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Esmeralda ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Esmeralda virus and its relation to the Apocalypse ransomware:

Questions about Esmeralda ransomware virus

If Notre Dame opera makes you want to sing, sadly, the Esmeralda virus will summon quite the opposite emotions. This malicious ransomware virus drives people into despair by locking their personal files using a military-grade AES algorithm and refusing to give them back unless a set amount of money is paid for the data decryption key. Experts believe that this virus is a new variant of the notorious Apocalypse crypto-ransomware which has been spotted on the web earlier this year. This could explain where exactly is the Esmeralda ransomware drawing its most destructive features from. Either related to Apocalypse or not, this infection is very dangerous in its self. First of all, it imitates critical Windows error and informs about it in the How_To_Decrypt.txt file that it drops on the infected computer:

Windows has encountered a critical problem and needs your immediate action to recover your data. The system access is locked and all the data have been encrypted to avoid the information be published or misused. You will not be able to access to your files and ignoring this message may cause the total loss of data. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
You need to contact the email below to restore the data of your system.
You will have to order the Unlock-Password and the Esmeralda Decryption Software. All the
instructions will be sent to you by email.

Though not overt, this message is nothing more but a ransom note by which the hackers try to convince and even threaten victims to follow their demands and pay for the “Unlock-Password” and Esmeralda Decrypter. The note provides only some very vague guidelines, while a more detailed information is granted only after contacting the attackers directly. However, this note provides additional information that can be used to analyze the infection further. For instance, though the note is written in English, the indicated email features points to the well-known Russian email service Thus, it can be presumed that the hackers behind this virus might originate from Russia. However, for the regular users, the primary interest should be Esmeralda removal and prevention. Both of these issues can be effectively solved using reputable and professional antivirus utilities, such as Reimage. We strongly recommend sticking to this safer option instead of paying for the decryption key you may not even receive.

Image of the Esmeralda ransomware virus

Recognizing that your computer has been infected with Esmeralda malware is easy. First, and the most obvious sign is losing access of your personal files followed by the changes of file extensions. The virus will replace your regular .jpg, .docx or .xls extensions to the unusual “.encrypted” ones. Finally, the ransom note document will appear on your desktop and every folder that contains encrypted files. Less noticeable changes involve the appearance of new entries in the Windows registry, allowing suspicious processes to boot at startup. Don’t try fixing these alterations yourself — you may accidentally make things worse! Instead, remove Esmeralda automatically, using specialized software.

How is this virus distributed around the web?

Esmeralda virus can lurk in the places you expect the least. For instance, it may arrive directly to your inbox as an invoice, flight or hotel booking details or any other information that looks believable enough for the users to get hooked on. The scammers know their craft and the techniques that work the best in spreading malware around. So, we do not recommend trying to outsmart them. Instead, secure your data by making backup copies and storing them somewhere safe, for instance, USB drive, external hard disk or another computer. Even if the Esmeralda virus hits, using these backups you will be able to recover your important files without much difficulty.

Steps of Esmeralda removal:

If Esmeralda virus is already on your computer, do not risk the security of your files — remove it from the system right away. By keeping such a nasty parasite installed, you risk the safety of your future files as well as the health of your computer. To make sure you do not run into difficulties during the Esmeralda removal, employ only the reputable antivirus software for the job. We recommend Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. However, if you are unable to get these utilities scanning your system, you might first need to decontaminate the virus using the instructions we provide below. When these steps are completed, you can then safely remove Esmeralda and try recovering the lost files.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Esmeralda ransomware virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Esmeralda virus Removal Guide:

Remove Esmeralda 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 Esmeralda

    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 Esmeralda removal.

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

Remove Esmeralda 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 Esmeralda. 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 Esmeralda removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

How to recover files after Esmeralda attack using Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro method is probably the less time-consuming approach to the data recovery out there. This tool works automatically, so the data recovery is times faster than using the rest of the recovery methods. 

How to recover encrypted files using Windows Previous Versions feature

Windows Previous Versions feature might be a great option if you want to recover only a few files from locked computer. However, you should keep in mind that it will only work if you had the System Restore option enabled pre-encryption. If you did, you should definitely give this method a try.

  • 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”.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Esmeralda and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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