Locked-up personal data files that you are unable to unlock due to a unbreakable encryption? A ransom-demanding note n your desktop or in the directory of the sealed data which states that unless you pay the set amount of money your files would never be accessible again? If any of this sounds familiar and if you are currently struggling with a similar situation, then you have had the misfortune of having your computer system infected and your personal data files locked-up by a Ransomware cryptovirus. This particular category of Ransomware is known for using highly-advanced encryption code to render most of the users’ data files inaccessible so that the hackers controlling the malware could later harass their victims and force them to pay a ransom.
Supposedly, according to such hackers, if the user does pay the money, a key will be send to them which will help them unlock their files. Unfortunately, however, such promises are not to be trusted so carelessly. Even if in most of the cases Ransomware hackers tend to send the decryption key, the examples where the opposite has happened despite the victims having paid are numerous. Therefore, if you are now struggling with a Ransomware’s encryption that is keeping your files sealed, we advise you to take a few more moments and read all the information in this article and also in the guide that has been posted down below and only then decide what the best course of action for you might be.
The focus of this post is .Promok Virus – a new and highly-advanced representative of the Ransomware cryptovirus category. The numbers of unfortunate users that have fallen prey to this nasty piece of malware is already quite high which is why here we will to offer you our help with handling this infection in case .Promok has made its way inside your system as well.
The first thing that we need to say with regards to dealing with a virus of the Ransomware cryptovirus type is that the options and the potential courses of action that might lead to success are rather limited. Furthermore, in cases like this there are normally no guarantees that your files would get restored regardless of what you choose to do. Now, onto the possible options that you might have. Naturally, the first thing that would come to mind to most Ransomware victims (especially ones that have had some really important data encrypted by the virus) is go for the money payment in case the sum isn’t too big. This, however, is a risky move since one can’t really be sure that they will get the details for removing the encryption from the files. After all, there’s nothing you could do to make the hackers send you the needed decryption key and they could simply take the money and leave you with no way of liberating your data. Therefore, an alternative option to that is conducting your own research and finding other potential ways you might be able to deal with the file lockdown without making any payment to the cyber-criminals. We have tried to supply our readers with a possible solution within our guide. The instructions there might help you eliminate the threat and the get your data back. Sadly, however, no guarantees regarding the recovery of your files can be given here either. Cryptoviruses like .Promok are very advanced pieces of malware and unfortunately there are no methods for dealing with them that are hundred percent effective. That said, if you try our suggested method for handling this threat, you will not need to pay anything to some shady and anonymous criminals who are highly likely to simply take your money and disappear afterwards without enabling you to unlock your data.
Advice for future days
Something that we missed to say about Ransomware infections like .Promok is that they are notoriously difficult to detect. Due to the use of encryption and the overall lack of system damage and suspicious activities, there are normally no visible symptoms and in many cases even your antivirus might not be able to detect the threat on time and stop it from taking your data hostage. That’s why the only surefire way for handling a Ransomware cryptovirus is making sure that such a threat never makes it inside your PC in the first place. To achieve that, it is important you stay away from shady and obscure online content and do not visit online addresses that might be hazardous or with low-reputation. Generally, anything on the Internet that seems questionable should be avoided – spam messages, fishy ads and offers, software downloads from unknown developers, etc. Also, another really important file-protection method is the use of a backup location where you can keep safe copies of your most valuable files and documents. This will remove the need to decrypt the original files even in the instance of a Ransomware infection and would make it much easier for you to handle such a problem since the hackers would have no leverage over you to use for blackmailing.
|Danger Level||High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)|
|Symptoms||Usually, Ransomware infections trigger no symptoms aside from maybe increased RAM and CPU use during encryption time.|
|Distribution Method||Shady and illegal websites, pirated downloads, compromised software installers, spam, malvertising, Trojan backdoors, etc.|
Remove .Promok 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.
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 .Promok 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 .Promok 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.