How to remove ransomware malware once my computer has been infected? After this attack, everyone will look for the answer to this. In this article, we will address all of your questions about ransomware.
In recent years, ransomware attacks have gained popularity. These attacks infect computer files and encrypt user files before demanding payment. Cybercrime is a large business and is carried out by cybercriminals.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computer files and encrypts user files with a demand for a ransom to be paid in order to decrypt them. The malware typically displays a message on the computer screen that demands payment in bitcoins in order to release the user’s files.
Ransomware has become increasingly popular in recent years, with reports of infections increasing by 200%, and there was a reported increase in ransomware infections by 400%.
The biggest reason for the increase in ransomware infections is it is a profitable business. ransom payments for ransomware can range from $100 to $500.
How did my PC get ransomware?
PCs get ransomware through various means. Some of the ways you can get infected by ransomware include:
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites
- Opening file attachments from an unknown sender
- Opening malicious or bad links in emails or social media.
Install pirated content and software
How to remove Ransomware
After getting infected by ransomware, removing it from the PC and recovering files is the important step. Don’t pay money to recover your files.
Even if you pay the ransom demanded by an attacker to unlock an encrypted device, there is no guarantee that they will do so. Even if you manage to remove ransomware itself, you still need to decrypt your data to access it.
To be clear, not every ransomware family has a decryptor designed for it, often because the ransomware uses complex and advanced encryption algorithms. so, It is obvious that retrieving files is impossible. Restore all the data from the Backup created.
What are the Steps to remove Ransomware?
Steps to remove ransomware from pc after getting infected are :-
1. Immediately disconnect and isolate infected devices
To prevent further infection, disconnect all networks from affected PCs or devices. Also disconnect everything connected to the devices on your network, including:
- Shared or unshared network drives
- External hard drives
- Flash drives
- Cloud storage accounts
2. Identify ransomware attack type
Finding the ransomware’s strain could help you find a fix. There are many variants, like screenlockers , Encrypting ransomware, filecoders, and scareware.
Use Crypto Sheriff tool to identify the ransomware type
To help you determine the type of ransomware on PCs, we recommend using No More Ransom’s Crypto Sheriff. Provided by Europol’s European Cybercrime Center, this handy tool checks files the attacker has encrypted and the ransom note. If Crypto Sheriff recognizes the encryption and has a solution, it gives you the link to download the decryption program you need.
Various tech forums to learn more about ransomware types
Visiting different forums related to tech regarding ransomware will certainly help to learn more about ransomware variants. Forums like Reddit, Quora, and other forums.
When you visit tech forums for help, search for the names and extensions of your encrypted files; each can help guide you to discussions about the strain of ransomware you wish to get rid of.
3. Remove ransomware malware
You can remove ransomware malware that infected PCs with free tools without paying any money, or you can pay for premium software that will remove ransomware malware from PCs.
- Remove with Malwarebytes Software
Remove Using MalwareByte
you get advanced real-time protection against sophisticated cyberthreats including phishing and ransomware attacks.
Does resetting PC remove ransomware?
Depending on how bad the attack is, resetting will fix the issue if it only infects only targeted certain file types, such as Office files, a reset would remove those infected files and your machine would recover in a clean state.
Reinstalling OS is recommended in order to clear the system if the attack is on the OS level.
Resetting your PC can remove some types of ransomware, but it’s not a guaranteed method of removal, and it should be used as a last resort.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts your files and demands a ransom for the decryption key. Here’s how resetting your PC can be relevant in dealing with ransomware:
Complete Reset (Factory Reset):
A complete reset, often referred to as a factory reset, will remove all the data and software on your computer and restore it to its original state when it was first purchased.
This means the ransomware infection should be removed, but you’ll lose all your data in the process. This should only be considered if you have no other option and have backed up your important files.
If your computer has a system restore point from before the ransomware infection occurred, you can use this feature to revert your computer’s settings and system files to an earlier state.
This can effectively remove the ransomware, but it won’t decrypt your files.
Operating System Reinstallation:
You can reinstall your operating system (e.g., Windows, macOS, or Linux) to remove the ransomware. This will erase all your data on the system drive but leaves other drives and external backups unaffected.
Be cautious about potentially infected external drives or backups.
If you have backup copies of your important files on an external device or in the cloud, you can safely wipe your computer’s hard drive and then restore your files from the backup.
This method won’t remove the ransomware but will ensure you have access to clean copies of your data.
Recover encrypted files after removing Ransomware
After cleaning up ransomware malware from PCs, now begins the file recovery process. The following are the ways to regain access to your encrypted files:-
Restore system from a backup
Restore Windows from the backup created earlier. This will be clean and without any malware. All other files can be restored from their respective cloud accounts.
Finally, you can try using CCleaner’s file recovery software Recuva, which will also help you recover deleted or lost files.
Pay Ransom or not for decryption tool
Don’t pay the ransom and don’t negotiate because Even if you pay the ransom demanded by an attacker to unlock an encrypted device, there is no guarantee that they will do so.
Even if you manage to remove ransomware itself, you still need to decrypt your data to access it. It is better to get all the data from a backup. Delete all encrypted files or format your system and double-check all files whether there infected or not.
How to protect from ransomware?
Ransomware is malware that encrypts files or stops from using computers until you pay money (a ransom) for them to be unlocked. The Ways to protect it from ransomware are:-
Helpful Tips for preventing Ransomware
Remember that while resetting your PC can remove the ransomware, it won’t necessarily prevent future infections. To prevent ransomware attacks:
Install Antivirus Software: Use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software and keep it updated.
Regularly Backup Data: Regularly back up your important files to an external device or a secure cloud service.
Keep Software Updated: Keep your operating system and all software up to date with the latest security patches.
Be Cautious with Email and Downloads: Avoid opening suspicious email attachments or downloading files from untrusted sources.
Use Strong Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords and consider using a password manager.
Educate Yourself: Be aware of phishing tactics and ransomware delivery methods. Educate yourself and your employees if it’s a business environment.
Ransomware is malware that encrypts files from use and demands a ransom to decrypt files. Ransomware has become increasingly popular in recent years. The biggest reason for the increase in ransomware infections is it is a profitable business.
To be secure from ransomware, we need to always back up files and never ever download files from unknown links or attachments. Do not pay any ransom.
If you’re dealing with a ransomware infection, it’s advisable to consult with a cybersecurity professional or use specialized ransomware removal tools.
Paying the ransom is strongly discouraged, as it encourages cybercriminals and may not guarantee the safe return of your files.
Frequently Ask Questions
Yes, you can always choose to do a reinstall of Windows (clean install/reformat) instead which will remove ransomware related malicious files
Malwarebytes can detect and remove ransomware without further user interaction