Metan Ransomware

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

Metan ransomware removal instructions

What is Metan?

Metan belongs to the GarrantyDecrypt ransomware family and was discovered by Michael Gillespie. It is categorized as ransomware, a program used by cyber criminals to prevent users from accessing their files by encrypting data stored on their computers. These computer infections allow developers (cyber criminals) to blackmail victims by making ransom demands. Metan renames all encrypted files by adding the ".metan" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.metan". It also creates a ransom message within a text file ("#HOW TO DECRYPT FILES#.txt"), which can be found in folders that contain encrypted files.

According to the ransom message, all files were encrypted. To receive instructions on how to pay for a decryption tool, Metan's victims are encouraged to contact the developers via the email address (the message must include a personal/unique ID). Generally, cyber criminals send a cryptocurrency wallet address for users to make the transaction and promise to send a decryption tool once they receive payment. Despite this, ransomware developers cannot be trusted, since they often do not send any decryption tools and people who pay them become victims of a scam. Unfortunately, they ensure that it is impossible to decrypt files without using their decryption tools. Their ransomware-type programs encrypt data using 'uncrackable' cryptography algorithms (symmetric or asymmetric). Therefore, only ransomware developers have access to tools capable of file decryption. If a computer is infected with ransomware, the best free way to regain access to files is to use a data backup and restore everything from there.

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

Metan decrypt instructions

Metan is similar to many other programs of this type including Robbinhood, Mr-X666, and Doples. These computer infections are created by different cyber criminals, however, most encrypt data and make ransom demands. Main differences are usually cost of decryption/ransom size and cryptography used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, manual decryption is generally impossible. Therefore, ransomware victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals and purchase decryption tools. Decryption without the involvement of specific ransomware developers is possible only when these programs are not fully developed (have bugs, flaws, and so on). Therefore, we recommend that you maintain backups and have them stored on unplugged storage devices or remote servers such as Cloud. If not, they are encrypted with other files stored on the computer.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

There are many ways to proliferate ransomware and other computer infections. Typically, cyber criminals use spam campaigns, software 'cracking' tools, Trojans, third party software updaters, and dubious software download sources. When they use spam campaigns, they send emails with malicious files attached. These files are usually PDF or Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executables (.exe files), archives such as RAR, ZIP and so on. They send emails that are presented as legitimate, however, if the attached files (or web links that lead to them) are opened, they download and install ransomware or other computer infections. Furthermore, if software 'cracking' tools are used to activate software or operating systems, they often download and install viruses. Another way to proliferate computer infections is through Trojans: when installed, they cause chain infections. They download and install other malicious programs. By using untrustworthy software download sources, many people inadvertently download and install malicious programs. Cyber criminals use Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), freeware download or free file hosting websites, third party downloaders and other such tools to present their infected files as legitimate. Another popular method to proliferate viruses is through fake software updaters. These tools download and install computer infections rather than the promised updates or software fixes. Additionally, these updaters might be used to exploit bugs and flaws of outdated software installed on the computer.

Threat Summary:
Name Metan virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand ransom payment (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 Metan 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?

To avoid ransomware-type and other computer infections, browse the internet, install, download and update software carefully. Do not open attachments in emails received from unknown/untrustworthy addresses, since rogue files are often included with irrelevant emails. To safely update your software or the operating system, use implemented functions or tools provided by official developers. Do not use untrustworthy or unofficial websites, third party downloaders, or other channels as sources to download software. The safest way to download is from official websites and using direct links. Do not trust software 'cracking' tools, since this is a cyber crime and, furthermore, they are often the reason behind various computer infections. Finally, have a reputable anti-spyware/anti-virus software installed and enabled. If your computer is already infected with Metan, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Metan ransomware text file ("#HOW TO DECRYPT FILES#.txt"):

Please follow few steps below:
1.Send us your ID.
2.Then you'll get payment instruction and after payment you will get your decryption tool!
Only we can decrypt all your data!
Contact us us:
And tell us your unique ID

Screenshot of files encrypted by Metan (".metan" extension):

Files encrypted by Metan

Metan ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Metan 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 Metan 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 Metan 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 Metan 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 Metan 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 Metan 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 Metan, 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 Metan 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 Metan 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.

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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
Metan 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 Metan virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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