GPCode ransomware / virus (Improved Instructions) - Nov 2016 update
GPCode virus Removal Guide
What is GPCode ransomware virus?
Important details about GPCode ransomware virus
GPC virus is also known as .LOL! or .OMG! Ransomware. However, victims rarely laugh out loud after ransomware attack; however, they may ask help from a God. This ransomware virus infiltrates the system silently and starts encrypting important files located on the affected computer. It uses RSA1024 and AES ciphers and appends either .LOL! or .OMG! file extension to make records inaccessible. Then GPCode ransomware drops a long ransom note where victims can learn what have happened to their data and possibilities to restore their work files, holiday memories, music collection and other damaged files. There’s no surprise that creators of the ransomware demand a particular amount of money. However, we do not recommend paying the ransom, because you may end up with money loss. No one can guarantee that hackers will provide a necessary decryption tool or key. It’s better to remove GPCode from the system and recover lost files from data backups or using alternative data recovery methods.
Hello, boys and girls! Welcome to our high school “GPCODE”!
The following saying is the first line of the ransom note. The how to get data.txt file opens up in the Notepad automatically and explains about the attack. Hackers state that the victim has to read the ransom-demanding message only because he or she “has missed a lesson about safety” and now the computer is hacked. Cyber criminals explain that GPCode virus consists of two programs – cryptor.exe, which the victim already has on the system, and the decryptor.exe, which can unlock encoded data if victims have a necessary decryption tool. To get the right decryption tool, victims are asked to write to firstname.lastname@example.org and also attach the “how to get data.txt” file along with one or two encrypted files that weight less than 5 Mb. The reason why scammers ask for the ransom note is that it contains the victim’s ID. Criminals say that they are not scammers and that they don’t need victim’s files – they just want to “teach computer users a lesson.” What is more, criminals provide several links leading to security-related sites, saying that the victim can find “feedback from previous students” there. We believe that scammers are talking about online forums where victims share their experience about ransomware attacks. However, that is not the reason to pay scammers – they have no moral and might intentionally do not provide the decryption key even if you pay up. Therefore, we strongly recommend initiating GPCode removal immediately malware removal tools like RestoroIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and then create a data backup to experiment with various decryption tools.
How is it possible to get infected with ransomware?
An interesting fact is, in the majority of cases ransomware needs to be installed manually. Only in rare cases scammers manage to infect ad networks or use exploit kits to contaminate victim’s computer without user’s intervention. Most of the time, such viruses as GPCode ransomware, are distributed via malicious emails in a form of attachments that seem legitimate at first sight. For example, be careful and do not open suspicious emails that supposedly bring you documents that you were not supposed to get at all. Be it an invoice, speeding ticket or a resume, do not open it. In general, stay away from emails that come from unknown senders. Also, pay great attention to sender’s email address. Even if the sender claims he’s working at Amazon or other legitimate company, you should realize that email@example.com is not an appropriate email address for an official employee of some legitimate and well-known company and such email should be deleted. If your system has been contaminated with GPCode.ak virus, better remove it as soon as you can.
Guidelines for GPCode ransomware removal
To remove GPCode virus from the system, you have to use a strong and professional malware removal tools such as RestoroIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. Keep in mind that antivirus or anti-malware programs do not recover corrupted files. They are not designed for this task; however, it is crucial to remove malware before recovering lost files. If you have data backups, you will have no problems with data recovery. Plug in the backup device into the computer and then just simply import intact files to the computer by dragging and dropping them to a certain folder. Please do not plug the storage device into the compromised system before you complete GPCode removal because the virus can encrypt files on external devices connected to the computer with ease.
Getting rid of GPCode virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- 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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- 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 GPCode using System Restore
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of GPCode. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove GPCode from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Sadly, there’s no free data decryption tool that will restore files encrypted by GPCode virus. However, if you have data backups, you should not worry about data recovery. After virus elimination, you can retrieve your files from backups. However, if you do not have them, check additional data recovery options presented below.
If your files are encrypted by GPCode, you can use several methods to restore them:
Give Data Recovery Pro a try
It is a professional tool that helps to restore lost, corrupted or even encrypted files. Data Recovery Pro is capable of restoring a wide range of files. Maybe it won’t help you to restore all data, but hopefully, it will recover the most important files.
- 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 GPCode ransomware;
- Restore them.
Restore individual files using Windows Previous Versions feature
If you have enabled System Restore function before ransomware attack, you may try to restore INDIVIDUAL files using Windows Previous Versions feature. Keep in mind that using this method will not recover all your files, but individual ones only.
- 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”.
Recover your files using ShadowExplorer
If GPCode ransomware has not deleted Volume Shadow Copies, you can try to restore your files using ShadowExplorer. Follow the steps below:
- 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.
Other virus-fighting utilities
Sadly, there are no tools created particularly for this virus. However, we believe that you should try these virus-fighting utilities to restore your encrypted files.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from GPCode and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are
There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.
Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.
Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.