Spongebob ransomware / virus (Recovery Instructions Included) - Virus Removal Guide
Spongebob virus Removal Guide
What is Spongebob ransomware virus?
Spongebob 2.0 imitates the infamous WannaCry; however, these attempts are unsuccessful
Spongebob ransomware is a new example of crypto-malware that cannot actually encrypt files on the affected computer. However, once it enters the system, it delivers a ransom note in the program window. Authors of the ransomware copied the design of WannaCry ransom note.
The ransom note runs in the “Spongebob ransomware virus 2.0” window. However, there is not much information about 1.0 version. Therefore, it was not a success. Luckily, hackers haven’t managed to create a dangerous virus again.
The ransom note starts with the saying “Oops, spongebob is encrypting your files.” Using the name of the well-known cartoon character does not create a serious image of the ransomware. Maybe, this virus was created as a joke. However, some researchers assume that it might be in-dev mode. Thus, delaying Spongebob removal is not a good idea.
Authors of the Spongebob virus claim that malware has affected the most important files, such as documents, photos, videos, databases, etc. Crooks want to make people believe that only their “decryption service” can recover files. Hackers took WannaCry’s instructions and demand to pay the ransom in 3 days. Otherwise, the ransom will double.
However, if the payment is not transferred to the provided Bitcoin wallet within 7 days, victim’s data will be unable to recover. But criminals want to be generous for “poor users” and might give some exceptions for them to pay the ransom in 6 months. Though, crooks forgot to enter the size of the ransom. It goes without saying that you should not use “Contact Us” section in order to figure out how much money they want.
The ransomware mostly spreads as a camouflaged email attachment or fake software downloads. Currently, several Spongebob ransomware attacks were noticed in the United States. However, malware might try to spread in European countries, such as Netherlands or Sweden. Once inside, it might install several files that are designed to create malicious tasks:
- Spongebob Ransomware 2.0.exe;
- ec1.exe ec1e8d861fc4357e5652b827464d9577fa1be9a2d5b8a1f93cb179bf3ca479c1.exe;
Once inside it might modify some Windows directories and make some slight system changes. Therefore, it’s best to remove Spongebob with the help of RestoroIntego or another professional malware removal tool. Then you will be able to recover your files using third-party software.
Spongebob ransomware copied the ransom note from WannaCry virus.
Protecting computers from ransomware attacks
Cyber criminals create new ways to spread ransomware viruses and hijack the systems. Keep in mind that even the most powerful security software is helpless if you click on the obfuscated file or download a malicious program. In order to avoid ransomware attack, you have to:
- never open suspicious spam emails;
- not click on strange links or buttons provided in the email if you do not know the sender;
- never open suspicious Word, Excel or PDF file that is named “statement,” “invoice” or similarly;
- not download illegal content from the Web;
- not click eye-catchy and aggressive ads;
- avoid file-sharing sites and P2P networks;
- keep software and operating system updated.
Uninstall Spongebob virus with security software
Spongebob removal should be held with antivirus or malware removal software. We recommend completing this job with RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. These tools can easily detect ransomware and wipe out it from the system. If ransomware prevents from installing security software, you should check the instructions below.
Once you remove Spongebob ransomware, you should be able to use your files normally again. If you find some of the files missing or encrypted, you should check data recovery methods presented at the end of the article.
Getting rid of Spongebob virus. Follow these steps
Manual removal using Safe Mode
If you cannot run automatic virus removal, follow these steps first:
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
- Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
- 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.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
- Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
- On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
- Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
- Click Restart now.
- Select Troubleshoot.
- Go to Advanced options.
- Select Startup Settings.
- Press Restart.
- Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
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:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Click on More details.
- Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
- Right-click and select Open file location.
- Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
- Delete the contents of the malicious folder.
Step 3. Check program Startup
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
- Go to Startup tab.
- Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.
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:
- Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
- 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).
- Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:
Temporary Internet Files
- Pick Clean up system files.
- You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):
After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.
Remove Spongebob using System Restore
Follow the instructions to get rid of the ransomware:
Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Windows 7 / Vista / XP
- Click Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
- Select Command Prompt from the list
Windows 10 / Windows 8
- Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
- Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
- Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window.
Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
- Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.
- Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again..
- When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Spongebob. After doing that, click Next.
- Now click Yes to start system restore.
Bonus: Recover your dataGuide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Spongebob from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.
Spongebob malware should not encrypt your files. However, if you cannot access some of the files after the attack, you should check the additional recovery methods below.
If your files are encrypted by Spongebob, you can use several methods to restore them:
Try Data Recovery Pro
This automatic tool can help to recover deleted or missing 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 Spongebob ransomware;
- Restore them.
Take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature
This method allows traveling back in computer's time and access files saved before Spongebob 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 might be useful tool
This program helps to recover files from Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files.
- 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.
Spongebob Decryptor is not available.
Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Spongebob and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as RestoroIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes
How to prevent from getting ransomware
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.
- ^ Bitcoin Ransomware Education: SpongeBob 2.0. The Merkle. The latest Crypto, Finance, Infosec, and Tech news.
- ^ ZonderVirus. ZonderVirus. The latest malware news for Dutch computer users.
- ^ Phil Goldstein. The 3 Main Ways Ransomware Spreads in 2017. BizTech Magazine. Small business technology resources and IT hel.