How to uninstall Chinz ransomware from a computer?

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

Chinz ransomware removal instructions

What is Chinz?

Chinz belongs to the Phobos ransomware family. It is a typical ransomware which is designed to encrypt victim's files, modify their filenames and provide instructions on how to contact its developers about the decryption. Chinz changes the name of every encrypted file by adding the victim's ID, yuzhou13@tutanota.com email address and appending the ".chinz" extension to its filename. For example, it renames a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id[1E857D00-2875].[yuzhou13@tutanota.com].chinz", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.id[1E857D00-2875].[yuzhou13@tutanota.com].chinz", and so on. It displays a ransom note in a pop-up window and creates another one in the "info.txt" text file.

To receive information on how to purchase a decryption tool victims supposed to contact Chinz's developers by writing them to yuzhou13@tutanota.com or kaidrake@cock.li email address and provide the assigned ID. It is mentioned that price of a decryption software and/or key depends on how fast it will be done. Also, victims are offered a free decryption of no more than 5 files, those files can be sent to these cyber criminals by attaching them to the email. Although, attached files should not contain valuable information. Additionally, it is stated that attempts to rename files or decrypt them with some third party software may cause permanent data loss. Unfortunately, cyber criminals behind Chin are the only ones who have the tools that can decrypt files encrypted by this ransomware. However, it is very likely that they will not send them even after a payment. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to pay a ransom to them. Typically, victims of ransomware attack can recover their files for free only by restoring them from a backup. Also, it is possible to prevent further encryptions by uninstalling ransomware from the operating system. However, encrypted files remain inaccessible even after its uninstallation.

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

Chinz decrypt instructions (info.hta)

To sum up, ransomware is a type malware that is designed to encrypt data and to display and/or generate a ransom note (or notes). Two most common (and main) differences are price of a decryption and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt victim's data. Unfortunately, in most cases such malware uses strong encryption algorithms which makes it impossible to decrypt files without the right tools that only cyber criminals who designed it have. It is possible to decrypt data without their tools only if ransomware has bugs, flaws, it is not finished, and it does not happen often. Therefore, it is recommended to always have data backed up and keep it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device. A couple of examples of other malware of this type are Pywdu, Gomer and Deal_For_Access.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals attempt to infect computers with ransomware and other malware through other programs of this kind called Trojans, spam campaigns, fake software updaters, software 'cracking' tools and unreliable software download channels. Trojan is a type of malware that often is designed to cause chain infections: once it is installed on the operating system, then it installs other malicious program (in this case it would be ransomware). When cyber criminals attempt to distribute malware through spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments (or website links designed to download malicious files). In such cases malicious software gets installed when recipients open/execute a malicious file. Usually, cyber criminals attach files such as malicious Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), executable files (like .exe), PDF documents, and JavaScript files. Fake software updaters infect systems by exploiting bugs, flaws of outdated software that is installed on the operating system or by installing malware instead of updates, fixes. Software 'cracking' tools/unofficial updaters infect computers in a similar way: instead of bypassing activation of some licensed software they install some malicious software. Unofficial websites, free file hosting, freeware download websites, third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule) and other similar download channels can be used to distribute malicious files by disguising them as regular, legitimate. When users download and execute (open) them, they cause installation of malicious software.

Threat Summary:
Name Chinz virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .chinz
Ransom Demanding Message info.txt and pop-up window (info.hta)
Cyber Criminal Contact yuzhou13@tutanota.com, kaidrake@cock.li
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ransom.Phobos.62), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Phobos.C), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Rogue Process Name This ransomware runs a process without a name (although, in different cases its process may have a name)
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?

Attachments and/or website links in irrelevant emails that are received form unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals, also, most of the times they are disguised as important, official. Software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Unofficial sites, third party downloaders (and installers), etc., can be and often are used to distribute malicious files/programs. Installed software must be updated and/or activated (if necessary) with tools and/or functions that are provided by official software developers. Third party, unofficial tools often are designed to infect computers with some malware. Also, it is not legal to use any 'cracking' tools to activate licensed software. One more way to keep computers safe is to regularly scan them with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and always eliminate detected threats right after the scanning process. If your computer is already infected with Chinz, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

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

All your files have been encrypted!
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail yuzhou13@tutanota.com
Write this ID in the title of your message 1E857D00-2875
In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to this e-mail:kaidrake@cock.li
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the tool that will decrypt all your files.
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.)
How to obtain 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!
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 Chinz's text file:

Chinz ransomware text file (info.txt)

Text in this file:

!!!All of your files are encrypted!!!
To decrypt them send e-mail to this address: yuzhou13@tutanota.com.
If we don't answer in 24h., send e-mail to this address: kaidrake@cock.li

Chinz running in Task Manager as an unnamed process (in different cases it may have a name):

chinz unnamed malicious process in task manager

Screenshot of files encrypted by Chinz (".chinz" extension):

Files encrypted by Chinz ransomware (.chinz extension)

Chinz 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 Chinz 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 Chinz 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 Chinz 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 Chinz 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 Chinz, 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 Chinz 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 Chinz 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Chinz 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 Chinz virus on your mobile device.
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