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Gorgon ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Gorgon ransomware is malware that locks up files and demands 0.3 BTC ransom for the decryptor

Gorgon ransomware
Gorgon ransomware is a file locking virus that asks for 0.3 Bitcoin doe decryption key

Gorgon ransomware is a newly-discovered cyber threat that is created in order to obtain money by holding personal files of victims' hostage. Once the virus gets into the machine, it performs a series of system modifications and then locks up databases, documents, pictures, videos with the help of a strong encryption algorithm. Files are modified and the .[buy-decryptor@pm.me] extension added, preventing victims from opening or using any personal data. Gorgon ransomware also swaps the wallpaper and drops a ransom note #DECRYPT MY FILES#.HTML where hackers demand 0.3 Bitcoin for decryption key which is stored on a remote server. Bad actors also offer test decryption of three files that do not contain valuable information. According to experts, this cyber threat is “a twin brother” of FilesL0cker ransomware, although it is not a variant of the latter.[1]

Name Gorgon
Type Ransomware
Infiltration Spam emails, malicious websites, fake updates, etc.
File extension .[buy-decryptor@pm.me]
Ransom note #DECRYPT MY FILES#.HTML
Contact buy-decryptor@pm.me
Ransom size 0.3 BTC
Elimination Use security software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner[2]

It is not known how the Gorgon virus is distributed, but it is highly likely that developers use typical ransomware distribution methods, such as:

  • Exploit kits;
  • Fake updates;
  • Obfuscated executables;
  • Spam emails;
  • Malicious websites;
  • Etc.

Once inside the system, Gorgon ransomware modifies Windows registry, removes Shadow Volume copies and launches a variety of processes that help the virus run. Once the encryption procedure is finished, malware contacts C&C server in order to upload a ransom note on victim's computer which states:

All your important files are encrypted!
#What happened?
All your important files(database,documents,images,videos,music,etc.)have been encrypted!and only we can decrypt!
To decrypt your files, you need to buy Gorgon Decryptor from us,we are the only one who can decrypt the file for you
#Attention!
Trying to reinstall the system and decrypting the file with a third-party tool will result in file corruption,which means no one can decrypt your file(including us)!
If you still try to decrypt the file yourself,you do so at your own risk!
#Test decryption!
As a proof,you can email us 3 files to decrypt,and we will send you the decrypted files to prove that we can decrypt your files
#How to decrypt?
1.Buy 0.3 Bitcoin at https://localbitcoins.com
Email [buy-decryptor@pm.me] Your ID

As evident, crooks want to make victims believe that the best option they have is to pay the demanded ransom of 0.3 BTC, which currently stands for around $1,000. However, experts[3] advise staying away from cybercriminals and never contacting them. The best way to deal with the situation is to remove Gorgon ransomware with the help of Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or other powerful security software that detects the threat.[2]

After Gorgon ransomware removal is complete, you can attempt file recovery without paying criminals. If you have backups ready, there will be no problems with recovering all your data. Alternatively, you can make use of data recovery software that might be able to help you. We provide all the instructions below.

Gorgon ransomware virus
Gorgon is a ransomware-type virus that uses a sophisticated encryption algorithm to lock up files and appends .[buy-decryptor@pm.me] extension to each of the affected personal files

Stay away from malware-loaded phishing emails

Cybercriminals are sophisticated individuals in most cases, and they often rely on social engineering to spread their crypto-extortionists. One of the most popular techniques used to deliver ransomware viruses is spam emails.

Bad actors often employ bots to send out thousands of emails that either contains a malicious file that requires macro function enabling or a malicious hyperlink that directs users to a specific web page that downloads and executes the payload.

Therefore, it is vital to be attentive while opening emails from unknown sources, especially if they end up in the Spam box. Email providers do have built-in scanners that detect deception and mark dangerous messages. Nevertheless, some phishing emails might end up in your Inbox.

The basic procedures that should be practiced by everyone who values their personal data are these:

  • Up-to-date security software;
  • Patched operating system and applications; 
  • Enabled Firewall;
  • Avoidance of file-sharing and torrent sites;
  • Strong passwords used;
  • Ad-blocking application installed, etc.

Remove Gorgon ransomware with the help of security software and then proceed with file recovery

To remove Gorgon ransomware, you will have to employ a powerful security software. There are plenty to choose from, but make sure you use the one that can detect the malware. For that reason, we suggest you pick Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. Once installed, you should reboot the system and enter Safe Mode with Networking. This will prevent Gorgon virus from interfering with anti-malware software.

In the Safe Mode, perform a full system scan to complete Gorgon ransomware removal. Once the virus is gone, you can start file recovery procedure by either using backups or trying out third-party applications that specialize in file recovery. If that fails, you should wait till security researchers come up with the decryptor that would be able to decode all files for free.

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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 Gorgon virus, follow these steps:

Remove Gorgon using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove Gorgon ransomware effectively, reboot your machine and enter 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 Gorgon

    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 Gorgon removal.

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

Remove Gorgon using System Restore

You can use System Restore to recover from ransomware attack:

  • 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 Gorgon. 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 Gorgon removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Make use of Data Recovery Pro

This tool might be able to retrieve files that were locked with .[buy-decryptor@pm.me] file extension:

  • 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 Gorgon ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions Feature might recover some of your files

By using this method, you will be able to recover individual files. However, System Restore point is required for this feature to work.

  • 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 be the answer

In case you were lucky and Gorgon failed to eliminate Shadow Volume copies, this toll will help you to recover all data.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References