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GHOST ARMY ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

GHOST ARMY ransomware is a new strain of Crypt888 virus

The image of GHOST ARMY ransomware

GHOST ARMY virus is file-encrypting computer threat which aims to gain profits by blocking the access to the most valuable information on the victimized system. It spreads as a fake Hide My Ass VPN software and uses sophisticated algorithms for data encryption. Later, it appends Lock. extension to the encoded files and changes the wallpaper of the desktop to the ransom note which indicates teamghost616@gmail.com email for contact purposes. 

According to the research, this is another variant of another high-risk computer threat — Crypt888 ransomware. Note that there are numerous other versions of this file-encrypting virus, like MIRCOP, Aviso, Zuahahhah, etc. All of the mentioned computer hazards are dangerous and might damage your system permanently if you delay the termination procedure. Likewise, do not hesitate and complete Ghost Army removal as soon as possible.

Once the wallpaper is changed to the ransom note, GHOST ARMY'S victims see the following message:

YOU HAVE BEEN HACKED =)
ALL YOUR FILES HAS BEEN ENCRYPTED. FOR REPAIR CONTACT US:
teamghost616@gmail.com
IF YOU ARE NOT SURE, TURN OFF THE COMPUTER
GHOST ARMY
TEAM GHOST

Like most of the other ransomware-type viruses, this variant tries to convince people that they have no other option than relying on the criminals. They urge to contact them via email for further payment details to recover the encrypted information. However, note that this crypto-malware can be decrypted using a professional tool. You can find free GHOST ARMY decryptor at the end of this article. 

Therefore, do NOT pay the ransom. Although, to use the decryption software you must remove Ghost Army virus in the first place. You can either use the elimination guide which is attached below or employ a robust malware removal tool to help you with the procedure. We strongly recommend using Reimage since its design is easy to use for inexperienced computer users.

After you get rid of GHOST ARMY, you might try alternative recovery methods if you are unable to retrieve all compromised files. Each one of them is briefly described at the end of this article together with the instructions on how to use it. Additionally, you might try to get back your data from backups stored in the Cloud[1].

Ransomware infection spreads as a fake VPN software

Experts from SenzaVirus[2] warn that people should avoid visiting shady and unreliable websites. Usually, they are controlled by hackers who place obfuscate software downloaders to spread their malicious programs. This particular infection is lurking in the cyberspace as a fake VPN called Hide My Ass.

Additionally, be aware that most of the cyber threats are distributed in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks[3] as software cracks and updates. Likewise, you should not seek to download audio, video or program files illegally. It is important to always install applications only from official sites and verified developers.

You should also be cautious when you receive emails from unknown senders. Other high-risk computer infections are distributed via malicious letters as invoiced or other important documents. Never open suspicious email attachments even if the message seems to come from a well-known company.

Safely uninstall GHOST ARMY virus

As we have already mentioned, neither pay the ransom nor contact the criminals. They might use deceptive techniques to trick you into believing that you have no other choice. Note, that you can get rid of GHOST ARMY easily — pick a professional malware removal software and let it check your system thoroughly.

We suggest using Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes for GHOST ARMY removal. If you have a different security software, make sure that it is powerful enough to help you with this high-risk computer infection. If not, feel free to use one from the list above. They are tested and strongly recommended by our IT specialists.

After you remove GHOST ARMY, either use recovery methods provided below or head straight to the decryption tool. In case you struggle with ransomware elimination procedure, you can use guidelines attached at the end of this article. 

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove GHOST ARMY virus, follow these steps:

Remove GHOST ARMY using Safe Mode with Networking

Ransomware-type viruses are designed to protect themselves against removal. Likewise, you might be unable to install an antivirus tool. In this case, boot your system into Safe Mode with Networking to disable the ransomware:

  • 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 GHOST ARMY

    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 GHOST ARMY removal.

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

Remove GHOST ARMY using System Restore

If you are still unable to get a security software, try this method:

  • 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 GHOST ARMY. 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 GHOST ARMY removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro software helps to recover encrypted files

A vast of IT specialists highly suggest using this tool since it might be useful in the future as well — it not only retrieves data after ransomware attack but might also help to get back files if you have accidentally deleted them from your system.

  • 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 GHOST ARMY ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions Feature to get back individual files

This is a useful option if you to recover only several important documents. However, to be able to use this function you have to first check whether System Restore function was enabled before ransomware attack.

  • 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”.

Take advantage of ShadowExplorer

If Shadow Volume Copies are still on your system, you can immediately use this tool for file decryption.

  • 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.

An official GHOST ARMY decryptor by ESET

IT professionals from ESET have released a decryptor which works for both, Crypt888 and GHOST ARMY ransomware. You can download it from here.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from GHOST ARMY and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References