CSGO Ransomware - How to Remove and Restore Files

CSGO Ransomware – How to Remove and Restore Files

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This article has been created to explain what is the CSGO Ransomware virus and how to remove it completely from your computer plus restore files, encrypted by it on your PC.

A new ransomware infection, related to the game Counter Strike: Global Offensive, going by the name CSGO ransomware has been reported by security researchers to infect the computers unsuspecting user. The ransomware has been created by someone with the nickname NATroutter. It aims to encrypt the files on the infected computers by it and then leave the victims to play 5 hours of the most famous first person shooter game in the world – Counter Strike: Global Offensive. If your computer has been infected by the CSGO Ransomware infection and you cannot recover the files that have been encrypted on your computer, we advise that you read this article to learn how to remove this virus and restore the files that have been encrypted on your computer.

Threat Summary

NameCSGO Ransomware
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionAims to render important files on your computer to no longer be able to be opened until you pay ransom to get them back.
SymptomsThe ransomware leaves a lockscreen on your computer, called CSGO Ransomware // Made by NATroutter.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CSGO Ransomware


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CSGO Ransomware.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

CSGO Ransomware – How Does It Infect

The main method of infection, used by the CSGO ransomware virus has been reported to likely be via e-mail spam messages. The virus aims to slither it’s infection file by possibly sending messages that have malicious attachments within them or malicious web links that cause the infection. This process may include the e-mails to pretend to be legitimate and to come from big companies from the likes of:

  • PayPal.
  • eBay.
  • Amazon.
  • AliExpress.
  • FedEx.
  • DHL.

The e-mails often pretend to have invoices or receipts in them to increase the likelihood of the victim clicking on them.

In addition to via e-mails, the CSGO Ransomware virus may also be spread as a result of the crooks having to upload the malicious file on torrent websites and other suspicious software providing sites. The file may pretend to be:

  • Setup of a program or game.
  • Software crack.
  • License activation patch.
  • Crack.
  • Key generator.

Victims often look to “patch” games and play them without paying for them and this is what some cyber-criminals consider an advantage, infecting wide range of users, by making the file seem legitimate.

CSGO Ransomware – Analysis

Once the CSGO ransomware infection has been downloaded on your computer, it’s malicious file extracts or downloads the payload of the virus on the victim’s computer. The payload consists of multiple files that may have the following locations:

  • %AppData%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalLow%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Temp%

After the payload of this ransomware virus has been downloaded onto the computer of the victim, it may be extracted and activated. This may result for the ransomware obtaining various different details about your computer, such as:

  • If CS:GO is installed on it.
  • If the virus is running on a virtual drive or a real computer.
  • Your IP address and unsecured ports.
  • Security software installed on your PC.

The CSGO ransomware then may set various different types of registry sub-keys on the computer of the user, whose purpose is to usually make it run automatically when you boot Windows. Such keys are likely the Run and RunOnce windows registry sub-keys:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

After the ransomware has done this, it may then orient towards deleting the volume shadow copies on the user’s computer. This is conducted by running a malicious script that triggers Windows Command Prompt as an administrator. The commands which it runs may be the vssadmin and bcedit commands:

→ process call create “cmd.exe /c vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet & bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled no & bcdedit.exe /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures”

When it’s main file is ran, the CSGO ransomware sets the following ransom note on the victim’s computer:

CSGO Ransomware – Encryption Process

The encryption process of CSGO ransomware involves using a sophisticated encryption algorithm. This encryption mode aims to alter the key data files on the user’s files in order to make them seem corrupt. The virus looks for files to encrypt and excludes files that may be drivers or files, located in %Windows%. Other than that, the malware targets files based on their file extensions. Such files are usually the following types of files:


After the encryption, the malware may leave the files no longer able to be opened and it may also perform other post-infection activities to check if the victim has played 5 hours of the game CSGO.

Remove CSGO Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

In order to remove this ransomware virus from your computer, we advise that you follow the removal instructions underneath. They are created to help you delete the malicious files and objects of this malware either manually or automatically. Since you might miss something during manual removal, security experts often advise downloading and scanning your computer with an advanced anti-malware program. It’s primary purpose is to fully remove CSGO ransomware and protect your PC against malicious threats and intrusive software in the future.

If you want to restore files that have been encrypted by CSGO ransomware virus, we recommend that you try out the alternative methods for file recovery underneath. They have been created in order to help you to restore as many files as possible without having to play the game or just in case playing the game does not restore the files. The methods are located in step “2. Restore files, encrypted by CSGO Ransomware”.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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