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Tater ransomware. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Ransomware

Tater ransomware is file locking malware that belongs to GarrantyDecrypt virus family

Tater ransomware
Tater ransomware is a file locking virus that asks users to contact hackers via tater@mail2tor.com

Tater ransomware is a type of malware that is designed to lock up users' files and then demand ransom for their release. The threat stems from GarrantyDecrypt – a virus that has been active since October 2018, and since then released multiple variants, such as .decryptgarranty, .protected, .NOSTRO, .cosanostra, .metan, .spyhunter, and others. 

Tater virus uses RSA encryption algorithm[1] to lock up data, appends .tater extension and finally drops a ransom note  #HOW TO DECRYPT#.txt. In the brief message, hackers urge users to contact them via tater@mail2tor.com email within 48 hours of the infection, or otherwise, the decryption key will be deleted.

To retrieve access to pictures, videos, documents, and other data, users have to either pay cybercriminals in Bitcoin for the unique key (experts highly advise refrain from doing so), wait for the official decryptor or use third-party recovery tools for decryption. Before that, users have to remove Tater ransomware from their machines completely, or the restored files will be repeatedly locked.

Name Tater
Type Ransomware
Virus family GarrantyDecrypt
Distribution Spam emails, unprotected RDP, exploits, fake updates, software cracks, hacked sites, etc.
Cipher RSA
First spotted April 16 2019
Ransom note #HOW TO DECRYPT#.txt
Contact tater@mail2tor.com
Termination Perform a scan with anti-malware software
Recovery Use Reimage to fix infected system files

Tater ransomware can be spread in a variety of different methods – it highly depends on how determined the crooks are, as some distribution means require in-depth IT knowledge and preparation. Here are some of the ways hackers can use:

  • Brute force attacks via the RDP;
  • Spam emails;
  • Fake updates;
  • Exploit kits;[2]
  • Repacked or hacked software installers;
  • Software cracks or keygens;
  • Malicious ads, etc.

As soon as Tater ransomware enters the computer, it does not start the encryption process straight away. Malware first performs all the necessary changes to the system in order to operate without disturbances. For example, Tater file virus is known to open, copy, write and delete files, change Windows registry, elevates its privileges via process injection and shell commands,[3] load new modules, etc.

After all the technical changes are made, Tater ransomware then performs the encryption, locking users out of their personal files. Finally, the virus drops a ransom note to inform the infected users about the situation:

!!!!!!!Your files are encrypted!!!!!!!
Do not try to recover your files on your own or with someone else,because after the intervention you can remain without your data forever.
You have 48 hours to contact us,otherwise you will be left without access to the files forever.
Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don't waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service
Only we can decrypt all your data! 
Contact us us:
tater@mail2tor.com
And tell us your unique ID

Experts[4] highly advise users staying away from criminals behind Tater ransomware, as the chance of getting scammed is quite high. In such a case, even after the payment, you might end up losing not only your files but also the money. Additionally, such action will only prove that ransomware works and hackers will keep expanding their illegal business.

Therefore, do not contact hackers and instead proceed with Tater ransomware removal. You should use reputable security application (such as Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes) for that, although not all of them might be able to detect and terminate the threat. Additionally, you should run a scan with Reimage to recover from system damage. Once you delete the virus completely, you can attempt to recover your data.

Be careful while browsing the internet to avoid ransomware attacks

There are a variety of methods that would help you protect your device from ransomware and other malware. Of course, no means can guarantee you 100% protection, as malicious actors continually improve their codes to release more robust and persistent versions of the virus. Nevertheless, these tips should help you to keep ransomware infection risk at a minimum:

  • Install reputable security software and keep it up to date;
  • Enable Firewall;
  • Use ad-blocker, especially when visiting high-risk sites (porn, torrents, gambling, etc.);
  • Keep your OS, along with all the installed programs, up to date;
  • Use strong passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication;
  • Beware of spam emails – attachments or links inside might lead to ransomware;
  • Disable Remote Desktop Protocol when not using it;
  • Scan all executables you download from the internet with tools like Virus Total.

Terminate Tater ransomware using reputable security tools

You should not attempt to remove Tater ransomware manually – ransomware is a complicated infection that embeds deep within the system and changes the way it operates. Therefore, you should instead rely on professional tools like Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. Nevertheless, a scan with a few applications might be needed in order to terminate the Tater virus. Once you are ready, enter Safe Mode with Networking as explained below and perform a full system scan.

Tater ransomware removal will guarantee that all the files you recover from backups or other means will not be encrypted repeatedly. That is why you should never attempt the recovery prior to the elimination of the virus. If you have no backups ready, check third-party software that might help you recover at least some of your files.

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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 Tater virus, follow these steps:

Remove Tater using Safe Mode with Networking

In case Tater ransomware is interfering with your security software, 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 Tater

    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 Tater removal.

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

Remove Tater using System Restore

You can also use System Restore to remove the ransomware infection:

  • 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 Tater. 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 Tater removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

Make use of Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool used to restore corrupted or accidentally deleted files. However, it can help some ransomware victims too.

  • 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 Tater ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions Feature might help you restore some files

This solution is possible only if you had System Restore enabled before the virus struck your device.

  • 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”.

In some cases, ShadowExplorer might help you recover files encrypted by .tater

In some cases, ransomware might fail to remove Shadow Volume Copies. Use ShadowExplorer in such a situation.

  • 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 decryption tool is currently available

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

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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