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Remove Pr0tector ransomware / virus (Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Ransomware

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 [1] 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.

Image of the Pr0tector ransomwareOnce 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 [2] 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 [3] 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego anti-malware.

Questions about Pr0tector ransomware virus

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 [4]. 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 [5]. 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.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage 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 Reimage, 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.

To remove Pr0tector virus, follow these steps:

Remove Pr0tector using Safe Mode with Networking

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:

  • 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 Pr0tector

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Pr0tector removal.

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

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
    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 Pr0tector. 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego and make sure that Pr0tector removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide 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 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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