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StevenSeagal ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

StevenSeagal ransomware is a crypto virus that denies access to your files

StevenSeagal ransomware
StevenSeagal ransomware is a crypto virus that uses AES encryption to lock up files on the machine.

StevenSeagal ransomware is a data locker that was discovered in late November 2018 by the independent security researcher Emmanuel_ADC-Soft.[1] The malware comes from the notorious Scarab family which already has over two dozen variants created since summer of 2017. The malware uses an AES-256 encryption algorithm to lock up files and ads .stevenseagal@airmail.cc appendix to each of the altered data. From that point, none of the data is readable by the machine, so users lose access to their pictures, videos, images, databases, documents, etc. StevenSeagal ransomware then drops a ransom note HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT that contains information about what happened to victims' data, and what they should do next. Crooks ask users to pay up for the decryptor which is located on a remote server and only accessible to them.

Summary
Name  StevenSeagal 
Type  Ransomware
Family   Scarab
Cipher used   AES-256
File extension   .stevenseagal@airmail.cc
Ransom note  HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES.TXT
Distribution  Spam emails, cracked software, fake updates, unprotected RDP, exploits, etc.
Elimination  Use security software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner

StevenSeagal ransomware typically enters machines with the help of phishing emails, although other methods can be used:

  • Exploits and vulnerabilties;[2]
  • Brute-force attacks
  • Bundled software
  • Torrent files;
  • Fake updates, etc.

As soon as StevenSeagal virus breaks in, it performs various system changes to ensure persistence. It modifies Windows Registry and attempts to delete Shadow Volume Copies, making file recovery more complicated. After that, the virus turns all personal files into a modified version of themselves (note that data is not corrupted, it is merely locked by a key), for example, a picture.jpg turns into picture.jpg.stevenseagal@airmail.cc. While StevenSeagal ransomware removal will not decode files, we suggest you start from precisely that.

Steven Seagal is a well known Hollywood actor. Many criminals like to use well-known individuals within ransomware names, although the individuals (for example, Barack Obama Blackmail ransomware) have nothing to do with the virus. Therefore, please do not contact Steven Seagal if you got infected, he will not be able to help you!

Crypto malware is created by cybercriminals who seek monetary gain by blackmailing people, which is a criminal offense. While some crooks have been caught, there are thousands that will never be tracked and punished. Therefore, StevenSeagal ransomware authors should never be trusted, as they might scam you and not give you the decryptor, even if you pay the demanded amount of Bitcoin.

Instead, we suggest you remove StevenSeagal ransomware without contacting crooks. You should use comprehensive anti-malware programs that are capable of deleting the virus and all its traces from the system. We suggest you try Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes, although other security software can be handy as well. 

Ransomware is known to be spread with the help of infected installers or bundled files

The Internet is not a safe place, especially if you do not use any security measures to prevent malware from entering your machine. Indeed, there are several ways you can install ransomware and other malware on your computer, and you will not ever notice it. The complicated code performs millions of operations within a few seconds, without giving out it is there. However, after the encryption process is complete, users can quickly see that they are unable to open or use their personal files.

Ransomware infections usually come from inexperience, although negligence is another leading cause. Therefore, please follow these tips provided by security experts:[3]

  • Install security tools that are capable of stopping most malware from entering;
  • Do not download spam email attachments, even if they look legitimate. Also, do not click on links inside – it can lead you to a malicious website;
  • Carefully examine web pages that you visit – a simple misclick might result in ransomware installation;
  • Avoid file-sharing and torrent sites;
  • Use VPN for when using RDP, and never leave it unprotected;
  • Install ad blocker which would prevent fake updates;
  • Patch your system as soon as the updates are ready to be installed.

Additionally, having a backup of your files can save you from a lot of distress.

Remove StevenSeagal ransomware with the help of appropriate security software

StevenSeagal ransomware removal should be executed with the help of reputable anti-malware software, as eliminating the threat manually is almost impossible. We suggest you download and install Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes (although other software of your choice can work as well) and perform full system scan in Safe Mode with Networking. We provide all the instructions below.

As soon as you remove StevenSeagal virus, you can proceed with the file recovery. As long as you kept backups of your system on the virtual or external device, you should have no problems. However, most of the people do not bother with backups, which complicates data recovery significantly. In such a case, we suggest you try third-party software that may help you to recover at least some of your files. A full guide below!

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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 StevenSeagal virus, follow these steps:

Remove StevenSeagal using Safe Mode with Networking

To remove StevenSeagal ransomware from your PC, enter 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 StevenSeagal

    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 StevenSeagal removal.

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

Remove StevenSeagal using System Restore

Another way to stop the virus is by 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 StevenSeagal. 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 StevenSeagal removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Try to recover your files with the help of Data Recover Pro

This tool is useful when your files get accidentally deleted or otherwise corrupted. However, users reported that it also helped those infected with ransomware.

  • 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 StevenSeagal ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Version Feature may bring back some of your files

This method is only viable if System Restore was enabled before the infection occurred. Additionally, you will only be able to recover files one by one, so the recovery of large amount of data might be impossible.

  • 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 can be an excellent tool when it comes to data recovery

As we already mentioned above, StevenSeagal malware tries to remove Shadow Volume Copies after the infiltration. However, experts say that there is a chance that the virus will fail to do so, resulting in an easy file recovery. Therefore, try ShadowExplorer and you might be able to get all of your files back.

  • 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.

No decryptor is created yet

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from StevenSeagal and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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