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Pottieq ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

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

Pottieq ransomware is a file-encrypting virus that demands its victims to use shivamana@seznam.cz email address to contact its owners

Pottieq ransomware
Pottieq ransomware is a crypto-virus that demands to pay a ransom for locked files.
Pottieq is the new variant of the cryptovirus that has been using the same email server since 2017. Like many researchers who analyzed this cyber threat say, this ransomware has various similarities to other ransomware like Aurora, Dharma, CrySiS. The .id-%ID%-[shivamana@seznam.cz].pip file extension pattern, which is used by Pottieq ransomware, looks identical to a variety of other file-locking extensions. However, based on the ransom note content, the contact email, and other details, this crypto-virus should be linked with BandarChor ransomware. This particular virus demands a ransom in a note displayed on the black window. There is no information on how big the ransom is but, based on typical ransomware activity, this ranges from 1 to 10 BTC. People behind the attack are using AES-256 encryption[1] method to lock files in various formats.

Name Pottieq ransomware
Type Crypto-virus
Executables SkyTel.exe
Encryption method AES-256
Related BandarChor ransomware
File extension .id-%ID%-[shivamana@seznam.cz].pip
Contact email shivamana@seznam.cz; 
Alternative email WillardBrooks6499@gmail.com
Distribution Spam email attachments
Elimination Use Reimage for the Pottieq ransomware removal

The developers of Pottieq virus are claiming that they are the only ones who can restore files encrypted by the virus. However, you shouldn't pay the ransom or contact these cybercriminals in any way as hackers responsible for this attack cannot be trusted. There is an opportunity that they will ignore you right after your payment is transferred to their crypto wallet.

Data encryption process starts when a virus infiltrates the system. It uses an army-grade encryption algorithm to lock photos, videos, music files or documents. Once this procedure is finished, the virus adds a file extension in a .id-%ID%-[shivamana@seznam.cz].pip pattern. This appendix shows which files are locked. In every folder, containing the encrypted data, Pottieq ransomware also places a ransom note that includes the following:

Attention! Your computer has been attacked by a virus-encoder!
All your files are now encrypted using cryptographically strong algorithm.
Without the original key recovery is impossible. To get the decoder and the original key, you need to email us at shivamana@seznam.cz
Our assistance is not free, so expect to pay a reasonable price for our decrypting services.
No exceptions will be made. In the subject line of your email include the id number, which can be found in the file name of all encrypted files.
It is in your interest to respond as soon as possible to ensure the restoration of your files.
P.S. only in case you do not receive a response from the first email address within 48 hours, please use this alternative email: WillardBrooks6499@gmail.com

Pottieq ransomware is a silent cyber infection that can come from infected emails or illegal websites. According to VirusTotal[2], one of the executable files is SkyTel.exe. Once it gets into the system, the virus can alter the Windows Registry, so that it could launch the malevolent processes once you reboot your infected device.

You should remove Pottieq ransomware with anti-malware tools like Reimage because, as the file analysis[3] shows, various anti-malware programs can detect this threat and remove it successfully. For example, Avast indicates this virus as Win32:Malware-gen, Avira shows is as TR/Kryptik.ytenf, Malwarebytes names this threat as Ransom.Aura. 

Pottieq ransomware removal should be a quick process if you use a reputable anti-malware program. A full system scan is required because this threat has various alliances planted on the system and you cannot find them all. However, if some of these related files or malware remains on the system ransomware can still encrypt your data. 

Researchers[4] advise you to focus on virus termination and worry about data recovery only after the ransomware is gone. Unfortunately, the decryption tool is not developed yet, so there is no possibility to decrypt your locked data. However, there are a few suggestions on data recovery tools down below. Try to use these tips if you have no backup files on and an external device.

Hackers use various exploit kits to spread their malware

Ransomware creators employ various malware to spread the malicious payload of this threat. The silent infection means that the main intrusion is happening without your consent and knowledge. The primary method for spreading ransomware payload is spam email attachments with infected files. Malspam campaigns are used to infect average users and to spread huge ransomware attacks on corporations and companies.

Emails containing the malicious file can look safe and legitimate because malicious actors often hide their products behind a well-known service name, they misuse various company or product name. However, you can look for typos or grammar mistakes on the main content of this email, that indicates about the suspiciousness of the message.

You can also try to contact the sender back, and if that is impossible, it is a red flag. Delete these emails without opening or downloading. If you are not expecting an email remember to be aware of the possible threats in these commercial content-filled emails, come to your box.

Perform Pottieq ransomware elimination with professional tools

To remove Pottieq ransomware, you should use a reputable anti-malware tool like Reimage, Malwarebytes or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. These are trustworthy and can detect various ransomware related files or malware that spreads this malicious script. Anti-malware programs perform a full system scan on your device and detect threats, system vulnerabilities or other possible issues. This tool also removes cyber infections from your PC and cleans the system thoroughly.

Using anti-malware for Pottieq ransomware removal is a great solution for the whole system since the full system scan cleans every little threat and vulnerability. Also, when your device is clear from ransomware and other infections you can safely replace your locked files with new and safe ones from a backup. Remember that ransomware can encrypt and newly placed files if the threat is still on the computer. Use your tips on ransomware termination and data recovery, provided below.

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Alternate Software
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Alternate Software
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To remove Pottieq virus, follow these steps:

Remove Pottieq using Safe Mode with Networking

First thing you can do when dealing with Pottieq ransomware is rebooting your device in Safe Mode with networking to disable the malware and launch a scan:

  • 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 Pottieq

    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 Pottieq removal.

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

Remove Pottieq using System Restore

System Restore feature can be yet another alternative in virus elimination:

  • 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 Pottieq. 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 Pottieq removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

If your data got encrypted by Pottieq ransomware you can try Data Recovery Pro and restore important files

Data Recovery Pro is a tool that can restore accidentally deleted files too.

  • 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 Pottieq ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature should be helpful in file recovery

If System Restore feature was enabled before the attack, you could try to recover your data using Windows Previous versions feature

  • 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”.

If Pottieq ransomware encrypted your files, try ShadowExplorer

However, this method can only work if ransomware left Shadow Volume Copies untouched

  • 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.

Decryption tool is not available

About the author

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

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References