Pico ransomware (Improved Guide) - Bonus: Decryption Steps

Pico virus Removal Guide

What is Pico ransomware?

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

Pico ransomwarePico 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 FortectIntego

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 FortectIntego 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.

Pico virusPico virus - ransomware which enters the system through phishing messages.

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 FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or 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 fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 Pico virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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

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.
  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.
  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.

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
    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):


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

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 FortectIntego 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 FortectIntego, 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
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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