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MindLost ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Linas Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

Authors of the MindLost malware asks to pay the ransom using a credit card

Wallpaper by MindLost ransomware

MindLost is a file-encrypting virus that is also known under the name Paggalangrypt. The virus seems to target developers, but not a regular home computer users. However, the virus does not seem like a huge threat even though it appends .enc file extension to targeted data.

Researchers have found a few samples of MindLost ransomware. However, it seems that the virus is still in development because it does not operate properly. Though, it might be spread via malicious spam emails or other traditional distribution methods.

Once on the affected device, MindLost virus targets only a small amount of files. What is interesting, it does not aim at Microsoft Office files like the majority of crypto-viruses do. Malware encrypts files in the C:\\Users directory which have these extensions:

  • .c
  • .jpg
  • .mp3
  • .mp4
  • .pdf
  • .png
  • .py
  • .txt

During data encryption, MindLost ransomware appends .enc file extension. Furthermore, it downloads the image and sets it as computer’s background. The new wallpaper gives victim instructions how to get back access to the files.

Developers of MindLost ask to visit a payments website at http://mindlost.azurewebsites[.]net and pay $200 for data recovery. In the payment website, they will need to pay computer’s unique ID which is written in the ID.txt file dropped on the Desktop.

However, the payment website is quite unique and unusual. Typically, victims are asked to pay the ransom in Bitcoins.[1] However, this time criminals simplified the task and ask to make a transaction using credit or debit card. It means victims have to enter their credit card’s details into the payment website which is extremely dangerous.

Another interesting thing is that author of the MindLost ransomware also offers to buy an “insurance” for $50. It means that criminals will give you protection from the cyber attacks in the future. Indeed, the same strategy was used by Spora ransomware virus. However, security specialists do not think that such immunity exists.

Additionally, victims can contact criminals via MindLostHelp@gmail.com email address in order to get some help. Though, such activities are not recommended. If you get infected, you should remove MindLost virus immediately.

Considering paying the ransom and letting criminals know your credit card information, is not a good idea. Researchers assume that malware might be created for tricking users into revealing their credit card information[2] in order to use this data in the future. Hence, paying the ransom might not lead to one-time data loss, but countless unknown transactions might be made without your knowledge too.

Hence, after the attack, you should focus on MindLost removal in order to avoid money loss and clean your computer from malicious applications that disturb computer’s performance. We recommend Reimage for this task.

Possible ransomware distribution methods

The file-encrypting virus has not launched a massive distribution campaign. However, it might spread using traditional methods, such as:

  • malicious spam email attachments;
  • malvertising;
  • bogus software updates and downloads;
  • exploit kits.

Hence, the research team from viruset.no[3] reminds that installing only reputable antivirus is not enough to avoid a cyber attack. Above-mentioned methods usually allow bypassing antivirus detection. For this reason, you have to be careful with the content you click, open or download.

Delete MindLost virus from the system entirely

MindLost removal should be completed just like any other file-encrypting virus. It means that you need to scan the system with malware removal software. Automatic elimination allows removing all malicious components from the system safely.

If you cannot remove MindLost with Reimage, Malwarebytes Anti Malware or your chosen security software, you should check the guide below. Sometimes malware blocks security programs to protect itself. However, below you will find an explanation how to disable the virus.

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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 MindLost 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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Manual MindLost virus Removal Guide:

Remove MindLost using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove virus from the computer, follow these steps:

  • 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 MindLost

    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 MindLost removal.

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

Remove MindLost using System Restore

This method might help to disable the virus and run security software too:

  • 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 MindLost. 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 MindLost removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove MindLost from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If you need to recover files with .enc extension, you can use backups or try our suggested methods below.

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

Data Recovery Pro might be helpful after the MindLost ransomware attack

This tool can recover corrupted, deleted and some of the encrypted files. Thus, it might be useful if you do not have data backups.

Windows Previous versions feature allows recovering individual files

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, you can restore the most important files by following these steps:

  • 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 recover files from Shadow Volume Copies

If MindLost did not delete shadow copies, you can use this tool for data recovery:

  • 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.

MindLost decryptor is not available.

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

About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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