Predator ransomware (Removal Guide) - Jul 2018 update

Predator virus Removal Guide

What is Predator ransomware?

Predator ransomware – a test virus which demands a $100 ransom in Bitcoin after encrypting victim's files

Predator virusPredator ransomware - a file-encrypting virus which locks files with the .predator extension and displays a ransom note urging victims to pay $100 in Bitcoin to receive a decryption tool for affected data.

Predator ransomware is an experimental cryptovirus which has been infecting computers globally. Alternatively known as Predator The Cipher, this cryptovirus is using .predator extension to mark encrypted data. As a result, the affected data becomes unusable because of the AES encryption algorithm used by the cybercrooks. Furthermore, the virus is using the README.txt ransom note urging users to contact its developers via nadwkjk@protonmail.com email address. Predator ransomware is requesting $100 in Bitcoin in exchange for the decryption key.[1]

Name Predator The Cipher
Type Ransomware
Danger level Very high. Corrupts files and there is a possibility of various system damage
Extension .predator
Ransom note README.txt
Email address nadwkjk@protonmail.com
Ransom type $100 in Bitcoin
The cipher used AES code
Elimination process Use ReimageIntego to terminate the virus

Here you can see, the ransom note of Predator virus is typically asking victims to send their money to cyber criminals without wasting their time:

Your files were encrypted with Predator The Cipher!
Predator The Cipher v1.0
To decrypt your files:
1. Send 100$ to this bitcoin wallet: 1Pe9zG5uZFj4bGxPs98VbReXrnFayuoGf.
2. Send us email with your machine ID (XXXXXXXXXX) and bitcoin wallet ID: nadwkjk@protonmail.com
Then we would send you back our decipher tool.
ATTENTION!
DO NOT TRY TO DECRYPT OR DELETE YOUR FILES. YOU WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE!

Also, files encrypted by Predator ransomware are blocked by using the AES cipher which is used to block the target data and push the victim into thinking that the only way to unlock it is to pay the money. In reality, the decryption keys which are needed for this procedure are stored on external servers that can be reached only by the cybercriminals.

However, even if you are desperate to get important data back, we advise holding yourself from paying the demanded price forPredator ransomware because there is a huge possibility to get scammed after believing false promises. Usually, a decryption tool is not received, and the cybercrooks run off with the money and spread their hazardous activity on other PCs.

We recommend staying away from contacting the developers of this ransomware virus and thinking about another option to recover encrypted data. First of all, you should remove Predator ransomware by downloading a professional anti-malware tool. Try using ReimageIntego or any other similar one. Additionally, for the decryption of your files, we suggest using trustworthy decryptors. Several options are provided at the end of this post. To keep your data safe next time, you should think about saving extra copies of your important files on a USB drive or another remote device[2].

There are other harmful abilities that Predator ransomware might contain:

  • This virus can be set to gather various personal information about you;
  • It can modify your system settings;
  • Such ransomware might start crypto mining and similar activities;
  • Every time you turn on your PC, the virus can repeat files' encryption.

To avoid such dangers, you need to perform the Predator ransomware removal as soon as you spot it. If not – your computer system might face various damaging consequences and the loss of other important data.

Predator ransomwarePredator virus is a serious infection which usually appears on the PC from spam emails by using stealth technique.

Spam emails are the main ransomware distribution source

According to IT researchers[3], ransomware infections appear on computers because of spam. Each day, people receive various spam emails that include misleading or harmful content attached to them. If you encounter such email – better delete it for good as such messages might be used for virus activation.

Also, there are some other methods used to distribute ransomware, like dubious websites. Pages, especially secondary ones, might redirect you to dangerous content which, once clicked, might help the ransomware virus to infiltrate your system. Stay away from various questionable sites that you are not able to recognize to avoid stepping on harmful links.

If you think that you are not able to identify them, some advice would be to download and install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date. If taken care of properly, it will increase your computer's security level and will prevent cyber threats before they get into the system.

Vanish Predator ransomware and its dangerous files

To remove Predator virus, you will need to lean on trustworthy and high-tech help because manual elimination of such threats is not recommended. For such case, we recommend installing an anti-malware tool. Use one of these programs to get rid of your malware: ReimageIntego, Malwarebytes. They will display quick instructions on how to use their database properly to get rid of the cyber threat without leaving its leftover files.

After you work on the Predator ransomware removal, there is one more thing you need to do to ensure your computer safety. Consider doing some system backups to find out, if any ransomware-related components are still active.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix 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.

Getting rid of Predator virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Use Safe Mode with Networking to disable the virus:

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.
    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.
    Reboot
  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.
    Startup

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
    Downloads
    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):

    %AppData%
    %LocalAppData%
    %ProgramData%
    %WinDir%

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

Remove Predator using System Restore

Activate the System Restore function to get rid of Predator ransomware:

  • 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 Predator. 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 ReimageIntego and make sure that Predator removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Predator from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

If you found important data locked with the .predator extension, you will need some professional help to recover it. For such a purpose, look through the following file decryption methods and choose the most suitable one for you.

If your files are encrypted by Predator, you can use several methods to restore them:

Use Data Recovery Pro to unlock files encrypted by Predator ransomware

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool which should decrypt various files if used as shown in the guide.

  • 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 Predator ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Try using Windows Previous Versions feature to start using your data

If you activated the System Restore function before the ransomware infection managed to spread, this tool should help you get several files back.

  • 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”.

Try Shadow Explorer to recover files encrypted by Predator ransomware

If the ransomware did not eliminate Shadow Volume Copies of your affected files, this method might let you get individual data back.

  • 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.

IT experts haven't presented any official .predator files decryptor recently.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Predator and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, 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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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