ge0l0gic Ransomware

Also Known As: ge0l0gic virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

ge0l0gic ransomware removal instructions

What is ge0l0gic?

It is possible that ge0l0gic is targeted ransomware, since the ransom message is addressed to a company called Geo Logic Systems Ltd. Despite this, it might also be used to target other parties. This ransomware was discovered by GrujaRS and adds the ".ge0l0gic" extension to each encrypted file. For example, ge0l0gic renames "1.jpg" to ".1jpg.ge0l0gic". Each encrypted file has an associated ransom message - so the message for a file called "1.jpg" would be "1.jpg.ge0l0gic_readme.txt". Furthermore, once a computer is infected, ge0l0gic starts running a malicious process in Task Manager that is disguised as "Free Audio Converter".

The ransom messages inform victims that their networks were hacked and encrypted, and that there is no free decryption tool available anywhere on the Internet. For further instructions, victims are encouraged to contact ge0l0gic's developers via the elisabethelisabeth.tyler@protonmail.com or regina.shelton@tutanota.com email address. It is stated that disclosing these contacts might lead to permanent data loss. As mentioned, ge0l0gic seems to target Geo Logic Systems Ltd., however, it is possible that these cyber criminals target other companies as well. In any case, we recommend that you do not contact them or pay any ransom. Most ransomware developers ignore victims once they receive the money (cryptocurrency). Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs encrypt data using cryptography algorithms that are impossible to 'crack'. Therefore, victims are often tempted to contact cyber criminals because no one else can provide the correct decryption tools/keys. In most cases, the only free way to regain access to files is to restore them from a data backup.

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

ge0l0gic decrypt instructions

ge0l0gic is just one of many ransomware-type programs online. Other examples are Mcold, Radman, and 4k. In most cases, these programs are very similar and serve two main purposes: to encrypt files and keep them encrypted until the ransom is paid. The main differences are usually cost of decryption and cryptography algorithm used to encrypt data. Generally, victims are encouraged to contact cyber criminals, since the encryptions are 'uncrackable'. Decryption without the tools held only by cyber criminals is impossible, unless the ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers (i.e. Cloud) or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

It is unknown exactly how cyber criminals proliferate ge0l0gic ransomware, however, they often use spam campaigns, trojans, untrustworthy software download channels, software 'cracking' tools and fake software updaters. Cyber criminals proliferate viruses via spam campaigns by sending emails with attachments. They attach Microsoft Office documents, archives such as ZIP, RAR, JavaScript files, PDF docs, executables (.exe files) and other files. The main purpose of these campaigns is to trick people into opening the files, which then download and install ransomware or other malware. Trojans are malicious programs that, if installed, proliferate other programs of this type - they cause chain infections. Various untrustworthy download sources (such as free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and others) can be used by cyber criminals who present malicious files as legitimate. By downloading and opening the files, people inadvertently install malicious programs. Software 'cracking' tools are programs used to avoid paying for software, however, they are also used to proliferate malware. Therefore, they often cause computer infections rather than software activation. Fake software updaters can be used to proliferate viruses - they download and install viruses rather than the updates, or they exploit outdated software bugs/flaws.

Threat Summary:
Name ge0l0gic virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .ge0l0gic
Ransom Demanding Message [filename].ge0l0gic_readme.txt text file (ransomware creates a ransom-demanding message for each encrypted file).
Cyber Criminal Contact elisabeth.tyler@protonmail.com, regina.shelton@tutanota.com
Detection Names (FreeAudioConverter.exe) Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.41291421), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of Win32/GenKryptik.DIDH), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Streamer.ks), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Free Audio Converter (the process name may vary).
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.
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.
Removal

To eliminate ge0l0gic 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?

Be very cautious when browsing the Internet, downloading, installing and updating software. Be careful with links or attachments presented in irrelevant emails that are disguised as important messages. If the email is irrelevant or sent from a suspicious address, do not trust it or open any files. Furthermore, download software from official websites and using direct download links. Avoid the aforementioned (and similar) sources. Keep installed programs and operating systems updated, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. The same applies to software activation: various third party 'activators' are illegal and often harm systems by installing ransomware or other high-risk malware. Have a reputable anti-virus/ or anti-spyware suite installed and enabled. If your computer is already infected with ge0l0gic, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in ge0l0gic ransomware text file (in our example, the "1.jpg.ge0l0gic_readme.txt" file):

Hello Geo Logic Systems Ltd.

Your network was hacked and encrypted.

No free decryption software is available on the web.

Email us at ELISABETH.TYLER@PROTONMAIL.COM (or) REGINA.SHELTON@TUTANOTA.COM to get
the ransom amount.

Keep our contacts safe. Disclosure can lead to impossibility of decryption.

Please, use your company name as the email subject.

TAIL: -

KEY: -

Screenshot of files encrypted by ge0l0gic (".ge0l0gic" extension):

Files encrypted by ge0l0gic

ge0l0gic disguised as "Free Audio Converter" in Task Manager:

ge0l0gic ransomware process in task manager as free audio converter

ge0l0gic ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic, 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 ge0l0gic 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 ge0l0gic 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 pcrisk.com 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.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
ge0l0gic virus QR code
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Platform: Windows

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