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Remove Skymap ransomware (Recovery Instructions Included) - Free Guide

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Skymap ransomware is the cryptovirus that marks encrypted and locked files with a .skymap file extension

Skymap ransomwareSkymap ransomware is the cyber threat that belongs to the notorious ransomware family that keeps releasing new versions every other day. Djvu ransomware also belongs to STOP virus versions, and these relations make all those new variants more dangerous. However, many of these ransomware viruses have similar features and are not very different from each other. For example, the initial ransom demand is delivered in the message from virus developers that is placed on the system after infiltration and encryption.[1] The text file named _readme.txt displays the same ransom demand, including the discount for the payment itself, for the past few months.

Cybercriminals – Skymap ransomware virus developers demand the payment in cryptocurrency, and the amount is $980. For a few months now, criminals also offer a discount of 50% if the victim contacts them in the first 72hours. However, Michael Gillespie is the malware researcher that works on STOP virus decrypter and updates this tool each time new version gets released in the wild.

You should remove Skymap cryptovirus and then wait for the decryption tool update needed for this particular version to recover your data. Don't forget that you need to thoroughly clean the computer from malware to be able to use the machine again.

Name Skymap
Type Ransomware
Symptoms Files get encrypted, locked, and marked with a file appendix. Due to various system changes, the device starts to run slowly
Family Djvu ransomware 
File extension .skymap
Contact emails bufalo@firemail.cc, gorentos@bitmessage.ch
Ransom note _readme.txt
Ransom amount $980/ $490
Distribution Spam email attachments, malicious files, software cracks, other malware
Removal tips Get reliable anti-malware and remove Skymap ransomware. Make sure to clean virus damage with Reimage

Skymap ransomware developers expect to get the ransom in Bitcoin because this is a currency that cybercriminals prefer in many instances. However, we as many other experts[2] are not recommending paying the ransom or even contacting people behind this threat since files can remain locked or even damaged even when the ransom is paid. 

When Skymap ransomware gets on the system, it starts the process of checking the system, and this way indicates if the machine was encrypted before or not. Also, this scanning reveals information about the user:

  • software choices;
  • location;
  • IP address.

Sometimes the virus can be designed to target only one country or affect machines except for the particular location, so these details are essential before the primary encryption of the data. Once this is done, ransomware chooses documents, photos, videos, PDFs or archives and uses sophisticated encryption algorithm to lock files by changing the original code. Then all the data affected by Skymap ransomware gets .skymap appendix, and the user cannot open them anymore.

Unfortunately, Skymap ransomware can access any data stored on the system that is placed as files. Various passwords, logins, account details or even credit credentials can be used later in other scam campaigns or also sold in the Dark Web.

Skymap ransomware virus
Skymap ransomware is the cryptovirus that comes to the system and runs in the background until the data gets locked. Only then virus developers show the ransom demanding message.

You should react immediately after the ransom note is delivered and try to remove Skymap ransomware from the computer. The best solution for such infiltrations is the full scan on the machine, using anti-malware tools because these programs can indicate such malware and remove it completely.

Unfortunately, various AV engines have different databases, and detection names differ from tool to tool. Pay attention to the status, not the particular name and delete all detected intruders as soon as possible. Skymap ransomware as any other version in this family can be indicated as malicious with tons of different results:

  • Trojan.Ransom.Stop;
  • TR/AD.InstaBot.EI;
  • Trojan.MalPack.GS.Generic;
  • BehavesLike.Win32.Generic.gh.[3]

All these heuristic names can also be associated with malware, not the main cryptovirus, like trojans or worms because Skymap ransomware gets delivered with the help of malware. However, the primary technique used to spread ransomware is spam email campaigns.

Since Skymap ransomware comes with other programs or installs files and apps on the PC after the initial infiltration, make sure to clean the computer thoroughly. You can do so by employing the anti-malware tool and performing a thorough scan on the PC.

Due to changes this virus makes on the system, you may need additional help for Skymap ransomware removal. Rely on professional antivirus tool and follow our suggestions below. For example, reboot the system in Safe Mode before scanning it thoroughly. 

Ransomware distributed via spam email attachments with a malicious script or direct malware

Exploiting vulnerabilities and other malware spreading the ransomware also are commonly used to infiltrate crypto-extortion based products. However, the primary vector is the malicious files attached to legitimate-looking emails. 

Criminals release spam email campaigns and pose as shipping companies or services like DHL, FedEx, eBay. This way, they trick people into believing that the email is legitimate and essential. However, emails that claim to have financial or shipping information are infected and contains payload droppers or malicious scripts.

Unfortunately, the attached PDF or word, excel file contains additional content that gets enabled by the user. This can be done automatically once the file is downloaded and opened on the machine or willingly when the victim is encouraged to allow extra content. You can avoid such processes by deleting suspicious emails once received.

Get rid of Skymap ransomware with professional anti-malware tools

You can be frustrated and scared because the Skymap ransomware virus changes many settings on the system. For example, it disables security functions, alters registry entries, and runs additional processes in the background. But you can eliminate this threat and reverse those alterations.

Forst, you need to employ a professional, trustworthy anti-malware program and remove Skymap ransomware by running a full system scan. You should use reliable tools like Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, or Malwarebytes.

After the successful Skymap ransomware removal, make sure to clean all the parts, and fix virus damage. You can scan the machine again to double-check. Then, you can recover the files using your file backups or particular software.

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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 5.
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 Skymap virus, follow these steps:

Remove Skymap using Safe Mode with Networking

Reboot the system in Safe Mode with networking before the scan and remove Skymap ransomware compeltely

  • 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 Skymap

    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 Skymap removal.

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

Remove Skymap using System Restore

System Restore is the feature that can recover your machine in the previous version before Skymap ransomware attack

  • 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 Skymap. 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 Skymap removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Data Recovery Pro is the program that allows the user to recover their files without data backups

This program helps with accidentally deleted files and encrypted data. Rely Data Recovery Pro if you need an alternative for file backups

  • 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 Skymap ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions is the method for file recovery

If you already used System restore, Windows Previous Versions can help with files encrypted by Skymap ransomware

  • 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 is the additional method for file recovery

ShadowExplorer can for when Shadow Volume Copies are unaffected by Skymap ransomware

  • 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.

You can use STOP decrypter for this version

Follow Michael Gillespie and wait for the needed decrypted update

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Skymap and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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