ElGato ransomware / virus (Removal Guide)

ElGato virus Removal Guide

What is ElGato ransomware virus?

ElGato virus for Android: is it dangerous?

Despite the innocent-sounding name (“el gato” in Spanish means “the cat”) ElGato virus itself is not a harmless infection at all. This virus specifically targets Android devices, but the intentions of its creators are not yet clear. Though the principles of the virus closely resembles ransomware infections, it lacks some of the main features of these cyber threats. It is likely that this virus was created simply for fun because ElGato victims do not have to pay to recover the data on their locked phones. Besides, this data can also be recovered after examining the virus code more closely. It turns out that you can make the virus unlock your files itself without having to use any extra software. But that does not make the virus any less dangerous. The less experienced users may find it too complicated to find this code themselves, so the virus may continue ravaging through the infected device. Thus, you will probably need to use some professional help with the ElGato removal. Luckily, the market of antivirus utilities for Androids is now much broader than ever before, so there are many options you can choose from. You can try out FortectIntego, for instance.

An illustration of the ElGato ransowmare virus

What is interesting about the ElGato ransomware is that it runs on a trustworthy cloud service. This also means that the control of this virus is web-based and will probably be lost when the device is disconnected from the network. But as long as it stays connected, the virus will be able to lock and unlock your Android’s screen, send you text messages, as well as steal the already received ones. Typically to computer ransomware, ElGato will also encrypt your SD card data. For the encryption, the virus will use the AES algorithm protected with a hard coded password. Beware that the lockscreen will feature a picture of a cat, so do not take it as a joke and disconnect your device from the network immediately. Then, boot your device in Safe Mode and scan it with some trusted antivirus utility. This way you should stop the further damage to your data and remove ElGato from the infected device.

How can my Android device be infected?

ElGato virus may be a fun and games for its creators, but the victims may fall into a great misery if they find their precious files in the claws of this dangerous infection. A better option to protect your data is by avoiding the infection. You can do that by finding out how such viruses usually spread and where you are most likely to encounter them. There is not much of a secret that computer ransomware usually spread through infected email attachments. ElGato, on the other hand, can also be a consequence of phishing, Trojan-infected applications, malicious social network links, etc. When browsing on your phone or tablet, make sure you are protected. Install some reliable software with real-time protection feature and keep an eye for suspicious links, ads and apps yourself.

How can you remove ElGato ransomware from your device?

As we have already mentioned throughout the article, a reliable antimalware utility is the best solution if you wish to remove ElGato from your device for good. We have already mentioned that FortectIntego is a trustworthy software you can apply to fix your Android device. Simply scan your tablet or smartphone using full system scan function and the virus will be terminated in no time. But in case the virus has infected your Windows OS, you can follow the instructions provided below the article to carry out a safe ElGato removal. As for the data recovery, we suggest consulting a professional who would evaluate whether it is a possible in your case specifically because the virus may work differently on different devices and the mentioned decryption code may be hidden in various locations as well.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
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 ElGato virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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 ElGato 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 ElGato. 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 ElGato removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from ElGato 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
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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