How to uninstall Credo from a computer?

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

Credo ransomware removal instructions

What is Credo?

Credo belongs to the Dharma ransomware family, it was discovered by dnwls0719. Credo is a typical ransomware: it encrypts files, renames them and generates a ransom note. It renames encrypted files by adding the victim's ID, Recovery@qbmail.biz email address and appending the ".credo" extension to their filenames. For instance, it changes a file named "1.jpg" to "1.jpg.id-1E857D00.[Recovery@qbmail.biz].credo", "2.jpg" to "2.jpg.id-1E857D00.[Recovery@qbmail.biz].credo", and so on. Credo generates two ransom notes: it displays one in a pop-up window and creates another one in a text file named "FILES ENCRYPTED.txt".

As written in a pop-up window that Credo is designed to display, victims can recover files by following instructions that can be received by writing an email to Recovery@qbmail.biz. Typically, when victims contact cyber criminals, they receive information such as price of a decryption tool and/or key, and how to pay for it. The biggest problem with ransomware attacks is that cyber criminals behind them are the only ones who can help their victims to decrypt files. In other words, most of the times only cyber criminals who designed ransomware have tools that can decrypt files that are encrypted by it. Unfortunately, there are no tools that could be capable of decrypting files that are encrypted by Credo, at least not at the moment. In such cases victims can recover their files for free only by restoring them from a backup. It is strongly recommended not to trust cyber criminals (pay them a ransom), it is because most of the times victims who trust them get scammed - they do not receive any decryption tools even after a payment. It is worthwhile to mention that installed ransomware-type malware can be prevented from encrypting unencrypted files (causing further encryptions) by uninstalling it. Although, files that are already encrypted remain encrypted even when ransomware is no longer installed.

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

Credo decrypt instructions (pop-up)

Fob, Moba and Pykw are more examples of this type of malware (ransomware). Typically, such programs are designed to block access to files by encrypting them and provide victims with instructions on how to contact cyber criminals behind them. Two main and most common variables are price of a decryption tool (and/or key) and cryptographic algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) that ransomware uses to encrypt files. Most ransomware-type programs encrypt files with strong encryption algorithms, which means it is impossible to decrypt them without tools that only their developers have. In most cases data recovery without interference of cyber criminals is possible only when ransomware has bugs, flaws, etc. Unfortunately, it happens quite rarely. That is why it is important to always have data backed up and store it on a remote server and/or unplugged storage device.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Most popular ways to distribute malicious programs are by using emails (spam campaigns), untrustworthy download channels, fake software updaters, Trojans and unofficial activators. When cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing malware via spam campaigns, they send emails that contain malicious attachments (or website links designed to download malicious files). Usually they send emails that contain some malicious Microsoft Office document, archive file like ZIP, RAR, PDF file, executable file like .exe, JavaScript file. By opening such attachments recipients allow them to install malware. Another way to distribute malware is by using third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), free file hosting, freeware download websites, etc. As a rule, malicious files are disguised as legitimate, regular. When users download and open (execute) them through the aforementioned channels, they cause installation of malicious software. Fake software updaters cause damage by installing malware instead of updates, fixes, or by exploiting bugs, flaws of some outdated software that is installed on the operating system. Trojan is a type of malware that often is designed to cause chain infections: when a computer is infected with a Trojan, then this malware, installs more software of this kind. Software 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) are programs that supposed to illegally activate licensed software. However, quite often such programs are designed spread install programs.

Threat Summary:
Name Credo virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .credo
Ransom Demanding Message Pop-up window and FILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Cyber Criminal Contact Recovery@qbmail.biz
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.
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How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails should not be opened. Especially if such emails are received from unknown, suspicious email addresses. It is common that emails of this kind are sent by cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers. All software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use any other channels like third party downloaders, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks, etc. Third party installers should not be used too. Software must be updated and/or activated only with tools and/or functions that are designed by official software developers. It is wortwhile to mention that it is not legal to activate licensed software with any 'cracking' (unofficial activation) tools. Additionally, it is recommended to scan a computer with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite regularly and always eliminate detected threats as soon as the scanning process if finished. If your computer is already infected with Credo, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Credo 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 Recovery@qbmail.biz YOUR ID 1E857D00
If you have not been answered via the link within 12 hours, write to us by e-mail:Recovery@qbmail.biz
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 Credo's text file ("FILES ENCRYPTED.txt"):

Credo ransomware text file (FILES ENCRYPTED.txt)

Text in this file:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
write email Recovery@qbmail.biz

Screenshot of files encrypted by Credo (".credo" extension):

Files encrypted by Credo ransomware (.credo extension)

Credo 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 Credo 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 Credo 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 Credo 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 Credo 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 Credo, 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 Credo 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 Credo 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
Credo 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 Credo virus on your mobile device.
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