Pickles ransomware / virus (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

Pickles virus Removal Guide

What is Pickles ransomware virus?

Pickles ransomware is not a joke: it encrypts your files

The hackers have made sure to preoccupy the virus researchers this weekend as well by launching Pickles virus. Despite the mocking title, the malware operates as a file-encrypting malware written in the Python programming language. It encodes the files and appends .encrypted file extension. Thanks to Jakub Knoustek, the malware has seen the daylight quite soon. In the meantime, there are not so many samples on the cyber space. However, thsi fact should not discourage you from paying attention and being vigilant. One of the distinguishable specifications of this malware is the programming language of the virus. It is written in a sophisticated high-level programming language[1]. On the other hand, it is easy to use and is readable. Beginners in programming are recommended to learn this language at first before using other alternative coding languages. This suggests that the author behind this virus may be new in the ransomware market. Nonetheless, do not underestimate this cyber infection. Focus on Pickles removal.

In contrast to the title, the author devised quite menacing crypto-malware. Though the virus market is filled with ransomware written in Java, there have been already discovered several variations of Python-based threats[2]: Crypren virus, PyL33T, and CryPY malware[3]. The latter presents a surprise within. It contains other crypto-malware. Speaking of Pickles malware, besides the coding language, it behaves quite in an ordinary way. After stepping foot on a targeted computer, it modifies registry keys and ceases the functions of a PC which might interfere with its operation. Once the encryption process comes to an end, it opens up READ_ME_TO_DECRYPT.txt message with further instructions. The basic information is provided. As usual, victims are supposed to purchase bitcoins and transfer to the indicated Bitcoin address. Pickles ransomware even contains a link to a website for users who are purchasing bitcoins for the first time[4]. No exact sum of the ransom is indicated. Furthermore, the email address – random_anonymous@gmail.com – is presented. Needless to say, that it is not recommended to pay the ransom but remove Pickles virus and all related files. Save time by launching a scan with ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes.

The screenshot of Pickles virusDespite the amusing title, Pickles virus operates as a full-fledged ransomware.

How does the malware get on my computer?

Pickles hijack might occur via spam messages. The executable file ransomware.exe might disguise in the form of a fake invoice or tax report. Do not rush opening the emails even if they are sent from seemingly official institutions. Look for the mismatches in the ransom content and the typos. In addition, you should beware of trojans and exploit kits. The malware might hop in to the system in the form of a trojan. It is detectable as Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT, Ransom_c.GNQ, W32.Clod6a1.Trojan.0115, Win64.Trojan.Agent.WMZO3A, Artemis!8102289C4BB4, and Ransom_Gen.R03AC0EB917[5]. Regarding the latter, you might not differentiate between a corrupted and a safe website. Therefore, you need to arm up not only with vigilance but with anti-virus and malware removal utilities as well.

Pickles elimination guide

It is important to save every minute when dealing with this crypto-malware. Remove Pickles virus with an anti-spyware tool. Luckily, this infection is already detectable by several different malware elimination programs. If the infection prevents you from launching it, use access recovery instructions suggested below. Afterward, you will be able to complete Pickles removal. Note that you will still need to decode your files after eliminating the threat. Below you will find additional methods which might assist in retrieving the locked files. On the final note, create extra backups in order to reclaim the files even after the assault of crypto-malware.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Pickles virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Enter Safe Mode with Networking to launch your malware removal utility and eliminate Pickles ransomware.

Important! →
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
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. 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.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
    Settings
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
    Reboot
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

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:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
    Startup

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:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. 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).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Downloads
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Pickles 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 Pickles. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Pickles removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro increases your chances of data recovery

This program comes in handy when recovering the files after an unexepected system crash. It might also work out decrypting the files in this case as well.

  • 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 Pickles ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions option

If System Restore has been previously enabled, you might take an advantage of this feature. However, this method takes time. 

  • 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”.

The usefulness of ShadowExplorer

It works on the basis of shadow volume copies. This virus does hardly deletes these copies. Likewise, you might succeed in recovering the files affected by Pickles crypto-malware.

  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Pickles and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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