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Karmen ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - -   Also known as Mordor ransomware | Type: Ransomware
12

Karmen ransomware is still active in summer 2017

Karmen

Karmen is a virus that is the base of Mordor ransomware, which was itself created using HiddenTear[1] source code[2]. When inside the system, it appends .grt file extensions to the encrypted data. For blocking the files stored on a target computer, it uses AES (an old name Rijndael)[3] encryption method.

After encrypting all files with target file extensions, Karmen triggers a window called Karmen Decrypter which provides two buttons – DE and ENG to help the victim find the language that he or she understands.

However, you should try HiddenTear decryptor to unlock your files if you found them locked by Karmen ransomware. Before that, make sure you remove this virus from your computer with all its files. 

The appearance of this ransomware proofs that the concept of educational ransomware is wrong from every point of view[4]. Such projects only allow amateur hackers use someone else’s code, make slight alterations to it and create a customized copy of an extortion tool. The Karmen Decrypter window provides such information:

Files encrypted

All files are encrypted! Please follow the mind. In order to get the key to decrypt send this amount to our wallet Bitcoin.
Decrypt files automatically.
Interference with the program – can leave you without files.

It is important to understand that this tool is harmful. Keep in mind that, no matter how promising the words of cyber criminals look, there is no guarantee that they will decrypt your files after receiving the money.[5] Besides, by paying them, you would simply fund their future ransomware projects and inspire them to improve and create even more ransomware viruses.

Our team recommends you to remove Karmen virus and its decryptor with Reimage software. We do not recommend using manual removal option because we believe that the entire ransomware removal process is too complicated and that no one except IT experts should try to delete such malicious programs manually. 

Karmen ransomware variants

The discussed virus is also available as a ransomware-as-a-service. Cyber security experts spotted it on the dark web forums – it seems that a Russian hacker who calls himself DevBitox offers this ransomware as an extortion tool. The ransomware was suggested as a fully functional ransom-demanding virus that encrypts files using the AES-256 algorithm. It didn't take long for customized versions to emerge:

3301 ransomware virus. The ransomware emerged on August 5th, 2017. It appends .3301 file extension to every file it encrypts on the target system. It is believed that the ransomware uses such file-marking technique to make them more recognizable to the victim and make one realize how many files were corrupted. Just like any other ransomware, the 3301 virus leaves a message with a ransom demand – DECRYPT_MY_FILES.html file. This file is saved on a desktop; however, copies of it can be found in almost every computer folder.

The ransomware drops ID.TXT file on the desktop and asks the victim to use the victim's ID that is stored in the file in order to log into personal payment website. This website is accessible via Tor browser only. It goes without saying that the virus demands a ransom paid in Bitcoins in exchange for data decryption tools, although it gives no guarantees regarding data decryption. For this reason, cybersecurity experts do not recommend paying a ransom to 3301 virus' authors. Instead, they suggest removing the virus ASAP.

Methods used to spread ransomware worldwide

Karmen ransomware spreads with the help of malicious email messages that can arrive to your Inbox in a form of a convincing letter from someone you do not know. Such emails can be composed to look very professional, for example, filled with logos of legitimate companies, such as Paypal or Amazon.

They might also arrive in a form of a resume from someone who wants to get a job in your company or an invoice. Such emails carry one or a few attachments – these can be Word documents, archives, or JavaScript files. We suggest you stay away from files sent by unknown individuals, and also do not open letters from known companies if you had no business with them lately.

If you are unsure about the email, look at the sender’s email address to check whether it looks legitimate. If you wish, you can enter it into any search engine and look for information about the sender. If you cannot find any results associated with the company that the sender claims to be working at, better do not open any files or links included in the email.

Finally, ransomware can sneak into your computer system with a help of exploit kits or malvertising attacks, but VirusActivity experts[6] do not believe that Karmen virus is distributed using these techniques yet.

Remove Karmen virus and recover corrupted files

At the moment, your operating system is in grave danger thanks to Karmen virus attack. If you want to secure it, we highly recommend you to remove Karmen ransomware using anti-malware tool. Once you do that, scroll down to see what data recovery options are out there. One of them might help you to recover files that are inaccessible right now (the ones with .grt file extensions). Before you run your anti-spyware or anti-malware software, reboot your PC using Karmen removal guidelines provided down below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Karmen ransomware virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Karmen virus Removal Guide:

Remove Karmen using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your PC according to guidelines presented below. Next, install a preferable anti-malware software and let it scan your computer system for you. Once the program delivers you a list of detected threats, choose the ones that you want to remove and confirm your choice.

  • 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 Karmen

    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 Karmen removal.

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

Remove Karmen using System Restore

  • 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 Karmen. 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 Karmen removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro help

There are various data recovery tools that have different functionalities, but our team relies on Data Recovery Pro only. This tool can help you to restore corrupted, deleted, or missing files.

HiddenTear Decryptor

You can try this tool by Avast to restore your files: HiddenTear Decryptor. You can find a guide on how to use it here.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Karmen and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References


  • bass21

    Karmen ransomware calls itself a decrypter. wow. nice.

  • Jani91

    Incredible! All my files were lost!

  • Zigmanth

    I managed to recover half of my files! Wonderful!

  • Jared

    This virus attacked my computer on 04.15. I do not understand how this virus works, but I want to remove it…