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Remove Montserrat ransomware (Recovery Instructions Included) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

Montserrat ransomware – dangerous malware that adds the .encrypted backup appendix to each locked component

Montserrat malware
Montserrat ransomware - dangerous malware that uses AES encryption to lock up all files and documents that are found on the computer system

Montserrat ransomware, also known as BaCkUp ransomware, is a newly-released cyber threat that uses both an appendix and file marker to sign encrypted files and documents. The main targets are English-speaking users that employ Windows machines for their computing work. The stealth infiltration begins with a spam message or software crack. After opening such content, Montserrat virus ends up on the machine and starts modifying registries. The malware also brings the Backup.exe executable to the system which allows the parasite to fulfill its module. This leads to the secret encryption of various files and all data ends up with the .encrypted_backup appendix and the .BaCkUp file marker. Afterward, the cyber threat provides the How to the restore data.html message where the crooks' demands are expressed. These people require to write them via montserrat501@protonmail.com or montserrat501@airmail.cc email addresses and offer to send a file that holds no larger of size than 10 MB to receive evidence that the decryption software truly exists.

Name Montserrat ransomware
Category Ransomware/malware
Danger level High. Locks files that can result in permanent data loss, can modify various system directories, and infiltrate other malicious strings such as trojans
Appendix/file marker Once all the files are encrypted by using the Advanced Encryption Standard, the components end up with the .encrypted_backup extension and the .BaCkUp file marker
Target Regarding the language in which the ransom note is written, the hackers are targetting people who speak English and live in English-speaking countries
Ransom note All the demands are provided in the How to the restore data.html ransom message
Emails The criminals provide montserrat501@protonmail.com or montserrat501@airmail.cc email addresses as a way to contact these people and receive further payment instructions
Distribution The most common distribution sources of ransomware infections include email spam messages and their infected attachments, software cracks, and malicious software updates
Removal You should opt for the removal process ASAP before the ransomware provides any more damage. For this purpose, employ reliable antimalware software
Fixing If you have discovered some system locations that have been touched by the ransomware or additional threats, you can try repairing your machine and its components with software such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

Montserrat ransomware is detected by 46 AV engines at the time of writing. According to VirusTotal file detection information,[1] some of the detection names include Trojan.GenericKD.42093054, Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom],  Trojan.Win32.Zudochka.dtd, Ransom.Montserrat, Trojan.Encoder.30337, Trojan.TR/FileCoder.ofeiy, and others.

Montserrat ransomware does not provide any particular ransom demands via the ransom message, however, the criminals are most likely to urge for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (the most popular one), Litecoin, Monero, or Ethereum as these types of transfers ensure the anonymity of the entire process. Take a peek how to the ransom note looks like:

Your data has been encrypted!
To restore it, contact us using the following e-mail:
montserrat501@protonmail.com
If you didn’t get a response in 24 hours, write to:
montserrat501@airmail.cc
You must include the following ID information in your message:
[Redacted] To prove that we are able to restore your files, you can attach a single encrypted file not larger than 10MB.
It will be decrypted and sent back to you.
Any modification of encrypted files will lead to irrecoverable data loss!

Montserrat ransomware uses an AES encryption cipher[2] to lock up all components that are found on the computer. The malware targets files such as databases, images, audio, video, excel sheets, word documents, powerpoints, and similar data. After the locking, both encryption and decryption keys are safely stored on remote servers.

Montserrat ransomware developers might try to harden the decryption process for you. They might have included a specific module into the ransomware that allows it to execute PowerShell commands and eliminate the Shadow Volume Copies of all encrypted files. This way the chances of decrypting data independently lessen.

Montserrat ransomware virus
Montserrat ransomware is a notorious cyber threat that locks files by adding an extension and filemarker

Furthermore, Montserrat ransomware might hold other commands and modify locations such as the Windows Registry and Task Manager for carrying out its activities. Sometimes, this type of malware ensures that the system will be scanned for encryptable files and documents once in a while, for example, half an hour.

Continuously, Montserrat ransomware will make sure that it is loaded every time when you boot your Windows computer system, it might end up disabling some antivirus software and modifying the Windows hosts file. The last activity is carried out to prevent you from visiting security-related websites where you might get valuable information on the virus's removal.

