Risk Ransomware

Also Known As: Risk virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Risk ransomware removal instructions

What is Risk?

Risk was discovered by Michael Gillespie and is a new variant of Dharma, a ransomware category infection. Like all the other viruses of this type, Risk is designed to encrypt files stored on an infected computer and keep them locked until cyber criminals receive a ransom payment for a decryption tool or key. The infection renames every encrypted file by adding the ".risk" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.id-3A4E114C.[audit@cock.li].risk" (the extension contains an email address and a unique ID). Risk also creates a text file (a ransom message) called "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" and displays a ransom-demand pop-up window.

"FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" contains an email address (audit@cock.li) to contact cyber criminals. A ransom-demand pop-up window contains a more exhaustive explanation regarding the situation: systems infected with Risk ransomware have arrived at this situation due to 'security problems'. It states that, as the files are encrypted, it is impossible to use them without contacting Risk developers via the email address provided. It goes on to explain that victims of Risk ransomware must contact the developers immediately, otherwise the cost of the decryption tool will be increased. Their demands are simple: victims must contact them using the email address and provide the assigned ID so that they can be identified. Once contacted, these criminals will then supposedly provide details about how to make a money transfer (in Bitcoins) and will provide a decryption tool as soon as the payment is made. They even offer free decryption of one file as a 'guarantee' that they can be trusted. In fact, no cyber criminals can be trusted, and this includes Risk developers. They commonly use algorithms that generate unique keys and store them on remote servers accessible only by them. Furthermore, they usually ignore victims even if the ransom demands are met. In this way, users are scammed. There are currently no tools capable of cracking Risk infection. Therefore, the best solution is to restore files using an existing backup.

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

Risk decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type viruses are very similar. Developers design them to encrypt files and make ransom demands. The main differences between these infections is the ransom (cost of  the decryption key/tool) and cryptography algorithm used for encryption. In any case, most of these viruses are 'uncrackable' and decryption without the involvement of cyber criminals is usually impossible, unless the ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Some examples of other similar ransomware-type viruses are Bip, Lolita, GoodJob24, and Puma.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The method that cyber criminals use to proliferate this ransomware is unknown, however, these infections are usually distributed using spam email campaigns, trojans, untrustworthy software download sources, and fake software updaters. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to proliferate their viruses by sending emails that contain malicious attachments. These are often MS Office documents, executable (.exe) files, archive files such as RAR, PDF files, and so on. The main purpose is to present the email as legitimate and trick people into downloading and opening the malicious attachment (or web link). Torjans also proliferate ransomware infections. Trojans are malicious programs that, once installed, proliferate other viruses (thus causing chain infections). Cyber criminals also use various untrustworthy sources (such as peer-to-peer networks, freeware download or file hosting websites, etc.) to proliferate viruses. This is achieved by presenting infected files as legitimate - in these cases, users are tricked into installing viruses. Fake software updaters exploit outdated software bugs/flaws or download infections rather than the promised updates.

Threat Summary:
NameRisk virus
Threat TypeRansomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
SymptomsCan't open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension, for example my.docx.locked. A ransom demanding message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals are asking to pay a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads.
DamageAll 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.

To eliminate Risk virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Study each received email before opening any attachment or web link. If the email is received from an unknown, suspicious email address, or simply looks irrelevant, ignore it and certainly do not open the attachment or link. The safest way to download software is using official and trustworthy sources. Other sources, such as third party downloaders, unofficial websites, and so on, should not be used. Keep your software updated, but do this using implemented functions or tools provided by the official software developers, and not third party updaters. Having reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed is also paramount. These tools detect and eliminate viruses (or other infections) before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with Risk, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Risk ransomware pop-up window:

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail audit@cock.li
Write this ID in the title of your message 3A4E114C
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:audit@cock.li
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of Risk text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Risk text file

Text presented in Risk ransomware text file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email audit@cock.li

Screenshot of files encrypted by Risk (".risk" extension):

Files encrypted by Risk

Update 4 Dec, 2018 - Risk ransomware's developers have released an updated variant of this virus that now uses the ".RISK" extension and "audit24@qq.com" email address. Messages in the pop-up window and text file remain the same.

Pop-up window displayed by the updated variant of Risk ransomware:

RISK ransomware pop-up

Text file created by this Risk ransomware variant:

RISK ransomware text file

Files encrypted by this Risk ransomware variant (".RISK" extension):

Files encrypted by RISK ransomware

Risk ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Risk 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 Risk 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":

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 Risk 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 Risk 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 Risk 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 Risk 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 Risk, 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 Risk 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 Risk ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Risk virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Risk virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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