A ransomware for Windows 10 OS has appeared that not only uses a strong cipher to encrypt files of infected computers. What is new with this ransomware is that it splits files into different parts besides encrypting them, making the job even more impossible than previous ransomware variants. Researchers are presently working on discovering what exactly this ransomware variant is capable of and in the meantime users are advised NOT to pay any ransom money to cyber-criminals, because a decryptor may be released for free later on.
.PLC Ransomware and How Did It Get To This
Ransomware virus attacks have increased a lot in the past two years, causing an immense amount of damage. The viruses have begun to spread across the globe, and their variations became even more than before. Law enforcement agencies have tried to stop this menace, and they have captured several criminal enterprises behind these attacks, but this only resulted in releasing some decryptors. In fact, the consequence for this is that cyber-crooks became increasingly paranoid, adding new features in ransomware viruses.
One of those new features is the rootkit capabilities of ransom viruses. Notorious crypto-variants like Petya and its “sister” Mischa Ransomware have bonded together attack directly the master boot record (MBR) of the computers they infect adding a XOR value to them. Later on, this method proved fixable by simply booting from a safe device which does not have its MBR attacked and copying the files which were non-encrypted.
Another relatively “new” feature which has seen more popularity with ransomware viruses lately is the Cipher Block Chaining mode which interestingly enough separates encrypted portions of files, calling them blocks. This separation is also used in combination with a so-called IV (Initialization Vector) which breaks the file when you try to decrypt it, making file decryption a very risky process, especially if users try to do it by themselves.
Virus-encoders have also begun to use stronger ciphers such as the RSA-4096 and the AES-256 algorithms, and this proved to be rather risky because some viruses which were poorly coded, like CrypZ Ransomware broke users’ files permanently by releasing a broken decryptor after being paid the ransom.
Not only this but, Fake Ransomware viruses have also begun to infect people. Viruses, like the Fake AnonPop Ransomware, directly delete the files of the machines they infect and still ask users to pay the ransom money, which is a new peak in the audacity of cyber-criminals.
Crypto-virus attacks have not only spread across more and more systems, but they have also started to be more and more developed, adding new features, new extensions, hiding the files of infected users and even adding voice messages.
What is New with .PLC Ransomware?
The encrypted files by this ransomware, naturally carry the .plc file extension, and they cannot be opened by any program. Here is how an encrypted file has been reported to look like:
It is believed that since the files are split into parts, the cyber-criminals behind .PLC Ransomware virus may have created a program which acts as a compiler and a decryptor at once. This means that they may provide decryption and compile the files of affected users after paying the ransom money. This is a new development In ransomware viruses and only time will tell whether or not it is effective.
Besides that, the virus may also encrypt the files with either RSA, AES or other cryptographically strong encoding language.
The .PLC virus may also add a ransom note, which contains instructions for users on how to pay the ransom. Ransom payoffs by viruses like the .PLC variant may be conducted via anonymous Tor networking and the usage of BitCoin – the most widely used cryptocurrency at the moment.
.PLC Ransomware – Conclusion, Removal, File Reverting and Protection
There is not much known about this virus yet. But we will keep researching the matter and new possibilities to restore files encrypted by it. So far we have attempted to use the following file decryptors and have failed decrypting files by it:
→Emsisoft Decrypter for ApocalypseVM
Emsisoft Decrypter for Apocalypse
Emsisoft Decrypter for BadBlock
Emsisoft Decrypter for Xorist
Emsisoft Decrypter for 777
Emsisoft Decrypter for AutoLocky
Emsisoft Decrypter for Nemucod
Emsisoft Decrypter for DMALocker2
Emsisoft Decrypter for HydraCrypt
Emsisoft Decrypter for DMALocker
Emsisoft Decrypter for CrypBoss
Emsisoft Decrypter for Gomasom
Emsisoft Decrypter for LeChiffre
Emsisoft Decrypter for KeyBTC
Emsisoft Decrypter for Radamant
Emsisoft Decrypter for CryptInfinite
Emsisoft Decrypter for PClock
Emsisoft Decrypter for CryptoDefense
Emsisoft Decrypter for Harasom
This is why we strongly recommend that you to use the instructions posted below to remove this virus from Windows 10 in case you have been infected by it and try to restore your encrypted files using other alternative solutions that may work in some cases for some of your files.
As a bottom line, Ransomware has brought a new type of crime. With the ever increasing technologies the threats have also changed and this is a proof. We have researched a lot of crypto-malware variants the past few years and we have to ask ourselves, where is the borderline for this and when will it stop? There is no answer that can surely be appropriate and satisfying for this question, however the situation is all in our hands to stop this ever-increasing threat to our data.
- Guide 1: How to Remove PLC from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of PLC on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove PLC in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase PLC from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall PLC from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove PLC from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate PLC from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable PLC Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
About the PLC Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this PLC how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on PLC?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the PLC threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates
How to Remove PLC from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PLC
Step 2: Uninstall PLC and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by PLC on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by PLC there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Step 4: Scan for PLC with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.
2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.
3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.
4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.
Video Removal Guide for PLC (Windows).
Get rid of PLC from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall PLC and remove related files and objects
1.Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3.In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to PLC:
4.Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5.In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to PLC. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference.
Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to PLC. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove PLC via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as PLC. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove PLC files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PLC, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Video Removal Guide for PLC (Mac)
Remove PLC from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2:Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase PLC from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall PLC from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove PLC from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PLC will be removed.
Eliminate PLC from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by PLC from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
What is PLC?
The PLC threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What are the symptoms of PLC?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.
What types of Unwanted Programs are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to do if I have a "virus" like PLC?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to secure my passwords and other data from PLC?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.