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KingOuroboros ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

KingOuroboros ransomware – a dangerous virus that holds your files hostage

KingOuroboros ransomware
KingOuroboros ransomware is a virus that does not display a ransom note in a text file
KingOuroboros is a crypto-virus that uses AES cipher to encrypt files and modifies their name by adding .king_ouroboros string. This ransomware-type[1] virus hails from CryptoWire family and, demands victims to pay $30, $50 or $80 in Bitcoins in order to retrieve access to locked data. However, it is still unknown if virus developers can decrypt modified files for the victim. We do NOT recommend sending the money for those who are hiding behind King Ouroboros ransomware because you can be scammed just like hundreds of other people.[2] If you can find its name next to original name of your files, you should remove the threat right away and then try recovering your files from backup. 

Name KingOuroboros
Type Ransomware
Ransom note Displayed in .exe file
Contact email 
ransom amount $30, $50 or $80 by Bitcoin
Extension king_ouroboros (a string)
Symptoms Locked, useless files. Blocked access to the system 
Danger level High. May lead to permanent data or money loss
Distribution Spam email attachments 
Elimination Reimage is a tool for virus removal

After the encryption is successfully done, ransomware places ransom message as a note text file. In this case, the virus displays “exe”[3] window with details on your ransomware attack and data encryption. Although there is no ransom note, the message displayed on this window has all the important details. Ransomware virus developers are cybercriminals and communication with them is very dangerous. So you should not contact them by the emails they suggested.

The price for the alleged decryption key is $30, $50 or $80 by Bitcoin. This amount increases after 72 hours. Usually, ransomware developers ask around 1-10 BTC or other cryptocurrencies, so this amount is not that huge. Still, we advise you to stay away from these people. 

KingOuroboros ransomware removal needs to be done as soon as you see this notification on your screen. Ransomware is spread without your knowledge so it may contain other additional tools or programs which works behind your back. This is not the case when you do a manual virus removal.

To remove KingOuroboros ransomware you should use something reliable like anti-malware tools. We can recommend Reimage and a few more below, but feel free to use other tools or programs you can trust. The professional program is required because only this option ensures you are cleaning your system properly.[4] researchers note that ransomware is dangerous so you need to eliminate this malware completely from your system and only then focus on file decryption. Even when the safe to use decryption tool is not available, we have a few suggestions for file recovery below. 

Remember if you plug in an external drive with backups to insecure PC, King Ouroboros ransomware encrypts all the remaining files and you lose your data for good. So think before you do anything.

KingOuroboros developers expressed their dissatisfaction about security sites calling them out for tricking people

As we already mentioned, we do not recommend contacting cybercriminals who are behind ransomware attacks. These people can not be trusted, as they screw innocent users over and illegally demand to pay money. It is a criminal activity and is punishable by law. Unfortunately, due to hackers being sophisticated, they are usually excellent at hiding their tracks, and catching them becomes a complicated task.

Authors of KingOuroboros ransomware surprised everybody with this post on Twitter, which was directed to malware researchers:

Greetings, We’d like to express ourselves concerning the “scam” accusations being made against us by multiple sites <…>. First of all, you should know all of these sites use templates when posting a new ransomware threat, therefore those “scam” accusations are already there, without them even trying to contact us to prove what they’re saying.

KingOuroboros on Twitter
KingOuroboros authors showed how displeased they are with security researchers calling them out on malicious deeds

It is shocking how KingOuroboros devs are offended by security experts calling them out on something that is, in fact, a criminal offense. No person should have to pay for something that is illegally inflicted, whether it is a ransom for an abducted individual or computer files. Bad actors added:

From the beginning, we’ve already helped loads of people solving any of their issues regarding the decryption of their files, as well as spending time to code a standalone decryption tool for those who have deleted the original one. We do also provide discounts to those who are able to prove any kind of financial problems they may have. 

And now we are presented with a statement, that they are actually very nice guys who help people. We are baffled, as this Twitter post makes us wonder if developers are actually that oblivious or are merely trying to make a joke. Regardless of the reason, do not contact criminals, as there is no guarantee you will get the decryption tool. 

Criminals tend to use big names to become more trustful 

The most common way for the ransomware spreading is spam email attachments with insecure additional pieces. But often people do not understand what differs malicious spam emails from regular commercial content. You need to pay attention to details: 

  • general, not personalized greeting at the beginning;
  • the big company name that you do not have any relation with;
  • letter content and address make no sense;
  • email contains little information in comparison with advertisement content.

Often these emails seem legitimate because they have Word or Exel file attachments. These come with macro viruses and spread ransomware the minute you download any of those. Be aware of this virus activity and delete spam emails without opening them. You should do that occasionally. 

KingOuroboros crypto-virus
KingOuroboro authors make sure that victims know what happened to their files by displaying several ransom notes, including desktop wallpaper

KingOuroboros ransomware removal is a must if you want to avoid further encryption of your files

To remove King Ouroboros ransomware from your computer, you should rely on certified anti-malware tools. This is important because using questionable provider can put you up to a high risk of getting additional infections. It might be the reason you got ransomware in the first place. 

Reimage, Malwarebytes and Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security are the ones we highly recommend. KingOuroboros ransomware removal needs to be done before you proceed with anything relating to file recovery. The insecure computer system can attract other malware and the vicious circle of infection after infection begins. You can avoid the repetition if you pay attention to your behavior online and have enough information about possible threats. 

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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

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To remove KingOuroboros virus, follow these steps:

Remove KingOuroboros using Safe Mode with Networking

First thing you can try when dealing with KingOuroboros ransomware is rebooting your system 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 KingOuroboros

    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 KingOuroboros removal.

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

Remove KingOuroboros using System Restore

System Restore feature is also helpful in this case:

  • 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 KingOuroboros. 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 KingOuroboros removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove KingOuroboros from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by KingOuroboros, you can use several methods to restore them:

First tool we can recommend for file restoring is Data Recovery Pro:

When ransomware encrypts your files or you accidentally delete them Data Recovery Pro can restore this data

  • 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 KingOuroboros ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature is a perfect tool for recovering individual files:

If before the attack System Restore feature was enabled you can recover important data using Windows Previous Versions feature

  • 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”.

You can use ShadowExplorer for the data recovery, just follow the steps:

If KingOuroboros ransomware left Shadow Volume Copies of your files you can try to recover them using this tool

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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 KingOuroboros ransomware is not available

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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