ransomware / virus (Virus Removal Guide) virus Removal Guide

What is ransomware virus?

What do we know about virus:

If your computer works sluggish, if you cannot open your files, and if they have file extension added, it means that you have just become another victim of ransomware. In this article, we are going to describe ransomware, which is a new version of the .xtbl virus.

Ransomware is a disastrous computer infection. It is probably the biggest cyber security threat nowadays, and unfortunately, many computer users still do not know how to protect their computers from this virus. is yet another variant of ransomware, and it works the same way as any other ransom virus does. Firstly, it encrypts victim’s files, and later on, it asks to buy a decryption software. In other words, it asks to pay a ransom, or the data will stay encrypted forever. Sadly, there is NO other way to decrypt files affected by this virus, so it is extremely important to take precautions and secure your computer from ransomware viruses. ransomware replaces desktop picture

When this virus encrypts victim’s data, it adds extension to each file, then drops ransom notes and also changes the desktop wallpaper. While some ransomware viruses ask to download Tor browser and access a particular website to transfer the payment in Bitcoins, this ransomware commands the victim to get in touch with them and also send three encrypted files to them and wait for further instructions. It seems that the authors of malware are ready for negotiations, or that they just set the ransom price depending on how important these three files are. However, no one knows why do cyber criminals want to speak directly to victims, but one thing that we know for sure is that cyber criminals demand money in exchange for the decryption software. If your files were encrypted, do not panic and do not rush to pay cyber criminals. You must know that even if you pay them, they might not be willing to provide you with the decryption key. Therefore, we recommend you to remove from your computer (use an anti-malware software, for example, FortectIntego) and try to recover your files from a backup. distribution methods

Authors of this virus use different distribution techniques to spread this virus. Usually, they send it directly to victims via email, but you can also download this virus from high-risk Internet sites after clicking on infected ads or links. If you do not want to end up with malware on your computer, avoid downloading software or updates from untrustworthy Internet sites, do not click on pushy advertisements, and most importantly, never open emails and files attached to them if you do not know the sender in person. Cyber criminals do their best trying to make victims open malicious attachments they send, so take in mind that they usually hide malware in .txt, .doc, .rar or .js files that look absolutely secure to open. We recommend you to secure your computer with an anti-malware software to prevent malware from entering the system. If your PC has already been affected, go to page 2 and see removal instructions.

How to remove

Even if you are an experienced computer user, we do not recommend you to deal with this virus manually. The safest method to remove ransomware is to install a good anti-malware software and let it do its job. The virus might try to stop you from downloading a security software, so be prepared. You can temporarily deactivate the virus to download and install your selected security program. If you do not know how to disable the virus, just follow these removal instructions down below. Unfortunately, it is impossible to decrypt files now, but you can try one of the following tools:

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 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 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 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 removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.


Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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