How to remove SaveTheQueen ransomware from systems

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

SaveTheQueen ransomware removal instructions

What is SaveTheQueen?

SaveTheQueen ransomware is malicious software designed to encrypt files. To regain access to them, victims are urged to contact the developers, since they cannot decrypt files without specific tools held only by developers of the particular ransomware. To get these tools, victims must pay a ransom. SaveTheQueen is developed by a group of criminals who go by the name of MaliciousComputerServices (MCS). This ransomware changes filenames of encrypted files by appending the ".SaveTheQueen" extension. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "1.jpg.SaveTheQueen", and so on. It also stores a text file on the targeted machine named ".SaveTheQueen.HelpMe.TXT", which contains instructions about how to contact developers of SaveTheQueen.

The ".SaveTheQueen.HelpMe.TXT" ransom message states that the only way to recover files is to decrypt them with a unique private key, which can be purchased only from the people who designed SaveTheQueen. Victims are encouraged to contact them within seven days of encryption by sending an email to godsaveme@tutamail.com or godSaveyou@tuta.io, otherwise the keys are deleted permanently. The cyber criminals who developed SaveTheQueen present themselves as MaliciousComputerServices, a cyber security company. They have a website through which they sell malware and provide various services. One of their services is decryption of files encoded by ransomware. Despite this, they probably do not provide any decryption tools associated with the ransomware developed by them. It is more likely that MaliciousComputerServices will charge more than the ransomware developers, purchase decryption tools from them at a reduced rate, and keep the difference. In any case, MaliciousComputerServices nor other ransomware developers can be trusted. Victims who pay ransoms are generally scammed, and receive no decryption tools even if they meet all demands. Unfortunately, only the developers of ransomware have access to decryption tools/keys. Therefore, the only way to recover files without making payment (and potentially being scammed) is to restore them from an existing backup. Note that, even if victims uninstall ransomware, affected files remain encrypted - uninstalling software of this type from the system simply prevents it from causing further encryption.

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

SaveTheQueen decrypt instructions

Typically, cyber criminals design ransomware to encrypt victims' data and block access to it unless a ransom is paid. Programs of this type display and/or create ransom messages. Common differences between ransomware infections include cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to encrypt files and cost of decryption tools/keys. In most cases, the only way to recover files is via tools/keys held only by the cyber criminals who designed the particular ransomware, unless the software is not finished (contains bugs, flaws), or victims have their data backed up. Therefore, maintain backups and store them on a remote server or unplugged storage device. Some examples of other ransomware infections are MarioLocker, Calum, and TurkStatik.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

In most cases, cyber criminals proliferate malware (including ransomware) through emails (spam campaigns), fake software updaters, untrustworthy software download channels, Trojans and unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools. They try to infect computers by sending emails that have malicious files attached (or web links that download such files). Examples of files used are Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, executable files (.exe), JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP and RAR, etc. If opened, these attachments cause installation of malicious software. Fake software updating tools infect systems by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated programs installed on the operating system, or by installing malicious programs rather than updates. Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients), third party downloaders, freeware and free file hosting websites unofficial pages and other similar download sources are also used to proliferate malware. Cyber criminals upload malicious files that are usually disguised as harmless and legitimate, and hope that someone will download and then open them. They then install high-risk malware. Trojans are malicious programs that often cause chain infections. When a Trojan is already installed, it generally installs other malware. Unofficial software activation ('cracking') tools are programs that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge, thereby bypassing paid activation. In fact, these tools are designed by cyber criminals who seek to infect systems with malware. People who try to activate installed software through cracks are often tricked into installing malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name SaveTheQueen virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.
Encrypted Files Extension .SaveTheQueen
Ransom Demanding Message .SaveTheQueen.HelpMe.TXT
Cyber Criminal Contact godsaveme@tutamail.com or godsaveyou@tuta.io
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32753802), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.IVKHSIT), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections

To avoid installation of malware, do not open attachments (or web links) that are included in irrelevant emails, especially if the messages are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. All programs and files should be downloaded from trustworthy sources: official websites and direct download links. Other channels should not be used to download software. Installed operating systems and software must be updated through implemented functions or tools designed by official software developers. The same applies to activation of installed licensed software. Unofficial activation tools are illegal. Keep operating systems safe by regularly scanning them with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite, and removing detected threats immediately. If your computer is already infected with SaveTheQueen, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in SaveTheQueen ransomware text file (".SaveTheQueen.HelpMe.TXT"):

Do not panic!

All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: .SaveTheQueen

The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key.

Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.

Contact us by e-mail in 7 days ; or your key will be deleted permanently.

God bless you!

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

Files encrypted by SaveTheQueen

Screenshots of MaliciousComputerServices (MCS) website:

SaveTheQueen developer page 1 SaveTheQueen developer page 2 SaveTheQueen developer page 3 SaveTheQueen developer page 4

Screenshot of MaliciousComputerServices (MCS) Twitter account:

SaveTheQueen developer Twitter account 

 

SaveTheQueen ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 SaveTheQueen 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 SaveTheQueen 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 SaveTheQueen 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 SaveTheQueen 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 SaveTheQueen, 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 SaveTheQueen 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, and 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 SaveTheQueen 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
SaveTheQueen 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 SaveTheQueen virus on your mobile device.
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