Clop ransomware removal instructions
What is Clop?
Clop is a ransomware-type virus discovered by Jakub Kroustek. This malware is designed to encrypt data and to rename each file by appending ".Clop" extension. For instance, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.Clop" and so on so forth. Following successful encryption, Clop generates a text file ("ClopReadMe.txt") and drops it's copy in every existing folder. This file contains a ransom-demanding message.
As a rule, cyber criminals state that victim's files are encrypted and that only they are capable of restoring it. Unfortunately, this is true. It is currently unconfirmed whether Clop uses symmetric or asymmetric cryptography. In both cases, however, each victim gets a unique decryption key which is necessary to restore data. The problem that all keys are stored in a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Therefore, in order to receive the decryption key (or a decrypter with the key embedded within) each victim has to pay a ransom. In order to do so, victims have to firstly contact cyber criminals via one of provided email addresses. The price isn't specified in the text file - all details are provided via email, because it supposedly depends on how fast victim decides to contact these persons. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that in most cases price fluctuates between $500 and $1500 in Bitcoins, Ethereum, Monero, DASH, or another cryptocurrency. Victims are also allowed to attach few selected files (up to 5MB in total and cannot contain "useful information") that will be decrypted and sent back for the victim as a guarantee that cyber criminals can actually be trusted. However, no matter how low or high the price is, you should never agree to pay. Research results show that vast majority of ransomware developers ignore victims, once the payments are submitted. For this reason, we highly recommend to ignore all encouragements contact these persons and pay ransoms. Unfortunately, there are no tools capable of cracking Clop's encryption and restoring data for free. The only possible solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Internet is full of ransomware-type viruses that share similarities with Clop. Pluto, FileSlack, CryCipher, Maoloa - these are only few examples from a long list. As with Clop, these viruses also encrypt data and make ransom demands. Ransomware-type infections typically have only two major differences: size of ransom and type of encryption algorithm used. Unluckily, most of them employ algorithms that generate unique decryption keys. Hence, unless the virus isn't fully developed and/or has certain bugs/flaws (e.g., the key is hard-coded, stored locally, or something like that) decrypting data without developers interfering is impossible. For this reason, we highly recommend to maintain regular data backups and to store them in a remote server (e.g., Cloud) or unplugged storage device (e.g., flash drive, external hard drive, or similar). Backups that are stored locally are more than likely to be encrypted alongside with the regular software.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown how exactly do developers proliferate Clop. In most cases, however, crooks use the following methods: trojans, fake software updaters, cracks, unofficial software download sources, and email spam campaigns. Trojans are malicious applications that, once infiltrated, inject additional malware into the system. Fake software updaters are designed to infect computers by exploiting outdated software's bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware instead of the promised updates. Cracks are meant to activate paid software for free. However, instead of gaining access to paid features users often end up installing various viruses. Third party software download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software, what tricks users into downloading and installing malware by themselves. Email spam campaigns proliferate viruses via malicious attachments. Crooks send hundreds of thousands of emails with deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached links/files. Doing so, however, typically results in a malware infection.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
In order to prevent this situation users must firstly realize that the key to computer safety is caution and that lack of knowledge and reckless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. In other words, paying close attention when browsing the web, as well as downloading/installing/updating software is a must. Always make sure to think twice before opening email attachments. If the file/link doesn't concern you and/or the sender's email address looks suspicious/unrecognizable, then do not open anything. Moreover, be sure to download apps only from official sources, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often spread malicious apps, which is why such tools shouldn't be used. Same goes for software updates. It is important to keep installed applications (as well as operating system) up-to-date. However, this should be achieved only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. We also advise you to never use software cracking tools due to two reasons: 1) usage of pirated software is considered a cyber crime - you literally steal from software developers, and; 2) there's a high risk of computer infections, because such tools are often used to spread malware. Last but not least, always have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, because such tools are more than likely to detect and eliminate malware before anything bad happens. If your computer is already infected with Clop, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Clop ransomware's text file ("ClopReadMe.txt"):
Your network has been penetrated.
All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.
Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted.
Shadow copies also removed, so F8 or any other methods may damage encrypted data but not recover.
We exclusively have decryption software for your situation
No decryption software is available in the public.
DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN ñ files may be damaged.
DO NOT RENAME OR MOVE the encrypted and readme files.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.
This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of the certain files.
Photorec, RannohDecryptor etc. repair tools are useless and can destroy your files irreversibly.
If you want to restore your files write to emails (contacts are at the bottom of the sheet) and attach 2-3 encrypted files
(Less than 5 Mb each, non-archived and your files should not contain valuable information
(Databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)).
You will receive decrypted samples and our conditions how to get the decoder.
Your warranty - decrypted samples.
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software.
We don`t need your files and your information.
But after 2 weeks all your files and keys will be deleted automatically.
The final price depends on how fast you write to us.
Screenshot of files encrypted by Clop (".Clop" extension):
Clop ransomware removal:
Instant automatic removal of Clop 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 Clop virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Clop?
- STEP 1. Clop virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Clop 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 Clop 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 Clop 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 Clop 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 Clop 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 Clop ransomware.
Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default this feature automatically protects files stored in 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�s 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 Clop ransomware: