Severity scale:  
  (95/100)

PedCont ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

PedCont – a virus that claims that you have entered Deep Web and performed other illegal activities

PedCont ransomware

PedCont is a file-encrypting virus that is designed to use AES cryptography to encode various files on the affected system. However, this ransomware does not append any specific file extension to the targeted data. Instead of that, it displays a pop-up window. Authors of malware accuse a victim of searching for child pornography and entering the Deep Web[1]. As a result, a computer was infected with ransomware and victim has to pay $50 in Bitcoins or Litecoins in 72 hours in order to get back files and avoid legal punishment.

Name PedCont
Type Ransomware
Ransom amount $ 50 or 0.0065 BTC
Danger level High. Locks access to computer, data. Can result in permanent data loss.
Distribution Spam email attachments, as video file or extensions 
Encryption AES 
Elimination   The best tool for PedCont removal is Reimage 

PedCont virus seems to be more of a scareware than a real ransomware because it does not properly encrypt data on the targeted computer. The main purpose of this cyber threat is to trick users that they are criminals who used internet for illegal activities, and now they have to make a payment in order to avoid prosecution.

Soon after the infiltration, PedCont ransomware displays a window on the screen with a threatening message where people can learn what had happened to their files:

!!! ATTENTION !!! – Please the read the this immediately: 
Dear Potential to criminal,  
– to you of Due Actively seeking out child pornography or similarly illegal content on the Deep the Web, you have Been infected directory with Our ransomware Called PedCont. 
– WHAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED:
All of your sensitive data, location and files – pictures, videos, documents, etc. – have been auto-collected and saved to an external server and will be stored & protected for the next 72 hours (counting from the first time you see this message). If we do not receive any cooperation from  your part once the time is up, international authorities WILL be contacted and sent detailed information about everything that we have scraped from your computer. 

The further message of the ransom note contains specific information about:

  • how much money people have to pay in order to avoid legal punishment;
  • how they can obtain Bitcoins or Litecoins necessary for the payment;
  • how to transfer the ransom;
  • where to transfer the payment.

Criminals use pure psychological terror in order to convince victims into paying the ransom. Paying $50 does not seem as painful as being arrested. However, people standing behind PedCont have nothing in common with legal authorities. This malicious program is created for swindling the money from inexperienced and naive computer users.

Of course, receiving such pop-up might be shocking experience at first. However, if you read attentively, you can find tons of grammar mistakes and lack of logic. Any legal organization does not demand to make payments in cryptocurrency to avoid legal punishment. Such payments would be illegal itself. Specialists from Dieviren.de[2] say that it's important to remain calm and be critical with received alerts on the computer's screen.

Therefore, if you see this scary message on your screen, you should think about anything else but PedCont removal. In order to get rid of malware, you should reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking (the guide is given below) and install a reputable anti-malware program. 

We recommend using Reimage for virus elimination. However, feel free to use your prefered tools, but do not forget to update it first! Only up-to-date software can remove PedCont from the PC entirely. Additionally, if a virus has compromised your files and you need to recover them, you can find some restoration methods at the end of the article.

Malware might arrive on the system after opening an email attachment

The information in the ransom note might include a little bit of truth. This cyber infection may have been a result of browsing through high-risk websites. Such sites might contain malware-laden ads or urge to download some updates in order to access specific content. However, it's not the main way how crypto-viruses spread.

In most cases, ransomware gets into machines when users open an obfuscated email attachment. Cyber criminals usually send thousands of different spam campaigns that trick people into opening fake invoices, bank statements or other important documents. 

We want to remind that emails from legitimate organizations do not arrive in spam inbox. Therefore, you should never open them and empty spam box immediately. However, if you accidentally opened it, you should stay away from all the links and attachments to avoid a cyber attack.

Eliminate PedCont from your PC immediately

To remove PedCont you need to powerful and professional anti-malware tools. It's the only way to get rid of all malicious components without causing damage to the system. We highly recommend using Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. However, if you want to use other software, make sure that you are downloading or updating it from the reliable sources. Do not obtain security tools from P2P networks[3], suspicious file-sharing sites or torrents because they might be not only ineffective but malicious too.

If you cannot install or run anti-malware software, you should try rebooting your device to Safe Mode with Networking or use System Restore method. Ransomware might be resistant. However, with our prepared PedCont removal guide, you should be able to get rid of it without any obstacles.

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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 PedCont 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.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing PedCont ransomware (2018-06-05)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing PedCont ransomware (2018-06-05)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing PedCont ransomware (2018-06-05)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing PedCont ransomware (2018-06-05)

To remove PedCont virus, follow these steps:

Remove PedCont using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove ransomware from your system, firstly, you can reboot computer using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 PedCont

    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 PedCont removal.

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

Remove PedCont using System Restore

After that you can use System Restore feature

  • 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 PedCont. 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 PedCont removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

For file restoring you can use Data Recovery Pro

This is specifically designed for helping people. This tool can recover encrypted or accidentally deleted files on your computer.

Windows Previous Versions feature can help in restoring PedCont virus encrypted files

Although this feature can be successful if System Restore was enabled before the attack, Windows Previous Versions feature can recover individual 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 can restore the files that you want to get back

If PedCont did not remove Shadow Volume Copies from your computer you can use this tool for data recovery after encryption

  • 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.

Decryption tool is not available

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from PedCont and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References