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Remove Igal ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Decryption Steps Included

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

Igal ransomware – a dangerous threat hat encodes your pictures, documents, and other files

Igal ransomwareIgal ransomware is a computer virus that might result in a complete personal file loss if ransom is not paid to the attackers on time

Igal ransomware is a data-locking computer infection that has the purpose of money extortion. It mostly spreads via software cracks and similar illegal executables designed for Windows operating systems. Once installed, the malware encrypts all personal files located on the system with the help of a sophisticated RSA[1] cipher, appending a .igal extension in the process.

While this process does not permanently corrupt data, it ultimately restricts access to it until a unique key – which is essentially a unique password – is applied. The particular virus is using an online ID method that ensures that each victim gets a uniquely formed key, so the file recovery becomes extremely difficult to achieve without the proper decryption tool.

Unfortunately, the only ones who have access to the required key are the cybercriminals behind the virus. In the ransom note _readme.txt, which is dropped as soon as data is locked, crooks explain that victims need to pay $980 or $490 worth of Bitcoins to retrieve a decryptor that can unlock files. They also leave contact details for negotiation purposes: helpmanager@mail.ch, restoremanager@airmail.cc.

While the attackers might be the only ones who can access the key you need, it might be possible to recover data without paying. Since .igal file virus belongs to the Djvu strain, alternative decryption tools developed by security experts are available, although they only word for a limited number of victims. There are also additional options to recover data without backups – we provide them below.

Name Igal ransomware 
Type Ransomware, data locking malware, cryptovirus
Malware family Djvu/STOP
Encryption method RSA – asymmetric encryption cipher
Distribution Files attached to emails or data coming from pirating sites can lead to such infiltration of ransomware
File extension .igal 
Ransom note _readme.txt is dropped into each of the affected folders and the desktop
Contact helpmanager@mail.ch or restoremanager@airmail.cc
File Recovery There is no guaranteed way to recover .igal files without backups. Other options include paying cybercriminals (not recommended, might also lose the paid money), using Emisoft's decryptor (works for limited number of victims) or using third-party recovery software (low success chance)
Malware removal The only secure way to delete the infection is by employing powerful anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner
System fix In some cases, ransomware or other threats might seriously damage Windows systems to the point that the OS needs to be reinstalled. To avoid that, we recommend trying to fix the virus damage instead with tools such as ReimageIntego

Ransomware is an especially lucrative illegal business that has been booming in recent years. While this malware variant was first spotted attacking victims in late December 2020, it is not the first version of the extensive Djvu family that has been terrorizing home users for several years now.

Igal virus, along with its previous variants, such as Omfl, Booa, or Igdm, is just a few of the 260+ that cybercriminals have released in the wild since 2017, making it one of the most prevalent ransomware strains that target regular computer users. Getting infected with one of these parasites can cause significant damage due to possible permanent data loss.

Before ransomware begins the encryption, it performs several changes within the Windows operating system for the process to be successful – here are a few examples:

  • Deletes Shadow Volume Copies to ensure that victims can't recover files using built-in Windows functions;
  • Alters Windows Registry to establish persistence;
  • Drops malicious files into %Temp%, %AppData%, %Roaming%, %Local% and other folders;
  • Injects URLs into Windows “hosts” file in order to prevent users from accessing cybersecurity-focused websites;
  • Inserts data-stealing modules that can exfoliate passwords, bitcoin wallets, credentials, etc.

Igal ransomware damage can be found in the system

Even though Igal ransomware virus is an encryption-based threat, infection is not only damaging those files with .jpg, .mp3, .doc, .docx, .png, and other formats. It mainly focuses on such data that is commonly used, but system files and functions get affected too. This is needed for persistence.

Do not forget that malware like this spreads around via malicious files that get attached to email messages directly or get downloaded in the package from torrent sites, pirating platforms, and so on. Various software license activators, program installation files can be laced with malicious code and lead to ransomware infection. This way the threat finds its way on the PC and Igal virus might run in the background for a while until the encryption process is initiated.

Keep in mind that some sections of a Windows system might be damaged during the infection process, affecting its capability to deliver a steady performance. In case you later suffer from lag, crashes, reboots, BSODs,[2], and other computer issues, we strongly recommend you trying the ReimageIntego repair tool instead of reinstalling the OS altogether. 

Igal ransomware virusIgal ransomware is a data-locking threat that stems from Djvu virus family

If you were unlucky enough to get infected with this virus, you should not panic, as it will not solve anything. Keep in mind that you are not the only one in this situation, and many users are looking for a Igal ransomware removal guide. In this article, we will explain how to take the correct steps in order to mitigate the infection correctly and how to try certain file recovery options that might help you to retrieve at least some of your locked data.

That being said, you will require a robust anti-malware tool in order to remove Igal ransomware and all of its modules correctly. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes are perfect for this job, so we highly recommend trying them. However, if you have no backups available you could restore your files from, you should first make a copy of the encrypted ones.

.Igal virus files are not infected, but recovering them might be difficult

The virus targets the most popular file types, such as .doc, .pdf, .zip, .jpg, and many others. Thus, as soon as the encryption is finished, users would see a file previously known as “picture.jpg” as “picture.jpg.igal.” Suchlike data will no longer be available to open or use. At this point, many users would probably look at the ransom note _readme.txt, which explains the following:

ATTENTION!

Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like pictures, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
https://we.tl/t-EtT4dX8q3X
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
helpmanager@mail.ch

Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
restoremanager@airmail.cc

Your personal ID:

According to the ransom note that is delivered as soon as malware infection is complete, only cybercriminals are capable of providing the Igal ransomware decryption tool – for a price. To mislead victims and make them believe that malware authors are trustworthy, they also offer test decryption for a single file from the affected system. Industry experts[3] advise avoiding trusting ransomware developers in general.

Igal virus detection rateMany security programs can stop Igal virus before it would manage to lock all files on the system

Several points are important to make here:

  1. Ransomware encrypted files are not damaged. Instead, they are locked behind a unique key that is tied to each of the user ID that is presented on the ransom note. As soon as victims pay the ransom, the attackers can use that ID to provide a unique key that they store on their systems.
  2. Access to files will not be reestablished as soon as the ransomware is eliminated with security software. It is simply impossible, as anti-malware is designed to contain and delete the infection.

These two points make ransomware infection a challenging task to tackle and put victims into a rather tough spot. Luckily, paying almost a thousand dollars is not the only way that .igal virus files can be recovered. However, it is important to keep in mind that alternative solutions might not work for everybody.

If you have no backups (which you should), the first thing you should do is to copy over the encrypted files onto a different medium, such as cloud or USB flash. After that, remove malware with anti-virus software, and only then attempt data recovery. There are several options available:

  • Emsisoft's decryption tool that might help victims later on – it only works for those whose files were locked with an offline ID, however;
  • Third-party recovery software might help your retrieve at least some of the locked files;
  • In case the virus failed to delete Shadow Copies, .igal file recovery should be very easy.

To find more details about each of these alternative methods, please check our recovery section located at the bottom of this post.

Get rid of the Igal ransomware virus 

While some ransomware strains self-delete as soon as they perform the file encryption process, others can remain on the system to encrypt the incoming files. When it comes to Djvu variants, many of them inject malicious modules into users' computers that allow data theft, so it is important to perform a full Igal ransomware removal with powerful anti-malware software – we recommend SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. After that, we also advise using ReimageIntego to ensure that all system files, Windows registry, and other damaged components are fixed automatically.

In some cases, you might struggle to remove Igal ransomware from your system easily, especially if malware was bundled with other infections (previous versions were seen being distributed with AZORult banking Trojan). In such a case, you can access Safe Mode and perform a full system scan from there – we explain how below.

Igal ransomware hosts fileYou should delete Windows "hosts" file after the elimination of Igal virus is complete

After you are sure that the malware is gone from your system, you should also visit the following location on your machine and delete the “hosts” file, so you can access various security-related websites WI though restrictions once again:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

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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 Igal virus, follow these steps:

Remove Igal using Safe Mode with Networking

You can access Safe Mode with networking in case the infection is impossible to delete in the normal mode:

  • 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 Igal

    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 Igal removal.

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

Remove Igal using System Restore

You can rely on System Restore to eliminate

  • 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 Igal. 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 Igal removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro might be able to help you

In some cases, data recovery software can find working copies of the encrypted .igal files within a hard drive.

  • 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 Igal ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions solution

This option can allow you to restore files one-by-one, so it might not be ideal for large data dumps. It would only work if you created a system restore point previously, and malware did not delete them during the infection routine.

  • 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 could be useful

In case ransomware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies from your system, you are in luck – ShadowExplorer should be capable of restoring all the lost 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.

Try Emsisoft's decryption tool

Emsisoft has been working on decryptors for various ransomware strains for a while now. Its decryptor for STOP/Djvu might help victims if their files were locked with an offline key. However, this key needs first to be retrieved by one of the victims and then shared with researchers, so an immediate solution might not be available. If the tool says that your files were encrypted with an online ID, there currently no other way to recover the locked data at present.

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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