How to uninstall KENS@TUTA.IO ransomware?

Also Known As: KENS@TUTA.IO virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

KENS@TUTA.IO ransomware removal instructions

What is KENS@TUTA.IO?

KENS@TUTA.IO was discovered by GrujaRS, it belongs to the GlobeImposter ransomware family. As a rule, programs of this type are designed to prevent victims from accessing/using their files by encrypting them. Also, they change filenames of all encrypted files and create and/or display some ransom note. KENS@TUTA.IO the "how_to_back_files.html" file and renames files by appending the ".KENS@TUTA.IO" extension to their filenames. For example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.KENS@TUTA.IO", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.KENS@TUTA.IO", and so on.

As explained in the "how_to_back_files.html" file, victims can restore their files by following the instructions that can be received by writing an email to KENS@TUTA.IO's developers. They can be contacted via the kens@tuta.io and kens@dr.com email addresses. Victims have to provide the assigned personal ID and can attach up to two encrypted files. It is common that cyber criminals offer a free decryption of some files, they do it to prove that they have a tool and/or key that can decrypt victim's files. However, it does not mean that they can be trusted. It is common that cyber criminals do not send a decryption tool and/or key even if victims have paid for it. Unfortunately, most ransomware-type programs encrypt data with a strong encryption algorithm and it is impossible to decrypt files without tools that only cyber criminals who designed ransomware have. Since there are no other tools that could decrypt files encrypted by KENS@TUTA.IO (at least not at the moment), the only way to avoid being scammed and recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. Also, it is recommended to uninstall this ransomware from the operating system so it could not cause any further encryptions.

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

KENS@TUTA.IO decrypt instructions (how_to_back_files.html)

What most malicious programs like KENS@TUTA.IO have in common is that they encrypt files and create and/or display some ransom note that contains instructions on how to contact their developers, pay a ransom, and/or other information. Two main variables usually are cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to lock files and price of a decryption tool and/or key. Some examples of other ransomware are Opqz, N2019cov and Vhd. Typically, victims can decrypt their files without having to buy decryption tools from cyber criminals only when ransomware has some bugs, flaws or other vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, it does not happen often. Therefore, it is important to always have a data backup and keep it on a remote server or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware can be distributed in various ways. One of them is to send emails that contain malicious attachments. If opened, attached files install ransomware or other high-risk malware. Typically, cyber criminals send Microsoft Office or PDF documents, archive files like RAR, ZIP, executable files (like .exe) and JavaScript files. Their emails could contain website links that are designed to download malicious files too. Another way to spread malicious software is through malicious programs called a Trojans. Quite often Trojans are designed to cause chain infections (install other malicious programs), however, they can do that only when they are installed on a computer. Unreliable software download channels such as untrustworthy, unofficial websites, freeware download, free file hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders and other channels of this type can be used to proliferate malware too. Cyber criminals use them to host, upload malicious files that are disguised as legitimate, regular. When users download and open them, they cause installation of some malicious software. Fake software updaters can be designed to install install malicious programs instead of updates, fixes or exploit bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system. Software 'cracking' tools operate very similarly: they supposed to activate licensed software or operating system for free, however, instead of doing that they often infect computers with malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name KENS@TUTA.IO virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .KENS@TUTA.IO
Ransom Demanding Message how_to_back_files.html
Cyber Criminal Contact kens@tuta.io and kens@dr.com
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Generic.Ransom.GlobeImposter.57B14D3D), 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.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Emails that contain website links and/or some attachments and are received from unknown, questionable addresses should not be trusted. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals who seek to infect computers with malware. Therefore, email contents should be opened only when there is no reason to think that it may be not safe. Software should be downloaded from official pages and through direct links. Third party downloaders or installers, unofficial websites and other channels that are mentioned above can be and often are used to spread malicious files, programs. All installed software must be activated and/or updated properly: with tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Third party, unofficial updaters ant activation tools can be designed to install malware. Additionally, it is not legal to use various software 'cracking' tools to activate licensed programs. And finally, computers are safer if they are regularly scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with KENS@TUTA.IO, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

The appearance of KENS@TUTA.IO HTML file ("how_to_back_files.html") in GIF:

kens@tuta.io html file appearance

Text presented in KENS@TUTA.IO ransomware's HTML file ("how_to_back_files.html"):

Your files are encrypted!
Your personal ID
-

Your important documents, databases, programs, saving games, documents, network folders are encrypted for your network security problems.
No data from your computer was not stolen or removed.
To restore your files, follow the instructions.
How to get the automatic decryptor:
1) Create a Wallet and buy Bitcoins
Create Bitcoin Wallet of these sites:
hxxps://blockchain.info/wallet
Buy BTC on one of these sites:
hxxps://localbitcoins.com
hxxps://www.coinbase.com
hxxps://www.bestchange.com
2) Contact us by email : KENS@TUTA.IO. and KENS@DR.COM In the letter include your personal ID (look at the beginning of this document)

3) After answering your inquiry, our operator will give you further instructions, which will be shown what to do next (the answer you get as soon as possible)

* To be sure in getting the decryption you can send 1-2 encrypted files to KENS@TUTA.IO In the letter include your personal ID (look at the beginning of this document).

** Write here on the mail for a faster response KENS@TUTA.IO

Attention!
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 are not compatible with other users of your data, because each user's unique encryption key.
We are not liars or cheaters. You pay - we help.

Screenshot of files encrypted by KENS@TUTA.IO (".KENS@TUTA.IO" extension):

Files encrypted by KENS@TUTA.IO ransomware (.KENS@TUTA.IO extension)

KENS@TUTA.IO 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO, 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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO 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
KENS@TUTA.IO 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 KENS@TUTA.IO virus on your mobile device.
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