Severity scale:  
  (97/100)

GenoCheats ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

HiddenTear has a new variant called GenoCheats ransomware

GenoCheats ransomware image

GenoCheats virus is based on the open-source HiddenTear project. It uses sophisticated AES algorithms for data encryption and demands $10 as a ransom[1]. The victims are encouraged to contact the criminals via Genobot01@gmail.com to recover files with .encrypted extension.

There is information that GenoCheats spreads as a fake cracking software for Adobe Photoshop and Minecraft. Once it reaches the system, the victim is provided with READ_IT.txt file which is considered to be the ransom note:

!!! Your PC has been Locked !!!
To decrypt your files
Send 10$ BTC to
3Fr6KwRoWFNjGdqV6GjBKKytsgimgdxf7Q
and email me the transaction ID + your computer name 
Genobot01@gmail.com

Since GenoCheats ransomware uses military-grade encryption technique, it is almost impossible to decrypt the corrupted data. Likewise, $10 ransom might look like an excellent solution for many inexperienced computer users. However, criminals like to increase the amount of the payment rapidly once the victim agrees to pay.

Thus, we do not recommend paying the ransom. There are other ways how you can deal with this malicious program without risking to encounter financial losses. If you have backups, do not hesitate and remove GenoCheats right away. Later, you will be able to recover your data using file copies. 

Additionally, you can perform GenoCheats removal and try alternative recovery methods if you do not store backups. For that, use Reimage and make sure to check the list of techniques how to get back the access to your data. 

Ransomware spotted spreading as fake Adobe Photoshop and Minecraft crack

As most of the ransomware-type viruses, this one is distributed using a deceptive technique as well — it disguises as a cracking software for a widely used photo editing program and popular game. Usually, people can download them from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks where most of the illegal content is shared[2]

Note that it might be hard to determine whether the file you attempt to download is malicious or not. Therefore, we suggest you stay away from P2P networks entirely and download software only from official developers. This way, you will avoid being tricked to infiltrate ransomware manually.

Additionally, according to Dieviren.de[3] experts, ransomware could spread directly attached to spam emails. They are also designed to look like coming from famous companies. Thus, it is crucial to be careful when browsing the Internet and avoid clicking and opening suspicious content.

GenoCheats virus termination

Since GenoCheats removal cannot be completed manually, you can only get a professional anti-malware tool or an IT specialist to do it for you. We believe that an automatic elimination with the security software is far more convenient and suggest you using Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

Note that to remove GenoCheats virus you will need to reboot your computer into Safe Mode. If you are not aware how to do that, follow the instructions below. Also, they will provide you a list of alternative recovery methods you can use after completing the elimination.

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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 GenoCheats ransomware. 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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To remove GenoCheats virus, follow these steps:

Remove GenoCheats using Safe Mode with Networking

You can circumvent the virus system by booting your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. For that, follow the instructions below:

  • 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 GenoCheats

    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 GenoCheats removal.

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

Remove GenoCheats using System Restore

Another way to reboot your pc to Safe Mode with Networking:

  • 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 GenoCheats. 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 GenoCheats removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove GenoCheats 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 GenoCheats, you can use several methods to restore them:

Employ Data Recovery Pro to recover corrupted files

Feel free to use this professional tool to help you recover files with .encrypted extension.

Windows Previous Versions feature

If you are unable to access your files after ransomware attack, check whether System Restore function was enabled before the malware has entered your system. If so, follow the instructions below.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might help you

You have another alternative way to get back your data — make sure that the ransomware has not deleted Shadow Volume Copies from your system and use them to recover 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.

You can try HiddenTear decryptor

Since GenoCheats ransomware is based on Hidden Tear, you can try to use its decryptor here.

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

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References