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Remove Kiratos ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Recovery Instructions Included

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Kiratos ransomware is file locking malware created by cybercriminals who seek to obtain $980 from the infected victims

Kiratos ransomwareKiratos ransomware is a cryptovirus that was first spotted in late April 2019. Belonging to the STOP/Djvu virus family, it uses AES and RSA-1024 encryption algorithms to encode all pictures, music, videos, databases, documents and other personal data located on the PC. Files that are modified in such way are marked with .kiratos appendix.

To free the files, users are asked to contact cybercriminals behind Kiratos ransomware via the email (, or or a Telegram account @datarestore. The latter was also used in all the other recent STOP variants, such as VerastoMoresa, and Norvas.

According to the ransom note _readme.txt, victims should pay $980 in Bitcoin for the decryption tool that is only accessible for the attackers and is stored on a remote server. While they are also offering a 50% discount if the payment is made within the first 72 hours, users are not recommended contacting the malicious actors and instead focus on Kiratos ransomware removal.

Name Kiratos ransomware
Type Cryptovirus[1]
Family STOP/Djvu
File marker .kiratos
Infection means Spam emails, brute-force attacks, exploit kits, hacked or cracked software, fake updates, malicious ads, etc.
Ransom size $980 or $490
Ransom note _readme.txt
Contact or Telegram @datarestore
Decryption There might be a chance of decoding data with STOPDecrypter [download link] or by using third-party recovery tools
Termination Use reputable security software to delete the virus
Recovery To fix damaged system files, scan your computer with ReimageIntego

It is true that Kiratos file virus is not decryptable currently, although some victims might try the STOPDecrypter: if the file locking process was performed when the malware failed to connect to its Command and Control[2] server, it is possible to decrypt data for free.

There are multiple different ways Kiratos ransomware can be installed on your device. For example, crooks can use brute-force attacks,[3] exploit kits, spam emails, fake updates, cracked software, and other distribution methods.

After the Kiratos file virus completes all the processes it is programmed to do, victims receive a message from hackers that states:

Don't worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, 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:
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:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Support Telegram account:

If you are considering paying due to the offered discount or because you think the threat actors can be trusted, you should think twice before doing so. Often hackers fail to deliver the promised decryption tool, even if the demanded sum in Bitcoin is transferred. Furthermore, the action will serve as an indication that you are susceptible to paying, so they might specifically target you in the future.

Therefore, do not trust Kiratos ransomware authors and instead focus on malware removal. You can also try alternative methods for that, including third-party recovery tools or Windows Previous Versions feature. Finally, experts[4] recommend scanning the device with ReimageIntego to recover from the infection completely, as some system files might have been affected by the ransomware.

Kiratos ransomware virusKiratos ransomware is the cryptovirus that makes people believe their files got permanently damaged and the only solution is to pay $980.  

Once inside, the virus performs a variety of system changes before it starts the encryption process, during which it displays a fake Windows Update pop-up window. Due to that reason, users might struggle when trying to remove Kiratos ransomware. These system changes include:

  • altering Windows registry keys or adding new;
  • adding programs;
  • disabling functions;
  • installing malicious files;
  • damaging data.

Since Kiratos ransomware disables some AV engines, removing the threat manually becomes even more difficult. You can still choose the anti-malware program and scan the machine to get rid of this virus completely. For this process, entering Safe Mode with Networking helps. This Windows feature usually solves the problem with disabled security functions or programs, and we explain how to do that below.

There is a huge issue with such malware like cryptovirus – encrypted data. However, any data recovery process can lead to permanently damaged files if you are not performing Kiratos ransomware removal first. Clean the machine and check if the computer is finally virus-free with additional anti-malware program scan. Then employ data backups from external devices or cloud services, or any other file restoring method to get your important documents and photos back.  

Ransomware infiltration involves phishing messages and other malware

Keeping your machine malware-free is not so difficult if you pay more attention to processes happening on the system and files you may automatically install without even knowing. A payload dropper that initiates malicious macros and launches ransomware scripts can be included as a file attachment on the legitimate-looking email.

This way ransomware is being spread around the internet. Once the user opens that insecure email and downloads the attached file on the PC, malicious macros get triggered by clicking on the suggestion to enable content. This pop-up that asks to allow macros may appear on PDFs, word or excel documents and even be included as hyperlinks on the email itself.

You can easily avoid this malware infiltration and keep your device malware-free by keeping the antivirus program running on the system all the time. This way the tool can block possible intruders and other malicious material before it affects the performance of your machine. Also, delete emails that you weren't expecting to get before even opening them.

Make sure to clear the system from Kiratos ransomware virus with professional tools

Any similar crypto malware like Kiratos ransomware virus itself needs to be terminated as soon as possible because it makes alterations of the affected machine and can lead to permanently damaged device or even delete files if you don't pay in time. However, paying the demanded sum is not recommended or considered to be the best solution. 

Automatic Kiratos ransomware removal is more advisable by various cybersecurity experts because professional anti-malware tools like ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes can clean the system entirely and change additional alterations. Make sure to get the reputable tool from the official source when selecting different programs than we recommend.

Remove Kiratos ransomware fully from the machine with the help of anti-malware programs and remove additional programs or files from your system. Then you can try recovering affected files with file backups or data recovery software. 

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 Kiratos virus, follow these steps:

Remove Kiratos using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot the machine in Safe Mode with Networking and remove Kiratos ransomware completely from the machine

  • 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 Kiratos

    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 Kiratos removal.

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

Remove Kiratos using System Restore

System Restore feature also gives the advantage to recover the machine in a previous state before the infection

  • 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 Kiratos. 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 Kiratos removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery requires file backups. Data Recovery Pro can help when you don't have files stored on external devices or cloud services

Data Recovery Pro restores files after Kiratos ransomware encryption or when you delete data accidetally

  • 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 Kiratos ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature allows recovering the affected data

System Restore feature should be enabled before you use Windows Previous Versions for your 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”.

ShadowExplorer helps with files affected by Kiratos ransomware

However, when virus affects Shadow Volume copies of your files, ShadowExplorer cannot help to recover them

  • 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 is possible with the updated version of STOPDecrypter – download link

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

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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