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Remove ICE virus (Removal Instructions) - updated Jan 2021

removal by Julie Splinters - -   Also known as The Cyber Crimes Center virus, Ukash virus | Type: Ransomware

ICE virus – a type of malware  that prevents users from accessing their computers or phones

ICE Cyber Crimes Center virusICE Cyber Crimes Center virus is a type of malware that locks users' screens and demands a payment of $400 for Windows access

ICE virus, otherwise known as the ICE Cyber Crimes Center virus, is a computer infection that uses scare tactics in order to make victims pay the demanded sum of money to cybercriminals. There are a few variations of the scam, but most of the time, users are accused of such heinous crimes as view pornography involving children or copyright infringement, both of which could result in jail time. Since the ICE virus locks the screen and pretends to come from a federal law enforcement agency, some users are sent into panic mode immediately.

Users are asked to pay a “fine” of up to $400 via MoneyPak or MoneyGram systems, which allow threat actors to remain anonymous. When dealing with ICE Cyber Crimes Center or a similar scam,  users should remember that no law enforcement agencies would lock their PC screen, regardless if they actually are guilty of some type of crime (different procedures are followed in such case). ICE virus is specifically crafted to abuse human psychology and make significant sums of money in illegal ways.

Name ICE virus,  ICE Cyber Crimes Center virus
Type Trojan, malware, ransomware
Malware family FBI virus 
Infiltration Screenlockers can be spread in various different ways, including spam email attachments/hyperlinks, fake updates, scam messages, repacked installers, software cracks, etc. 
Symptoms The screen is locked and a long message (allegedly coming from law enforcement agency) is displayed; no keyboard shortcuts are operational, i.e., it is impossible to call up Task Manager or other Windows components 
Risks Financial loss if the ransom is paid, other malware infiltration
Ransom size $400, although the demands might vary from person to person
Removal To get rid of the virus, victims should access Safe Mode with Networking as explained below and then perform a full system scan with anti-malware, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
System fix Malware can sometimes irreversibly damage Windows files, preventing it from working normally again. To fix virus damage and remediate the PC, scan it with repair software ReimageIntego

While the malware might be called ransomware, it is more likely to be its predecessor, as it does not lock personal files, and the lock screen feature is removed as soon as ICE virus removal is performed. However, many users might not know how to access their computers once their screen becomes locked, although Safe Mode always bypasses the feature. 

The ICE Cyber Crime Center virus gains access to computers in various ways, including:

  • spam email attachments;
  • fake updates;
  • exploits and vulnerabilities;[1]
  • software cracks;
  • web injects, etc.

Note that malware not only targets Windows systems but can often be encountered on Android phones and tablets – a very typical FBI virus behavior. In most cases, users infect their portable devices when they decide to download apps from shady third-party sources.

Once inside the system, the Cyber Crime Center virus will change the way Windows operates, making it load the scam message each time the OS is booted. For that, malware alters the registry, boot sequence, and other vital files. In some cases, it might also prevent users from users System Restore function.

When it comes to the ICE Cyber Crime Center scam itself, users are hit with a lengthy text, which tries to accuse them of various crimes, such as the use of unlicensed software, illegal pornography, terrorism, cybercrimes, and much more. Threat actors also bothered to write down article numbers and punishments related to each of the alleged crimes and claim that the message is written by the Department of Homeland Security ICE Cyber Crime Center Unit.

During the infection routine, the ICE virus also hijacks a video camera if such is available – this is another trick to make users believe that the law authority is filming them. In other words, cybercriminals use all types of scare tactics to make victims deliver the alleged “fine” via shady ways. Please do not give in to  ICE Cyber Crime Center scam, as you will lose your money and feed criminals' illegal business.

ICE Cyber Crimes Center virus lockscreenICE Cyber Crime Center is a scam that seeks to scare users into believing that the Department of Homeland Security is involved and they are in for a huge fine due to fake violations

Unfortunately, the scare tactics sometimes work, and victims decide to pay criminals the sum of money they are asking for. However, this will not unlock their computers, as Ice virus removal tool is needed for that. There are several anti-malware solutions available that would recognize and remove Cyber Crimes Center virus from the system with no problems.

