Charck Ransomware

Also Known As: Charck virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Charck ransomware removal instructions

What is Charck?

Charck is a malicious program that cyber criminals use to encrypt data and to blackmail their victims (to make ransom demands). Programs of this type are categorized as ransomware. Charck is a part of Djvu ransomware-type programs. It was discovered by Michael Gillespie. When a computer is infected by it, Charck adds the ".charck" extension to every encrypte file. For example: if a file before encryption was named "1.jpg", then after encryption it gets renamed to "1.jpg.charck" and so on. It also creates a ransom note in a text file called "_readme.txt". Charck's victims should be able to find it in every folder that contains encrypted data.

The "_readme.txt" file is created to inform people about the price of the decryption tool/key, how to pay for it and how to get it. It tells that all files were encrypted but they are not lost and can be restored. To decrypt data it is required to purchase a decryption tool and unique key that cost $980. However, Charck's developers offer a 50% discount for people who contact them in the first 72 hours after encryption - a decryption will cost $490 then. To get details on how to make a payment it is required to contact them via or email address. Email should contain a personal ID that is appointed to every victim individually. Before paying, Charck's victims can send one file to them and they will decrypt it for free. Cyber criminals use this offer as a way to prove that they have a working decryption tool and key. Typically, cyber criminals (who developer ransomware-type programs) use cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric) that generate unique decryption keys and they store them on remote servers that can be accessed only by them. Simply said, people who have their computers infected with Charck cannot decrypt data without using a particular decryption tool/key. The problem is that its developers are the only ones who have it. It is very common for ransomware developers to use "uncrackable" cryptography algorithms that are impossible to decrypt without using a right tool. What is worse, most cyber criminals cannot be trusted: they do not send promised decryption tools to their victims even if their ransom demands are met. People who trust them/send them money (usually, cryptocurrency) get scammed. The only (and free) way to retrieve files in such cases is to use a data backup that was created before encryption and to restore them from there. There is no free tool at the moment that might be capable of a successful decryption.

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

Charck decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type programs operate very similarly: they encrypt data and display ransom demanding messages/generate ransom notes. Main differences usually are price of a decryption tool/key and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data. Another thing that most of these programs have in common is that their encryptions are impossible to decrypt without using tools that only their developers have. A decryption without particular ransomware's developers usually becomes possible only if a program is not fully developed/has some bugs, flaws. To avoid data loss caused by ransomware we recommend to create data backups regularly and to store them on remote servers or unplugged storage devices. Here are few examples of other similar programs: Kroput, GILETTE and a800.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals proliferate ransomware-type programs using one of the following ways: email campaigns, Trojans, untrustworthy software download channels, software "cracking" tools and fake software updaters. Spam campaigns cause infections through attachments that are presented in emails sent by cyber criminals. They attach malicious files such as Microsoft Office documents, archives (like ZIP, RAR), executables (.exe files), PDF documents, JavaScript and other files. Main purpose of these emails is to trick their recipients into opening attachments included in them. Once opened, they download and install various computer infections (like ransomware). Another way to spread computer infections is through Trojans. These are malicious programs that, once installed, open backdoors for other viruses. Simply said, they cause chain infections. Untrustworthy software (or other files) download sources like free file hosting, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks (and other similar channels) can be used by cyber criminals who present malicious files as legitimate. By downloading and opening/installing them people cause computer infections by themselves. Software "cracking" tools are programs that people use to avoid paying for activations of licensed software. However, these tools often install viruses instead of doing what people expect. Fake software updaters can be used as instruments to infect computers with ransomware-type programs and other viruses as well. If used, these tools cause computer infections instead of updating software or operating system. They might cause infections by exploiting outdated software's flaws, bugs as well.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Carefully analyze emails that contain various attachments or website links. If an attachment or link is presented in email that is received from unknown, suspicious address (and the email is irrelevant), then we recommend not to open its contents. At least not without being sure that it is safe. Download software using official, trustworthy sources/websites and direct links. Avoid using third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and other similar software), questionable, unofficial websites (and other similar sources) for that. Update installed software and operating system using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official developers only. Third party updaters should not be used/they should not be trusted. Same applies to various tools that are designed to activate paid software for free: these tools not only cause computer infections but are illegal as well. And finally, one of the best ways to keep a computer safe from various infections is to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and to keep it enabled at all times. These tools usually are capable to detecting and stopping/eliminating viruses from doing any damage before it is too late. If your computer is already infected with Charck, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Charck ransomware's text file ("_readme.txt"):

Don't worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with
strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:

Screenshot of files encrypted by Charck (".chark" extension):

Files encrypted by Charck

As with most of ransomware from Djvu family, Charck also displays a fake Windows update pop-up during the encryption:

Djvu ransomware family fake update

IMPORTANT NOTE! - Ransomware-type infections from Djvu malware family are designed to add a number of entries to the Windows hosts file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is carried out with the intention of making users unable to access malware security websites and seek help. Our website ( is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).

Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:

Tro Ransomware adding websites to Windows Hosts file

Charck ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Charck 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 Charck 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 Charck 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 Charck 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 Charck 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 Charck 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 Charck, 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 Charck 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.

Controll Folder Access

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:

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 Charck ransomware: