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Remove Promos ransomware (Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

Promos ransomware is yet another variant of the infamous Djvu virus that drops “_readme.txt” ransom note after the data compromise

Promos ransomware virus
Promos is a ransomware-type virus that locks up data and demands ransom of $980 in Bitcoin

Promos ransomware is a file locking virus that was spotted by security researcher Michael Gillespie in mid-February 2019.[1] The malware belongs to STOP/Djvu ransomware family – one of the most prolific crypto locker. Once the machine is infected, it uses AES cipher to lock up personal data like photos, videos, music, databases, PDF, etc. and appends .promos file extension. From that point of time, victims are unable to access any of their personal files, as a private key that is stored on a remote server is needed to decipher them. Users get all the details on what to do next right after Promos virus drops a ransom note “_readme.txt,” which explains that they need to pay $980 in bitcoin in exchange for the decryptor. Interestingly, crooks are using the same email they used in the previous version – Blower (blower@firemail.cc). While this ransomware variant is not decryptable, industry experts[2] recommend not contacting criminals and instead use alternative file recovery methods.

Name Promos
Type Ransomware
Family STOP/Djvu
File extension .promos
Cipher AES
Ransom note _readme.txt
Contact blower@firemail.cc
Ransom size $980 or $490 if paid within 72 hours
Decryption No decryptor available
Elimination Use reputable security software
Recovery Scan your PC with Reimage in order to recover from ransomware infection

Promos ransomware is most likely distributed with the help of methods that STOP virus used previously, including:

  • Key generators, cracks and activators like KMSpico;
  • Fake updates;
  • Spam email attachments;
  • Brute-force attacks;
  • Exploit kits, etc.

Once in the system, Promos ransomware attempts to contact the Command & Control[3] server. If such communication is not possible, the virus will perform offline encryption using a hard-coded key. In case of successful connection, user's ID and the decryption key is uploaded to the C2 server. Additionally, the server uploads a ransom note onto the victim's computer.

In addition to locked up files, Promos ransomware also modifies system settings and files in order to operate smoothly. It launches several processes, modifies and ads registry keys, shuts down some programs, etc. Due to such modifications, Promos ransomware removal might be sometimes complicated.

Promos virus authors demand $980 in Bitcoin for the decryptor, although they “offer” a 50% discount if the contact is made within 72 hours of the initial infection. Regardless if the sum is considered large or small by your standards, you should never pay the ransom.

Cybercriminals are known to ignore victims, even after payments are processed, so the risk of getting scammed is pretty high. Additionally, such action would only prove threat actors that Promos ransomware works, and will keep evolving malware further, infecting more victims worldwide.

Thus, remove Promos ransomware with the help of reputable anti-malware engine and then try to recover data with third-party applications, or other methods (backups, Windows Previous Version feature, etc.). Finally, we recommend you scan your device with Reimage in order to recover from virus damage.

Ransomware distribution methods

Ransomware authors are continually looking for new and more sophisticated methods to distribute the malicious payload in order to increase the infection rate, as well as profits obtained from this illegal business. Some distribution methods are highly advanced, such as exploit kits or brute force attacks, and special tools are needed to be successful in such schemes. Nevertheless, users can protect themselves by using strong passwords and updating their software, as well as the operating system as soon as security patches are released.

However, probably the most popular and also simple methods remain malware hosting on hacked or malicious sites, in addition to spam email attachments or malicious links. This is where users need to be extremely vigilant, as their interaction is required to get infected. Thus, never download such tools like keygens, cracks, repacked installers and similar. Additionally, avoid high-risk sites like torrent, gambling, porn, etc.

Finally, you should be particularly careful of phishing emails that might end up in your Inbox. While built-in scanners often catch suspicious messages, some of them slip through. Thus, do not open suspicious attachments or click on links.

In case you are unsure whether or not the file is safe to open, scan it with your anti-virus software or tools like Virus Total.

Promos ransomware elimination instructions

For Promos ransomware removal, you should employ anti-virus software that is capable of recognizing the threat. It is not unusual that not all AV engines detect the same malware infection, and they use separate databases. Thus, you might have to use several different tools until you find the one that can remove Promos ransomware. Nevertheless, considering the malware comes from Djvu virus family, most security applications should be able to detect the threat.

Once you are sure that no traces of Promos virus are left, scan your device with Reimage. This tool will ensure that your computer operates normally after the devastating ransomware infection. Finally, connect your backup device and recover all your files. In case you have no backups, check the section below for alternative solutions.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Promos virus, follow these steps:

Remove Promos using Safe Mode with Networking

If the virus stops anti-virus engine from working properly, enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below:

  • 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 Promos

    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 Promos removal.

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

Remove Promos using System Restore

System Restore can also be used for Promos ransomware removal:

  • 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 Promos. 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 Promos removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Make use of Data Recovery Pro

This application is specially designed to scan your hard drive in order to retrieve data before it was corrupted. While the program does not succeed every single time, it might help you recover at least some of your personal files.

  • 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 Promos ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help you recover separate files

Go ahead and try this method if you had System Restore enabled before ransomware infected your computer.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer might recover files encrypted by .promos file virus

In case malware failed to remove Shadow Volume Copies, ShadowExplorer should recover all your data without problems.

  • 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.

No decryptor is available yet

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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