How to uninstall Snake from a computer?

Also Known As: Snake virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

Snake ransomware removal instructions

What is Snake?

Snake ransomware was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam. Research shows that cyber criminals behind it target business networks. Snake is designed to encrypt files stored on all computers on a network, it encrypts them with AES-256 and RSA-2048 cryptographic algorithms. Also, it creates a ransom note called "Fix-Your-Files.txt". Most ransomware-type programs rename encrypted files by appending some extension to their filenames, however, Snake does not change their names in any way.

As stated in the "Fix-Your-Files.txt" ransom note, the only way to restore files is to decrypt them with a decryption tool that can be purchased from cyber criminals who designed Snake. In order to get instructions on how to purchase it victims have to contact them by writing them an email to Also, victims are offered a free decryption of up to 3 files that do not contain any databases or spreadsheets, these files can be sent via the provided email address. Typically, cyber criminals offer a free decryption to prove that they have a working decryption tool. However, it is not recommended to pay them for it, it is very likely that they will not send it even after a payment. It is unknown whether there are any tools that could decrypt files encrypted by Snake for free. Typically, the only way to recover files without having to pay a ransom in such cases is to restore them from a backup. It is worth mentioning that files remain encrypted even when victims uninstall ransomware from the operating system, removal of such malware only prevents it from causing further encryptions.

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

Snake decrypt instructions ()

Typically, programs of this type are designed to encrypt data and display/create a ransom notes (or notes). The most common and main differences usually are size of a ransom (price of a decryption) and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that is used to encrypt files. Unfortunately, most of the times victims cannot decrypt their files without being forced to use tools that can be provided only by cyber criminals who designed ransomware. It can be avoided only when ransomware is still in a development state, has some vulnerabilities and/or victims have a backup of their data. That is why it is important to always have data backed up and store in on unplugged storage device or remote server. Some examples of other ransomware are Devon, Crypton (Aurora) and Yarraq.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Malware (including ransomware) can be distributed in various ways. One of them is to send emails with malicious files attached to them. If opened, attached files install ransomware or other high-risk malware. Typically, cyber criminals send Microsoft Office or PDF documents, archive files like RAR, ZIP, executable files (like .exe) and JavaScript files. Another way to get the operating system infected with malicious software is through malicious programs called a Trojans. Quite often Trojans are designed to cause chain infections: when installed, they download and install other malicious programs. Unreliable software download sources such as untrustworthy, unofficial websites, freeware download, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders and other channels of this type can be used to spread malware too. If used by cyber criminals, they are used to upload malicious files that are disguised as legitimate. When people download and open them, they cause installation of some malicious software. Fake software updaters, if used, often install unwanted programs, in some cases they install malicious ones. Typically, tools of this type install malware instead of installing updates, or they exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system. Software 'cracking' tools operate very similarly: they supposed to bypass activation of some licensed software or operating systems, however, instead of doing tht they often infect systems with malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Snake virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Win32.AV-Killer.ItW@aei5Gqj), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Generik.EABZHLK), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Antavmu.asdd), Full List (VirusTotal)
Ransom Demanding Message Fix-Your-Files.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact
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 Research shows that cyber criminals behind this ransomware target mostly business networks.
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 Snake 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?

It is not recommended to trust irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses, especially if they contain attachments (or web links). it is not safe to open attachments or links that are presented in such emails without being sure that it is safe. Furthermore, it is important to update software by using only implemented functions or tools that are provided by official developers. If installed software is not free and requires activation, then it should be activated properly. In other words, it should not be activated with third party, unofficial ('cracking') tools. It is illegal to bypass activation of licensed software this way and it often leads to installation of various malware. Also, it is not safe to download software from untrustworthy and unofficial websites, or using third party downloaders and other sources that are mentioned in the previous paragraph. The safest way to do download files and software is to use official websites (and direct links) for that. One more way to prevent malicious programs from causing damage is to have a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus suite on the operating system installed and regularly scan it for threats regularly. If your computer is already infected with Snake, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Snake ransomware's text file ("Fix-Your-Files.txt"):

| What happened to your files?


We breached your corporate network and encrypted the data on your computers. The encrypted data includes documents, databases, photos and more -

all were encrypted using a military grade encryption algorithms (AES-256 and RSA-2048). You cannot access those files right now. But dont worry!

You can still get those files back and be up and running again in no time.


| How to contact us to get your files back?


The only way to restore your files is by purchasing a decryption tool loaded with a private key we created specifically for your network.

Once run on an effected computer, the tool will decrypt all encrypted files - and you can resume day-to-day operations, preferably with

better cyber security in mind. If you are interested in purchasing the decryption tool contact us at


| How can you be certain we have the decryption tool?


In your mail to us attach up to 3 files (up to 3MB, no databases or spreadsheets).

We will send them back to you decrypted.

Screenshot of files encrypted by Snake:

Files encrypted by Snake ransomware

Snake ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Snake 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 Snake 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 Snake 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 Snake 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 Snake 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 Snake 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 Snake, 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 Snake 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 Snake 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.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Snake 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 Snake virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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