.2020 ransomware removal instructions
What is .2020?
.2020 belongs to the family of ransomware named Dharma, it was discovered by Jakub Kroustek. Typically, ransomware-type programs are designed to prevent victims from using, accessing their files by encrypting them. Also, most of them rename encrypted files and create (and/or display) some ransom note. This ransomware renames all files by adding victim's ID, email@example.com email address to their filenames and appending the ".2020" extension. For example, it changes "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[firstname.lastname@example.org].2020", and so forth. Instructions on how to contact .2020's developers (and other details) are provided in a displayed pop-up window and the "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt" text file.
As explained in the pop-up window, victims of .2020 ransomware attack can restore their files by writing an email to email@example.com and providing the assigned ID. After that victims supposed to receive details such as price of a decryption tool and/or key, instructions on how to purchase it, etc. It is also mentioned that by renaming files or trying to decrypt them with some other software victims may cause permanent data loss. Typically, cyber criminals behind ransomware are the only ones who have tools that can decrypt files encrypted by their malware. Unfortunately, the same applies to cyber criminals behind .2020 - there are not other (and/or free) tools that could be capable of decrypting files encrypted by this ransomware, at least not at the moment. Therefore, the only way to recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. No cyber criminals should be paid, it is very common that they do not send decryption tools even after a payment. Simply said, victims who trust ransomware developers tend to get scammed. It is worthwhile to mention that ransomware can be prevented from causing any additional, further encryptions by uninstalling it from the operating system. Unfortunately, files remain encrypted even after its uninstallation.
Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:
More examples or ransomware are KENS@TUTA.IO, .google and Opqz. Typically, software of this type is designed to block access to data and provide victims with some ransom note (or notes). Two main and most common differences are price of a decryption tool and/or key and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to lock/encrypt files. Unfortunately, victims can decrypt files without tools that can be purchased from cyber criminals only when ransomware is not completed (has bugs, flaws). Usually they can avoid data loss for free only by restoring files from a backup. Therefore, it is important to have a data backup and keep it on a remote server like Cloud and/or unplugged storage device.
How did ransomware infect my computer?
|Threat Type||Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker|
|Encrypted Files Extension||.2020|
|Ransom Demanding Message||Pop-up window, FILES ENCRYPTED.txt|
|Cyber Criminal Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Crusis.to), 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.
How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?
Programs and files should not be downloaded (or installed) through third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks and other channels that are mentioned in the paragraph above. The safest way to achieve it is by using official websites and direct links. Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is common that such emails are being sent by cyber criminals, besides, they often disguise them as important, official. Furthermore, it is important update and/or activate software with tools that are designed by official software developers and not some third party activation, updating tools. Such tools often are the reason behind unintentional installation of malware. Besides, it is not legal to use 'cracking' to activate any licensed software. One more way to keep operating systems safe is to regularly scan them for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If your computer is already infected with .2020, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.
Text presented in .2020 ransomware's pop-up window:
YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED
Don't worry,you can return all your files!
If you want to restore them, follow this link:email email@example.com YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.
Screenshot of .2020's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):
Screenshot of files encrypted by .2020 (".2020" extension):
.2020 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 .2020?
- STEP 1. .2020 virus removal using safe mode with networking.
- STEP 2. .2020 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 .2020 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 .2020 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 .2020 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 .2020 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 .2020 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 .2020 ransomware: