IEncrypt ransomware removal instructions
What is IEncrypt?
First discovered by S!Ri, IEncrypt is another ransomware-type virus designed to encrypt files using AES cryptography. During encryption, IEncrypt appends filenames with the "PCname_of_company" extension. This ransomware typically targets companies, rather than individual users. We examined a variant of IEncrypt that exploited the name of a German company called Krauss-Maffei and, thus, the extension was ".kraussmfz". Other known extensions used by this ransomware are ".midwestsurinc", ".0riz0n", ".n3xtpharma", ".grupothermot3k" and ".cmsnwned". This ransomware also generates an identical text file for each encrypted file. Each has a unique name associated with the encrypted file (e.g., "1.jpg.kraussmfz_readme.txt"). All text files contain an identical ransom-demand message.
The message is quite short and simply states that the computer network has been hacked, data has been encrypted, and that the owner must contact IEncrypt's developers via an email address provided and pay a ransom to restore compromised files. As mentioned above, IEncrypt uses AES, a symmetric encryption algorithm that (if used correctly) generates a unique key (used to encrypt and decrypt data) for each hijacked computer. Restoring data without these keys is impossible. Note, however, that developers hide all keys on a remote server, and are thus able to blackmail victims for their release. To receive their decryption keys, victims must pay ransoms. The cost is not specified - these details are provided after contacting cyber criminals, but regular ransomware-type viruses (that target single users) usually demand $500-1500 in Bitcoins, DASH, Monero, or another cryptocurrency. Since IEncrypt targets entire networks, the cost might be much higher. Criminals typically demand payment for the entire network (in which case, the size of ransom can reach many thousands of dollars) or a specific amount for each PC. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that cyber criminals often ignore victims, once payments are submitted. Paying is likely to deliver no positive result and you will be scammed. We strongly advise that you ignore all requests to submit payments or even contact these people. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking IEncrypt encryption and restoring data free of charge. 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:
IEncrypt shares many similarities with INFOWAIT, Ghost, ARGUS, Crypted034, and dozens of other ransomware-type viruses. These are developed by different cyber criminals, but all have identical behavior - they encrypt data and make ransom demands. Typically, ransomware viruses have just two major differences: 1) size of ransom, and; 2) type of encryption algorithm used. Unfortunately, most employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the viruses are not fully developed or have certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular data backups, however, store them on a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device. If not, malware encrypts backups with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown exactly how criminals proliferate IEncrypt. In most cases, however, ransomware-type viruses are distributed using spam email campaigns, trojans, Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (eMule, torrents, etc.) and other unofficial download sources (freeware download websites, free file hosting websites, and so on), and fake software update tools. Spam campaigns are used to deliver malicious attachments (e.g., executables, MS Office documents, PDFs, etc.). Once opened, these attachments download and install malware. Trojans cause so-called "chain infections" - after successful system infiltration, a trojan-type virus aids other malware to infiltrate the same computer. P2P networks and other third party download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. Thus, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than the promised updates.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||Extension depends on the targeted company (e.g., IEncrypt's variant that is designed for German company called Krauss-Maffei and, thus, appends filenames with ".kraussmfz" extension).|
|Ransom Demanding Message||The ransomware creates a ransom note for each encrypted file and the name of each note is named after these files (e.g., "1.jpg.kraussmfz_readme.txt").|
|Cyber Criminal Contactemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Detection Names||Ad-Aware (Gen:Variant.Razy.601945), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Razy.601945), Emsisoft (Gen:Variant.Razy.601945 (B)), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.ECHI), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||IGFX Encryption Handler (the process name may vary).|
|Symptoms||Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Additional Information||This ransomware targets various companies rather than home users.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.|
|Damage||All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. If the file/link seems irrelevant or the sender seem suspicious/unrecognizable, do not open anything. Furthermore, carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and decline offers to download/install additional apps. Download software from official sources only, using direct download links. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications updated, however, this should be achieved using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also essential, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before any damage is done. If your computer is already infected with IEncrypt, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in IEncrypt ransomware text file :
Hello company name,
Your network was hacked and encrypted.
No free decryption software is available on the web.
Email us at SARAH.BARRICK@PROTONMAIL.COM, MARY.SWANN@PROTONMAIL.COM, Ashley.Mowat@protonmail.com (or) LINDA.HARTLEY@TUTANOTA.COM, HENRY.PROWSE@TUTANOTA.COM, Shane.Gilles@tutanota.com to get the ransom amount.
Please, use your company name as the email subject.
Screenshot of IEncrypt ransomware process in Windows Task Manager ("IGFX Encryption Handler"):
Screenshot of files encrypted by IEncrypt ("PCname_of_company" extension):
IEncrypt ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is IEncrypt?
- STEP 1. IEncrypt virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. IEncrypt 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 IEncrypt 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.
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 IEncrypt 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 IEncrypt 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 IEncrypt 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 IEncrypt 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 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 IEncrypt ransomware: