Neptune ransomware / virus (Simple Removal Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

Neptune virus Removal Guide

What is Neptune ransomware virus?

Neptune ransomware virus: is it a dangerous cyber threat?

Neptune ransomware virus is a recently spotted malware[1] that hasn't started active distribution campaign. It seems that the virus might be just a test version that examines possibilities to infect computer users and cause as much damage as possible[2]. File-encrypting viruses are known for their blackmailing techniques[3], and successful money making schemes[4]. Researchers are still investigating this brand new cyber threat and try to figure out whether it can harm computers or not. The virus is executed and activated from neptune ransomware.exe file. However, there’s an assumption that Neptune ransomware cannot actually encrypt files. It would be good news for the computer users who are afraid of losing their personal data. However, while researchers are trying to comprehend this parasite, many ransomware viruses are trying to get inside your computer and encrypt your files. For this reason, you should don’t wait until the virus strikes and be prepared for the worst. We highly recommend making data backups. They would be important and valuable if you managed to meet Neptune virus or other file-encrypting malware.

Ransomware viruses always demand to pay the ransom in order to get back encrypted files. However, Neptune removal should be your primary task if you managed to get infected with this pest. Just like any other ransomware virus, have to employ professional anti-malware program and run a full system scan. We suggest using ReimageIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner for this task. However, the virus might be stubborn and resistant. If you cannot install or run malware removal tool, please follow our prepared instructions below. They will help to disable and remove Neptune from the PC.

The image of Neptune ransomware virusNeptune ransomware virus hasn't started active distribution campaign yet.

How to avoid file-encrypting viruses?

Neptune malware hasn’t started spreading actively yet; though, it’s important to talk about possible distribution techniques. The majority of ransomware spread using the same methods. If you know about them and take some precautions[5], you shouldn’t encounter ransomware attack. Ransomware viruses often spread via malicious email attachments. These emails pretend to be sent from various official organizations and urge to open the attached document that is often named as invoice, statement, CV, and similarly; however, they are infected. Another popular distribution technique is malvertising that allows placing malicious ads on infected and legitimate websites. Thus, you cannot be sure whether you actually get a discount code, Neptune virus or other ransomware. What is more, file-encrypting viruses also spread as bogus software updates and downloads or using exploit kits. For this reason, it’s important to keep all your programs up-to-date and known the reliable sources for the downloads.

What should I do if I got infected with Neptune ransomware?

It doesn’t matter whether you have been infected with Neptune ransomware or any other cyber infection; the first thing you have to do is to remove it from the computer. Cyber threats, such as ransomware, not only encrypt files but also make the system vulnerable. While virus resides on the computer, other cyber threats might use security vulnerabilities to get inside your computer. As a result, you might experience even bigger damage. Not only you may lose your personal documents or pictures, but also login details, credit card or banking information. It goes without saying that you may lose your money or even identity. Thus, you have to remove Neptune from the computer using reputable malware removal tools, such as ReimageIntego, Malwarebytes or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. If you cannot install one of these programs, you need to reboot your computer to the Safe Mode and repeat the installation. The instructions below explain how to do it. This method allows disabling the virus and removing it automatically. If the virus managed to encrypt or lock your files, you might need data backups to recover them. Bear in mind that Neptune removal does not retrieve the files. However, if you do not have data backups, please try our suggested data recovery methods below.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Neptune virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

If Neptune ransomware virus blocks access to the security programs and prevents from removing it automatically, you need to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode, and try to eliminate virus again.

Important! →
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
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. 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.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

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:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

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:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. 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).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Neptune using System Restore

If the previous method did not help, follow the steps below. After rebooting your PC, you will be able to install your chosen malware removal tool.

  • 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 Neptune. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Neptune removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Restore files encrypted by Neptune ransomware virus with Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro helps to recover corrupted, deleted or encrypted files. Follow these to restore at least some of your files:

  • 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 Neptune ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by Neptune ransomware

If System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack, you can try to recover individual 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”.

Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Neptune virus

If ransomware failed to delete Volume Shadow Copies, you could use ShadowExplorer to restore 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.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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