How to remove PRT ransomware and stop it from further encrypting data?

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

PRT ransomware removal instructions

What is PRT?

Discovered by GrujaRS, PRT is a malicious program, belonging to the Paradise ransomware family. It operates by encrypting data and demanding payment for decryption tool/software. During the encryption process, all affected files are retitled according to this pattern - original filename, victim's unique ID, developers' email address and the ".PRT" extension. For example, a file like "1.jpg" would appear as something similar to "1.jpg[id-M9Zlorrk].[].PRT". After this process is complete, an HTML file - "#DECRYPT MY FILES#.html" is created on the desktop.

The HTML file contains the ransom note. It states that all of the victims' data has been encrypted by the "Paradise Ransomware Team". If users wish to restore it, they must establish contact with these cyber criminals, through the email addresses provided. The ransom size for the decryption tools/software is left unmentioned. However, it will supposedly depend on how quickly users write to the developers of this malware. The desired currency is Bitcoin cryptocurrency and the message contains links to sites detailing how to and from where Bitcoins can be acquired. Prior to payment, in place of evidence victims can attach up to three encrypted files to their emails. These test files cannot be larger than 1Mb and/or contain valuable information. Afterwards, the criminals will send one decrypted file back. The note ends with warnings: users are alerted that renaming the encrypted files and/or attempting manual decryption with third party software - may lead to permanent data loss, and removing the ransomware or running anti-virus tools - will result in such. Additionally, it is mentioned that the keys of other victims will not be compatible as each encryption key is unique (i.e. generated individually for every infection). Unfortunately, it is true that in most cases of ransomware infections - decryption is impossible without the involvement of its developers. It might be possible, if the malicious program is still in development and/or has bugs/flaws. Regardless, it is expressly advised against communicating with and/or meeting the ransom demands of cyber criminals. As often, despite paying, users do not receive the necessary decryption tools/software to decrypt their data. To prevent PRT malware from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already compromised data. The only viable solution is recovering it from a backup, if one was made prior to the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

PRT decrypt instructions (#DECRYPT MY FILES#.html)

CryLocknjkwe RaaS corporationNosu and Z9 are a few examples of other ransomware. All malware within this classification encrypts data and demands payment for its decryption. Significant differences between them include - the cryptographic algorithm they use and the ransom size. The latter tend to vary between three and four digit sums (in USD). To ensure data safety, it is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware primarily spread via spam campaigns, trojans, illegal activation tools ("cracks"), fake updaters and untrustworthy download sources. Spam campaigns are used to send deceptive emails with infectious files attached (or contain links leading to them). The attachments come in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.); when they are opened - it initiates the infections process (i.e. they begin downloading/installing malware). Trojans are a type of malicious programs, designed to cause chain infections. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malware. Fake updaters cause infections by exploiting weaknesses of outdated software and/or by downloading/installing malware instead of the promised updates. Untrustworthy download channels: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - can offer malicious content for downloading.

Threat Summary:
Name PRT virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .PRT (files are also appended with a unique ID and developers' email address)
Ransom Demanding Message #DECRYPT MY FILES#.html
Cyber Criminal Contact and
Detection Names Avast (Win32:MalwareX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.Paradise.8A352C3B), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.Paradise.B), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.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.

To eliminate PRT 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 recommended not to open suspicious/irrelevant emails. All attachments (and links) present in dubious letters - must never be opened, due to these files being a potential source of an infection. All downloads should be done from official and verified channels. Software should be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers; illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party downloaders are advised against use, as they are deemed to be high-risk. It is crucial to device/user safety to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, it should be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with PRT, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in PRT ransomware's ransom note ("#DECRYPT MY FILES#.html"):

Your files are encrypted!
Paradise Ransomware Team!
Your personal ID
Your personal KEY -
Your important files produced on this computer have been encrypted due a security problem.
If you want to restore them, write to us by email.
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.
Before payment you can send us 1-3 files for free decryption.
Please note that files must NOT contain valuable information.
The file size should not exceed 1MB.
As evidence, we can decrypt one file
The easiest way to buy bitcoin is LocalBitcoins site.
You have to register, click Buy bitcoins and select the seller by payment method and price
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
write to Google how to buy Bitcoin in your country?
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
As evidence, we can decrypt one file
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

The appearance of PRT ransomware's ransom note (GIF):

PRT ransomware note appearance (#DECRYPT MY FILES#.htm) GIF

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

Files encrypted by PRT ransomware (.PRT extension)

PRT ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of PRT 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 PRT 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 PRT 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 PRT 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 PRT 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 PRT 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 PRT, 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 PRT 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 PRT 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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

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