Prevent computer from being infected with ransomware

Also Known As: 2k19cry virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

2k19cry ransomware removal instructions

What is 2k19cry?

2k19cry is a part of Paradise ransomware family, here is a 2k19sys. The person who discovered 2k19cry is dnwls0719. Programs like 2k19cry are designed to encrypt (lock) files and deny access to them unless a ransom is paid. This particular ransomware renames all encrypted files by adding a random string of characters (victim's personal ID), email address and ".2k19cry" extensions to their filenames. For example, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg_nJjMoz_{hannacry@p-security.li}.2k19cry" and so on. 2k19cry displays the ransom note in a pop-up window and creates another one in a text file named "-=###_INFO_you_FILE_###=-.txt".

As stated in the pop-up window, victims who want to restore their files must contact 2k19cry developers by writing them an email to hannacry@p-security.li. The size of a ransom is unknown, however, it is mentioned that price of a decryption depends on how fast victims will contact cyber criminals who developed this ransomware. One way or another, it must be paid in Bitcoin. Victims can send one or two files too, cyber criminals promise to decrypt them for free. They also promise to send a decryption tool after the payment. However, it is not recommended to trust cyber criminals (ransomware developers) even if they decrypt some files for free. Quite often their promises are made with no real intention of keeping them. In other words, people who send them money risk to get scammed. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs lock files using strong encryptions that are impossible to decrypt without the tools/keys that only cyber criminals have. In other words, victims are forced to contact cyber criminals and meet their demands. To avoid possible financial (and data loss), we recommend not to trust cyber criminals (pay them a ransom) and restore files from a backup.

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

2k19cry decrypt instructions

2k19cry is quite similar to other programs of this type, for example, Londec, BORISHORSE and Arsium. As a rule, these programs are designed to block the access to data and create/display ransom notes (instructions on how to pay a ransom). Two main differences usually are price of a decryption and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt data. Unfortunately, most of the times decryption without the right tools is impossible and the only people who have them are cyber criminals who designed the program. In some cases it is possible to 'crack' these programs, however, only if they are not finished (have some bugs, flaws). In order to avoid data (and financial) loss caused by programs of this type it is recommended to always have data backed up and keep it on a remote server (like Cloud) or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

There are a few ways to spread ransomware or other high-risk malware. Typically, cyber criminals achieve it through trojans, spam campaigns (emails), unreliable file or software download sources, unofficial software updating or activation tools. Trojan is a malicious program that is often designed to spread other programs of this kind. However, in order to cause a chain infection, a trojan must be already installed on the operating system. Another way to infect computers with malware is spam campaigns. Cyber criminals often send emails that contain malicious files (attachments) and hope that recipients will open them. These emails usually are presented as important and official. Examples of files that they attach are Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR, executable files (.exe and other), and so on. Cyber criminals who spread ransomware through emails have one main goal - to trick people into opening the attachment (or web link that leads to it). Examples of unreliable file or software download channels are Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages, free file hosting, freeware download websites, various third party downloaders and so on. Cyber criminals use them to disguise malicious files as harmless, regular files. If people download and open these files, they often cause installation of malicious software by themselves. Third party (unofficial) software updating tools damage/infect computers either by downloading and installing malware instead of updating installed programs or by exploiting bugs, flaws of already installed, outdated software. Unofficial activation tools infect systems the same way - they download and install malware instead of activating some installed, paid software for free.

Threat Summary:
Name 2k19cry virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .2k19cry
Ransom Demanding Message -=###_INFO_you_FILE_###=-.txt text file and a pop-up window.
Cyber Criminal Contact hannacry@p-security.li
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Dropper-gen [Drp]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32154435), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.DNGA), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Instructions.fo), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Can'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 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 2k19cry 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?

Carefully analyze each received email that contains some attachment, especially if an email is irrelevant and received from unknown, suspicious address. Do not download (or install) software using some third party downloaders or installers, do not use any of the other tools that we mentioned above as well. The safest way to download software and programs is to use official, trustworthy websites and direct download links. It is strongly recommended to update installed programs with tools (or functions) that are designed by official software developers. Same applies to software activation. Besides, third party ('cracking') tools are not legal. And finally, any computer is safer if there is some reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed on it. If your computer is already infected with 2k19cry, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in 2k19cry pop-up window:

All your files are encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail hannacry@p-security.li and: hannacry@p-security.li
You PC id: nJjMoz
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before payment you can send us 1-2 files for free decryption.
Please note that files must NOT contain valuable information.
The file size should not exceed 1MB.
How to obtain Bitcoins
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
https://localbitcoins.net/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss
You are guaranteed to get the decryptor after payment
Do not attempt to use the antivirus or uninstall the program
This will lead to your data loss and unrecoverable
Decoders of other users is not suitable to decrypt your files - encryption key is unique

Screenshot of 2k19cry's text file ("-=###_INFO_you_FILE_###=-.txt"):

2k19cry text file

Text presented in this note:

All your files have been blocked for more information, please contact us by e-mail.

E-Mail: hannacry@p-security.li  and hannacry@p-security.li
You PC id: nJjMoz

The faster you contact us the faster we can help you.

Screenshot of files encrypted by 2k19cry (".2k19cry" extension):

Files encrypted by 2k19cry

2k19cry ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry, 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 2k19cry 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 2k19cry 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
2k19cry 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 2k19cry virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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