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Spongebob ransomware virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Ransomware

Spongebob 2.0 imitates the infamous WannaCry; however, these attempts are unsuccessful

Ransom note by Spongebob ransomware virus

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.[1] 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[2] or Sweden. Once inside, it might install several files that are designed to create malicious tasks:

  • KKKryptoLocker.exe;
  • Trojan.Ransom.Filecoder.BL.exe;
  • Spongebob Ransomware 2.0.exe;
  • ec1.exe ec1e8d861fc4357e5652b827464d9577fa1be9a2d5b8a1f93cb179bf3ca479c1.exe;
  • ec1e8d861fc4357e5652b827464d9577fa1be9a2d5b8a1f93cb179bf3ca479c1.exe;
  • localfile~.

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 Reimage or another professional malware removal tool. Then you will be able to recover your files using third-party software.

Protecting computers from ransomware attacks

Cyber criminals create new ways to spread ransomware viruses and hijack the systems[3]. 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 Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes 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.

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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 Malwarebytes.
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 Spongebob virus, follow these steps:

Remove Spongebob using Safe Mode with Networking

If you cannot run automatic virus removal, follow these steps first:

  • 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 Spongebob

    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 Spongebob removal.

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

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
    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 Spongebob. 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 Spongebob removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide 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 Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References