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Leen ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Ransomware

Leen ransomware – a sophisticated virus which encrypts users' files and demands ransom for their release

Leen ransomware
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[1] 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 mr.leen@protonmail.com.

SUMMARY
Name Leen
Type Ransomware
Family Scarab
Extension .leen
Contact mr.leen@protonmail.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 Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus

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.[2] 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: mr.leen@protonmail.com

Regardless of what .leen ransomware creators are promising, security experts[3] 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 Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus.

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 Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. 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.

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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 Leen ransomware. 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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To remove Leen virus, follow these steps:

Remove Leen using Safe Mode with Networking

To get rid of Leen virus, enter Safe Mode with Networking and perform full system scan:

  • 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 Leen

    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 Leen removal.

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

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
    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 Leen. 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 Leen removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide 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.

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 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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