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Remove IMI ransomware (Free Instructions) - Decryption Methods Included

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

IMI ransomware is the cryptovirus that encrypts data and keeps files inaccessible until the ransom is paid

IMI ransomware virus

IMI ransomware – the virus that comes from a dangerous strain of crypto-extortion based malware. This Dharma ransomware version gets its name from the file appendix that appears at the end of each encoded file – .id-victims' ID.[imdecrypt@aol.com].IMI. Once the system is infiltrated, and photos, documents, other types of data get the marker, the ransom is demanded from victims. As typical for this ransomware family, the program window appears on the screen that contains a general message about ransomware encryption and further actions. However, cybercriminals responsible for the malware distribution lists, paying the ransom as the only solution for you. 

Sending Bitcoins or even contacting IMI ransomware virus developers via the imdecrypt@aol.com email provided on ransom note FILES ENCRYPTED.txt and other files posted on the Desktop is not safe. This is the family of malware that Jakub Kroustek[1] is researching for a while already. He is the one that reports about new versions, like IMI and Bitx that came out one after the other. The price for your file recovery can go high as a few thousand dollars for the alleged decryption key, so stay away from even thinking about such a solution.

Name IMI ransomware
Family  Dharma/CrySis virus 
File marker  .id.[imdecrypt@aol.com].IMI is the pattern of file appendix that appears at the end of each encrypted file with unique victims' ID. The extension indicates encrypted data from untouched files. However, common files get all encrypted, in most cases. Ransomware is not running the encryption in system folders only
Ransom note  FILES ENCRYPTED.txt – a file that contains contact details. The program window that gets opened is the one that provides the ransom-demanding message and instructions for Bitcoin purchasing. This window appears on the Desktop as Info.hta
Contact email  imdecrypt@aol.com
Distribution  Ransomware is mainly delivered via spam emails that contain malicious script-filled files[2] or direct payload droppers as attachments or hyperlinks
Elimination  You should remove IMI ransomware as soon as you can and rely on anti-malware tools that can detect malicious-behavior and delete dangerous programs from the machine fully
Repair  Since files in various places get affected by the threat, you need an additional system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or a similar PC tool. Software like this can find and possibly restore damaged data in system folders

IMI ransomware is the typical version of Dharma/ CrySis virus because particular features like ransom demanding message, program window with general instructions, and the appendix pattern involving ID, contact email are the same. The family is known for changing little things about each version and releasing threats into the wild at least once a month for almost four years now.

The encryption is a process that starts immediately after the initial IMI files virus infiltration and begins with checking the system for particular types of files that can be encoded. Photos, videos, audio files, and documents get changed and locked from the access, so ransomware creators have a reason for blackmail.

Once data gets encrypted, the ransom note appears on the screen. The program window is showing brief payment and cryptocurrency purchasing instructions, but the text file FILES ENCRYPTED.txt displays unique contact. The message from IMI ransomware creators reads the following:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email imdecrypt@aol.com or imdecrypt@aol.com

Even though the official decryption tool for the threat is not developed yet, you can store virus-related files and hope that such software is going to be released soon. Paying cannot give you any positive results,[3] so remove IMI ransomware instead and restore encrypted files using other methods. 

You should ignore any messages from these criminals and all the claims that paying is the only option to get your files back. IMI ransomware removal is a process that requires attention and professional anti-malware tools because threats like ransomware inject various files in different system places to ensure the persistence and damage the PC permanently.  IMI cryptovirusIMI ransomware - a virus that infiltrates the system silently and appears on the screen with the ransom demand when data gets permanently locked. There is nothing harmless about threats like IMI ransomware that focus on getting peoples' money by damaging their belongings. These malicious people don't care for your files and value of the data, devices, so there is no reason to contact them and hoping for mercy. If you don't want to pay the ransom, you shouldn't write or try to reach malicious actors.

When people write emails to criminals, they can send victims more malicious files and direct malware designed to steal information from the machine or damage the computer once and for all. When you encounter IMI ransomware and receive the ransom note, you should take immediate action and try to eliminate the threat as soon as possible. 

Experts[4] always talk about risks and danger behind the content that IMI ransomware can load in system folders and other places like Windows Registry. To fix such damage, you can run Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or a similar PC repair tool and check for anything possible affected or corrupted.

The more time you give for these people that managed to infect your machine, the more corrupted your device gets, and the more help it needs. When IMI ransomware is done with encryption, it goes through system functions, disables security features and applications, so you cannot easily remove the threat nor recover affected files.

Since IMI ransomware virus disables security functions, installs other malicious programs and changes system settings behind your back, you should run the machine in Safe Mode with Networking and then employ an anti-malware tool that can detect malicious behavior-based programs and files, clean the machine from malware.   IMI ransomware Dharma IMI ransomware - the file-locking malware that shows a program window named the same as contact email.

Cryptovirus infiltration methods and possible ways to avoid such infection

Cyber intruders all use deceptive techniques that help to trick people into installing the malicious script. Unfortunately, the more dangerous threats use silent methods that allow them to get on the machine and affect the system silently. Blackmail-based malware like this mainly relies on spam email campaigns that use names of common and popular companies, services to hide their own products, and malicious purposes of email notifications.

When the email is received and opened, it shows either a hyperlink and deceptive message or includes the common type of file attached. In most cases, such documents have malicious macros embedded on the file or hyperlinks trigger the download of a payload dropper automatically.

The best way to rely on is being suspicious. Anything that raises questions should be considered potentially dangerous and inspected further. Look out for grammar mistakes or typos on such emails or simply delete any message that you didn't expect to get. Clean the email box more often to avoid anything dangerous landing on the system. 

Ensure that IMI ransomware virus is terminated before any files recovery

You need to note that the IMI ransomware virus is the malicious program capable of damaging the machine significantly and quickly. This is a powerful virus that can achieve anything in a short time, even though the virus tends to delete itself from the system after the encryption.

IMI ransomware removal is crucial for the state of the device even though the core files are no longer in the machine. Any data associated with this intruder can trigger additional encryption processes or damage functions, third-party applications. Eliminate the ransomware as soon as you notice encrypted files.

When the victim reacts as soon as possible, it is easier to remove IMI ransomware because not much gets changed besides those encrypted files. You can download SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and run the full scan on the machine to terminate malicious processes completely. Then files can get recovered on the safe and malware-free computer.

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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 IMI virus, follow these steps:

Remove IMI using Safe Mode with Networking

Go through your system and remove IMI ransomware by rebooting the machine in 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 IMI

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

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

Remove IMI using System Restore

System Restore feature can help with malware and virus damage when you repair the machine in a previous state

  • 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 IMI. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that IMI removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro is the program capable of restoring encrypted files

You can recover files encrypted by IMI ransomware virus or data that got accidentally deleted

  • 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 IMI ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions is the feature designed to recover files

When System Restore is enabled, you can use Windows Previous Versions and get your files repaired

  • 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 is the feature making files accessible again

Shadow Volume Copies need to be untouched for this method to work properly, so make sure that IMI ransomware is not affecting those before you rely on ShadowExplorer

  • 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.

Decryption tool for IMI is not developed yet

IMI ransomware encoded files cannot be decrypted, but you should wait for the proper decryption software release or search for Dharma decryptor

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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