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PUBG ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

PUBG is a new ransomware virus that demands victims to play PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds game

PUBG ransomware is a troll

PUBG ransomware is one of the latest crypto ransomware[1] that has been spotted on the wild on the first half of April 2018. However, likewise RensenWare, it's a poorly developed troll that mimics ransomware virus to make people play a game called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Once installed, PUBG ransomware encrypts files and folders located on the desktop with .PUBG file extension and then provides a “ransom” note, which instead of a demand for money asks the victim to participate in a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds[2] gameplay to decrypt files.

Name PUBG
Classification Ransomware
File extension used .PUBG
Related files PUBG_Ransomware.exe
Danger level Low. Encrypts files, but provides a decryptor. Does not seek for money
Distribution Spam email attachments, drive-by-download, exploit kits, etc. 
Decryption key s2acxx56a2sae5fjh5k2gb5s2e
PUBG removal is needed anyway. Download Reimage and run a full system scan

The developers of the PUBG does not seem to have intentions to extort people's money or damage their files. They are more likely having fun of victims making them play the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds game, which is a multiplayer online battle royal game. The victim is asked to play the game for 1 hour. The PUBG ransom note says:

PUBG ransomware
Your files, images, musics, documents are Encrypted!
Your files is encrypted by PUBG Ransomware!
but don't worry! It is not hard to unlock it.
I don't want money!
Jus play PUBG 1Hours!
Or restore code is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The researchers who detected it claim that it's “more like a joke” than hazardous ransomware. It might infiltrate PCs in many ways, including but not limited to spam email, fake software updates or drive-by-download. Anyway, once installed it runs a PUBG_Ransomware.exe file and starts data encryption procedure that targets files, folders, and subdirectories located on the desktop only.

Locked files get the .PUBG file extension. Subsequently, a “ransom” not or PUBG instructions window is generated on the desktop, and the victim is required to either play the game for 1 hour. The virus checks the running processes and specifically looks for the process named TslGame. It's directly related to the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds game, so if the ransomware detects this process running, the decryptor is activated, and all locked files are recovered.

Nevertheless, playing a game is not a must. Alternatively, victims can merely enter the s2acxx56a2sae5fjh5k2gb5s2e code into the PUBG ransomware program and click Restore button.

In a nutshell, PUBG virus is not a severe infection, so don't fall for panic if you found your files locked with .PUBG file extension. The virus is decryptable in the simplest way possible, so all you have to do is to enter the decryption code provided on the program, play the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, or run a file named TslGame.exe.

Nevertheless, once you decrypt the files, do not forget to remove PUBG ransomware from the system. Despite the fact is atypical crypto-malware that does not seek for money, it's developers are unknown. The virus might open the back door to other malicious cyber infections. Thus, don't forget to initiate full PUBG removal. For this purpose, try using Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

Ransomware distribution methods

Ransomware virus can infect PCs in many ways. Nevertheless, spam email attachments or malspam remains the most actively used technique to spread this menace, NoVirus.uk[3] experts claim. Although there's no hundred percent protection from malicious emails, you can maximize the protection be keeping a professional anti-malware running. Besides, regularly update its definitions.

Being careful with suspicious email messages is yet another essential piece of advice. Do not fall for opening emails with catchy subject names, suspicious senders or empty body text section. Always look for grammar and typo mistakes.

Apart from malspam, people may download ransomware believing that they are downloading a software update for Java, Flash Player, Google Chrome, Windows Defender, etc. Phishing websites to which you may be redirected when visiting illegal sites can also be infected.

Learn how to uninstall PUBG ransomware

Luckily, this particular ransomware is not malicious and can hardly damage personal files permanently. It's yet another troll that makes fun of PC users. Nevertheless, it's a cyber infection that has to be addressed just like any other virus.

To remove PUBG virus, use a professional anti-virus. Run a full system scan and eliminate all the findings that it reports. In case PUBG removal is blocked by a malicious file or program, you may need to boot the system into Safe Mode with Networking.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall PUBG ransomware. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual PUBG virus Removal Guide:

Remove PUBG using Safe Mode with Networking

If you cannot run a scan with a security tool and, therefore, remove the virus, please follow these steps to work around this problem:

  • 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 PUBG

    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 PUBG removal.

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

Remove PUBG using System Restore

That's another way that can help you to uninstall PUBG in an alternative way:

  • 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 PUBG. 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 PUBG removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

As we have already pointed out, PUBG ransomware is not destructive. Once it locks files, it provides a decryptor. Those who want to accept the challenge can play the game as well. If, however, the decryptor did not work and the files stored on your desktop remain inaccessible, make sure to eliminate the ransomware and try the following data decryption methods:

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

Take advantage of Data Recovery Pro

This third-party data recovery tool is a powerful utility cap-able of retrieving most of the file types:

Exploit Previous Windows Versions

Individual files can be recovered form Previous Windows Versions by enabling a System Restore Point:

  • 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”.

Retrieve Volume Shadow Copies

Download Shadow Explorer and restore your files from Volume Shadow Copies:

  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from PUBG and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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