Pr0tector ransomware / virus (Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included
Pr0tector virus Removal Guide
What is Pr0tector ransomware virus?
New member of the ransomware kin — the Pr0tector virus
Pr0tector virus refers to a recently discovered cyber parasite — a virtual money extortion tool which sneaks into the computers by stealth and encrypts the containing data. If this sounds familiar, you may already be acquainted with ransomware viruses  and their working mechanisms. If not, this article will be a great stepping stone into learning more about these vicious computer infections and, hopefully, avoiding them in the future. In case you ended up on this article while looking for Pr0tector removal advice, don’t leave just yet because our experts will discuss the virus elimination options below the article. As for now, let us focus on the Protector virus and discuss what we already know about it.
Once Pr0tector infiltrates computers, it locks the containing files and drops ransom note demanding the victim to contact them. An example of such ransom note can be seen above
First impressions matter and the authors of Pr0tector ransomware seem to have learned this lesson well. They applied it when naming the virus. The use of leetspeak  elements in the title are supposed to create an impression that Pr0tector is a work of serious hackers and stands together with such well-known ransomware as FS0ciety or Crypt0L0cker. Such tactics have obviously been chosen to intimidate users and trick more of them into paying the ransom. Unlike the mentioned malware, though, the distribution of this particular parasite is very low, and there are few reports of its infiltration. Still, the virus features all the typical qualities of a ransomware. It first enters computers by exploiting system vulnerabilities  and deploys its malicious executable on the system, typically in the %AppData%, %Roaming% or %Local% folders. The specific name of this executable is currently unknown, but ransomware creators tend to camouflage the destructive scripts as regular system files, such as svchost.exe or Rundll32.exe, for instance. Thus, if you see these processes operating from the previously mentioned folders or any other directory other than C:\windows\System32, you should not ignore it and scan your device with a malware detection solution immediately. If you are still looking for such tool, we recommend taking a look at the quick and versatile RestoroIntego anti-malware.
When it comes to the encryption process itself, Protector virus does it by using an unknown algorithm and ensures that the encrypted files would not be easily decrypted by destroying the Volume Shadow Copies . When the documents, archives, media files and other personal data stored on the victim’s computer is encrypted and marked with .pr0tect extensions, the virus immediately proposes a recovery alternative. All the conditions are introduced in a ransom note called READ ME ABOUT DECRYPTION.txt. You can see the transcript of it here:
Your files were encrypted.
Your personal ID is: PCHOSTNAME#601E1*****470
To buy a private key for unlocking files please contact us:
Please include the ID above.
While these brief instructions do not indicate the specific amount of ransom that the criminals demand in exchange for the files, it most likely fluctuates somewhere between 0.5 and 1 Bitcoin . Nevertheless, regardless of what this decryption tool costs, it should be your last option when attempting data recovery. It is more recommended to remove Pr0tector from the infected computer and use alternative techniques to decrypt your files for free rather than invest in a tool that might not even work.
The importance of data backups and software updates
Since Pr0tector malware is currently at its initial stages of distribution, probably the best advice would be to take action before it’s too late. The first thing you should do is back up your data. This process is long, and most users choose to ignore it, hoping that viruses will simply pass them. Unfortunately, when the virus hits, there is nothing much that you can do. Thus, we recommend taking care of the most important data first and keep on backuping when new files are created on the computer. Also, it is vital to keep your software and operating system updated. Otherwise, their unpatched vulnerabilities may be used to deploy Pr0tector on the computer.
Essential information to know about Pr0tector removal:
It may not be as easy to remove Pr0tector virus from the infected device as it is will less serious parasites such as browser hijackers or adware. Let alone, the consequences of the ransomware hijack which are incomparably worse. Thus, to help your computer to recover from the virus, we suggest scanning it with a professional antivirus, preferably a versatile antivirus tool which would not only remove the malware from your computer but also help get the system back on its tracks. Antivirus utilities may need your help decontaminating the virus, but do not worry, you will find all the necessary guidelines below the article. After the Pr0tector removal is done, you may also use our recommended data recovery methods to roll back some important files.
Getting rid of Pr0tector virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
Pr0tector is a vicious ransomware which does whatever it can to stay on the system an continue demanding ransom. It may even block your antivirus and cause problems removing it from the system. In such a case, there are two options you may try:
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- 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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- 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 Pr0tector using System Restore
The second Pr0tector decontamination option is given below:
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Pr0tector. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Pr0tector 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 Pr0tector, you can use several methods to restore them:
First file recovery option: Data Recovery Pro
Having your files encrypted by Pr0tector can be a nightmare. Luckily, programs like Data Recovery Pro help to go through this whole experience with less stress. Try this tool by following these instructions:
- 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 Pr0tector ransomware;
- Restore them.
Recovery method using Windows Previous Versions feature
When it comes to data recovery using Windows Previous Version, the questions of when and how to use this program are equally important. To answer that, we should say that Windows Previous Version can only be used in cases when System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack. Instructions on HOW to use this program are provided here:
- 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”.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Pr0tector and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are
There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.
Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.
Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.
- ^ David Harley. Ransomware: to pay or not to pay?. WeLiveSecurity. IT security site covering the latest news, research, cyber threats and malware discoveries, with insights from ESET experts.
- ^ Leetspeak explained. Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia.
- ^ Forrest Williams. Understanding exploit kits: how they work and how to stop them. Barkly. Barkly Endpoint Protection.
- ^ Volume Shadow Copy service. Technet. Resources and Tools for IT Professionals.
- ^ Kyle Torpey. 2016 big year for ransomware – 70% pays in this $1 billion industry. Bitcoin. The Internet of Money.