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Korea ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

Korea ransomware is one of many Dharma ransomware variants that came out in March 2019

Korea ransomware
Korea ransomware virus is the crypto malware that aims to use various tactics to spread onto machines and once there encrypts files on the computer using the AES algorithm.

Korea ransomware is a cryptovirus that uses AES encryption algorithm for locking victim's files and then marks encoded data by using .[omfg@420blaze.it].korea file extension. The ransomware typically affects documents, videos, images, archives or even files on external drives and clouds. Since this is one of many Dharma ransomware versions, a ransom message gets delivered in the form of HTML window right after the encryption process. Spotted, as usual, by Jakub Kroustek, Korea ransomware virus is not the only virus that became active in March. In the Twitter post, you can see that Dharma/Crysis virus developers release versions one after the other. This fact only makes the cryptovirus family more dangerous and persistent than before.[1]

Name Korea ransomware
Type Cryptovirus
Family Dharma ransomware
Versions before this one .ETH ransomware; Heets ransomware; AYE ransomware; etc.
File extension .[omfg@420blaze.it].korea
Encryption method AES
Distribution Spam email attachments
Removal tip Use Reimage for system cleaning and remove Korea ransomware

Korea ransomware belongs to a notorious family known since 2016 that is still exceptionally active till this day.[2] The particular feature of this family is the payment instructions delivered as a program window and no particular text file with the common ransom note.  

Many versions including Korea ransomware virus have a lengthy, specific file marker that gets added at the end of every encoded file. Once users' data gets changed and the original code altered, an extension with contact email address appears on each of them. 

Korea ransomware appears only slightly changed from previous versions as it is a common Dharma ransomware feature. When ransomware ends encryption process the following note appears on the screen automatically:

All your files have been encrypted! 
Security problem with your PC. If you want to restore your email address,
Write your ID:
e-mails:
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. Write to us. After decrypt all your files. 
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying for free decryption. Shouldn't be less than 1Mb (non archived) (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)  
How to get Bitcoins 
site. You can buy, buy 'bitcoins', and select the seller by the method of price. 
https://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins  
Bitcoins and beginners guide here:  
http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/  
Attention! 
Do not rename encrypted files. 
Do you want to make permanent data loss? 

Note that paying the ransom is not going to ensure that criminals will recover your encrypted files. You can only replace them using data backups or data recovery software. Experts[3] note that cybercriminals care about getting money and profiting from victims. 

Based on the AV engines detection rate,[4] Korea ransomware can be terminated with anti-malware tools. So get a reputable program and perform a full system scan. This way all associated files and program can get deleted entirely. Then, you only need to worry about your encoded data.

Make sure to remove Korea ransomware completely and run an additional system check. You can also use a different tool for that and guarantee that your PC is malware-free. Then you need to get your file backups and restore files or rely on software designed to restore data. 

We can recommend Reimage for Korea ransomware removal and a few other tools for file recovery that we list below the article. There is no need to be experienced PC user or have a degree in IT. You need to pay close attention and follow throughout the suggested steps that your anti-malware shows during the scan.

Malicious macros deliver the payload to the system directly

Spam email campaigns nowadays achieved another level of malicious and dangerous. Infected email attachments distribute malicious script of trojans or crypto malware including ransomware. The everyday user is not paying enough attention to those notifications so infection can spread further.

Unfortunately, file attachments pose as important financial information or documents regarding the delivery or shipment, banking reports or receipts. Because of this created feeling of legitimacy, people tend to open suspicious emails regardless, and ransomware can get on the machine.

Malicious macro viruses get triggered when the user enables the content of those file attachments and downloads the document on the computer. The only way to avoid this is by ignoring emails you are not expecting to get. And DO NOT DOWNLOAD any file attached to the email. 

Terminate Korea ransomware and eliminate virus damage by scanning the system with antivirus 

This is one of the most dangerous cyber threats because ransomware attacks involve altering system preferences and demanding money. To remove Korea ransomware from the machine alongside other intruders or infected files that virus may install without your permission, you need to clean the system fully. For that, you need to get professional tools like Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

An automatic Korea ransomware removal is the best option since there might be tons of different files this virus downloads. Also, ransomware-type threats are known for altering registry entries, disabling security programs and changing system settings.

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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 Korea virus, follow these steps:

Remove Korea using Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode with Networking as a helpful method to remove Korea ransomware:

  • 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 Korea

    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 Korea removal.

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

Remove Korea using System Restore

Try System Restore feature for the successful Korea ransomware elimination:

  • 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 Korea. 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 Korea removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro as an alternative for file backups

Try using Data Recovery Pro for encrypted or accidentally deleted files

  • 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 Korea ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature is a great way to restore encrypted or lost files

Unfortunately, this method works when System Restore gets enabled before the incident

  • 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 for Korea ransomware encrypted data? Yes

However, Shadow Volume Copies may get deleted by the ransomware itself. if so, ShadowExplorer is not useful in recovering your 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.

Decryption tool does not exist for the Korea ransomware virus

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References