article, though it should only be used in case your antivirus is struggling to initiate the system scan. Otherwise, we always recommend opting for a professional software rather than trying to fight the virus yourself.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove El Polocker virus, follow these steps:

Remove El Polocker using 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 El Polocker

    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 El Polocker removal.

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

Remove El Polocker 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 El Polocker. 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 El Polocker removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from El Polocker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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