Snatch Ransomware

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

Snatch ransomware removal instructions

What is Snatch?

Discovered by Michael Gillespie, Snatch is high-risk computer infection categorized as ransomware. Programs of this type are developed by cyber criminals. They use ransomware to encrypt data stored on computers and blackmail victims by demanding ransom payments. Snatch creates a ransom message within a text file called "Readme_Restore_Files.txt" and renames encrypted files by adding the ".snatch" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.snatch".

Snatch developers (cyber criminals) claim in the "Readme_Restore_Files.txt" that all data stored on the victim's computer is encrypted. They warn victims not to modify any encrypted files. The email address is provided to contact developers of Snatch ransomware. No other statements are made within the ransom message. Once contacted, cyber ransomware developers generally demand payment of a ransom. They state the cost of a decryption tool and send a cryptocurrency wallet address to make the transaction. Ransomware-type programs commonly encrypt data using cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that cannot be 'cracked' without using a specific decryption tool. Unfortunately, in most cases, only ransomware developers can provide victims with a tool capable of decryption. Note that they do not provide these tools free of charge. Generally, cyber criminals cannot be trusted - they send no decryption tools, even if their ransom demands are met. There are no free tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by Snatch (at least, not at the moment). If you have a data backup created before the computer was infected by this ransomware, we recommend that you use it to restore your files.

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

Snatch decrypt instructions

Snatch is one of many ransomware-type programs. Other examples include SEED LOCKER, GANDCRAB 5.2 (one of many versions), and Cammora. Generally, these programs encrypt data and display ransom demand messages. Any differences are cost of decryption and cryptography algorithm used for encryption. Most encryptions are impossible to crack without using the tools owned by specific ransomware developers. Decryption is only possible in rare cases when ransomware-type programs are not fully developed, contain bugs/flaws, and so on. To avoid data loss caused by ransomware in the future, create data backups and store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware-type programs and other computer infections are usually distributed using spam campaigns (emails), untrustworthy software download channels, Trojans, software cracking tools, and fake updaters. Cyber criminals proliferate these infections by presenting malicious email attachments (or links) as legitimate. The main goal is to trick recipients into opening malicious attachments or website links that leads to them. Opening these attachments leads to installation of malicious programs. Attached files are usually Microsoft Office documents, executables (.exe), archives (RAR and other), JavaScript files, and so on. Untrustworthy software download sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and other), freeware download and free file hosting websites, third party software downloaders/installers type are also used to proliferate malware. Cyber criminals use them to present malicious files as legitimate. By downloading and running them, users often install various viruses. Trojans are malicious programs that proliferate other computer infections. If a trojan is installed, other infections are caused. To proliferate ransomware, cyber criminals use software cracking tools - these often install malicious programs rather than activating any software free of charge. Fake software updaters usually infect systems by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or by downloading infections rather than updates or fixes.

Threat Summary:
NameSnatch 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 Snatch 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?

Avoid opening attachments or links that are presented in emails received from unknown, untrustworthy or suspicious email addresses. These emails are usually presented as important and official, however, do not open any attachments or click website links. Download software using direct links and trustworthy, official sources. Do not use Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, installers, or other dubious sources. These sources are often used to promote rogue apps capable of causing computer infections or other serious problems. Installed software or operating systems should be updated using tools or implemented functions provided by official software developers. Software cracking tools cannot be trusted, since they are illegal (using them is a cyber crime) and they often cause computer infections. To keep your computer safe, have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and keep it enabled at all times. These tools usually detect and eliminate threats before they can do any damage. If your computer is already infected with Snatch, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Snatch ransomware text file :

All your files are encrypted
Do not try modify files
My email

Screenshot of files encrypted by Snatch (".snatch" extension):

Files encrypted by Snatch

Snatch ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Snatch 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 Snatch 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 Snatch 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 Snatch 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 Snatch 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 Snatch 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 Snatch, 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 Snatch 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 Snatch 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 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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

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
Snatch 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 Snatch virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Snatch virus today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Spyhunter

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Spyhunter:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.