How to eliminate Sivo ransomware from the operating system?

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

Sivo ransomware removal instructions

What is Sivo?

Sivo is the name of a malicious program, categorized as ransomware. Its discovery is credited to malware researcher S!Ri. It is designed to encrypt data and demand payment (ransom) for decryption tools/software. As Sivo encrypts, all compromised files are appended with the ".sivo" extension; for example a file like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.sivo". Once this process is complete, the ransomware drops a ransom note in the shape of a text file, titled "Sivo-README.txt" on the victim's desktop.

The ransom note begins with a warning that use of third party decryption tools will result in permanent data loss. Then the text goes into detail concerning the recovery process. Firstly users are instructed to establish contact with the cyber criminals behind Sivo, via the email address provided. The letter must have the "Sivo-README.txt" attached to them and contain the victim's ID key. Then users are to pay for the decryption tool with Bitcoin or DASH cryptocurrency. Following this victims are promised to be sent an automatic decryption software, which will restore their files. Prior to paying, users can send Sivo's developers an encrypted file to test decryption free of charge. It is true that in most cases of ransomware infections, decryption is impossible without the involvement of the cyber criminals responsible. It might be possible, if the malicious software is still in development and/or has bugs (flaws). Regardless, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands, as often despite paying - victims do not receive the necessary tools/software to decrypt their data. Therefore, not only does it remain encrypted and worthless, but users also experience significant financial losses. Removing Sivo from the operating system will prevent it from further encryptions, however removal will not restore already affected files. The only viable solution is recovering the data from a backup, if one was made before the infection and was stored in a different location.

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

Sivo decrypt instructions (Sivo-README.txt)

HorsedealOledRemoveme2020 are examples of other ransomware. These malicious programs share the common traits of data encryption and ransom demands, however the cryptographic algorithms they use and the payment sizes - differ. The latter tend to range between three and four digit sums (in USD). Cryptocurrencies (and other digital currencies) are typically used as transactions of them are difficult/impossible to trace. To ensure data safety, it is recommended to keep backups in unplugged storage devices and/or remote servers. Preferably, multiple backups should be stored in several separate locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware is primarily proliferated through trojans, spam campaigns, illegal activation ("cracking") tools, fake updaters and untrustworthy download channels. Trojans are malicious programs, capable of causing chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malware). During spam campaigns thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. This mail is usually disguised as "official", "important", "urgent" and so on. These emails have virulent files attached to them (or contain links leading to such). Their formats can be various (e.g. executable and archive files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.); when they are opened - it initiates the infection. Instead of activating licensed product, illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malicious software. Illegitimate updaters cause infections by exploiting weaknesses of outdated programs and/or by installing malware, rather than the promised updates. Download sources like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - are considered to be untrustworthy and can offer malicious content for downloading.

Threat Summary:
Name Sivo virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .sivo
Ransom Demanding Message Sivo-README.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact sivo.support@pm.me
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Fugrafa.14822), Emsisoft (Gen:Variant.Fugrafa.14822 (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), 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.
Removal

To eliminate Sivo 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 advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, more so ones received form unknown addresses. Any attachments (or links) found in suspect mail - must never be opened, as these files are a potential source of infection. Only official and verified download channels should be used. All programs should be activated and updated using functions/tools, provided by genuine developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are deemed to be untrustworthy, due to high risk of malware installation. It is important to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and kept updated. Furthermore, it should be used to perform regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with Sivo, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Sivo ransomware's text file ("Sivo-README.txt"):

! ATTENTION !

   STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE THIRD-PARTY DECRYPTION TOOLS - DATA WILL BE LOST!   

------------------------------------

Due vulnerability in yor system all files have been protected with Sivo priv.key to safe them from unathorized access.

To RESTORE your files, follow this few steps:

1. Sivo service charges a payment for file decryption;

2. Contact us with attached Sivo-README.txt containing your unique ID-Key;

3. Receive Sivo decryption tool;

4. Run the tool and successfully restore all files.

We guarantee:

100% Successful restoring all of your files

100% Satisfaction guarantee

100% Fast and secure service

As a proof of our trusted decryption service, you can send us 1 file and get it decrypted for free.
------------------------------------

   STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE THIRD-PARTY DECRYPTION TOOLS - DATA WILL BE LOST!   

------------------------------------

Our e-mail: sivo.support@pm.me

Payment type: Bitcoin, DASH

ID-KEY:
-

~ Key verify ~
-

The appearance of Sivo ransom note (GIF):

Sivo ransomware note appearance (Sivo-README.txt) GIF

Screenshot of files encrypted by Sivo (".sivo" extension):

Files encrypted by Sivo ransomware (.sivo extension)

Sivo ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Sivo 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 Sivo 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 Sivo 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 Sivo 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 Sivo 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 Sivo 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 Sivo, 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 Sivo 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 Sivo 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
Sivo 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 Sivo virus on your mobile device.
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