However, since the Task Manager or any other functions cannot be used due to malware functionality, the affected users should access Safe Mode with Networking as explained below and then perform a full system scan from there. In case your Windows does not operate appropriately even after malware termination, remove virus damage with the help of ReimageIntego and fix your computer.

Malware can be distributed in various ways – learn to protect your computer from it

While some threat actors pick a single way to distribute malware, other groups rely on multiple attack vectors to achieve maximum profits – the latter is more common for malware-as-a-service[2] scheme-operating criminals. However, this does not make any difference for regular users, as their computers get in trouble if they do not apply the correct measures to protect them from malware in the first place.

Security experts from[3] have listed the most common screen-locking malware distribution methods. Here they are, and also tips on how to avoid the infection:

  • Never open spam email attachments that ask you to run macro function (“Allow Content”);
  • Scan the attachment with anti-malware software/ upload to Virus Total if you are not sure;
  • Hover the mouse over a suspicious hyperlink on a suspicious website or an email – this will allow you to view the real URL you will be redirected to in the corner of the screen;
  • Employ reputable anti-malware software and keep it updated;
  • Update Windows and all other installed programs as soon as security patches come out; set the updates to be applied automatically within application settings;
  • Never download high-risk applications, such as software cracks or pirated program installers;
  • Use third-party tools like ad-blockers for safe web browsing.

Remove ICE virus from your machine

Even those who instantly detect deception might be baffled when it comes to ICE virus removal due to screen locking functionality. Therefore, the only way to bypass this feature is to access Safe Mode with Networking as explained below – Windows is loaded with an only a minimum number of drivers and other resources that are necessary for the boot to be successful. This temporarily disables malware functionality and removes the locks screen, although victims need to remove ICE Cyber Crimes Center virus in order to regain access to normal Windows functions once in normal mode again.

ICE virusICE virus termination might sometimes be difficult for users, as it locks the screen and prevents them from accessing normal Windows functions

To remove ICE virus, you should use a reputable anti-malware tool such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes – download it and place it into a bootable USB drive. Then, access Safe Mode as explained below, boot from the USB, and perform a full system scan. Note that users infected with ransomware viruses are allowed to access other accounts on their Windows systems. If one such account has administrator rights, you should be capable of launching the anti-malware program.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove ICE virus, follow these steps:

Remove ICE using Safe Mode with Networking

To bypass ICE virus functionality and remove the lock screen, access Safe Mode with Networking as explained 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 ICE

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download ReimageIntego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete ICE removal.

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

Remove ICE using System Restore

You can also attempt to use System Restore to get rid of the malware:

  • 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 ICE. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that ICE removal is performed successfully.

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

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. ethan says:
    April 10th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    My computer has recently got infected with the ice virus and i believe that it is different or updated because using the safe mode w/ networking tactic does not work all it does is pull up a blue screen and say that windows has to shut down to prevent damage. I dont know how to counter this what I be leave to be a new version of the virus if you could look for a solution that would work for me and all the other people that may have the same problem that would be grate. Thank you.

  2. Frank says:
    April 14th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Try doing a repair with the original system disk before going into Safe Mode next time. That should help you get to the next stage.

  3. rmh says:
    June 1st, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Newest ICE virus will not allow Safe Mode…. Automaticallyrestarts computer

  4. brent says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    None of thiese is working. Tried several other fixes also.

  5. Sleepyjohn says:
    June 13th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    So I removed the ICE VIRUS, and rebooted my computer to a BLACK SCREEN. Got into TASK MANAGER and ran UNHIDE to restore my desktop icons, then run a full MALWAREBYTES scan and a full NORTON360 scan. Both come back clean. Rebooted computer to a black screen. Have to run UNHIDE to restore desktop icons and background. Rebooted computer and came back to a BLACK SCREEN. Had to run UNHIDE to restore icons and background, again. Rebooted computer and came back to a BLACK SCREEN. Had to run UNHIDE to restore icons and background, again. Rebooted computer and came back to a BLACK SCREEN. Had to run UNHIDE to restore icons and background, again. Rebooted computer, and started this cycle all over again.Any ideas on how to fix this? Very frustrating!

  6. S J TECH says:
    November 6th, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    run “explorer.exe” instead of “unhide”

  7. buccs says:
    July 13th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Same issue – virus will not allow safe mode. Laptop shuts down. Now what? Thanks.

