Panda virus Removal Guide
What is Panda ransomware virus?
Developers of Panda ransomware virus set the size of the ransom individually
Panda ransomware is a variant of Globe Imposter malware that appends .PANDA file extension to targeted files. Following data encryption, the malware creates a how_to_back_files.html file with data recovery instructions. First victims of ransomware are reported to be from Germany.
In the ransom note, crooks ask victims to send one encrypted file and unique ID number to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Authors of Panda virus will respond with a decrypted file and tell how much money people have to pay for data recovery. Once they receive a payment, victims are supposed to get a decryption software:
After we send you instruction how to pay for decrypt and after payment you will receive a decryptor and instructions We can decrypt one file in quality the evidence that we have the decoder.
However, security experts warn that this “guarantee” might be a hoax to make people pay the ransom. The purpose of Panda malware is the same as any other crypto-virus – to swindle the money from computer users. Thus, once criminals get what they want, they might leave users with nothing.
After ransomware attack, it’s recommended to focus keeping the system safe instead of trying to getting back your files. Thus, your primary task should be Panda removal. Elimination of file-encrypting virus won’t remove .PANDA extension, meaning files remain inaccessible. However, if you have backups, you should not worry about it.
Additionally, you can try third-party software to restore data. However, Panda ransomware is not a decryptable virus, so chances to recover all corrupted images, documents, and other files are not high. However, negotiating with criminals or keeping malware installed on the computer might cause you more problems because:
- criminals might blackmail you and threaten into paying more Bitcoins once the ransom is paid;
- malware might install additional harmful files or open the backdoor;
- the virus modifies Windows Registry and injects malicious code into legit system process;
- the computer becomes vulnerable, slow and unable to use normally because all new files will be encrypted as well;
- developers might install other malicious programs, including spyware and track sensitive information about users.
Therefore, infiltration of crypto-malware damages not only files but the system as well. For this reason, users are advised to remove Panda ransomware virus from the device immediately using reputable malware removal software, such as FortectIntego.
Panda ransomware is a version of Globe Imposter that makes files inaccessible.
Attackers spread malicious program via different channels
In order to reach as many potential victims as possible, criminals have to employ several distribution strategies. However, most of the time they remain the same: malspam, malvertising, bogus updates, and downloads, exploit kits.
During the past years, the most popular distribution method was malicious spam emails with infected attachments. It goes without saying that Panda virus is most likely enter the system from the malicious Word, PDF or ZIP file. Security experts suggest being vigilant and not trusting emails that appear in the inbox.
Additionally, keeping away from suspicious pop-ups, file-sharing domains or P2P networks, high-risk websites also helps to decrease the risk of the attack. Finally, keeping system updated, installing reputable antivirus and creating backups is also recommended.
Termination guide of the .PANDA virus
Ransomware-type cyber threats are complicated, and victims should not try to get rid of them manually. As we have mentioned in the beginning, malware consists of numerous harmful files and might affect the system. Therefore, it’s important to remove Panda entirely without causing more damage.
In order to achieve this goal and succeed in Panda removal, victims have to employ reputable anti-virus or anti-malware software, such as FortectIntego or Malwarebytes. If you cannot install, update or run the tool, you should follow the guide below that will help to enable automatic elimination.
Getting rid of Panda virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
In order to run automatic Panda ransomware removal, follow this guide:
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove Panda using System Restore
This method might also help to disable the virus and run automatic elimination.
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Panda. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Panda from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Unfortunately, data decryption is impossible if you do not have backups. But the methods below can help to restore at least some of the files.
If your files are encrypted by Panda, you can use several methods to restore them:
Try Data Recovery Pro to open files with .PANDA extension
Originally, the software is created for recovering data after system wreckage or accidental deletion of the files. However, users claim that it also helps 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 Panda ransomware;
- Restore them.
Copy individual files using Windows Previous Versions feature
This Windows feature allows traveling back in computer's time if System Restore has been enabled before ransomware attack.
- 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”.
Take advantage of ShadowExplorer
Sometimes ransomware fails to delete Shadow Volume Copies. In this case, ShadowExplorer can save your life.
- 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.
Panda ransomware decryptor is not available yet.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Panda and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, 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.