How to remove Un1que ransomware from the operating system?

Also Known As: Un1que virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Un1que ransomware removal instructions

What is Un1que?

Un1que is the title of a piece of malicious software, belonging to the IEncrypt ransomware family. Its discovery is credited to GrujaRS. This malware operates by encrypting the data of infected systems and making ransom demands for the decryption tools/software. During the encryption process, every file is appended with the ".un1que" extension; for example a file like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.un1que". Additionally, each of these files would receive its own ransom note ("_readme"), containing identical messages. To elaborate, an encrypted file such as "1.jpg.un1que" would get a text file titled "1.jpg.un1que_readme".

The ransom demanding message informs victims that their network has been hacked and the data therein - encrypted. It states that there are no free decryption tools/software available on the Internet. To learn the size of the payment and receive further instructions, the note tells users to write to the email addresses provided. The letters victims are to send - must contain their company name in the title/subject field. Additionally, according to the note - the disclosure of this contact information can lead to decryption becoming impossible. Unfortunately, in most cases of ransomware infections, without the interference of the cyber criminals responsible - decryption is impossible. It might be, if the ransomware is still in development and/or has bugs/flaws. Regardless, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Often, despite paying - victims do not receive the necessary tools to recover their data. Hence, not only do their files remain encrypted and essentially - beyond repair, but they also experience significant financial losses. Removing Un1que ransomware from the operating system - will prevent further data encryption. However, removal will not restore already affected files. The only viable solution is recovering them from a backup, if one one created prior the infection and was stored in a separate location.

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

Un1que decrypt instructions (un1que_readme)

CUCryptoPatronumEnCiPhErEd and AlphaBetaCrypt are a few examples of other ransomware. Malicious programs under this classification are designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. There are several key differences between them - the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric or asymmetric) and the ransom size. These sums usually range between three and four digits (in USD), however when the malware is intentionally targeting large companies - the ransoms may be larger. Digital currencies (mainly, cryptocurrencies) are used for these payments, due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To protect files from data encrypting or damaging infections - it is recommended to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices (ideally, in multiple different locations).

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware primarily spread through spam campaigns, trojans, illegal activation tools, fake updates and untrustworthy download channels. The term "spam campaign" defines the sending of deceptive emails on a large scale. The letters are typically presented as "official", "priority", "important" and so on. They have infectious files attached (or contain links leading to them). These attachments can be in various formats (e.g. PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archive and executable files, JavaScript, etc.); when a virulent file is opened - the infection process begins (i.e. malware download/installation). Trojans are malicious programs that possess a variety of heinous abilities, which can include download/installation of additional malware. Rather than activate licensed product, illegal activation ("cracking") tools can download/install malicious software. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing the weaknesses of outdated programs and/or simply install malware instead of the promised updates. Untrustworthy download sources like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.) and other third party downloaders - can offer malicious content for downloading.

Threat Summary:
Name Un1que virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .un1que
Ransom Demanding Message un1que_readme.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact WHITNEY.MCDOWELL@PROTONMAIL.COM and KOREY.COBB@TUTANOTA.COM
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZexaF.34084.jK0@a4XjNpki), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HAQF), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.DelShad.cie), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Microsoft Data Access - ActiveX Data Objects Resources
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 Un1que 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 and/or irrelevant emails. Any attachments (or links) present in dubious mail - must never be opened, as doing so can result in an infection. All downloads should be done from official and verified download channels. Programs are to be activated and updated using functions/tools from legitimate developers. It is ill-advised to use illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third party updaters - as they are deemed to be high-risk. It is paramount to device health, to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software is to be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If your computer is already infected with Un1que, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Un1que ransomware's text file ("un1que_readme"):

Hello Unique Group.

Your network was hacked and encrypted.

No free decryption software is available on the web.

Email us at WHITNEY.MCDOWELL@PROTONMAIL.COM (or) KOREY.COBB@TUTANOTA.COM to get the ransom amount.

Keep our contacts safe. Disclosure can lead to impossibility of decryption.

Please, use your company name as the email subject.

TAIL: -

KEY: -

Screenshot of files encrypted by Un1que (".un1que" extension):

Files encrypted by Un1que ransomware (.un1que extension)

Screenshot of Un1que ransomware's process on Windows Task Manager ("Microsoft Data Access - ActiveX Data Objects Resources"):

Un1que ransomware process on task manager (Microsoft Data Access - ActiveX Data Objects Resources )

Un1que ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Un1que 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 Un1que 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 Un1que 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 Un1que 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 Un1que 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 Un1que 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 Un1que, 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 Un1que 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 Un1que 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
Un1que 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 Un1que virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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