.SYS ransomware removal instructions
What is .SYS?
Discovered by Michael Gillespie, .SYS is another ransomware-type infection. As with most of these infections, it is designed to block access to files by encryption and keep them locked until ransom demands are met. Once the computer is infected and files are encrypted, .SYS replaces extensions with a 16-character hexadecimal string filename. For example, "1E857D004DFB70F474DFF1B265DAB864.SYS". All encrypted files receive a different string. Note that .SYS places a ransom-demand text file ("_HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT") in each folder containing encrypted files.
As stated in the "_HELP_INSTRUCTION.TXT" ransom note, .SYS ransomware has encrypted all data. To receive more details, victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals via all email addresses provided: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Little further information is provided - just a warning urging .SYS victims not to use any third party software to decrypt files, since this might cause permanent data loss. Remaining details, such as cost (ransom amount) of decryption tool/key, how to obtain it, is provided when cyber criminals receive an email from the victim (the email must contain the assigned ID). It is not known which cryptography algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) .SYS uses to encrypt data, however, ransomware developers use cryptographies that generate unique keys and they store them on remote servers. Generally, only the cyber criminals have access to the servers and decryption keys (or tools). These infections cannot be cracked and only developers can decrypt the data. Note that no ransomware developers can be trusted. They usually ignore victims even if their ransom demands are met. Therefore, do not contact them. The best (free) solution is to use a backup (if created) and restore the files from there.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
There are many ransomware-type viruses online. Examples of other infections of this type include Forma, Kali, and RYK. Most share the same purpose: to prevent users from accessing their data (by encryption) and make ransom demands in return for decryption keys/tools. Differences between ransomware-type viruses are cost of decryption tool/key and cryptography used to lock (encrypt) files. Unfortunately, cyber criminals design these infections to be impossible to crack without their interference. In some cases, it is possible, but only if the ransomware is still in development or has bugs/flaws that remain unfixed. You are thus advised to maintain regular data backups and store them on remote servers/unplugged storage devices. This will prevent malware from encrypting the backups together with regular data.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
Common ways to proliferate ransomware-type infections include using spam email campaigns, untrustworthy software download sources, trojans, and unofficial (fake) software updaters. Cyber criminals employ spam campaigns by sending emails that include malicious (infected) attachments. They attach executable files, PDF documents, archive files, Microsoft Office documents, or other files/documents and encourage users to download and open them. Opening (executing) the malicious attachments causes computer infections. Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as torrents, eMule (and other networks), freeware download websites, file hosting websites, third party downloaders/installers, and other sources are also used to proliferate ransomware. By employing these tools, cyber criminals often trick people into downloading and installing malicious software. Trojans are often used to proliferate ransomware (and other infections). Malicious programs of this type cause chain infections. Unofficial (fake) software updaters usually infect computers by downloading/installing malware rather than the updates or by exploiting flaws/bugs of outdated software.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Symptoms||Can'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 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.|
To eliminate .SYS virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Do not open attachments or links in emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses. If you believe that the email is irrelevant, simply ignore/delete it. Download software using official, trustworthy sources and directs links only. We strongly recommend that you avoid using third party channels, since they could be used to proliferate unwanted apps and computer infections. Keep your software updated, however, use tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers only. Have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and keep it enabled at all times. If your computer is already infected with .SYS, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in .SYS ransomware text file:
Attention! All Your data was encrypted!
For specific informartion, please send us an email with Your ID number:
Please send email to all email addresses! We will help You as soon as possible!
IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE ANY PUBLIC SOFTWARE! IT MAY DAMAGE YOUR DATA FOREVER!
Screenshot of files encrypted by .SYS (".SYS" extension):
.SYS ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of .SYS 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 .SYS virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is .SYS?
- STEP 1. .SYS virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. .SYS 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 .SYS 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 .SYS 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 .SYS 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 .SYS 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 .SYS 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 .SYS ransomware: