How to unintall Happychoose ransomware from a computer?

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

Happychoose ransomware removal instructions

What is Happychoose?

Happychoose is a part of GlobeImposter ransomware family. Typically, software of this type encrypts files, changes their filenames and creates some ransom note. Happychoose renames files by appending the ".happychoose" extension to their filenames. For instance, it changes "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.happychoose", and so on. It also creates the "Decryption INFO.html" file (ransom note) and drops it in every folder that contains encrypted data.

As explained in the "Decryption INFO.html" ransom note, encrypted files can be decrypted with a certain decryption tool. In order to get instructions on how to buy it victims have to send one encrypted image or text file to happychoose@cock.li or happychoose2@cock.li and provide the assigned ID. After that Happychoose's developers supposed to send decrypted file, name the price of a decryption tool and provide instructions on how to pay for it. Also, victims are warned not to try to remove the program (ransomware), run any antivirus tools or try to decrypt files by themselves because it will permanently damage encrypted files. It is common that victims who pay a ransom get scammed. In other words, they do not receive decryption tool and/or key even if they have paid for it. Therefore, cyber criminals behind ransomware-type programs should not be trusted. Unfortunately, ransomware is a type of software that usually is designed to encrypt data with a strong encryption algorithm and its developers are the only ones who have tools that can decrypt encrypted files. In most cases the only way to recover files without their tools is to restore them from a backup. It is worthwhile to mention that files remain encrypted even if victims uninstall ransomware from the operating system. However, its removal prevents if from causing further encryptions.

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

Happychoose decrypt instructions (Decryption INFO.html)

In most cases malicious programs like Happychoose are all very similar. A couple of examples of other ransomware are MARRACRYPT, Jerry_glanville and MaMo434376. As a rule, they encrypt data create and/or display a ransom note. Two main variables usually are cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymemtric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files and the price of a decryption tool and/or key. It is possible to decrypt files without having to use tools that only cyber criminals have when ransomware is not ideally programmed: has some bugs, flaws. Unfortunately, it is not a common case. In most cases data recovery from a backup is the only way to restore files for free, therefore, data should be always backed up and kept on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

There is more than one method that cyber criminals use to trick users into installing ransomware or some other malware on the operating system. Quite often they send emails that contain a website link designed to download some malicious file or a malicious attachment. Typically, they disguise their emails as official, important and hope that recipients will open a malicious file/attachment. Once opened, it installs some malicious software (in this case ransomware). Some examples of files that cyber criminals usually attach to their emails are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe and other files), and archive files like ZIP, RAR. Another way to spread malware is to distribute/host malicious files through/on various file, software download channels and wait until someone will download and execute them. Some examples of unreliable download sources, channels are unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders (or installers), free file hosting and freeware download pages. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools that supposed to help users to bypass software activation often are designed to install malware instead. Unofficial software updating tools operate quite similarly. They download, install malicious programs instead of updates, fixes, or exploit bugs, flaws of some outdated software that is installed on the operating system. Operating systems get infected through Trojans too. However, only when these malicious programs are already installed on them. Installed Trojans usually are designed to spread/install other malicious programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Happychoose virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .happychoose
Ransom Demanding Message Decryption INFO.html
Cyber Criminal Contact happychoose@cock.li, happychoose2@cock.li
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.GlobeImposter.BA9433BD), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.FV), 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

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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Emails that are irrelevant, contain attachments (and/or website links), and are received from unknown, suspicious address should not be trusted. Quite often such emails are sent by cyber criminals and used to proliferate malware. All installed software must be updated with implemented functions and/or tools that are designed by official software developers. Software (and files) should be downloaded from trustworthy, official websites, and via direct links. Various third party downloaders, installers, questionable pages and other similar sources are often used to proliferate unwanted, potentially malicious software. Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are often used to distribute malware as well, therefore, they should never be used to activate any software. Besides, it is not legal to bypass activation of licensed programs by using unofficial tools. One more way to keep computers safer is to have a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus software installed on them and regularly scan operating system for threats. If your computer is already infected with Happychoose, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Happychoose ransomware's ransom note ("Decryption INFO.html"):

YOUR ID
-


ENGLISH
ALL YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED!
ALL YOUR IMPORTANT DATA HAS BEEN ENCRYPTED.

To recover data you need decryptor.
To get the decryptor you should:
Send 1 test image or text file happychoose@cock.li or happychoose2@cock.li.
In the letter include YOUR ID (look at the beginning of this document).

We will give you the decrypted file and assign the price for decryption all files
After we send you instruction how to pay for decrypt and after payment you will receive a decryptor and instructions We can decrypt one file in quality the evidence that we have the decoder.
Attention!

Only happychoose@cock.li or happychoose2@cock.li can decrypt your files
Do not trust anyone happychoose@cock.li or happychoose2@cock.li
Do not attempt to remove the program or run the anti-virus tools
Attempts to self-decrypting files will result in the loss of your data
Decoders other users are not compatible with your data, because each user's unique encryption key

Screenshot of files encrypted by Happychoose (".happychoose" extension):

Files encrypted by Happychoose ransomware (.happychoose extension)

Happychoose ransomware removal:

Instant automatic malware removal: 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 Happychoose 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 Happychoose 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 Happychoose 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 Happychoose 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 Happychoose, 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 Happychoose 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 Happychoose 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
Happychoose 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 Happychoose virus on your mobile device.
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