Prodecryptor ransomware removal instructions
What is Prodecryptor?
Prodecryptor is yet another ransomware infection discovered by malware security researcher, GrujaRS. After successful infiltration, Prodecryptor encrypts most stored files. In doing so, it appends filenames with the ".Prodecryptor" extension. For example, "sample.jpg" is renamed to "sample.jpg.Prodecryptor". Prodecryptor also creates a text file ("ReadME-Prodecryptor@gmail.com.txt"), storing a copy in every existing folder, and opens a pop-up window.
The pop-up window and text file contain similar messages informing victims of the encryption and encouraging them to contact cyber criminals (Prodecryptor's developers) via the email address provided. It is also stated that to recover data, victims must pay a ransom in Bitcoins. The cost depends on how quickly cyber criminals are contacted. Cyber criminals typically demand $500-$1500. Regardless of the cost, do not pay. Research shows that many ransomware developers ignore victims after they submit payments. Therefore, victims often send funds to these criminals and receive nothing in return. Therefore, you are strongly advised to ignore all requests to contact these people or pay any ransoms. Prodecryptor is undecryptable ransomware - there are no tools capable of cracking Prodecryptor encryption and restoring data free of charge. Therefore, the only solution is to restore everything from a backup.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
Prodecryptor shares many similarities with dozens of other ransomware-type infections such as BellevueCollegeEncryptor, Kiratos, and Exploit. Most of these infections compromise data (typically, by encryption) and blackmail victims. It is unfortunate that they employ cryptographies such as RSA, AES and similar that generate unique decryption keys. Therefore, unless the virus is not fully developed or has certain bugs/flaws, restoring data manually without involvement of developers (contacting these people is not recommended) is impossible. Ransomware presents a strong case for maintaining regular backups, however, store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device, since locally stored backups are compromised with regular data. We also advise you to maintain multiple copies of backups in case the server/storage device is damaged.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
It is currently unknown exactly how developers proliferate Prodecryptor. Be aware, however, that infections of this type are usually distributed by spam email campaigns, unofficial download sources, trojans and fake software updaters, and cracks. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain deceptive messages encouraging victims to open attached links/files. The attachments are malicious and opening them leads to system infections (e.g., ransomware infiltration). Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (such as eMule, torrents, etc.), free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and other unofficial download sources are used to present malicious executables as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into downloading and installing malware manually. Trojans are malicious applications that stealthily infiltrate computers and install additional malware. Fake update tools typically infect computers in two ways: 1) by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws, and; 2) downloading and installing malware rather than the promised updates. Cracks work in a similar way. The purpose of cracking tools is to bypass paid software activation, however, cyber criminals also use them to proliferate malware. Therefore, many users infect their computers rather than gaining access to paid features. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.Prodecryptor|
|Ransom Demanding Message||pop-up window, ReadME-Prodecryptor@gmail.com.txt text file.|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Detection Names (SF.exe)||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.WCryG.A81B68D1), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of MSIL/Filecoder.LK), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||BlackHeart|
|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 payment of a ransom (usually in Bitcoins) to unlock your files.|
|Additional Information||Prodecryptor's developers use a publicly accessible (Gmail) email client, which suggests that these people are amateurs.|
|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 malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
The key to computer safety is caution. Thus, to prevent this situation, be very cautious when downloading, installing, and updating software, and browsing the internet in general. Download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed apps and operating systems up-to-date, however, this should be achieved only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Note that software piracy is illegal and the risk of infections is extremely high. Therefore, never attempt to crack installed applications. Handle received email attachments with care. Files/links that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Finally, a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite should be installed and running, since this software can detect and eliminate most infections before they harm the system. If your computer is already infected with Prodecryptor, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Prodecryptor ransomware text file ("ReadME-Prodecryptor@gmail.com.txt"):
All your data has been locked us. You want to return? Contact to Email:Prodecryptor@gmail.com Your Personal KEY: -
Screenshot of Prodecryptor desktop wallpaper:
Text presented within this pop-up:
All your files have been encrypted due to security problem with your PC. if you want to restore them, write us to the E-mail Prodecryptor@gmail.com
You have ti pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast your write us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files
Screenshot of Prodecryptor process ("BlackHeart") in Windows Task Manager:
Screenshot of files encrypted by Prodecryptor (".Prodecryptor" extension):
Prodecryptor ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Prodecryptor?
- STEP 1. Prodecryptor virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor 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 Prodecryptor ransomware: