Leen virus Removal Guide
What is Leen ransomware?
Leen ransomware – a sophisticated virus which encrypts users' files and demands ransom for their release
Leen ransomware is a file encrypting virus that comes from Scarab family
Leen ransomware is a severe virus that is capable of encrypting all users' files and demanding a ransom to be paid in order to retrieve data. The malware is a part of Scarab family – a widely spread virus that keeps coming back. Thus, security researchers tend to call it Scarab-Leen ransomware. The crypto-virus uses a complicated encryption algorithm to make data unusable and append .leen extension to each of the file. As soon as that is complete, users can find a ransom note in every folder named INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESTORING FILES.TXT. Cybercrooks demand payment in Bitcoins and ask victims to contact them via email@example.com.
|Ransom note||INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESTORING FILES.TXT|
|Danger level||High. Can lead to permanent file destruction|
|Distribution||Spam emails, malicious sites, etc.|
|Elimination||Automatic only – download and install ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner|
Just as many other ransomware viruses, Leen spreads via contaminated documents attached to spam emails. As soon as the user clicks on the attachment, the payload gets distributed, and several changes to the system are made. First of all, the malware alters registry entries. Then, it scans the machine for files to encrypt, mainly documents, databases, pictures, video, audio and other personal data.
As soon as files are detected, malware adds .leen extension to each of the files, rendering them unusable. To make it even worse, the crypto-virus deletes shadow volume copies – an automatic backup system that is used by Windows. Nevertheless, the first action after that should not be the contact with cybercriminals, but a full Leen removal from the infected machine.
The ransomware then drops the ransom note into every infected folder, which consists of the following message:
IF YOU WANT TO GET ALL YOUR FILES BACK, PLEASE READ THIS
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC.
Now you should send us email with your personal identifier.
This email will be as confirmation you are ready to pay for decryption key.
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Contact us using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regardless of what .leen ransomware creators are promising, security experts suggest never to contact them, as they might never send the promised decryptor, even if the payment is processed. Additionally, crooks might send you malicious file that could inject more malware into your PC. It is true that a different key for every infected computer is needed, and only culprits possess it. Nevertheless, there are alternative methods to recover your files, such as using third-party software or backups.
However, if this kind of crypto-virus has hacked your PC – make sure to find a way to solve this problem without letting cybercriminals gain profit. What you need to do to remove Leen Ransomware is to download and install an anti-malware program, such as ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner.
Scarab-Leen ransomware is a dangerous infection that might lead to permanent destruction of personal files
Ransomware-type viruses usually are distributed through spam emails
Spam emails are the most prominent ransomware distribution method. Other ways how these crypto-viruses are spread:
- P2P networks (e.g. torrent sites), these sites usually present ransomware as safe and legitimate software;
- Software downloaded from dubious websites;
- Fake software updates;
- Trojans – they clear the way for ransomware to spread easily;
- Exploit kits can open the way for cybercriminals to inject malware – so, frequent updates are required.
To avoid system damage, we suggest you take precautions when browsing the internet. Please stay away from spam emails, as they can contain malicious links or attachments inside, which would lead to infection. Additionally, stay away from file-sharing or other questionable sites – repacked or cracked software is often injected with malicious code.
Also, download and keep your antivirus up-to-date as it is an effective tool to keep malware away.
Anti-malware tools will help you to remove Leen ransomware virus
To remove Scarab-Leen ransomware you need to use programs such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes. These programs can easily detect malware and make sure that all the traces of it are eliminated. That said, do not attempt manual Leen removal as it can damage your computer even more.
The virus might block your security software. In that case, you should reboot your PC and enter Safe Mode with Networking, as explained below. After that, you can continue with file recovery procedure.
Getting rid of Leen virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
To get rid of Leen virus, enter Safe Mode with Networking and perform full system scan:
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 Leen using System Restore
You can eliminate the virus using System Restore function:
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 Leen. 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 Leen from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Never pay ransom to cybercriminals, as they might ignore you and never send the decryptor. Instead, try alternative decryption methods listed below.
If your files are encrypted by Leen, you can use several methods to restore them:
Use Data Recovery Pro
This tool has proved to be useful for certain files encrypted by ransomware. Although, there is no guarantee it is going to work.
- 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 Leen ransomware;
- Restore them.
Try Windows Previous Versions
This method requires you to have System Restore enabled before the virus struck.
- 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”.
Recover your files using ShadowExplorer
Although Leen virus removes shadow volume copies, in some cases it might fail to do that. Thus, try ShadowExplorer to recover 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.
No decryptor is available yet
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Leen and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Access your website securely from any location
When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.
If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.
Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks
While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.
Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection.