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Leon ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Leon ransomware — the new version of Blind virus

The ransom note of Leon ransomware

Leon ransomware is a file-encrypting virus which corrupts the victim's data and demands to pay the ransom. Usually, it encrypts files using sophisticated algorithms and appends .leon extension. After encryption procedure, this malware creates How_Decrypt_Files.hta file, also known as the ransom note, and urges to contact for the decryption tool.

According to the analysts, Leon ransomware is the newest variant of Blind ransomware which has emerged on the cyberspace in October 2017. Note that there are multiple versions of this malicious program, such as Napoleon ransomware, Skeleton ransomware, etc. 

All variants of this file-encrypting virus use How_Decrypt_Files.hta file as the ransom note. However, the content might differ, and the message of the Leon virus states the following:

All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail 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.

Note that the victims might be provided with different e-mail since the developers tend to update their malicious programs regularly. Thus, people report Leon indicating and addresses as well. Despite that, you should neither contact the criminals nor pay the ransom.

Additionally, the ransomware allows to send up to 3 files for free Leon decryption. However, this is just a trick to gain victim's trust and convince him/her to pay the ransom. In reality, hackers tend to manipulate their power and demand more money after the transaction. 

Likewise, we recommend you remove Leon virus instead of following the criminals' rules. You can use a powerful anti-malware software to help you get rid of this malicious program. Our top choice would be Reimage since it will quickly deal with the ransomware infection.

However, do NOT try to complete Leon removal without any assistance if you are not keen to download additional software. You are advised to use the elimination instruction below which will guide you through the complicated procedure. Make sure that you follow the steps attentively to avoid any further damage.

Spam e-mails and P2P networks might lead to ransomware infiltration

Usually, the file-encrypting viruses are not infused into your system remotely — they are put in the cyberspace with a deceptive appearance to lure inexperienced computer users into downloading the malicious program manually. According to[1] team, the most common source of the ransomware is peer-to-peer networks[2].

Once people head to get a cracking software or other illegal downloads, they always risk of getting infected with malware. Criminals design their bogus applications to look legitimate by disguising under well-known brands and names like Adobe Flash Player, etc[3]. Likewise, naive users download the malicious program without even knowing it. 

Additionally, people can receive the ransomware right to their e-mail box. Hackers employ malspam campaigns and send thousands of letters holding the infected attachments worldwide. The e-mail can look like a valid invoice or another important document. Thus, people are tricked to open the malicious attachment and infiltrate ransomware.

Leon ransomware virus removal procedure

If you want to recover files with .leon extension, you should first get rid of Leon ransomware. Since this is a complicated process which requires specific IT skills, you are advised to either get a professional antivirus tool or employ an IT expert. However, the former option is far more convenient.

You can download Reimage, Malwarebytes, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security to remove Leon virus within several minutes. Just install the security software and let it scan your computer thoroughly. Shortly after it should detect the malicious program and eliminate it from your system. Note that it will also protect your PC from infections in the future.

Start Leon removal by rebooting your computer to Safe Mode. Computer users who are not experienced enough can use the guidelines below and learn how to terminate the ransomware-type program safely. However, it is important not to skip steps during the procedure.

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To remove Leon virus, follow these steps:

Remove Leon using Safe Mode with Networking

First, you need to disable the ransomware by rebooting your computer to 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 Leon

    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 Leon removal.

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

Remove Leon using System Restore

You can also boot your computer into Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

  • 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 Leon. 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 Leon removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Use Data Recovery Pro software to recover files with .leon extension.

Experts have developed a professional tool which can help you regain access to the corrupted files after ransomware attack.

  • 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 Leon ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature

If you are a Windows user, check whether System Restore function was enabled before ransomware infiltration. If so, head to the instructions below.

  • 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 can help you with encrypted data

You can take advantage of the Shadow Volume Copies stored on your computer. If they are in place, use Shadow Explorer and recover compromised files.

  • 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.

Currently, the official Leon decryptor is unavailable

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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