Kolobo ransomware / virus (Decryption Steps Included) - Removal Guide
Kolobo virus Removal Guide
What is Kolobo ransomware virus?
What is known about Kolobo ransomware virus?
Kolobo virus is a variant of Gingerbread ransomware which has been spotted in November 2016. This trojan mostly spreads via malicious email attachments. Thus, when victims click on the infected file attached to the email, the virus is dropped and executed in the system. As soon as it gets inside, it starts scanning the system looking for the targeted files. The virus aims at Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, various pictures, audio and video files, databases and other popular files. Kolobo ransomware encrypts files using XOR and RSA algorithms and appends a .firstname.lastname@example.org file extension to each targeted file. Since then users cannot open and use their records. However, it’s not the only way how the ransomware scares victims. It delivers a ransom, not on the lock screen. Usually, file-encrypting viruses drop a .html or .txt file with instructions how to pay the ransom. However, this one decided to cause more chaos. Indeed, lock screen might terrify many people because they lose access to their computers. Though, the ransom-demanding message there is unique and creative. Kolobo ransomware virus uses the same Russian ransom note delivered by the Gingerbread. You can read the translation below:
The Gingerbread pie left grandmother and grandfather and found out
that he doesn’t have money for an apartment! He tried to find a solution but couldn’t.
So, he needs your help! Help the Gingerbread and he will help you return your files,
send the following information including the identification: Mail: kolobocheg@ао1.com Identification: k1
For additional information – http://www.filesencoded.com’
No one can argue that developers of the ransomware take their highly profitable job seriously. However, they do not lack creativity as well. Indeed, the developers of the Kolobo virus has a vivid imagination and try to swindle the money from computer users in a creative way. However, we do not recommend contacting the hacker via provided email address. Obviously, the author of the virus offers a risky deal – to transfer some bitcoins in order to get back access to the computer and decrypt the files. No matter how generous you are and how much do you want to help people behind the virus, you should not follow their orders. Remove Kolobo from the computer as soon as it delivers its pity message. If you have data backups, you will be able to restore all your files after virus elimination. If you do not have them, you might be in trouble, but there’s a chance for you too. At the end of the article, you will find our prepared additional data recovery methods that might help to rescue at least the most important files. But first, you need to complete Kolobo removal with RestoroIntego or other reputable malware removal tool.
Kolobo ransomware virus is a variant of Gingerbread ransomware that encrypts files and locks computer's screen.
Ransomware distribution methods
As we already mentioned, Kolobo malware might get inside the computer with a help of malicious email attachment. However, there are other ways how the virus might reach computers. For instance, malware might hide under malicious ads that might be delivered even on legitimate websites. Thus, when browsing the web, you should be extremely careful and avoid clicking any suspicious content. What is more, this trojan might pretend to be a useful program or its update, and trick you into installing it. For this reason, you should set automatic software updates and install new programs from the reliable sources only. Lastly, we recommend strengthening computer’s security with antivirus or anti-malware program.
Terminate Kolobo ransomware virus
First of all, you need to install malware removal program. We recommend choosing from RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. We can assure that these tools can help to remove Kolobo from the computer entirely. We want to warn you that ransomware might be resistant and prevent you from installing this tools. If it happens, below you will find the instructions how to disable the virus. Once you do that, install your preferred security tool and update it. Then, run a full system scan and let the program perform Kolobo removal. We recommend running malware removal program several times to make sure that all malicious components are deleted.
Getting rid of Kolobo virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Often ransomware viruses do not let to install security tools. In order to do that, reboot your PC to the Safe Mode as shown below.
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.
Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking
Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes
Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
Step 4. Delete virus files
Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove Kolobo using System Restore
If the previous method hasn’t been effective, try System Restore option.
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Kolobo. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Kolobo 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 Kolobo, you can use several methods to restore them:
Try Data Recovery Pro to restore files encrypted by Kolobo ransomware
Follow the steps below to use Data Recovery Pro. This tool might restore some of the encrypted files automatically.
- 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 Kolobo ransomware;
- Restore them.
Use Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by Kolobo ransomware virus
If you have enabled System Restore function before Kolobo hijack, follow these steps to retrieve some of the 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 might help to restore files encrypted by Kolobo virus
If virus failed to delete Shadow Volume Copies, ShadowExplorer will help you to rescue some of the data.
- 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.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Kolobo and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.
- ^ XOR cipher. Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia.
- ^ Margaret Rouse. RSA algorithm (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman). SearchSecurity. Information security, news and tips.
- ^ Mark Logsdon. The digital ransom note - the scourge of Ransomware. WiredGov. Government & Public Sector News Alert Service.
- ^ Ransomware is the most profitable malware in history. Computer Business Review. Computer Business Review magazine.
- ^ Malvertising is growing fast – here’s how to avoid it. Calyptix blog. The blog about online securityCalyptix blog. The blog about online security.