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Patcher ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware
12

Patcher virus attacks Mac users and leaves them without data recovery option

Patcher ransomware virus is newly discovered crypto-malware[1] that attacks Mac OS X users only. Mac users rarely have an opportunity to encounter viruses; however, earlier KillDisk and KeRanger viruses tried to cause damage to Apple machines’ users. This new file-encrypting virus is written in Swift language which is suitable for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS[2]; however, it’s poorly coded. Patcher virus spreads via Torrent sites and gets inside the machine as the ZIP file[3]. The archive might contain two bogus programs Adobe Premiere Pro and Microsoft for Mac, also known as Patchers. The trick that developers promise that after installing these programs, users do not need to pay for the license. Therefore, you should know that these kind of offers are not legitimate and potentially dangerous. Furthermore, once a user downloads this bogus software package and launches installation process, the Patcher shows a transparent window which is supposed to be a warning sign that something is not right with the installation. The window has a Start button to crack software, and when users click it, he or she launches the ransomware. Patcher malware encrypts files in “Documents” and “Photos” directories; however, some other folders might be targeted as well. Before starting data encryption, ransomware generates a random 25-character string necessary for the encoding files. When data encryption is over, the virus tries to null the free space on the root partition by trying to execute /usr/bin/diskutil. However, this process fails. However, malware deletes original files and changes the time of the encrypted files to the 13 of January 2010.

Following data encryption, Patcher virus delivers a ransom note called README!.txt file. Cyber criminals demand victims to pay 0.25 Bitcoins within seven days. Once they receive the payment, they decrypt the files within 24 hours; however, if people want to get back their files faster, they should pay the ransom of 0.45 Bitcoins. However, after the attack, it’s better to concentrate on Patcher removal instead of giving your money to cyber criminals. No matter how much Bitcoins you are willing to transfer, there’s no way that hackers would decrypt your files[4]. This poorly written virus does not communicate with the Command & Control server, which is supposed to generate a specific decryption key that would restore encrypted files. The analysis of the virus revealed quite strange aspects of the ransom paying procedure. Different victims are supposed to find the same Bitcoin wallet address where they should transfer the ransom. Usually, ransomware provides unique Bitcoin wallets to each victim. Moreover, the hackers use the free email address (rihofoj@mailinator.com) from Mailinator inbox which does not require registration or authorisation. This public email allows seeing all received messages for everyone; however, at the moment of writing their inbox is empty. After ransomware attack, you should not hesitate and remove Patcher from the Mac using strong security tools such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus.

How can I protect my Mac from the ransomware?

Cyber criminals rarely launch attacks and try to hijack Mac OS X. However, it seems that the popularity and success of file-encrypting viruses inspire hackers to broaden the target field. As we mentioned before, Patcher ransomware spreads as a bogus Adobe Premiere Pro and Microsoft Office 2016 Patcher programs via Torrent. Therefore, if you want to protect your machine from the ransomware, you should avoid using Torrents and installing illegal software. There’s a possibility that virus spreads via more fake programs; hence, you should choose only safe sources for software downloads. Torrents and other file-sharing services are not safe and reliable. What is more, we highly recommend making data backups[5] and updating them regularly.

How to remove Patcher from Mac?

Patcher removal requires using a reputable malware removal tool. We highly suggest installing Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. After installation, update the program and run a full system scan. Your chosen software should eliminate the virus from the Mac entirely. Nevertheless, the official decryptor hasn’t been released; you can try to restore encrypted files with R-Studio or Data Rescue software. We cannot assure that these programs will decrypt all your files; hopefully, the majority of them will be rescued. Lastly, if the virus for some reason attacked Windows OS, please follow our prepared instructions how to remove Patcher from the PC. The virus isn’t supposed to attack Windows devices; however, strange things might happen in ransomware world!

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What to do if failed?
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 Patcher ransomware virus. 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.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Patcher virus Removal Guide:

Remove Patcher using Safe Mode with Networking

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

If Patcher ransomware hijacked Windows OS, reboot your PC to the Safe Mode and install a reputable anti-malware program. Then, update the program and run a full system scan.

  • 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 Patcher

    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 Patcher removal.

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

Remove Patcher using System Restore

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

If Safe Mode method did not work, try System Restore method. Follow these steps and then try to repeat automatic virus removal.

  • 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 Patcher. 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 Patcher removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro may help to restore files encrypted by Patcher ransomware

If you do not have data backups, try Data Recovery Pro to restore at least some of your files.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature to restore files encrypted by Patcher virus

If the virus attacked Windows OS and System Restore function has been enabled on your PC before the attack, follow these steps to recover the files:

  • 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 may help to restore files encrypted by Patcher ransomware virus

If Patcher attacked your PC and did not delete Shadow Volume Copies, follow these step 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.

Patcher decryptor hasn’t been released yet

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References


  • Chloe

    Cant believe that Macs are not immune to ransomware.

  • mac user

    I dont feel safe anymore….

  • Andrew

    Its hard to believe. I think Ill stop using Torrents.