Severity scale:  
  (98/100)

PGPSnippet ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

PGPSnippet — a ransomware that demands money after file encryption

PGPSnippet ransomware ransom note

PGPSnippet is a ransomware virus that infects the system without permission and encrypts users' files. This malware uses specific encryption algorithm and after those files are encrypted, virus places .decodeme666@tutanota.com file extension in order to make them useless. Immediately after that, ransom message in a form of !!!README_DECRYPT!!!.txt file is placed on a computer. However, the newest ransomware version was noticed in June 2018. This time virus uses “digiworldhack@tutanota.com” extension and asks for 1 Bitcoin ransom.

Summary
Name PGPSnippet
Type Ransomware
Danger level High
Appended file extension .decodeme666@tutanota.com; .digiworldhack@tutanota.com
Ransom note !!!README_DECRYPT!!!.txt
The size of the ransom 1BTC; $500
Contact email address  decodeme666@tutanota.com; digiworldhack@tutanota.com
Distribution Malicious spam emails
To uninstall PGPSnippet, install Reimage and run a full system scan

Authors of PGPSnippet virus in the ransom note state that you need to pay 500 in bitcoin so you can get decryption key and PGPSnipper removal instructions. They have stated that if you do not do as they say your files might be compromised for good and there is no way to decrypt them back.

The virus gives 72 hours to do the payment and lists websites where you can start your cryptocurrencies wallet. If you take longer, the size of the ransom will double. Additionally, PGPSnippet asks to send a specific file to developers soon after paying the ransom:

Send the file on the way “WIN + R >> %APPDATA&” file name hosts.txt to our e-mail after paymentat this email address: ecodeme666@tutanota.com

However, creators of PGPSnippet ransomware can be gone after you pay the ransom, so we do not recommend to proceed with the payments. The individual victims key might not be present to you even if you pay their asked amount.

Additionally, PGPSnippet seems to be decryptable ransomware. Therefore, you should proceed with virus elimination, and try third-party recovery tools. Also, if you have backups, you should not worry about making payments and having shady deals with malware developers.

We highly recommend using Reimage or another reputable malware elimination software to remove PGPSnippet from your computer. This type of cyber threats is sophisticated. So, they might affect legit system files and install a bunch of malicious components that are hard to get rid of manually.

To avoid possible damage, you need to opt for automatic malware elimination with a security program. However, the virus might prevent software installation or system scan. In this case, you should reboot the computer to Safe Mode with Networking. You can find the explanation below the article. Please, use it if PGPSnippet removal gets complicated.

The latest version of the virus demands 1 BTC for the decryptor

The newest version of PGPSnippet ransomware came to public in June 2018. This means that ransomware developers are developing improved codes and these viruses can get more and more dangerous for the victims. However, the main features of the virus remain the same. It continues spreading via malicious spam emails and gets into the system when a user is tricked into opening an obfuscated attachment. 

PGPSnippet virus
PGPSnippet ransomware - virus that uses sophisticated encryption algorithms

However, this variant uses a new file extension to make files useless on the affected machine. Currently, it adds .digiworldhack@tutanota.com suffix. Unfortunately, these changes cannot be recovered yet. Hence, if you do not have backups, your chances to get back data is very low. Meanwhile, authors of the ransomware offer a decryption solution in !!!README_DECRYPT!!!.txt file:

ATTENTION !

All your documents and other files ENCRYPTED ! ! !

TO RESTORE YOUR FILES YOU MUST TO PAY: 1 by Bitcoin to this address: [redacted]

You can open an wallet here:

[redacted]

Send the file on the way “WIN + R >> %APPDATA%” file name hosts.tct to our email after paymentat this email address: digiworldhack@tutanota.com

We will confimr payment and and send to you decrypt key + instruction

Remember: you have a 72 hours and if you not paud, that price will up

ATTENTION : all your attempts to decrypt your PC without our software and key can lead to irreversible destruction of your files !

This version of malware increased the payment up to 1 Bitcoin which is ridiculously huge! Thus, you should not risk losing the money by contacting them via email and transferring the money. We highly recommend uninstalling PGPSnippet instead of dealing with cyber criminals. We can ensure that virus elimination won't cause more damage than following hackers' instructions.

Email attachments are the main ransomware distribution method

The major ransomware distribution method is spam emails. These letters typically include malicious attachments that are presented as invoices, statements or other important documents. Additionally, crooks often pretend to be representatives from well-known companies.

When you open an obfuscated attachment, you trigger the installation of malware payload. For instance, PGPSnippet downloads SETT.EXE file and immediately executes it on the affected machine. Within a short period of time, all files become encrypted.

However, you have to be careful with emails in order to avoid ransomware attack. Before opening the attached document, you should look up for grammar or spelling mistakes, and check the information about the sender. If there is any suspicions delete emails without opening anything and move on from the spam email box. 

Specialists from Bedynet.ru[1] also reports that such cyber threats might get into the system using other techniques, such as:

  • trojans that open up the “backdoor”[2] for ransomware;
  • fake program downloads;
  • ads that trick installing updates or browser extensions;
  • brute-force attacks.[3]

PGPSnippet ransomware
PGPSnippet is a malware that causes dangerous infection

Eliminate PGPSnippet from your computer as soon as possible

It is crucial to use professional programs like Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware for proper PGPSnippet removal. However, you might need to do some additional steps when cleaning your system. There is a decryption guide below.

Once you remove PGPSnippet, you can try to recover your files. If you have backups, you can plug in your external device with backups and transfer them. However, if you do not have them, you can try third-party tools presented below.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove PGPSnippet ransomware you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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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 PGPSnippet 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

To remove PGPSnippet virus, follow these steps:

Remove PGPSnippet using Safe Mode with Networking

You can remove PGPSnippet ransomware automatically after rebooting PC to 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 PGPSnippet

    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 PGPSnippet removal.

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

Remove PGPSnippet 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 PGPSnippet. 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 PGPSnippet removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro – an alternative tool to restore data

This program is useful when you need to recover corrupted or accidentally deleted files. So, it might help after ransomware attack too:

Windows Previous Versions feature – for the most important data

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, you can try copying 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”.

ShadowExplorer might help to recover files encrypted by PGPSnippet

If malware did not delete Shadow Volume Copies, the ShadowExplorer program might help you a lot:

  • 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.

PGPSnippet decryptor is not available yet

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

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References