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Penalty Notice virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Penalty Notice virus threatens to fine and imprison the computer user for crimes one has never committed

Penalty Notice virus is malicious software, which is sometimes called as scareware, but generally, it belongs to ransomware category. There are numerous variants of this virus, including FBI virus, or even versions for mobile devices, for example, Police Locker that targets Android devices. All these viruses are created to scare the computer user, block his or hers device, and demand ransom in exchange for access to the device. Typically, Penalty Notice ransomware viruses accuse the victim of violating a certain law and say that the infringement can incur criminal liability such as an enormous fine or even imprisonment. However, such viruses offer a “compromise” – the victim pays a smaller fine, or a “bribe” within 24 hours, and this settles the case out of court. Clearly, the penal system doesn’t work this way, but scared users might believe in such scam. Nowadays, more and more victims fall for these scams and pay ransoms, which is disappointing. The majority of such viruses are simply screen locker and not crypto-trojans, so victims simply need to remove Penalty Notice virus to get rid of the annoying message on the screen. There are various names of this virus that malware analysts use to describe such viruses, for example, Ransoc virus or Notice of Imposition of Fine virus.

Questions about Penalty Notice virus

Penalty Notice virus launches a full-screen window that looks like a real message from legal authorities. This virus provides fake penalty details, asks the user to pay $100 until the specified date, and informs the victim about content that was ostensibly found on the system:

  1. Child sexual abuse materials – $200,000/40 years in prison;
  2. Materials that violate the intellectual property rights – $150,000 per instance;
  3. Suspicious activity – $100,000/10 years in jail.

To make the message even more convincing and scary, criminals insert a picture of a fake camera pointing at victim’s screen with a message that says “All activity of this PC is being recorded using video, audio, and other devices. Saved data will be used for identification and will be sent to government agencies.” Later on, the message gets even more suspicious. It says that the victim now must pay the penalty within 3 hours since the receipt of the alert. What is more, the virus promises to refund the money to the victim if one does not get caught for the same infringements again within 180 days. Clearly, it is a scam, and victims should not believe what this phony message says.

Penalty Notice virus accuses victim of cyber crimes

In November 2016, another version of this screen locker has emerged, and this one is dubbed Ransoc (Ransom+Social) ransomware. This virus is more sophisticated because it implements a little research on the compromised computer before actually displaying the penalty notice. The virus checks user’s social media accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, and also Torrent software if the victim has it on the computer. What is interesting is that this malware variant actually checks the computer system for files associated with child pornography and files downloaded via Torrent software. The virus customizes the Notice of Imposition of Fine screen based on what it finds and accuses the victim of infringements made. To enhance the effect, the virus inserts profile pictures taken from victim’s social media profiles, urges to pay a fine of $500 to settle the case out of court, and threatens to publish data collected from user’s computer, and send the case straight to the court. If the victim clicks a certain button to pay the ransom, he/she gets redirected to a page that asks to enter credit card details, personal information, and other sensitive data. Speaking of such viruses, it is quite unusual to ask the victim to pay the ransom with a credit card and not via Bitcoin payment system. Again, this ransomware is nothing but a program that covers your computer with a screen, and to remove Penalty Notice virus, you need to follow instructions provided at the end of this post. For Penalty Notice removal, we suggest using the Reimage software.

How did I get infected with this screen-locking ransomware?

Reportedly, this malware spreads via malware-laden ads that can be encountered on adult-oriented Internet pages. Victims can also accidentally install this virus along bogus software updates, or received via email. Apparently, this virus is more sophisticated than typical ransomware viruses; however, its distribution techniques hardly differ from standard malware delivery methods. To prevent its infiltration, set up a shield on your computer with anti-malware software, avoid clicking on too-good-to-be-true ads, also banners and pop-ups that emerge on pornographic content sites, and do not install software updates or browser plug-ins from websites that are unfamiliar to you.

Penalty Notice virus removal

If you are ready for Penalty Notice removal, firstly please carefully read instructions provided under this post. You need to start your PC in a Safe Mode with Networking to use the anti-malware tool. We strongly suggest using Reimage software, but you can use any other reputable anti-malware software that you want. Do not waste any time and remove Penalty Notice virus right now – open these instructions on your phone or on other computer and carefully follow them.

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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 Penalty Notice 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.
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Penalty Notice virus snapshot
Ransoc ransomware

To remove Penalty Notice virus, follow these steps:

Remove Penalty Notice using Safe Mode with Networking

First of all, reboot your computer using instructions provided below. Then install a malware remover or launch the one you already have and scan the system to detect malicious files related to this virus.

  • 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 Penalty Notice

    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 Penalty Notice removal.

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

Remove Penalty Notice using System Restore

  • 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 Penalty Notice. 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 Penalty Notice removal is performed successfully.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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