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Kovter ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - -   Also known as Kovter virus | Type: Ransomware

How dangerous is Kovter virus?

Kovter virus is a seriously dangerous cyber threat which belongs to ransomware [1] 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 [2]. 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 [3]. 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 Reimage. 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.

Kovter ransomware

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 [4] 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. [5] 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 Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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:

  1. Take another machine and use it to download Reimage or other reputable anti-malware program.
  2. Update the program and put into the USB drive or simple CD.
  3. In the meanwhile, reboot your infected machine to Safe Mode with command prompt and stick USB drive in it.
  4. 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 Reimage.

If these methods failed to help you, you should proceed to the following Kovter removal methods:

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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.

Note: Manual assistance required means that one or all of removers were unable to remove parasite without some manual intervention, please read manual removal instructions below.
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.

Kovter ransomware manual removal:

Kill processes:
[random].exe

Delete files:
[random].exe

To remove Kovter virus, follow these steps:

Remove Kovter using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 Kovter

    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 Kovter removal.

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

Remove Kovter using System Restore

  • 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 Kovter. 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 Kovter removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide 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 Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References

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