How to uninstall Eking ransomware from a computer?

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

Eking ransomware removal instructions

What is Eking?

Eking belongs to the ransomware family called Phobos. It encrypts victim's files, renames them and generates a couple of ransom notes. Eking renames files by adding victim's ID, decphob@tuta.io email address and appending the ".eking" extension to their filenames. For example, it renames "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id[1E857D00-2275].[decphob@tuta.io].eking", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.id[1E857D00-2275].[decphob@tuta.io].eking", and so on. It displays a ransom note in a pop-up window ("info.hta") and creates another one in a text file ("info.txt"). Updated variants of this ransomware use ".[jerjis@tuta.io].eking" and ".[eight20@protonmail.com].eking" extensions for encrypted files.

As explained in both info.hta and info.txt ransom notes, victims have to contact Eking's developers by writing them an email to decphob@tuta.io or decphob@protonmail.com address and wait for further instructions. If victims are not answered in 24 hours, then they should try to contact cyber criminals via the provided Tor website link. Also, victims are offered a free decryption of up to 5 files. Those files can be send to Eking's developers before paying for a decryption. Unfortunately, there are no other tools that could decrypt files encrypted by Eking ransomware, at least not at the moment. In other words, Eking's developers are the only ones who have the right decryption tools. Although, the problem with most ransomware developers is that they often to do not send a decryption tool and/or key even after a payment. Simply said, victims who trust cyber criminals and pay them a ransom tend to get scammed. As a rule, the only way to recover access to files lost due to ransomware attack without losing any money is to restore them from a backup. It is worthwhile to mention that if some files were not encrypted by ransomware (in this case Eking), then they can be protected from being encrypted by uninstalling it from the operating system. Although, already encrypted files remain inaccessible even after uninstallation of ransomware.

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

Eking decrypt instructions (info.hta)

There is a great number of examples of various ransomware, Koti, ZoNiSoNaL and MR.ROBOT are a couple of them. As a rule, software of this type encrypts data and provides victims with instructions on how to contact cyber criminals who designed it, pay a ransom and/or other information. Two main and most common variables are price of a decryption tool and/or key, and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to lock (encrypt) files. In most cases free decryption is possible only when ransomware has some bugs, flaws, is not finished. Unfortunately, it happens quite rarely. Therefore, it is important to always have data backed up and keep it on some remote server (like Cloud) and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Some of the most common ways that cyber criminals use to spread ransomware and other malware are by using spam campaigns, fake software updaters, untrustworthy download channels, unofficial software activation tools and Trojans. When they use spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments or websites, links designed to download malicious files. Either way, their main goal is to deceive recipients into opening (executing) a malicious file which is designed to install malware. In most cases malicious files attached to their emails are Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files like .exe. Another popular way to spread malware is through fake software updaters. Typically, unofficial, third party updating tools do not update, fix any installed software. They simply install malware or infect systems by exploiting bugs, flaws of some outdated software. Furthermore, untrustworthy software download channels can be used to distribute malware too. Quite often users who download files through Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, various free file hosting, freeware download websites and other similar channels download malicious files. When executed, those files infect computers with malicious software. It is worthwhile to mention that such files often are disguised as legitimate, regular. Software 'cracking' tools are programs that users use when they seek to activate paid software for free. Nevertheless, instead of activating it they allow for those tools to install ransomware-type and other malicious software. Trojans are programs that, if installed, are designed to spread various malware. Simply said, if there is a malicious program of this type already installed, then it is very likely that it will cause additional damage.

Threat Summary:
Name Eking virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .eking
Ransom Demanding Message info.hta and info.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact decphob@tuta.io, decphob@protonmail.com and decphob on Sonar
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.33855769), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/GenKryptik.EKSC), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name Battleships (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.
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.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Links, attachments in irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially if they are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Such emails should be always carefully analyzed before opening their contents. Software should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Unofficial pages, third party downloaders (and installers), and other channels, sources that are mentioned above should not be trusted. Furthermore, it is important to update and activate software properly. To be more precise, it should be done by using implemented functions (or tools) that are designed, provided by official software developers. All the other tools often are used to distribute malware, besides, it is not legal to activate licensed software with unofficial, third party tools. And finally, a computer should be regularly scanned with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software, that software should be always up to date. If your computer is already infected with Eking, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Eking ransomware's pop-up window ("info.hta")

All your files have been encrypted!
Your PC has been infected by a ransomware. If you want to restore them, contact the following address below.
E - Mail contact - decphob@tuta.io / decphob@protonmail.com
If there is no answer in 24 hours. Try to contact us via Sonar.
- Download TOR browser
hxxps://www.torproject.org/download/
- While using your TOR browser copy and paste the URL below:
hxxp://kcxb2moqaw76xrhv.onion/
- Register an account and message us in our ID : decphob
- If the TOR link is not working go to hxxps://onion.live
Write this ID in the title of your message -
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 4Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
Where to buy bitcoins?
The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click 'Buy bitcoins', and select the seller by payment method and price.
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins
Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
Attention!
NEVER RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES THIS MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO YOUR FILES PERMANENTLY
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 Eking's text file ("info.txt"):

Eking ransomware text file (

Text in this file:

Your PC has been infected by a ransomware.  If you want to restore them, contact the following address below.

E - Mail contact - decphob@tuta.io / decphob@protonmail.com

If there is no answer in 24 hours. Try to contact us via Sonar.

Download TOR browser

hxxps://www.torproject.org/download/

While using your TOR browser copy and paste the URL below:

hxxp://kcxb2moqaw76xrhv.onion/

Register an account and message us in our ID : decphob

If the TOR link is not working go to hxxps://onion.live


NEVER RENAME ENCRYPTED FILES THIS MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO YOUR FILES PERMANENTLY

Screenshot of files encrypted by Eking (".eking" extension):

Files encrypted by Eking ransomware (.eking extension)

Eking's malicious process running in Task Manager as "Battleships" (its name may vary):

eking battleships malicious process

Eking 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:
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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 Eking 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 Eking 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 Eking 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 Eking 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 Eking, 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 Eking 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 Eking 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
Eking 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 Eking virus on your mobile device.
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