  8. charles the geek says:
    August 17th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    you should try going into safe mode with command prompt and do a system restore once command prompt comes up
    if is windows xp type 1. cd..
    cd windows
    cd system32
    cd restore
    if computer is any other windows that is not xp just type rstrui.exe and that should take you to the system restore options

  9. lg says:
    October 4th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    how do you remove ice from windows xp. I cannot start in any safe mode

  10. Tim says:
    November 10th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I have tried everythig that this site tells me to do. My computer WILL NOT allow me to start in safe mode. When I try to run recovery Im told it doesnt have enough memory. I have windows XP. Im going to try changing the hard drive. If this works I will repost.

  11. Pablo says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    This latest version is virtually impossible to remove from your computer. Everything listed in F8 listing is blocked so that you cant reboot your computer to run these rescue anti virus programs via CD/UBS. Safe mode, network mode, or any other mode. Theres no easy solution here. The people who are doing this should be hunted down like any other terrorist and aniliated.

  12. Pablo says:
    February 22nd, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    UPDATE: This is truely a computer killer.
    This latest version will block you from rebooting your computer in any mode. So you cant run any anti-virus program to rid your computer of it.
    But whats even more disturbing is it blocks you from installing a new hard drive/ Op system. When you run Windows XP with a new hard drive installed–it comes up Hard disk Error/ No HDD Theres no way to circumvent this virus, your computer is distroyed.. Ive never seen anything like this before. My laptop is 10 years old, so I was going to retire it soon, but all the stored data is gone forever. Bummer.

  13. pete says:
    March 31st, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    So basically my computer is junk if I have tried everything. What should or can I do with it

  14. ICE survivor says:
    May 15th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    use a live CD like Lubuntu, you can get to your files easily that way. thats what I did. Make it with your new computer and get your files off the old one.

  15. Tom says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Any update on what happened with your infected computed?

  16. Chris says:
    April 24th, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    the virus is hiding under the startup folder in program files (at least the shortcut to launch it). If you create a USB flashdrive boot to a linux based OS (you will have to change boot order in BIOS settings), u can browse your HDD to find the startup folder. Once there, you will see an oddly random file name. Write it down then delete it. Search the computer for that name and delete all instances of it. Reboot into windows and it should not start. Run REGEDIT and search for that odd file name again and remove any keys with that name associated. If you dont know what that means, you shouldnt be messing with it. Find a neighbor kid or something to help. 🙂

  17. Pablo says:
    May 27th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Update: Used a Kaspersky Rescue Disc to finally remove the virus. Didnt get on the first scan–ran the update…finally got it and deleted it. Restored computer to normal. However, the computer was infected back in Feburary. I let it set for 3 months before attempting this removal in May 2014. Recently got infected with same ICE virus on another laptop. Ran the KRD, and it couldnt dedect it- no threat found. Screen is stilled locked.

    Apparently, theres a several month lag before the KRD Updates are able to catch up with the latest version, as the creators of this virus are constantly changing the code to stay head of the anti-virus scans to avoid detection. Plan to wait 3 months and do the Update/Scan again to see if it can be detected. Porn sites are filled with this thing. Its gotta be affecting their traffic because people are choosing to stay off them. Its not worth the risk. One click on the wrong picture, BOOM, youre infected. Its like stepping on a IED….and your leg is gone.

  18. kenny says:
    June 8th, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    yeah mine done that also, i figured that it would allow into another account on the machine allowing me to use explorer to navigate to the restore program, which i right clicked and ran as administrator. most of these machines have at least 2 accounts……..

  19. Ben Weihrich says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I use HijackThis. Fast, simple, deep clean, run like brand new…

  20. Bud says:
    November 1st, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I got the ICE virus last night and was really shocked by there “Stick em Up” approach. This is about the worst virus Ive ever seen. My system was locked just like everyone else. I was able to find away to enter Safe mode and while I was there I used MSconfig to force “Boot” in safe mode. I could have tried a “Restore Point” but I believe since they are smart enough to lock down the entire system theyve also messed with Restore. I always have a 100% backup via Acronis Trueimage, I booted from that and did a full restore of my hard drive from one month ago. Im back up and running now and cleaning everthing I can find. I dont understand how this virus totally shut down my Virus protection software and Maleware protection,..but it did.

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