How to remove Enced ransomware from your operating system?

Also Known As: Enced virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Enced ransomware removal instructions

What is Enced?

Discovered by Amigo-A, Enced (also known as PedoFinder/PedoTrap ransomware) is a ransomware-type malicious program. Typically, malware classified as ransomware encrypts data and demands payment for the decryption tools. However, at the time of research, Enced did not encrypt the data of infected systems. Following successful infiltration, this malware creates a ransom note, titled "READ_ME.html". The message within threatens users with exposing them as pedophiles and publicizing their identity, unless they pay a ransom.

The text presented in "READ_ME.html" accuses users of being pedophiles and claims that they have been caught. It states that the data stored on the system has been encrypted. Additionally, all of the users' important files have been exfiltrated and are now stored on the servers belong to the cyber criminals behind the infection. The files will be deleted and the users' identities will be publicized, should they fail to pay 0.011 BTC (Bitcoin cryptocurrency) within 24 hours. This sum is worth approximately 100 USD at the current exchange rate (note, exchange rates constantly fluctuate). After this sum is transferred to the criminals' cryptowallet, users are promised to receive the appropriate decryption tools and that the stolen data will be erased. The Enced ransomware does not encrypt files (though it may be updated with this functionality in the future). Even in cases when data encryption does occur, it is expressly advised against meeting the ransom demands. Since often, despite paying - victims do not receive the decryption tools/software. Therefore, they experience financial loss and their files remain encrypted, which makes them essentially worthless. Cyber criminals are not to be trusted, as there are no guarantees that they will hold their end of the bargain. If the system has been infected with Enced (or other malware), it is strongly recommended to use an anti-virus to eliminate it immediately.

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

Enced ransomware ransom-demanding message (READ_ME.html)

VIVELAGSpace and !Shadow are a few examples of other ransomwares. Most of these malicious programs are designed to encrypt data and demand a ransom for the decryption. However, some may operate differently; for example, they may claim that the files have been locked by law enforcement, due to illegal material supposedly stored and/or accessed on the device - such as pornographic content of minors (e.g. CYRON, etc.). Not all ransomware-types encrypt data, some lock the screen and/or simply claim to do either/both. The main differences between these malicious programs is the size of the demanded payment and the cryptographic algorithm used for the encryption (symmetric or asymmetric). To avoid data loss, it is advised to keep backups in remote servers and/or unplugged storage devices. It is best to store backups in several different locations.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware are primarily proliferated via trojans, spam campaigns, software "cracking" (activation) tools, fake updates and dubious download channels. Trojans are malicious programs, some types of which can cause chain infections (i.e. download/install additional malware). Spam campaigns are large scale operations, during which deceptive/scam emails are sent by the thousand. These letters are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent"; they may be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, organizations, companies, service providers, and so on. The emails have infectious files attached to them and/or contain download links of such. Virulent files can be in various formats (e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archive and executable files, JavaScript, etc.); when they are opened - the infection process is triggered. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") can download/install malware, instead of activating the licensed product. Illegitimate updaters cause infections by exploiting flaws of outdated products and/or by simply installing malicious software, rather than the promised updates. Untrustworthy download sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders) - can offer malware for downloading, presented as or bundled with ordinary content.

Threat Summary:
Name Enced virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Ransom Demanding Message READ_ME.html
Ransom Amount 0.011 BTC (Bitcoin cryptocurrency)
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 1GkrdPCgofgUJXyYQNrvGHgBb38ZBREJcD (Bitcoin), 1CRf7CzbW28F4sJXySQqRv8pHJhJcKHmE3 (Bitcoin)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.43210833), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Filecoder.FU), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names Ad-Aware (Gen:Variant.Razy.671968), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Razy.671968), Emsisoft (Gen:Variant.Razy.671968 (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.Encoder.gen), 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.
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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?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, as doing so can result in a high-risk infection. It is recommended to only download from official and verified channels. Additionally, products must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters are advised against use, as they are commonly used to distribute malware. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software should be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If your computer is already infected with Enced, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Enced ransomware's ransom note ("READ_ME.html"):

You have been caught,You DUMP Pedo F**k!

 

All Of You Important Files Are Uploaded To Our Server,And Has Been Encrypted On Your PC!

 

We Know Who You Are!  We Know What You Do!  And we Know Where You Live.

 

If You Don't Do The Payment Within Next 24 Hours (1 Day ),All of Your Files Will Be Deleted And We Will Publish Your Identity!

 

All You Have To Do Is Pay 0.011 BTC to our Wallet Address and Send Us a Proof of Payment and We Will Send You The Instruction To Recover Your Files And We Will Forget Who You Are And Delete Your Files and Your Identity On Our Servers. A Win-Win Game.

 

Our Wallet Address: 1GkrdPCgofgUJXyYQNrvGHgBb38ZBREJcD

 

Where And How To Buy Bitcoin : hxxps://localbitcoins.com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins

Update June 5, 2020 - Cyber criminals have recently released an updated version of Enced ransomware, which now actually encrypts data. The filenames are appended with random extensions of 6 characters (e.g., ".qsj67b", ".havw6b", ".uz3bdb", etc.) The ransom note is also slightly different.

Screenshot of the updated Enced ransomware's html file ("READ_ME.htm"):

Enced ransomware note

Text presented within:

You have been caught,You DUMP Pedo F**k!
All Of You Important Files Are Uploaded To Our Server,And Has Been Encrypted On Your PC!

We Know Who You Are!  We Know What You Do!  And we Know Where You Live.

If You Don't Do The Payment Within Next 24 Hours (1 Day ),All of Your Files Will Be Deleted And We Will Publish Your Identity!

All You Have To Do Is Pay 0.011 BTC to our Wallet Address and Send Us a Proof of Payment and We Will Send You The Instruction To Recover Your Files And We Will Forget Who You Are What You Are Doing. A Win-Win Game.

Our Wallet Address: 1CRf7CzbW28F4sJXySQqRv8pHJhJcKHmE3

Contact Us After Your Payment: proservicez@protonmail.com

Where And How To Buy Bitcoin : hxxps://localbitcoins.com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins

Screenshot of a pop-up displayed once the malicious executable is opened:

Enced ransomware pop-up window

Screenshot of files encrypted by the updated Enced ransomware (random extensions):

Files encrypted by Enced ransomware

Enced 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 Enced 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 Enced 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 Enced 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 Enced 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 Enced, 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 Enced 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 Enced 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
Enced 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 Enced virus on your mobile device.
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