PokemonGo ransomware / virus (Free Instructions)

PokemonGo virus Removal Guide

What is PokemonGo ransomware virus?

Cybercriminals release PokemonGo ransomware virus

It did not take long for cybercriminals to exploit the popularity of PokemonGo game and trick users into installing fake game versions, bonus apps, and other files that are supposedly related to this engaging game. Sadly, frauds have decided to create PokemonGo ransomware as well and swindle money from the victims by taking their personal files hostage. PokemonGo virus seems to be based on Hidden-Tear ransomware, which is an open-source crypto-ransomware variant. It utilizes AES encryption system to render victim’s files inaccessible and uses 123vivalgerie AES key. We translated the meaning of this line to you – 123 Long Live Algeria. This gives us an idea that the developer this virus might be a resident of this country. Just like typical crypto-ransomware viruses do, this one locks all files to prevent the victim from accessing them and leaves a ransom note called هام جدا.txt. As you have guessed, the name of the ransom note is written in the Arabic language and translates to Very important.txt. The message that this text file contains is also written in the Arabic language and asks the victim to contact the fraud via email by sending a letter to blackhat20152015@gmail.com or me.blackhat20152015@mt2015.com. The message is shown below.

(: لقد تم تشفير ملفاتكم، لفك الشفرة فلكسي موبيليس للعنوان التالي me.blackhat20152015@mt2015.com وشكرا على كرمكم مسبقا

PokemonGo malware and its ransom note

Exclusive characteristics of this virus:

  • The virus creates a network share on the computer.
  • The indicated ransomware program adds an extra user account to the compromised PC, titled as Hack3r, and assigns it to administrators list. However, this user does not show up on user’s list on Windows logon screen, because the virus changes Windows registry key that is responsible for that. Bear in mind that this account is meant to give the author of ransomware access to your PC!
  • The malware creates Autorun.inf file, which starts up each time when someone plugs in a removable drive to the infected PC. This file is meant to drop PokemonGo.exe (executable file) to removable drives and encrypt data stored on them.

If your computer has been infected with this piece of malware, do not try to contact the cybercriminal via the provided email – you will be asked to pay an enormous amount of money in exchange for a program that can supposedly decrypt .locked files. Instead, you should remove PokemonGo virus with FortectIntego or another malware removal program and try to retrieve lost data from backups. We do not recommend you to attempt to carry out PokemonGo removal manually unless you are an expert in programming and have experienced a ransomware attack before.

How does this malware spread?

It appears that this piece of malware spreads via malicious emails and malvertising, just like other ransomware-type viruses do. To protect your computer from this malware, you have to be extremely cautious and have some basic knowledge on how such viruses spread. Let us introduce you to methods used to distribute this virus:

  • PokemonGo virus can infect your computer immediately after you launch a suspicious email attachment. Nowadays, malicious email attachments do not necessarily have to be .exe files, since criminals manage to inject malicious codes into Word files and other innocent-looking file types. Therefore, you are advised to stay away from email letters that come from shady or just suspicious sources. Typically, cybercriminals tend to misspell basic words and lack of basic grammar knowledge, so if you see such mistakes in the email that you have just received, think twice before clicking on links included in the message or files attached to it.
  • Do not wander through vague third-party websites and click on everything that you see. Do not be deceived by catchy slogans and try to avoid clicking on links and aggressive ads that urge you to explore the content behind them. By clicking random clickable content, you risk ending up on shady sites, where you can accidentally click on something and install virus or Trojan on your system.

How to remove PokemonGo virus?

Speaking of PokemonGo removal, we must warn you that it is no regular program, and it does not have a uninstaller. It is developed to hide itself from the victim and fully control the computer, so please take this cyber threat seriously and employ a decent anti-malware tool to remove it. To remove PokemonGo malware entirely, update your security software or, if you do not have one, download it and scan your computer system. The virus might attempt to block you from doing so, but in case you encounter such situation, follow guidelines that are provided below.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
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 PokemonGo virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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 PokemonGo 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 PokemonGo. 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 PokemonGo removal is performed successfully.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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