Npsk ransomware removal instructions
What is Npsk?
Npsk is one of many malicious programs that form part of the ransomware family called Djvu. This particular ransomware infection was discovered by Karsten Hahn and is designed to encrypt victims' files, modify filenames and create ransom messages. Npsk modifies encrypted files by appending the ".npsk" extension to filenames. For example, it renames a file named "sample.jpg" to "sample.jpg.npsk", and so on. It also drops a ransom message a text file ("_readme.txt") in every folder that contains encrypted data.
The ransom message created by Npsk states that this ransomware encrypts all files (photos, documents, databases, etc.) with the strongest encryption algorithm. Access to files can be restored with a decryption tool and key that can be purchased from Npsk's developers for $980 or $490. The cost depends on whether victims contact developers within 72 hours of the encryption/ransomware attack ($490, a 50% discount), or after, in which case, the cost is $980. Contact should supposedly be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com) and providing the assigned personal ID. Victims must then wait for instructions about how to make the payment. Typically, cyber criminals demand to be paid in cryptocurrency. Note that these criminals can never be trusted: they do not send decryption tools, even after payment. Therefore, victims who trust them are scammed. As with most ransomware attacks, on the cyber criminals behind these programs have tools to decrypt the files. Generally, victims can only recover their files by restoring them from a backup. Note that files remain encrypted even after uninstallation of ransomware, however, removal prevents it from causing further encryption/data loss.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
More examples of ransomware-type programs are ProLock, Velar and Hack For Life. Common traits are that they encrypt victims' data and create and/or display ransom message - these contains instructions about how to contact the developers, pay the ransom and other information. Common variables are size of ransom and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to lock files. Typically, the only way to decrypt files free of charge is to use tools held only by the developers of the ransomware, unless the ransomware contains bugs/flaws or is not fully developed. Unfortunately, this is rare. Therefore, maintain backups on remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker.|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.npsk|
|Ransom Demand Message||_readme.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:TrojanX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.42870227), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HCDO), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||1A3E.TMP.EXE (its name may vary)|
|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.|
|Additional Information||This malware is designed to show a fake Windows Update window and modify the Windows "hosts" file to prevent users from accessing cyber security websites (more information below).|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads, unofficial activation and updating tools.|
|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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections
Do not open files or website links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. These emails are often sent by cyber criminals. They disguise rogue emails as official, important, etc. Software should be updated using implemented functions or tools designed by official developers. The same applies to software activation. Furthermore, it is illegal to use various third party, unofficial ('cracking') tools. It is not safe to download software from untrusted/unofficial websites, through third party downloaders or other channels of this kind. Avoid third party installers. All software and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Regularly scan the operating system for threats with a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus suite and remove detected threats immediately. If your computer is already infected with Npsk, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in Npsk ransomware text file ("_readme.txt"):
Don't worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that's price for you is $490.
Please note that you'll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail "Spam" or "Junk" folder if you don't get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
Your personal ID:
Npsk malicious process in Task Manager running as "1A3E.TMP.EXE" (its name might vary):
Screenshot of files encrypted by Npsk (".npsk" extension):
Screenshot of fake Windows update pop-up displayed during the encryption:
IMPORTANT NOTE! - As well as encrypting data, ransomware-type infections from the Djvu malware family also add a number of entries to the Windows "hosts" file. The entries contain URLs of various websites, most of which are related to malware removal. This is done to prevent users from accessing malware security websites and seeking help. Our website (PCrisk.com) is also on the list. Removing these entries, however, is simple - you can find detailed instructions in this article (note that, although the steps are shown in the Windows 10 environment, the process is virtually identical on all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system).
Screenshot of websites added to Windows hosts file:
There are currently two versions of Djvu ransomware infections: old and new. The old versions were designed to encrypt data by using a hard-coded "offline key" whenever the infected machine had no internet connection or the server was timing out/not responding. Therefore, some victims were able to decrypt data using a tool developed by cyber security researcher, Michael Gillespie, however, since the encryption mechanism has been slightly changed (hence the new version, released in August, 2019), the decrypter no longer works and is no longer supported. If your data has been encrypted by an older version, you might be able to restore it with the another tool developed by Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie. It supports a total of 148 Djvu variants and you can find more information, as well as download link and decryption instructions on the Emsisoft's official web page.
Screenshot of Djvu decryption tool by Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie:
Additionally, Emsisoft is now providing a service that allows data decryption (again, only if it was encrypted by Djvu variants released before August, 2019) for those victims who have copies of files before and after the encryption. Victims simply upload a pair of original and encrypted files to Emsisoft's Djvu decryption page and download the aforementioned decryption tool (the download link will be provided after uploading files). Note that the file processing may take some time, so be patient. Note that the system must have an internet connection during the entire decryption process, otherwise it will fail.
Screenshot of Emsisoft Djvu decryption service page:
Npsk ransomware removal:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Npsk?
- STEP 1. Npsk virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. Npsk ransomware removal using System Restore.
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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Log in to the account infected with the Npsk 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.
2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.
3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.
4. In the opened window, click "Next".
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 Npsk ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).
6. In the opened window, click "Yes".
7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Npsk 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 Npsk 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.
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 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 Npsk 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.
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:
Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:
- 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 Npsk ransomware: