How to uninstall N2019cov ransomware from your operating system?

Also Known As: N2019cov virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

N2019cov ransomware removal instructions

What is N2019cov?

Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, n2019cov is a ransomware-type malicious program. Systems infected with this malware have their data encrypted and receive ransom demands for the decryption tools/software. During the encryption process all affected files are appended with the ".P4WN3D" extension. Therefore, a file titled something like "1.jpg" would appear as "1.jpg.P4WN3D" - following encryption. Afterwards a ransom note - "1nF0rM@t1On.txt" is created.

The ransom-demanding message in "1nF0rM@t1On.txt" informs victims that their data has been encrypted. Though in the note, it is phrased as "Files Has Been Taken". To get the appropriate decryption tools/software, users are told that they must pay a ransom - whether to do so is their choice. The price of the decryption tools is stated to be 100 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. If victims are unfamiliar with this currency, the message contains a link to a site, detailing how to do so. After the sum is transferred into the cyber criminals' cryptowallet, they are to send proof to the email address provided in the note. Following this, they are promised to receive all that they need for to recover their data. Unfortunately, in most cases of ransomware infections, without the interference of the criminals responsible - decryption is impossible. It may be, if the malicious software in question is still in development and/or has significant bugs (flaws). Regardless of the circumstances, it is strongly advised against paying cyber criminals. These individuals are not to be trusted and often, despite meeting their demands - victims do not receive the promised decryption tools/software. Hence, the data remains encrypted (essentially, worthless) and users experience financial losses. To prevent N2019cov ransomware from further encryptions, it must be removed from the operating system. However, removal will not restore already encrypted files. The sole viable solution is recovering them from a backup, if one was created 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:

N2019cov decrypt instructions (1nF0rM@t1On.txt)

VhdUPPER and C-VIR are a few examples of other programs classified as ransomware. Malware of this type is designed to encrypt data and demand payment for the decryption. There are two main differences between these programs/infections: the cryptographic algorithm they use (symmetric and asymmetric) and the ransom size. The latter typically range from three to four digits (in USD). Cyber criminals tend to prefer digital currencies (primarily, cryptocurrencies), due to transactions of them being difficult/impossible to trace. To avoid permanent data loss, it is highly 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 is commonly proliferated via spam campaigns, trojans, software "cracking" (activation) tools, illegitimate updaters and untrustworthy download channels. Spam campaigns are used to send deceptive/scam emails on a mass scale. These letter have infectious files attached to (or linked inside) them. Malicious files can be in various formats (e.g. archive and executable files, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, etc.); when these files are opened - it triggers the infection process (i.e. download/installation of malware). Trojans are malicious programs, capable of causing chain infections. Rather than activate licensed products, "cracks" can download/install malicious software. Fake updaters infect systems by abusing weaknesses of outdated products and/or by simply installing malware instead of the promised updates. Malicious content can be unintentionally downloaded from untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders.

Threat Summary:
Name N2019cov virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .P4WN3D
Ransom Demanding Message 1nF0rM@t1On.txt
Ransom Amount 100 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Cyber Criminals' Cryptowallet Address 1HQjC2SkHuUqfbuqEA9RDjSNfNPRhyMBF9 (Bitcoin)
Cyber Criminal Contact X.cryp.0.R@gmail.com
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZemsilF.34100.em0@aK5ksvc), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/Filecoder.YL), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Encoder.hwa), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name CORONAVIRUS (process 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.
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 malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Dubious and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially any attachments (or links) found in such - as that can result in a malware infection. It is recommended to only use official and verified download sources. Additionally, all products should be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. It is ill-advised to use illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters, since they are commonly used to proliferate malicious programs. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, it should be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with N2019cov, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in N2019cov ransomware's text file ("1nF0rM@t1On.txt"):

Files Has Been Taken
pay or not pay that's the question
Send $100 en Bitcoins
My Wallet: 1HQjC2SkHuUqfbuqEA9RDjSNfNPRhyMBF9
Don't know how -> hxxps://www.blockchain.com/learning-portal/bitcoin-faq
Confirm Pay at mail: X.cryp.0.R@gmail.com , and you get the File to recover you

Screenshot of files encrypted by N2019cov (".P4WN3D" extension):

Files encrypted by N2019cov ransomware (.P4WN3D extension)

Screenshot of N2019cov ransomware's process on Windows Task Manager ("CORONAVIRUS"; process name may vary):

N2019cov ransomware process on task manager (CORONAVIRUS; process name may vary)

N2019cov 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:
▼ 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 N2019cov 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 N2019cov 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 N2019cov 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 N2019cov 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 N2019cov, 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 N2019cov 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 N2019cov 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
N2019cov 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 N2019cov virus on your mobile device.
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