How to remove Ragnarok ransomware from the operating system?

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

Ragnarok ransomware removal instructions

What is Ragnarok?

Ragnarok is a piece of malicious software, classified as ransomware. Its discovery is credited to Karsten Hahn. It operates by encrypting the data of infected devices, for the purpose of making ransom demands for the decryption. As Ragnarok ransomware encrypts, all affected files are appended with the ".ragnarok_cry" extension. To elaborate on how files would appear following encryption, then a file titled something like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.ragnarok_cry". After this process is complete, a text file - "How_To_Decrypt_My_Files.txt" is created on the desktop.

The text file contains the ransom note, which informs victims that their data has been encrypted and provides instructions on how to recover it. To recover their files, users need to purchase a decryption tool from the developers of Ragnarok. To do so, they must establish contact with them via the email address provided. This will enable them to receive the Bitcoin wallet address - to which they are to transfer the ransom. Prior to paying, victims can send a file (less than 3Mb in size) to test decryption. Additionally, their letters must include the unique device ID assigned to them (which can be found in "How_To_Decrypt_My_Files.txt"). It is true that in most cases of ransomware infections, decryption without the interference of individuals behind the infection - is impossible. It might be possible, if the malware in question has key flaws and/or is still in development. Regardless, it is strongly advised against communicating with and/or meeting the demands of cyber criminals. They cannot be trusted and often, despite paying - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Therefore, not only do they experience permanent data loss but significant financial losses as well. Eliminating Ragnarok from the system - will prevent it from further encrypting data. Unfortunately, removal will not restore already encrypted files. The only viable solution is to recover the data from a backup. Provided, if one was made before the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

Ragnarok decrypt instructions (How_To_Decrypt_My_Files.txt)

All ransomware is designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. DevosPRTNosu and BWNG are examples of such malicious programs. However, there are some crucial differences between them - the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. The demanded payments tend to vary between three and four digit sums (in USD). Cryptocurrencies are primarily used, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To protect files from data encrypting and damaging infections, it is recommended to keep backups in remoter servers and/or unplugged storage devices. It is best to store backups in several different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

The main modes of ransomware and other malware proliferation are though trojans, spam campaigns, untrustworthy download channels, illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Trojans are malicious programs, designed to cause chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malware). The term "spam campaign" defines the sending of deceptive emails on a large scale. These letters are usually disguised as "official", "important" and/or "urgent" mail. They have virulent files attached to them (or contain links leading to such). The attachments can be in various formats (e.g. executable and archive files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.) and when they are opened - it initiates the infection. Untrustworthy download sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - can offer malicious content for downloading (presented as ordinary programs and/or bundled with them). Illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malware, rather than activate licensed product. Illegitimate updaters cause infections by exploiting the flaws of outdated software and/or simply install malware instead of the promised updates.

Threat Summary:
Name Ragnarok virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .ragnarok_cry
Ransom Demanding Message How_To_Decrypt_My_Files.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.42261103), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.OAC), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.ccg), 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 Ragnarok 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 important to treat received emails with caution. Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially ones received from dubious/unknown senders (addresses). Any attachments (or links) present in suspect letters - must never be opened, as these files can potentially cause an infection. All downloads should be done from official and verified download channels. Programs should be activated and updated only with tools/functions, provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters are considered to be high-risk, therefore they are advised against use. It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. This software must be used for regular system scans and elimination of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with Ragnarok, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Ragnarok ransomware's text file ("How_To_Decrypt_My_Files.txt"):

#what happend?

Unfortunately your files are encrypted, To decrypt your files follow the instructions

1. you need a decrypt tool so that you can decrypt all of your files
2. contact with us for our btc address if you want decrypt your files or you can do nothing just wait your files gona be deleted
3. you can provide a file which size less than 3M for us to prove that we can decrypt your files after you paid
4. it is wise to pay in the first time it wont cause you more losses


you can send your DEVICE ID to mail address below 

Screenshot of files encrypted by Ragnarok (".ragnarok_cry" extension):

Files encrypted by Ragnarok ransomware (.ragnarok_cry extension)

Update January 29, 2020 - Cyber criminals have recently started spreading Ragnarok ransowmare by targeting Citrix ADC servers that are vulnerable to CVE-2019-19781 exploit. Once threat actor has infiltrated the server, a number of scripts designed to search for vulnerable Windows machines is download and executed. Once a machine is infected, scripts inject the system with a DLL file which is designed to download and install the Ragnarok ransomware. Although a patch for the aforementioned exploit has already been released, there still are servers that haven't been updated and thus are vulnerable to this attack. We should also mention few interesting characteristics of Ragnarok ransomware. First of all, this ransomware is designed to attempt to disable Windows Defender, what makes the system even more vulnerable, especially if there's no third party anti-virus/anti-malware suite is present. Also, the malicious executable's code contains a number of strings that contain file paths of Unix/Linux systems. This suggests that cyber criminals might be developing a cross-platform Ragnarok ransomware. Lastly, Ragnarok is designed to check what languages are installed onto the system. If it detects at least one of the following, the data will not be encrypted:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • China
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Russia
  • Russia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine

Ragnarok ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok, 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 Ragnarok 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 Ragnarok 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
Ragnarok virus QR code
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Platform: Windows

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