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Pico ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

Pico ransomware – a dangerous file locking threat which urges $100 in Bitcoin or Ethereum for the ransom

Pico ransomware
Pico ransomware - a file-encrypting threat which locks files with the .PICO appendix.

Pico ransomware is a virus which enters the computer system by using stealth technique and starts its activity by modifying the Windows Registry. It uses the .PICO extension to encrypt valuable files. Once documents are locked, a ransom message named README.txt appears and cybercrooks announce about the secret infiltration. Nevertheless, they urge victims' to write via de.picocode@gmail.com email address and transfer $100 in Bitcoin or Ethereum to receive a decryption tool for corrupted data.

Name Pico
Type Ransomware
Extension .PICO
Ransom message README.txt
Email address de.picocode@gmail.com
Ransom $100 in Bitcoin or Ethereum
Removal Get Reimage

Pico virus encrypts files such as:

  • Pictures;
  • Audios;
  • Videos;
  • Databases;
  • Powerpoints;
  • etc.

Such data is locked by using unique codes which are secretly hidden on remote servers. Both encryption and decryption keys are kept in reach only for the criminals themselves.

Pico ransomware as other viruses of its kind, demands cryptocurrency[1]. In this case, Bitcoin or Euthereum is urged. Such currency is a guarantee of safety that transfers will remain secret and untrackable. However, we recommend you overthinking everything twice before paying the demanded price as victims are very likely to get scammed.

According to malware researchers[2], ransomware-type viruses sometimes have abilities to weaken the security system on the infected computer. Due to that, other infections can easily find the way to your computer. If you want to avoid such possibility, you need to remove Pico virus from your computer as soon as you spot encrypted files with the .PICO extension. Use Reimage to eliminate the ransomware.

Talking about data decryption, you need to perform the Pico ransomware removal first. If you do not – data recovery will be useless as the virus will still be active on your computer. So, get rid of the threat first and then think about data restoring. For such purpose, you can look through a few methods that we offer at the bottom of this page.

Take some precautionary measures against ransomware

If you have spotted symptoms that are related to ransomware infections, there is a big possibility that you might have caught such infection due to a phishing message. Try to remember, have you recently opened a dubious-looking email? If the answer is yes, it might be the case, why your computer is affected. Various spam messages[3] might include damaging content as crooks use such tactic to spread the hazardous payload and infect victims' computers very easily.

Moreover, if you like visiting various sites such as P2P networks, it might also be the case, why your computer system is infected with ransomware. Such web pages often lack protection and contain harmful links that can launch the threat straightly to your computer just with one accidental click.

Taking about data safety, you need to store copies of important files on an external device. Purchase a USB drive and copy important data to it. There will be no risk that your files might get corrupted if you keep the USB unplugged from your PC.

Get rid of Pico ransomware

If you spot files with the .PICO appendix, you can be sure that you need to remove Pico virus as it is responsible for your corrupted data. We advise choosing a professional anti-malware tool. You can pick from our suggested Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. However, feel free to use any of your own if you are likely too.

After you perform the Pico ransomware removal, make sure to refresh your computer. Be careful in the future, take all precautionary measures possible to avoid various malware infections. More important, store valuable documents on external devices to protect your files from corruption.

Additionally, always have antivirus protection running on your computer. It will increase your PC safety level and protect the system from various threats which might try to sneak in the system unnoticed.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Pico virus, follow these steps:

Remove Pico using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking by following these instructions:

  • 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 Pico

    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 Pico removal.

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

Remove Pico using System Restore

Activate the System Restore function to disable the virus:

  • 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 Pico. 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 Pico removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Pico from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If you spot encrypted files and are wondering, how to get important data back, we have some solutions for you. Try the following methods for data recovery.

If your files are encrypted by Pico, you can use several methods to restore them:

Use Data Recovery Pro by following these steps:

This tool might help you get important files, that were deleted, blocked, or corrupted in other ways, back.

  • 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 Pico ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try Windows Previous Versions feature and get locked data back:

Sadly, this method might not work if you did not activate the System Restore feature before the cyber attack.

  • 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”.

Use Shadow Explorer for data recovery:

However, notice that this method will work only if the dangerous virus did not erase Shadow Copies of corrupted documents.

  • 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.

There is no official Pico ransomware decryptor yet.

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

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References