In addition, Montserrat ransomware can bring other malicious products to the system, this way you will have to different types of malware operating on your machine at once. The risk of system and software damage will definitely increase if your computer system receives such type of infection as a Trojan virus.

The only way to avoid such risk is to remove Montserrat ransomware from your Windows computer system by employing reliable software. However, if the ransomware virus has already managed to bring other threats into your machine, they will need to be eliminated too. If some damage was caused to your computer, try using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to repair it.

If your antimalware is somehow failing to detect the ransomware or you have run into difficulties while performing the  Montserrat ransomware removal process, you should boot your machine in Safe Mode with Networking or activate System Restore. We have provided some instructing steps on these two methods, take a look at the end of this article.

One more tip from our side would be not to pay the Montserrat ransomware cybercriminals as you can easily get scammed. These people might urge for a big price between $200 and $2000 in Bitcoin or another type of cryptocurrency that you will not receive back. Instead of risking in your money, go to the end of this page and find some alternative data recovery tips.

Montserrat ransomware

Ransomware often gets delivered via cracked software and email spam

Cybersecurity experts from LosVirus.es[3] claim that ransomware virus ends up on the system by using multiple deceptive techniques. However, the most commonly used infiltration methods are the following ones:

  • Email spam. When the malware gets delivered via phishing email messages and their clipped attachments/links included. The criminals pretend to be from reliable shipping organizations such as FedEx or from other well-known firms/institutions that are related to banking, healthcare, education.
  • Software cracks. A big variety of illegitimate products and services are distributed on peer-to-peer networks[4] such as The Pirate Bay, eMule, and BitTorrent. These websites have weak protection and crooks can easily misuse them for their malicious purposes.
  • Fake software updates. Some ransomware infections are spread via fake JavaScript, Adobe Flash Player, or other types of updates. The updating windows might pop up whenever visiting an unsecured source and start encouraging you to download a particular upgrade for your outdated software.

These are just the most popular techniques that are used for spreading ransomware but there, of course, are many more of them, for example, exploit kits, malvertising, malicious links, PUPs, etc. The best way to protect yourself is to take all security measures seriously. You should be careful with all the emails that you receive and always identify the sender.

If the email message comes with suspicious attachments, links, or a lot of grammar mistakes included, you should delete the message right away. Continuously, do not download software from unreliable sources such as p2p networks. Get all of your products from original developers and avoid installing malware via software cracks.

Continuously, do not download any unknown updates. If you have been randomly provided with an upgrade, you should check the app's official website and look for pending updates there. Last but not least, always have an active antivirus tool that will inform you if something potentially malicious is trying to invade your computer system.

The removal process of Montserrat ransomware

Montserrat ransomware removal is a process that should be completed with big care and requires a lot of effort. You should not try to eliminate the malware without using antimalware help. Manual elimination is not a possibility in this case and you might easily fail while trying to get rid of the cyber threat on your own.

Continuously, the automatical system software is more capable to remove Montserrat ransomware from all infected locations on the computer. The program will scan the entire machine and search all potentially affected directories. Afterward, the automatical program will be able to deal with the cyber threat safely and effectively.

When Montserrat ransomware is gone, it is time to search for system damage. You can employ software such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes and perform a full machine checkup process with these programs. When the scan results show which locations have been damaged, you can try fixing them by employing another tool such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Montserrat virus, follow these steps:

Remove Montserrat using Safe Mode with Networking

To disable malicious processes on your Windows computer system, you should boot your machine in Safe Mode with Networking. Apply this function by completing the following guidelines:

  • 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 Montserrat

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Montserrat removal.

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

Remove Montserrat using System Restore

To deactivate malware-laden activities on your machine, start the computer in System Restore. Turn this feature on by completing the following steps:

  • 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 Montserrat. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Montserrat removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro might help you with file restoring purposes.

Try this software if the ransomware virus has encrypted your data files and documents. Perform all steps as required to reach the best results possible.

  • 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 Montserrat ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try using Windows Previous Versions feature for data restoring tasks.

Try using this piece of software if you have enabled the System Restore function in the past, otherwise, you might not receive delighting results.

  • 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”.

Shadow Explorer might allow you to recover some individual files.

If the ransomware virus has erased or permanently damaged the Shadow Volume Copies of encrypted data, this software might not be that helpful as expected.

  • 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.

Currently, no official decryptor has been released for this cyber threat.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Montserrat and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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