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

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Koolova virus – ransomware which asks reading articles for file decryption

Koolova ransomware virus
Koolova ransomware is a virus which urges to read two articles for file decryption.

Questions about Koolova ransomware virus

Koolova virus is a strange ransomware[1] project that encrypts victims’ files with the .encrypted extension and asks to read two articles about online safety. It seems that users’ knowledge is the only thing the developers are interested in. Once the victim finishes reading the articles, he or she can decrypt the files for free. However, you should not mess up with hacker’s generosity. If you do not follow the orders, you will experience the data loss. It’s not a bluff; the virus can actually delete files. Koolova ransomware reminds of Hidden-Tear ransomware[2] – an educational project teaching computer users about file-encrypting viruses. After infiltration, malware encrypts files and delivers a ransom screen where the hacker presents himself as “nice Jigsaw” and claims to be the twin brother for Jigsaw ransomware.

Name Koolova
Category Ransomware
Related to Jigsaw ransomware
Danger level High. Encrypts valuable documents 
Extension .encrypted
Ransom It urges to read some articles rather than paying a price
Distribution Spam emails
Fix Install Reimage to fix the damage that was done by this virus

Malware researchers believe that this cyber threat is an in-development ransomware that cannot cause lots of damage yet but it might be updated to a dangerous virus. For this reason, we recommend do not delaying Koolova removal and get rid of it immediately. As soon as you decrypt your files, scan the computer with Reimage.

Differently from “normal” ransomware viruses, Koolova virus does not ask to pay the particular amount of money to decrypt the files. It only wants victims to read two articles about online security. In the message, the hacker claims that users should learn to be safe online, stop downloading files and programs from unsafe sources.

Well, this tip is useful, but we believe that users should be educated in other ways. However, when the user finishes reading the articles, the ransom screen displays the decryption button called “Decrypt My Files” or “Decripta I Miei File.” After that, the virus connects to its Command and Control servers[3] and generates the decryption key which is shown in the message box.

Then, the victim can use the key to decrypt his or her files. Therefore, if you got infected with this ransomware, you can easily get back access to your files, but you should not forget to remove Koolova from the PC as well. The malware might be updated soon and attack your computer one more time. The next time you might be asked to pay a huge sum of money and lose your files.

Meanwhile, Koolova ransomware might also cause data loss if you do not follow hacker’s orders. According to the hacker, lazy victims who don't enjoy reading and learning will have to deal with the unpleasant consequences – data loss. Indeed, malware is capable of deleting files. However, if you got scammed and your files were not decrypted, try our offered data restoring method which are provided below this text.

The ransom message looks like this:

Hello, I'm nice Jigsaw or more commonly known as Jigsaws twin.
Unfortunately all of your personal files (pictures, documents, etc…) have been encrypted by me, an evil computer virus know as 'Ransomeware'. Now now, not to worry I'm going to let you restore them but only if you agree to stop downloading unsafe applications off the internet. If you continue to do so may end up with a virus way worse than me! You might even end up meeting my infamous brother Jigsaw 🙁 While you're at it, you can also read the small article below by Google's security team on how to stay safe online. Oh yeah I almost forgot! In order for me to decrypt your files you must read the two articles below, nonce you have click the “Get My Decryption Key” button.
Then enter in your decryption key and click the “Decrypt My Files” button. Eventually all of your files will be decrypted 🙂 If the timer reaches zero then all of your personal files will be deleted because you were too lazy to read two articles. So User do you want to play a game?

Ransomware spreading techniques

According to IT specialists[4], the most popular ransomware distribution method is malicious spam emails[5]. Ransomware-related content usually comes as an attachment that is clipped to the dubious email message. Once the victim opens such attachment, the virus launches that same minute and starts its malicious activities.

Malware can also spread via malware-laden ads[6], fake downloads and updates, so users have to be careful and smart while browsing the Internet. We recommend staying away from suspicious emails and their attachments, avoid visiting questionable websites and do not download any software or updates from the shady places of the Internet.

Besides, you can strengthen your computer’s security with a strong antivirus program and keep it updated. It’s also important to keep all your programs updated because it reduces the risk of ransomware attack. However, make sure that your computer security software is always kept updated.

Eliminating Koolova ransomware virus

Koolova ransomware virus
Koolova ransomware is a computer virus which ads the .encrypted appendix to each locked file.

Even though this cyber threat allows decrypting files for free; however, you after you do it, you should not forget to remove Koolova virus from your comptuer system. It’s not the real ransomware, but you cannot be sure what other shady purposes the hacker might have. You might be infected with an updated version of this or other viruses.

Perform the Koolova removal with the help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. These professional tools are created to clean computers from various infections, so you should not encounter any problems related to the virus elimination. However, if the elimination process is not successful for some reason, please, follow our prepared instructions 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 Koolova virus, follow these steps:

Remove Koolova using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking to deactivate the virus:

  • 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 Koolova

    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 Koolova removal.

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

Remove Koolova using System Restore

Use System Restore to disable the ransomware:

  • 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 Koolova. 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 Koolova removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro

If your files got encrypted by Koolova ransomware virus, you should simply restore then by following hacker's instructions. However, if for some reason, not all your files have been decrypted, please try these data recovery methods.

This professional tool is created for locating and restoring files that have been deleted, lost, corrupted or encrypted. Follow the instructions on how to use it:

  • 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 Koolova ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature

Keep in mind that this data recovery is only available if System Restore function has been enabled earlier. If not, this method do not help you.

  • 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

If the virus hasn't deleted Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, you can use ShadowExplorer tool to restore your files:

  • 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.

No official decrypter has been discovered yet.

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

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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References