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  (99/100) ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Ransomware

What you should know about ransomware? virus has been called like that due to email it provides for the victims. Cyber security experts identify this infection as RAA ransomware virus and a file-encrypting malware. This infectious Trojan encrypts all victim’s files with AES-256 encryption, making them unusable and worthless. Criminals steal the decryption key from the computer and start demanding a ransom, which is worth 250 USD dollars. Victims are advised not to pay the ransom as this will not grant confirmation that files will be restored. However, let’s get into the details of this virus’ modus operandi and see how it encrypts those files.

Once installed, virus drops Pony Trojan (a malicious virus that steals private data) on the system and starts searching for particular files on the infected system. Typically, it looks for photos, videos, documents, and archives, and encrypts them all with military-grade encryption, which means that these files become inaccessible to anyone except someone who has the unique decryption key. It is also worth noting that the virus generates different encryption and decryption keys for every victim. Besides, after encrypting victim’s files, it adds .locked file extension. Other viruses add this file extension to encrypted data, one of them is .locked virus. However, the aim of malware is to swindle money from victims, so they take their files hostage and suggest buying them out by purchasing the decryption software. All information on how to decrypt files is provided in a ransom note that the virus leaves on the system, which is called !!!README!!![Victim’s ID].rtf. The ransom note is inscribed in The Russian language. It asks the victim to buy Bitcoins and transfer them to a presented Bitcoin wallet address. If you are wondering if you should pay up or not, we want to warn you that scammers might try to sell you useless piece of software that cannot decrypt the files, or might be supplemented with more malicious files. Therefore, the best idea is to remove ransomware from the system and start recovering your files from backups, email, USBs and other storage devices. Full removal can be successfully completed using Reimage.

Image showing virus infection source and the ransom note

How did this ransomware get inside your computer?

The fact that this ransomware has managed to enter your computer system without being stopped proves that your computer needs more protection. Is your computer actively defended with some security software? Because if not, then there is no surprise why this virus has been installed without your notice at all and managed to encrypt all your files. We have mentioned in the beginning that such computer pests spread like Trojan horses, which means that their authors hide them in regular-looking files and send them to victims via emails, present their download links in pop-up ads or distribute them with the help of exploit kits. In this case, virus spreads in a form of malicious Word document containing infectious script that can be activated by enabling Macros. Below you can find some easy ransomware prevention techniques that can lower the possibility of becoming a victim of ransomware attack.

  1. Update your software, or enable automatic software updates.
  2. Install a good security software.
  3. Stay away from suspicious emails and files attached to them. If the attachment asks you to activate Macros function, do not do that!
  4. Do not agree to install unknown programs from pop-up ads or sites that you get redirected to without showing the intention to enter them.
  5. Instead of running or opening files downloaded from the web, save them on the system instead. This way, your anti-virus software will have time to check its safety level.

How to uninstall malware?

We definitely do not recommend victims to remove virus or Pony Trojan manually. These shady programs hide their files in the computer system by using safe-looking filenames, so it can be hard to identify them. Of course, viruses do not use filenames such as “virus.exe.” Therefore, it is better to rely on malware removal software and allow it to eliminate such threats automatically. When infected with ransomware, it can be tough to launch such software, so we recommend you to carry out these instructions first:

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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 ransomware virus. 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 virus Removal Guide:

Remove using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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

    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 removal.

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

Remove using System Restore

  • 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 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 removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Please do not waste your hardly-earned money by paying ransoms to cyber criminals. They are simply not worth it! Remove the infection, and try to recover as many files as possible by checking your USBs, data sent through the mail or social media, hard drives or simply backup drives. 

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

Use Data Recovery Pro

If your files have been encoded and you cannot recover them from a backup because you do not have one, you can use this program to recover your files.

Recover the most essential files using Windows Previous Versions feature

If System Restore function has been turned on, then you have the possibility to recover some files now. Follow these steps to restore them:

  • 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 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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  • Erin19

    They want your money… all cyber criminals want money! Do not pay them, people! They use that money for their pleasures and also invest in new ransomware projects. Do not fund them!

  • Hilbert

    I cannot delete it! This damn virus blocks my anti-virus

  • Angry23

    This is RAA RANSOMWARE! It has encrypted my files and I cannot do anything with them! How am I supposed to feel when I read your statement that there is no decryption tool? I am freaking out! I need my files!!

    • Vaeela

      Dude, do you even know how hard it is to crack ransomwares code and break encryption algorithm. That is nuts. Its so hard that it can take years to do that. Unless ransomware creators are amateur fools, then yes, in such case, it is easy to create a decryption software. It seems that in this case, were dealing with a really strong ransomware example.