KyMERA Ransomware

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

KyMERA ransomware removal instructions

What is KyMERA?

Discovered by malware security researcher, Michael Gillespie, KyMERA is a ransomware-type virus that stealthily infiltrates the system and locks most stored files. Unlike other ransomware viruses, KyMERA does not encrypt data. This malware compresses each file to a password-protected zip archive. It also appends filenames with the "locked.zip" extension (for instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg locked.zip"). KyMERA then opens a pop-up window that contains a ransom-demand message.

The message states that data is encrypted and that the victim must pay a ransom to restore files. As mentioned above, this malware does not encrypt data, but rather compresses it to a password-protected zip. There is, however, a high probability that developers use a type of algorithm (RSA, AES, or other) to encrypt the password itself. In any case, the main idea is that each victim must purchase a password, which is stored on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. The cost for release of a key is .01 Bitcoin (currently equivalent to ~$65). As compared to other ransomware, this cost is quite low - ransoms typically fluctuate between $500 and $1500. In any case, do not pay. Research shows that many cyber criminals ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Therefore, paying typically gives no positive result and users are scammed. You are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Unfortunately, there are currently no tools capable of restoring data compromised by KyMERA free of charge. Therefore, the only solution is to restore everything from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

KyMERA decrypt instructions

Although KyMERA does not encrypt data, it shares many similarities with many other ransomware-type viruses such as ANIMUS, Nozelesn, Aurora, and King Ouroboros. These viruses are developed by different cyber criminals, and yet their behavior is identical - all compromise data and make ransom demands. In most cases, ransomware-type viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm. Unfortunately, most use algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally or similar), restoring data without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. For these reasons, ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, it is very important to store them on a remote on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or an unplugged storage device. This will protect backups from being encrypted together with regular data.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware is proliferated in various ways, however, the most popular five are: 1) spam emails [malicious attachments]; 2) P2P [peer-to-peer] networks [torrents, eMule, etc.]; 3) unofficial software download sources [freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc.]; 4) fake software update tools, and; 5) trojans. Malicious attachments typically come in the format of JavaScript files or MS Office documents. Once opened, these files execute scripts that stealthily download and install malware. P2P networks and other third party download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing viruses. Fake updaters infect the system by exploiting old software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Trojans open "backdoors" for other viruses (in this case, ransomware) to infiltrate the system. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Analyze each email attachment received. Files that seem irrelevant or have been sent by a suspicious/unrecognizable email should never be opened. Furthermore, you are strongly advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since they promote rogue apps. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. The same rule applies to software updates. It is very important to keep installed applications updated, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also essential. If your computer is already infected with KyMERA, we recommend running a scan with Reimage Repair Tool for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in KyMERA ransomware pop-up window:

KyMERA RansOm By Gian
All your files have been encrypted!
All your documents (databases, texts, images, videos, musics, etc. were encrypted. The encryption was done using a secret key, that is now on our servers. To decrypt your files you will need to buy the secret key from us. We are the only on the world who can provide this for you.
What can I do?
Pay 0.01 BTC, in bitcoin, TO THIS ADDRESS: 3HVfgqZra4QJK1ryWJLYR7HALcwpG4kViG You can use LocalBitcoins.com to buy bitcoins.
EMAIL US WITH TRANSACTION IS TO KyMERA-Gian@outlook.com and we will reply your email with password.
PS. if value "0.01 BTC" is incorrect we will not sent password until correct amount is transferred. Don't forget sent your TRANSACTION ID.
Thank You!

Screenshot of files compromised by KyMERA (" locked.zip" extension):

Files encrypted by KyMERA

KyMERA ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of KyMERA virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Reimage Repair is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of KyMERA virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Reimage Repair 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 Reimage Repair.

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":

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.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the KyMERA 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 KyMERA 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 KyMERA 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 KyMERA 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 KyMERA, 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 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 KyMERA 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 KyMERA ransomware: