Ransomware viruses are malicious software programs used for blackmailing and money extortion schemes – typically, a virus of the Ransomware class is used to block a certain element of your system so that the hacker who’s behind the attack would later have leverage upon which they’d be able to blackmail their victims for a ransom payment. In the current article, you will be introduced to .Clop – a new Ransomware virus that uses encryption for the purpose of locking the files of the user who’s PC has been infiltrated. This particular virus falls under the so-called cryptovirus Ransomware sub-category – this is considered to be the most dangerous and problematic sub-type of Ransomware and we highly advise you to read all the information on this page regarding .Clop Ransomware and its malware class. Being well informed is crucial when it comes to successfully dealing with potential attacks from such malicious programs. Bear in mind that even some of the most experienced and skilled cyber-security professionals oftentimes struggle to find a good solution to Ransomware cryptovirus-related problems. Nevertheless, we have tried to offer our site’s visitors a possible solution that could potentially enable them to handle such an infection. On this page, you can find a guide that contains a number of steps with detailed instructions on how to eliminate the .Clop virus. In addition to that, there is a section devoted to possible data restoration methods that you could try in an attempt to recover the files that the Ransomware has sealed without paying the hackers the demanded money. Here, we must mention that the data recovery cannot be guaranteed regardless of what course of action you decide to go for. Neither paying the money nor using alternative methods such as the ones from our guide would always have the wanted effect . This is actually one of the main problems with Ransomware – the constant uncertainty regarding the future of the files that have been encrypted.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s almost always a more sensible option to try whatever alternative solutions might be available to you rather than directly make the money transaction to the cyber-criminals. Know that many users have been tricked into paying without actually receiving a decryption key that could unseal their personal documents. This could happen to you as well if you decide to go for the payment meaning that there’s a certain chance that you might simply lose money without actually getting anything in return.
Other issues with Ransomware
The main reason for cryptoviruses like .Clop being so problematic stems from the utilization of the so-called encryption process. Inherently, encryption isn’t actually something harmful or hazardous – this is nothing but an advanced method for data security and protection. Whoever holds the key for the encrypted data would be the sole person capable of accessing it. Of course, in most instances, that person would be the owner of the encrypted files which would then be protected against any unauthorized access. However, as you can see, when a Ransomware uses encryption, the key for accessing the files is only available to the hacker who’s conducting the malware attack. It is actually this key that’s the object of the whole blackmailing scheme – the user is supposed to pay for it.
There are two important things to note about the encryption process here. First, since it doesn’t harm any data or any other component of the invaded system, it is really difficult to detect the Ransomware even if there’s a reliable antivirus installed on the PC. The second thing is that removing the virus from the computer usually doesn’t unlock the files – they are still likely to remain encrypted. That is why there are separate instructions inside our guide that are solely focused on the potential data restoration methods that you can use. Sadly, as we said above, there’s no guarantee that even after making use of the file-recovery steps that we offer the documents would get fully restored.
Fending off Ransomware
Typically, hackers who create Ransomware tend to distribute their viruses through different methods such as adding the infection to spam e-mail attachments or using misleading web requests to trick users into visiting online addresses that contain the malware. Trojan backdoor viruses are also oftentimes used as means for further spreading insidious cryptoviruses like .Clop. The best thing you could do in order to keep your system secured is to keep your eyes open every time you get on the Internet and make sure that you don’t click on any content that might be unreliable. A good data protection solution is to get all that which you consider important and valuable backed up on a separate location – a cloud or an external hard-drive storage would be perfect for that job. Just make sure that you always have safe and accessible copies of your most important files in a place that no virus could reach them.
|Danger Level||High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)|
|Symptoms||Potential increase in the use of RAM and CPU causing system slow-downs.|
|Distribution Method||Shady site with illegally distributed contents, spam messages to your e-mail or to your social network accounts as well as through backdoor Trojan Horse viruses.|
Remove .Clop Ransomware Virus
Note: Before you go any further, we advise you to bookmark this page or have it open on a separate device such as your smartphone or another PC. Some of the steps might require you to exit your browser on this PC.
2: Task Manager
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to enter the Task Manager. Go to the Tab labeled Processes (Details for Win 8/10). Carefully look through the list of processes that are currently active on you PC.
If any of them seems shady, consumes too much RAM/CPU or has some strange description or no description at all, right-click on it, select Open File Location and delete everything there.
Also, even if you do not delete the files, be sure to stop the process by right-clicking on it and selecting End Process.
3: The Hosts file
Go to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Open the hosts file with notepad.
Find where it says Localhost and take a look below that.
If you see any IP addresses there (below Localhost) send them to us here, in the comments since they might be coming from the virus.
To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.
If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading SpyHunter - a professional malware removal tool - to see whether it will find malicious programs on your PC.
4: Disable Startup programs
Re-open the Start Menu and type msconfig.
Click on the first search result. In the next window, go to the Startup tab. If you are on Win 10, it will send you to the Startup part of the task manager instead, as in the picture:
If you see any sketchy/shady looking entries in the list with an unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer name that looks suspicious , disable those programs and select OK.
5: Registry Editor
Press Windows key + R and in the resulting window type regedit.
Now, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus.
Delete everything that gets found. If you are not sure about whether to delete something, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments. Keep in mind that if you delete the wrong thing, you might cause all sorts of issues to your PC.
6: Deleting potentially malicious data
Type each of the following locations in the Windows search box and hit enter to open the locations:
Delete everything you see in Temp linked to .Clop Ransomware. About the other folders, sort their contents by date and delete only the most recent entries. As always, if you are not sure about something, write to us in the comment section.
The previous steps were all aimed at removing the .Clop Ransomware from your PC. However, in order to regain access to your files, you will also need to decrypt them or restore them. For that, we have a separate article with detailed instructions on what you have to do in order to unlock your data. Here is a link to that guide.