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

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
12

Authors of Kristina malware does not reveal the size of the ransom

The picture of Kristina ransomware virus

Kristina virus is a crypto-malware that might be related to Crypt12 ransomware virus. The malicious program is launched from KristinaCS.exe which usually gets on the system when a user opens an infected email attachment. Then malware locks targeted files with [victim’s-id]-[developer’s-email].crypt12 file extension and changes desktop wallpaper.

The virus delivers a pop-up window “KristinaSC L1.0” that shows data encryption process. Victims can see how their files saved in various disk driver are being encoded. Security experts assume that encryption is performed manually. It means that criminals hack the computer and get remote access. Then they launch manual encryption in different drives themselves.

Kristina ransomware also changes affected computer’s wallpaper. The black image includes a red text saying:

Your files Have Been Crypted email to: hernansec@protonmail.ch for instructions

There’s no doubt that cybercriminals will ask to pay a particular sum of Bitcoins in exchange for decryption software. However, their offered deal might be a trap.[1] Crooks may not have working decryptor or might not let you use it. Once you transfer the money, they might disappear.

Therefore, after ransomware attack, it is recommended to get rid of the virus using reputable and powerful malware removal tool, such as Reimage. In order to remove Kristina virus properly, you may need to reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking. It helps to disable the virus and run security software.

Crypto-viruses are dangerous cyber threats. Thus, manual elimination is not recommended. Home computer users might accidentally delete important system files instead of malicious ones. Malware is capable of affecting legit system process and hide under the safe looking file names. Automatic Kristina removal is recommended in order to wipe out this cyber threat safely.

Methods used to spread file-encrypting virus

The malicious payload of the Kristina crypto system spreads via malicious spam emails. Usually, these emails look like sent from an official institution and inform about an important issue. However, opening attached Word, PDF or other safe looking document[2] might lead to the infiltration of malware.

For this reason, users advised to be careful with emails and always double-check the information about the sender, look up for grammar mistakes and think twice if they were supposed to receive such email.

Security experts from SenzaVirus[3] also warn that malware might be spread via:

  • malware-laden ads;
  • exploit kits;
  • fake or illegal software downloads;
  • bogus security updates presented in pop-ups.

Computer users should follow basic cybersecurity tips, such as avoid visiting suspicious websites and clicking ads, do not download illegal content, keep software and operating system up-to-date. Additionally, creating and updating backups is recommended as well.

Guidelines for Kristina ransomware removal

Kristina ransomware removal is performed using a professional anti-malware software. Our team recommends choosing one of these tools: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Before you install one of the suggested or your preferred program, you may need to reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking as shown below.

This step is needed because ransomware might prevent you from installing or running security software. Thus, you should disable malware first and then remove Kristina virus with anti-malware. Once the PC is virus-free, you can restore encrypted data from backups. Currently, it’s the only possible way to restore all of your files.

However, if you do not have backups, you should try alternative recovery methods presented below that might help to get back at least the most important documents or pictures.

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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 Kristina 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 Kristina virus Removal Guide:

Remove Kristina using Safe Mode with Networking

Rebooting PC to Safe Mode with Networking helps to disable the virus and run automatic elimination.

  • 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 Kristina

    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 Kristina removal.

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

Remove Kristina 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 Kristina. 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 Kristina removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Try Data Recovery Pro after the ransomware attack

Data Recovery Pro is not an official decryptor for Kristina ransomware, but it might help to restore some of the corrupted data.

Windows Previous Versions feature allows recovering the most important files

Follow these steps and copy versions of the files before ransomware hit your PC (note that this method works only if System Restore was enabled before the attack):

  • 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 might be helpful in recovery procedure

If malware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files, this tool might help to restore encrypted data without paying the ransom.

  • 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.

The official decrypter for Kristina ransomware virus is not available yet.

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References