A virus program such as .Pdff Ransomware is a malware piece that operates differently than most other kinds of malicious software. Unlike most other forms of malware, this insidious virus doesn’t actually seek to cause damage to any component of your system, to spy on you or to steal your data. Instead, this nasty threat makes use of a process called data encryption which allows it to put all personal user files that are stored on the infected PC’s hard-drive under a lockdown. Once encrypted, all targeted data is rendered inaccessible to the computer’s user and the only way to be able to open the files again is by using a decryption key. Such a code gets generated by the malware but the only one who initially has access to this key is the hacker who’s in control of .Pdff.
Naturally, the whole idea behind this malware attack is to allow the hacker to blackmail their victim into making a ransom payment in order to receive the needed decryption key. This is actually where virus programs like .Pdff get their name from. Threats such as this one are typically referred to as Ransomware because of their ability to lock-up the user’s files and then demand a ransom transaction for the liberation of the sealed data. There is actually more than one type of Ransomware viruses. The two main Ransomware subcategories are the screen-lockers and cryptoviruses. The screen-lockers are normally not as problematic since they are the less advanced Ransomware type. They usually make use of a big screen-wide pop-up banner that gets placed on the computer’s screen making everything behind it hidden and, therefore, inaccessible. Basically, the whole PC gets locked-up in this way but the good news is that there are effective methods out there that could allow a victim to a screen-locker virus to deal with it manually. Sadly, the same can’t be said about most cryptoviruses – those are the type of Ransomware threats that utilize the encryption process to seal the user’s personal data.
Remove .Pdff Virus Ransomware
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.
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 .Pdff 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 .Pdff 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.
As you can already tell, .Pdff is one of those cryptoviruses and if you are currently looking for effective methods to deal with this threat, we regret to tell you that you might not be able to fully recover from the effects of its attack. Still, we are determined to help our readers to the best of our abilities and this is why we have done our best to give you a detailed guide for removing .Pdff and for potentially restoring any data that it might have locked up. We can’t promise you, though, that the instructions below will bring everything back to normal – the cryptovirus Ransomware threats are really advanced and there are just no surefire methods out there that can guarantee a successful recovery of all locked up data. Still, you should try all available options before you try to pay the requested money as it is inadvisable to trust some anonymous online criminals with your money hoping that they’d keep their promise and send you back the decryption details for your locked-up data.
The encryption is a really sneaky process when used by a Ransomware mainly because it causes no damage to the system or to the files and that way it triggers very few (if any) symptoms that could help you identify the infection. High RAM and CPU use as well as decreased HDD space during the encryption might be potential red flags but in most cases the process of your files getting locked up would probably go unnoticed even if you are a vigilant user. In many instances, even a strong antivirus might not be suited to detect a Ransomware infection because, as we already mentioned, no actual system or data corruption would take place on the PC.
Ransomware distribution methods
All kinds of methods can be used to spread such insidious threats. There are the spam e-mails, the malicious Internet adverts and links, the illegal sites with pirated content that can be downloaded and so on and so forth. Sometimes, another virus such as a Trojan Horse can be used to stealthily load a Ransomware inside your system which means that the nasty file-encrypting threat might sneak inside your machine without you having done anything.
Normally, the best thing you could do to keep your PC safe and files safe in future is to stay careful while online and also keep your machine secured by a reliable antivirus so that it would fend off any potential Trojan Horse infections. Another really important rule is to back-up your data – this can make all the difference between having safe copies of your most important files and being blackmailed into paying a considerable amount of money in order to get your data back.
|Danger Level||High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)|
|Symptoms||While encrypting your files , a Ransomware might cause a significant productivity slow-down of your PC due to an increased use of RAM and CPU.|
|Distribution Method||All kinds of methods are used for Ransomware distribution – Trojan Horse backdoor viruses, spam message, pirated software downloads, malvertising, etc.|
Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com, a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people.