How malicious is Epic ransomware?
Epic ransomware (also known as Crypt.Locker) belongs to a well known Jigsaw family of ransomware viruses. Its aim is to encrypt users’ files and convince them that there is the only way to decrypt them. Fortunately, you can find several “Data recovery” methods presented by 2-spyware.com security experts in the end of this post. It is known that Epic virus began infecting computers in the first quarter of 2016. It has been improved by Jigsaw developers of several times, so the initial version of this ransomware seems quite simple when compared with additional releases. The latest variant of Epic ransomware has a bunch of unique traits that allow to distinguish it as an isolated infection itself. Instead of using references from the famous horror movie “Saw”  as they have done in Jigsaw, the virus creators now turn to something much closer to the cyber scene and use images and style of the well-known hacktivist group Anonymous .
Once the ransomware enters the system, the victim becomes familiar with the lock screen showing an image of a man with Guy Fawkes mask gradually filling with the ransom text, timer and a link to an anonymous payment site. The timer’s deadline is set to one hour and the text above it explains the rules of this sick game. Every hour, the virus will destroy from one to five of the personal files stored on the infected device. The cycle will perpetuate until the user pays the ransom or (if he/she is lucky) manages to remove Epic virus from the computer on time. Each of infected files have .epic extension appended, so you can easily find encrypted files among the clean ones. When dealing with the removal procedure, you should be especially careful with the whole procedure because, if Epic removal is approached incorrectly, it may delete up to 1000 of your personal files. To diminish the risk of such disastrous consequences, you should trust the virus removal to some professional antivirus software, such as ReimageIntego.
Questions about Epic ransomware virus
Epic ransomware targets around 120 types of files. These documents, pictures, video/audio material and other data is encrypted with a sophisticated AES cipher  which blocks the user from accessing it without a special key. Besides, at the end of the encryption, the affected files feature .epic extensions instead of the regular ones. This way, the virus makes it easier for the user to grasp the scope of the attack. Nevertheless, perhaps the most staggering aspect of this virus is the amount of ransom its creators demand for the file recovery in their ransom note:
Very bad news! I am a so-called crypt.locker with following advanced functions:
Encrypting all your Data
Collecting all Logins, Contacts, ….
Uploading all of it on a Sever
Sending a copy of this Package to All of you Contacts
Now here are some good news:
The pending task will never be executed and all your files will be decrypted again as soon as you did a BITCOIN PAYMENT within the next 72 h.
I will then remove myself from you system – like nothing ever happened!
To show you that I am serious I will delete every hour 1-5 files – better hurry!
In particular, 5000 USD must be sent to the hackers’ account in form of Bitcoins . It is completely crazy to accept such demands, especially when there are alternative ways which can be used for the data recovery. You will find a couple of them described at the end of the article. In the meanwhile, you should have all the things ready for the Epic removal. For more in-depth virus elimination advice, please keep reading the article.
How can you prevent your computer from an epic disaster?
Epic virus infiltration can really be compared to an utter disaster, especially if the virus has locked some highly sensitive data on your computer. Luckily, the consequences of its infection do not necessarily have to be vital. Though there is virtually no way to prevent Epic infiltration a full 100%, you still have the option to protect your data from being corrupted. The best way to do it is to make regular data backups and keep stored somewhere safe . Keep in mind that even though it is more convenient, virtual storage drives, including cloud services are not suitable for protecting your data in case of a ransomware attack. The Epic malware may find ways to sneak into these platforms as well. Thus, it is best to keep your backups on some external storage devices, USB, HDD, etc. You can easily recover your data using these backups after you remove the virus from the computer.
What is the key to Epic virus removal?
Just like its predecessor Jigsaw, the Epic ransomware can be eliminated from the infected device quite easily. Of course, as easily as ransomware removal goes. This means that you still might have to face some problems along the way. For instance, the virus may attempt to block your antivirus from running the full system scan and, this way, keep on deleting your files one-by-one. In such a case, you will have to run your device in Safe Mode and follow the guidelines below. After you’ve done decontaminating the infection, run the system scan again to finish Epic removal. Please keep in mind that no data recovery steps can be taken before the virus and all of its related components that are eliminated from the computer. You can check out our data recovery recommendations at the end of this article after you remove Epic entirely.
To remove Epic virus, follow these steps:
Manual Epic removal using Safe Mode
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- 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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- 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 Epic using System Restore
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Epic. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Epic 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 Epic, you can use several methods to restore them:
Recover you data encrypted by Epic virus using Data Recovery Pro
Data Recovery Pro allows to making the data recovery automatic. This professional utility was initially designed to restore accidentally deleted or corrupt files, but it was proven successful in data recovery after ransomware attacks as well. Thus, do not hesitate giving it a try if you are infected with Epic virus.
- 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 Epic ransomware;
- Restore them.
Recover your files encrypted by Epic ransomware using Windows Previous Versions feature
Windows Previous Versions feature is one of the in-build Windows feature that allows resetting documents or files to a particular chosen point in time. Nevertheless, this technique is only useful if the System Restore feature was enabled before virus infiltration. Also, you may only recover singular files not the entire system using Windows Previous Versions feature.
- 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”.
Recover your personal information affected by Crypt.Locker using ShadowExplorer
ShadowExplorer is an application that allows restoring files from Volume Shadow Copies if they are found on the system. Of course, this method will be useless if the virus destroys all of these backup 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.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Epic and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
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.