Princess Ransomware

Also Known As: Princess virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Princess ransomware removal instructions

What is Princess?

Princess is a ransomware-type virus that encrypts most data stored on the infiltrated computer. During encryption, Princess appends the names of compromised files with random extensions. This is quite uncommon, since most of ransomware appends a specific extension (for example, ".locked") or renames files using various patterns (e.g., "[5_random_characters]_[12_random_digits]_[unique_ID].[certain_extension]"). Note that updated variant of this ransomware is named "Princes Evolution". Following successful encryption, Princess creates two files ("!_HOW_TO_RESTORE_[extension].TXT" and "!_HOW_TO_RESTORE_[extension].html") informing victims of the encryption (newer variants use =_HOW_TO_FIX_[victim's ID].txt and @_USE_TO_FIX_[unique_ID].txt names for the ransom demanding messages), and places them in each folder containing encrypted files. Note that updated variants of this ransomware add ".*id*" extension to encrypted files. The ransom demanding message in the newer variants of this ransomware is presented in _USE_TO_REPAIR_[victim’s ID].html file.

The text and html files state that files are encrypted and that victims must visit Tor network websites provided where they can login using their unique ID (provided within the text/html files) and find further decryption instructions. Princess ransomware encrypts files using asymmetric cryptography. Therefore, two keys (public [encryption] and private [decryption]) are generated during encryption. It is impossible to restore files without the private key. Since cyber criminals store the key on a remote server, victims must pay a ransom of 3 Bitcoins (currently equivalent to ~$1817) to receive it. If payment is not submitted within a given time frame (a timer is provided on the website), the size of ransom will double to 6 Bitcoins. Victims are able to decrypt a single selected file (up to 1 MB) free of charge - this supposedly to prove that decryption is possible. Note that ransomware often make a significant demand of between .5 and 1.5 Bitcoin. Despite this, you should never attempt to contact these people or pay any ransom. Cyber criminals often ignore victims, despite payments made. There is a high probability that you will be scammed. There are currently no tools capable of restoring files encrypted by Princess. Thus, the only solution is to restore your files/system from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to contact the developers of Princess ransomware to decrypt their compromised data:

Princess decrypt instructions

Princess originates from the same malware family as Alma Locker. The ransom-demand message and Tor website is very similar to Cerber ransomware. This, however, is not the only ransomware similar to Princess. Research shows that all ransomware-type viruses are virtually identical. Malware such as Black Feather, Cry, RansomCuck, and hundreds of others, also encrypt files and demand ransom payments. Ransomware-type viruses usually employ asymmetric encryption algorithms (the encryption and decryption keys are different). Therefore, the only major difference is the size of ransom. Be aware that ransomware such as Princess is often distributed using malicious software updaters, trojans, spam emails (infectious attachments), and unofficial software download sources (for example, peer-to-peer networks, freeware download websites, and so on). Therefore, keep your installed programs up-to-date and use a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite. Furthermore, be cautious when opening files received from suspicious emails. Downloading files/software from untrusted sources is also not recommended. Poor knowledge and rushing is often the reason for these infections. The key to computer safety is caution.

Update 21 November, 2016 - A decrypter for this ransomware has been released by security researcher hasherezade, you can download it HERE.

Screenshot of Princess ransomware website "Select language" page:

Princess ransomware website

Screenshot of Princess ransomware website login page:

Princess ransomware website login

Screenshot of Princess ransomware website payment page:

Princess ransomware website payment page

Screenshot of files encrypted by Princess ransomware (random extension):

Princess ransomware encrypting victim's files

Princess ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Princess virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Princess virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Princess virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Princess ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Princess ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Princess are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Princess, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encrypting ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Princess ransomware.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Princess ransomware: