Kovter ransomware (Removal Guide) - Apr 2016 update
Kovter virus Removal Guide
What is Kovter ransomware?
How dangerous is Kovter virus?
Kovter virus is a seriously dangerous cyber threat which belongs to ransomware  category. It showed up in middle of May 2014 and, during this time, has been noticed in USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and other countries. Kovter ransomware was first set as a screenlocker which blocks the entire PC’s screen or the browser and shows a warning message telling the victim that he or she is under the radar of some governmental authority. The most known examples of screenlockers are Police virus, Ukash virus, FBI virus and other ransomware-type viruses. If you can’t remember any of them, you should know that in 2014 Kovter virus acted like that: it infiltrated computers, blocked them and displayed a huge warning message asking for its victim to pay the fine in exchange for his/hers illegal online activities. It is known that it relied on Winlocker component that was helping it to block the system. There was one new thing about this virus – it had an ability to check people’s browsing history and collect information about inappropriate/illegal sites visited by them.
Unfortunately, after several years ago, Kovter virus was updated . At the moment of writing, this ransomware is capable of infiltrating computer without adding its files to registry. Once its files mshta.exe, and dw20.exe are launched, it encrypts victim’s files and starts displaying a ransom note asking him or her to pay the ransom. Typically, the ransom, which is asked by Kovter, varies from 0.5 to 1.5 bitcoin . Also, just like the previous version of this virus, it displays such information as computer’s IP address, its location and other sensitive data about its affected PC system. Please, do NOT fall for Kovter and never pay the ransom as you can be left with nothing! If your computer is infected, you need to remove this ransomware from it without wasting your time. To remove Kovter ransomware from your computer, you can use RestoroIntego. If your files are encrypted, you should try restoring them with the help of Dara recovery steps that are provided in the end of this article.
How can Kovter infect my computer?
Kovter is mostly spread using the same malicious methods that have been used for distributing other ransomware viruses. The main method used for spreading it relies on spam. If the victim is tricked into opening an infected email attachment, his or hers computer is infected with Kovter Trojan, which is known as Kovter.C virus. In order to avoid viruses like this one, you should always make sure that your computer is protected by the latest anti-spyware version. In addition to that, you should start following safe browsing practices  what means avoiding illegal websites, ignoring ads and emails from unknown senders. If Kovter virus manages to enter the system, it initiates previously mentioned activities and starts displaying a warning message. If you are infected with the older version of this ransomware, you will see a fake warning from the governmental authority, which is usually selected according to victim’s location. If your PC’s desktop is blocked by United States Department, Department of Justice, Police Central e-crime or similar authority, you should ignore the massage. You should do the same if you see a ransom note claiming that your files are encrypted and that you have to pay a ransom to decrypt them. No matter that it looks like the only way to encrypt your files, you should not pay the ransom.  In this case, you should perform Kovter virus removal from your computer. For that you can use a guide, which is given on the next page of this post. Unfortunately, but security experts haven’t released Kovter removal tool yet.
How to remove Kovter ransomware?
If your PC was infected by Kovter and you want to remove it, you should waste no time and scan it with RestoroIntego, Malwarebytes or other reputable anti-spyware. If you can’t download or launch any of these programs, follow these steps given below and unlock your computer first. Then you should be capable of performing Kovter removal on your computer. If you are dealing with the first version of this ransomware (screenlocker), you can use flash drive method or try to deny the Flash to disable your ransomware. Then, you need to scan the system with anti-spyware program to remove Kovter virus from the system completely.
Flash drive method to help you with screenlocker:
- Take another machine and use it to download RestoroIntego or other reputable anti-malware program.
- Update the program and put into the USB drive or simple CD.
- In the meanwhile, reboot your infected machine to Safe Mode with command prompt and stick USB drive in it.
- Reboot computer infected with FBI System Failure virus once more and run a full system scan.
Denying Flash to disable Kovter ransomware
To disable ransomware and stop it from functioning, you need to go to Macromedia support and select “Deny”: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help09.html. After doing that, run a full system scan with RestoroIntego.
If these methods failed to help you, you should proceed to the following Kovter removal methods:
Getting rid of Kovter virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
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 Kovter using System Restore
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 Kovter. 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 Kovter from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
If you are dealing with the latest version of Kovter ransomware, you might have noticed that your files are encrypted and you can’t use them anymore. To unblock them, you can try one of these methods.
If your files are encrypted by Kovter, you can use several methods to restore them:
Install Data Recovery Pro to restore your encrypted files
Data Recovery Pro is a widely known software that can be used for recovering files that you detected unintentionally. It can also be used to recover encrypted files, so make sure you follow the steps given below:
- 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 Kovter ransomware;
- Restore them.
Using ShadowExplorer to decrypt encrypted data
If your files were encrypted by Kovter ransomware, you can try decrypting them with the help of the Shadow Explorer. However, it helps only if you are sure that the ransomware didn’t remove shadow volume copies of 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.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Kovter 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.
- ^ What is ransomware and how to remove it?. 2spyware. Detailed guides and security news.
- ^ Kovter becomes almost file-less, creates a new file type, and gets some new certificates. Microsoft TechNet.
- ^ Bitcoin currency. What is it? . Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- ^ PAUL CUCU. The Ultimate Guide to Secure your Online Browsing Today [Updated]. Heimdal Security. Security alerts and protection guides.
- ^ Ryan Francis. Victims who decided not to pay the ransom. CSO Online. News, analysis and research on security and risk management.