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Katyusha ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Katyusha ransomware is a cryptovirus that demands 0.5 in BTC for recovering files marked with .katyusha appendix 

Katyusha ransomware virus
Katyusha ransomware is a cyber threat that focuses on money extortion and data-encryption using an army-grade algorithm.

Katyusha ransomware — a dangerous cryptovirus designed to encrypt users' files to make them useless and additionally extort their money. The ransom note _how_to_decrypt_you_files.txt, which is saved in every folder with the encrypted data, claims that payment to recover encrypted data should be sent within three days. However, the victim is offered to test the decryption service by sending two small files to cybercriminals. No matter how tempting this offer seems, you shouldn't contact these people because you can be scammed. Better get rid of the ransomware virus right after you find .katyusha file extensions appended to your images, videos, documents and similar data. Next, initiate files' recovery process by using their backups.

Name Katyusha ransomware
Type Cryptovirus
File extension .katyusha appendix
Ransom note _how_to_decrypt_you_files.txt
Ransom amount 0.5 Bitcoin
Contact email kts2018@protonmail.com 
Distribution Spam email attachments
Elimination Use Reimage for Katyusha ransomware removal

Katyusha files virus is not a product from hackers who are willing to reveal all the details about the initial attack. There is no information which encryption[1] algorithm used by this threat, but there is a high possibility that the ransomware is using AES or RSA encryption algorithms to block victim's access to the most used files.

After locking the target data, Katyusha ransomware creates the special identification key which should be later used for decryption. You can't guess this code or find it on your computer as in most of the cases it is saved on the C&C serves that belong to hackers. 

Additionally, Katyusha ransomware generates a ransom note that reads the following:

=====================================HOW TO DECRYPT YOU FILES====================================

All your documents, photos, databases and other important personal files were encrypted!!
Please send 0.5 bitcoins to my wallet address: 3ALmvAWLEothnMF5BjckAFaKB5S6zan9PK
If you paid, send the ID and IDKEY to my email: kts2018@protonmail.com
I will give you the key and tool
If there is no payment within three days
we will no longer support decryption
If you exceed the payment time, your data will be open to the public download
We support decrypting the test file.
Send two small than 2 MB files to the email address: kts2018@protonmail.com

Your ID:[redacted 8 numbers]
Your IDKEY:
================================================================================
[redacted 0x100 bytes in base64]

================================================================================

Payment site https://www.bithumb.com/
Payment site http://www.coinone.com/
Payment site https://www.gopax.co.kr/
Payment site http://www.localbitcoins.com/

Officail Mail:kts2018@protonmail.com

Paying the demanded ransom is not recommended, just like contacting people behind the threat. If you believe that the virus has already affected your Windows machine, focus on virus elimination first. The easiest way to recover files encrypted by Katyusha is using their backups. If you haven't been saving extra copies of your most important files, try one of the few methods for file recovery that are presented below. 

Remember that ransomware can also affect newly added files on the device. Encryption does not stop until you remove Katyusha ransomware from the system. Only then you can recover your data from the cloud or insert an external device with your extra copies.

In the future, keep your files save by keeping them in three different locations, e.g., your computer, an external USB drive, a backup service online.[2] This method ensures that you still have at least one copy of your data safe.

Various researchers[3] explain that the ransomware may alter Windows registry by adding new entries or modifying the existing registry entries. By doing so, hackers are willing to ensure that their malware is launched upon the PC's reboot. That's why we highly recommend avoiding manual Katyusha ransomware removal that requires fixing the computer's registry and similar locations. 

If you need a recommended tool to perform this procedure, use a reputable anti-malware software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. It will clean your device thoroughly before any data recovery attempt. You can use other programs of your choice, just make sure they are reputable and that you are using their latest versions having the full virus data base.

Spam email campaigns have been actively used to distribute viruses like this one

People tend to believe that spam emails are only scamming technique. However, the truth is that they have also been used to distribute serious malware. Spam email attachments often contain malicious executables that are used to launch ransomware payload right after getting into the system.

You cannot be sure that email that goes to your main box instead of spam is fully legitimate. The only way to know that is if you recognize the sender, you know the purpose of this email or you have waited to get this message. If there is no reason to get the email, there is a possibility it is infected.

You can avoid this unfortunate infiltration if you clean your email box more often and pay more attention to processes happening on the device. For example, you can scan the document or different file before downloading that on your computer directly. You also need to think twice when you see “order information” as the subject line of the email because hackers can misuse various company names.

Katyusha ransomware removal should be performed immediately after noticing changes in the files' names

There is no guarantee that virus developers will decrypt your files after you pay the ransom. Don't fall for their claims and contact them via the given email address kts2018@protonmail.com. The best option is to remove Katyusha ransomware from the system without postponing this procedure to prevent its second encryption in the future. Then, proceed with data recovery.

Any additional files or programs that came alongside Katyusha ransomware virus need to be eliminated as well. That's why we don't recommend deleting this malware manually. Besides, you need to get rid of malicious registry keys and also reset your PC system to a default to prevent ransomware's reappearance.

The best tool in Katyusha ransomware removal is anti-malware programs like Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. They will help you detect malware and other possible intruders. Run a full system scan and eliminates them all to improve the performance of your system. If you are blocked, enter the Safe Mode with Networking at first. Follow your suggestions below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Katyusha virus, follow these steps:

Remove Katyusha using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your device in Safe Mode with Networking before a scan and then launch your AV to delete Katyusha ransomware for good:

  • 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 Katyusha

    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 Katyusha removal.

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

Remove Katyusha using System Restore

System Restore feature can also be used in the virus elimination process:

  • 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 Katyusha. 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 Katyusha removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Since there is no reason to believe the decryption possibility, use Data Recovery Pro for file restoring

This program works perfectly when restoring accidentally deleted files or ransomware encrypted data. This is a great alternative for file backups if you do not have them

  • 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 Katyusha ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions is a sure helpful OS feature

You can use Windows Previous Versions for file recovery when dealing with Katyusha ransomware encrypted files

  • 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”.

Use ShadowExplorer if you do not have any backups

When restoring your files from a backup is not an option use ShadowExplorer that recover your data using Shadow Volume Copies

  • 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 is not developed yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Katyusha and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References