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

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Kraken ransomware returns with its second version after one year break

Picture of Kraken ransomware note

Questions about Kraken ransomware virus

Kraken ransomware is file-encrypting malware that was detected in 2017. Recently, the second its version was detected which was dubbed Kraken 2.0 ransomware. The virus encrypts files using RSA[1] and AES[2] ciphers, and then appends the .kraken or file extensions to each damaged file. As a result, victims cannot access their personal files, such as photos, video or audio files as well as other documents that are extremely important to them. To recover the access, they are required to pay a ransom.

Name Kraken
Versions Kraken 2.0
Type ranosmware
Extensions used .kraken,
Ransom note  _HELP_YOUR_FILES.html
Elimination To get rid of this virus, use Reimage.

The attack of this ransomware might not seem so cruel if you have backups of your encrypted files because you can easily use them to restore your affected data. If you have no copies of the most important files that are encrypted, the situation becomes more complicated. Victims of this ransomware cannot access, open or use their data. However, they can find a new .html file on their desktop that includes information about data recovery.

The “_HELP_YOUR_FILES.html” file contains instructions on how to purchase Bitcoins[3] and transfer them to the individual Bitcoin wallet. It also requires contacting cyber criminals and waiting for the decryption program to be sent. However, in case of the attack, we do not recommend following crooks’ orders because you might be trapped. We highly recommend you to take care of Kraken ransomware removal as soon as it steps inside the computer.

This ransom note is unusual because it has dynamic fields that might be updated and modified. The crooks worked hard and provided lots of links where victims can buy Bitcoins and how the transaction has to be made. Virus demands 2 Bitcoins for data decryption; however, if victims do not rush to pay, the sum doubles. This document also includes victim’s ID number, and they have to send it after paying the ransom to the cyber criminals to one of these addresses:


Sooner or later victims should receive an email from the hackers which includes Kraken decryptor. Victims have to push “Decrypt” button and wait for the further instructions. However, clicking this button and using decryptor is extremely dangerous. You might get infected with another ransomware and asked to pay even more money. Therefore, remove Kraken ransomware from the computer with the help of Reimage and our prepared instructions.

Picture of Kraken ransomware note

Methods used for spreading this ransomware

The developers of ransomware viruses have been applying almost the same and well-known malware distribution strategy which is closely related to malicious spam emails[4], exploit kits, malware-laden ads, etc. If you are interested in technology or viruses, probably you have heard that the most popular ransomware distribution method is malicious email campaigns.

Cybercriminals send hundreds of thousands different email that includes an attached document. If a person opens the attachment, Kraken or other ransomware infiltrates the system. Nowadays it’s extremely important to pay attention to online safety[5] because the number of malware attacks is growing and hackers find new ways to spread the virus.To minimize the risk of the ransomware attack, it’s not only important to stay away from suspicious emails and their attachments but also avoid visiting shady websites, clicking or installing software/updates from questionable online ads, and using file-sharing sites.

The removal procedure of Kraken 

After ransomware attack, you should act smart and fast. You should not delay Kraken ransomware removal or consider paying the ransom. As we already told you, if you have already found yourself in this unpleasant situation, you should try to get yourself out of it. The only way to do is to remove malware from the computer.

While it resides on your PC, the system stays vulnerable and fragile, so other computer infections might take advantage of the situations and cause even more problems for you. To remove Kraken from the computer, you have to install and update reputable anti-malware program (e.g., Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware) and run a full system scan. However, ransomware might not let you do it simply, so you should follow our prepared instructions below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Kraken ransomware virus. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Kraken virus Removal Guide:

Remove Kraken using Safe Mode with Networking

To launch anti-spyware for ransomware removal, you need to follow these steps and reboot your PC to Safe Mode. They will help you prevent problems related to the functionality of this 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 Kraken

    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 Kraken removal.

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

Remove Kraken using System Restore

If Safe Mode with Networking method dis not help you block the virus, follow the steps given below. System Restore can help you disable this malware:

  • 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 Kraken. 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 Kraken removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Kraken from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by Kraken, you can use several methods to restore them:

Restore some files with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro might be the tool you need for data recovery. Keep in mind that this program was not created to restore files specifically encrypted by Kraken ransomware. However, it might be capable of restoring some of your files.

Restore individual files using Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore function has been enabled before virus attack, you should follow the steps below and restore some of the most important 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”.

Data recovery with ShadowExplorer

If malware hasn't deleted Shadow Volume Copies, you can try to restore files using ShadowExplorer tool.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

Kraken ransomware decrypter is available

You can try using this decrypter offered by one of security experts on Twitter. However, we must warn you that it was provided by the developer of this ransomware, what means that you are taking all the risk.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Kraken and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

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

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