MindLost ransomware removal instructions
What is MindLost?
Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, MindLost is a ransomware-type virus that infiltrates the system and encrypts a portion of stored data. Note that Microsoft detects this malware under another name - Paggalangrypt. During encryption, MindLost appends filenames with the ".enc" extension (e.g., "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.enc"). From this point, using compromised files becomes impossible. Immediately after encryption, MindLost downloads an image file from the Internet and sets it as the desktop background.
Note that MindLost targets only a small number of data types (full list below). In addition, it is supposed to skip the "Windows", "Program Files" and "Program Files (x86)" folders. Bear in mind, however, that MindLost is still in development and, thus, has certain flaws. For example, rather than encrypting files stored on all plugged storage devices, MindLost just targets those stored in the "C:\\Users" folder. Furthermore, MindLost's binary file contains information that is not supposed to be there. For example, it contains a greeting message ("Hi Daniel Ohayon!") that is typically included by the SDK (Software Development Kit), once the file is created. Although it is highly unlikely, this might be intentional - a method to trick "cyber police" into pursuing the wrong people. In addition, the binary file contains a hard-coded link to MindLost's database. Therefore, malware security researchers are able to connect and retrieve information (e.g., encryption/decryption keys) necessary to restore compromised data. These are just a few major flaws with MindLost ransomware. This malware is not yet actively distributed, since it is obviously in a development state, however, there is a high probability that this situation will change - flaws will be removed and developers will start proliferating this malware intensively.
MindLost ransomware's desktop wallpaper contains a message informing victims about the encryption and instructing them what to do next. In order to restore files, victims must visit a given URL and pay a ransom. Although it is currently unknown whether MindLost uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography, in both cases decryption requires a key generated uniquely for each victim. This allows ransomware developers to generate revenue - they hide keys on a remote server and encourage victims to submit payments for their release. Unlike other ransomware-type viruses, however, MindLost does not demand a cryptocurrency payment - users must enter their credit card information and submit a payment of $200. The idea of this is to gather various banking information. The data can be misused for further online purchases and so on. Developers will probably also sell this information to third parties (cyber criminals). Therefore, entering such information and paying any ransom can lead to serious privacy issues. In addition, criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. Therefore, we strongly advise you to ignore all requests to submit payments. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring data encrypted by MindLost and you can only restore everything from a backup. Note that, as mentioned above, the link to MindLost's database is hard-coded, and so there is a high probability that malware security researchers will deliver a solution.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are dozens of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with MindLost. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) GANDCRAB, InsaneCrypt, Rapid, and Skeleton. Although these viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, all have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. In most cases, the only major differences are size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Research shows that, unfortunately, most of these viruses employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the malware is still in development or has certain bugs/flaws (keys are hard-coded, stored locally or similar), file decryption manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. These viruses present a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, note that backup files must be stored on an unplugged external storage or remote server (e.g., Cloud). If not, the malware encrypts backups as well.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
To prevent ransomware infections, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open files received from suspicious email addresses. These emails should be deleted with out reading. Furthermore, download your applications only from official/certified sources, using direct download links (third party downloaders/installers often include rogue applications). Furthermore, keep installed software up-to-date, however, since criminals proliferate malware via fake updaters, we recommend using implemented update features or tools provided by the official developer. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed on your computer is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution.
Text presented in MindLost desktop wallpaper:
Don't Lose Your Mind But All Of Your Files Have Been Encrypted
Now it's not too late, you can still get them back and fo back to your life. All you have to do is go to mindless[.]azurewebsites[.]net and pay 200$ and all of your files will be available to you again. When paying (and you will) enter your computer's ID. You can find your computer's ID in a file called ID.txt in your Desktop folder. Afterwards enter your credit card information to complete the payment.
Now you can also purchase an insurance for an extra 50$. This means you will never be attacked by us again. This is strongly advised unless you want to go through all this again.
When you finish paying just go to your Desktop folder, run Decryptor.exe and all of your files will be safely decrypted and available to you again.
Q: What dies it can that all of my files have been encrypted?
A: All of your files are safe and can be restored. They are simply not accessible to you unless you gave the key to decrypt them which we will only provide if you pay us. Also don't bother trying to break the encryption it's not possible.
Screenshot of MindLost website:
Text presented in this website:
Hello and welcome to MindLost's website.?
We are a respected trustworthy ransomeware operation.
?Don't worry your files are safe and secure in our hands. All you Have to do is go to the Home tab and pay us so this could all be over.
?We guarantee your files will be decrypted safely and successfully.
?Also don't forget to buy our insurance so we won't meet again.
What should I do if I accidentally deleted the decryptor program?
?Do not worry, you can download it again by clicking here?
Is it possible that my files wont be restored even if I paid?
?We are not monsters, we only delete your original files after we make sure we have the decryption key safely in our database. As long as you don't change the decrypted files in any way they will be perfectly restored.?
Do I need an internet connection to decrypt my files?
?Yes, an internet connection is required to get your key for decrypting your files. ?
How can I avoid going through this again?
?You can purchase our insurance to make sure this wont happen again. If you do we can insure you we wont attack you again. ?
What should I do if I have a question?
?If you want to pay and have a problem or a question feel free to contact us for help. You can find our email address at the Contact tab. ??
© 2018 - MindLostWeb
Screenshot of files encrypted by MindLost (".enc" extension):
MindLost ransomware removal:
- What is MindLost?
- STEP 1. MindLost virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. MindLost ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the MindLost 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.
Download remover for Paggalangrypt ransomware
1) Download and install 2) Run system scan 3) Enjoy your clean computer!
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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 MindLost ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining MindLost 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 MindLost 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.
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 protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as MindLost ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.
Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.
HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 MindLost ransomware: