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NK_ File Virus Remove and Restore Data

This article is created to show you how to remove NK_ file ransomware (SQ_ variant) and restore files encrypted with the nk_ prefix added to them.

A ransomware infection appending the nk_ file prefix to the files which it encrypts has been reported to be active out in the wild. The virus infects via different methods and after infection demands victims to pay a hefty sum (4 BitCoins) to get the files which it has encoded back to a working state. In case you have become a victim of the NK_ file ransomware, recommendations are to read this article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

Name

NK_ Virus

Type Ransomware
Short Description The NK_ ransomware is an evolved variant of the SQ_ ransomware virus. Encrypts files then demands a 4 BTC ransom payoff.
Symptoms The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions”, , called NK_ IN YOUR FILES.txt. The file prefix nk_ may be added.
Distribution Method Via an Exploit kit, Dll file attack, malicious JavaScript or a drive-by download of the malware itself in an obfuscated manner.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss NK_ Virus.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

NK_ File Virus – How Does It Infect

The infection process of NK_ ransomware begins with it’s distribution process. It is conducted via multiple different methods. One of them is via spam e-mails sent out to users, pretending to be legitimate. The e-mails usually contain one of both:

A web link redirecting to a site where the malicious file is uploaded.
A malicious archive uploaded as an e-mail attachment.

These two malicious objects may also be accompanied by deceitful messages that aim to convince the victims of this ransomware virus to open the attachments or click on the web links. They may resemble invoice notices, notifications of suspicious activity on your bank account and even fake LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay or Facebook messages with the same images and content as the original e-mails sent. This is why users should know, how to protect themselves from malicious e-mails as well as archives.

In addition to these methods, other methods of malware replication may also be used. Those methods usually include the usage of fake updater programs, fake software licensing programs and game cracks that contain malicious codes. Such may be uploaded on suspicious websites and also be uploaded on websites that offer torrent downloads.

NK_ File Virus – Infection Activity

After the user opens the malicious file infecting with NK_ ransomware, multiple types of files including the ransom note NK_ IN YOUR FILES.txt may be dropped onto the computer of the user. The files may assume different names and be located in different Windows folders, for example:

As soon as the malicious files belonging to NK_ file virus are dropped on the computer of the user, the ransomware may begin to delete the shadow volume copies on it. These shadow copies are essentially the backed up files on pre-selected important folders of Windows. The commands by which the NK_ ransomware may delete these backups without the victim noticing are the following:

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

These commands permanently delete the shadow copies without the user noticing. In addition to this the ransomware also heavily interferes with Windows registry entries creating multiple registry value strings which may reside in the following Windows sub-keys:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Other malicious activities associated with tis ransomware virus, include the running of false processes that are imitating legitimate Windows hosts, like svchost.exe.

NK_ File Virus – Encryption Process

For it’s encryption to be successful, NK_ file virus is programmed to target specific files only and skip important files that may damage Windows OS. The files targeted by the NK_ ransomware are most likely important Audio files, documents, database files, videos, images and other related file formats. If we had to sum up all the files encrypted by this ransomware infection, most of them would be among the ones in the list below:

“PNG .PSD .PSPIMAGE .TGA .THM .TIF .TIFF .YUV .AI .EPS .PS .SVG .INDD .PCT .PDF .XLR .XLS .XLSX .ACCDB .DB .DBF .MDB .PDB .SQL .APK .APP .BAT .CGI .COM .EXE .GADGET .JAR .PIF .WSF .DEM .GAM .NES .ROM .SAV CAD Files .DWG .DXF GIS Files .GPX .KML .KMZ .ASP .ASPX .CER .CFM .CSR .CSS .HTM .HTML .JS .JSP .PHP .RSS .XHTML. DOC .DOCX .LOG .MSG .ODT .PAGES .RTF .TEX .TXT .WPD .WPS .CSV .DAT .GED .KEY .KEYCHAIN .PPS .PPT .PPTX ..INI .PRF Encoded Files .HQX .MIM .UUE .7Z .CBR .DEB .GZ .PKG .RAR .RPM .SITX .TAR.GZ .ZIP .ZIPX .BIN .CUE .DMG .ISO .MDF .TOAST .VCD SDF .TAR .TAX2014 .TAX2015 .VCF .XML Audio Files .AIF .IFF .M3U .M4A .MID .MP3 .MPA .WAV .WMA Video Files .3G2 .3GP .ASF .AVI .FLV .M4V .MOV .MP4 .MPG .RM .SRT .SWF .VOB .WMV 3D .3DM .3DS .MAX .OBJ R.BMP .DDS .GIF .JPG ..CRX .PLUGIN .FNT .FON .OTF .TTF .CAB .CPL .CUR .DESKTHEMEPACK .DLL .DMP .DRV .ICNS .ICO .LNK .SYS .CFG”Source:fileinfo.com

After the encryption process is complete, bytes of the algorithm used by the NK_ ransomware virus are replaces with original data of the files, making them no longer openable. The files may appear like the following image:

Then, the ransomware makes sure the user sees it’s ransom note text file, which has the following content:

Your computer has been locked by ransomware, your personal files are encrypted and you have unfortunately “lost” all your pictures,

files and documents on the computer. Your important files encryption produced on this computer: videos, photos, documents, etc.

Encryption was produced using a unique public key RSA-1024 generated for this computer. To decrypt files you need to obtain the private key.

All encrypted files contains NK_

Your number:
To obtain the program for this computer, which will decrypt all files, you need to pay
4 bitcoins on our bitcoin address 1Aq3Hfsuy3XiH7HtWMJcNjwCP2Bu39UsGU (today 1 bitcoin was 270). Only we and you know about this bitcoin address.

You can check bitcoin balanse here – https://www.blockchain.info/address/1Aq3Hfsuy3XiH7HtWMJcNjwCP2Bu39UsGU
After payment send us your number on our mail mwt@ruggedinbox.com and we will send you decryption tool (you need only run it and all files will be decrypted during 1…3 hours)
Before payment you can send us one small file (100..500 kilobytes) and we will decrypt it – it’s your garantee that we have decryption tool. And send us your number with attached file.
We dont know who are you. All what we need – it’s some money.
Don’t panic if we don’t answer you during 24 hours. It means that we didn’t received your letter (for example if you use hotmail.com or outlook.com
it can block letter, SO DON’T USE HOTMAIL.COM AND OUTLOOK.COM. You need register your mail account in www.ruggedinbox.com (it will takes 1..2 minutes) and write us again)

You can use one of that bitcoin exchangers for transfering bitcoin.

Bitcoin.co.kr

https://www.korbit.co.kr

https://www.coinplug.com

https://ko-kr.facebook.com/coinplug

https://localbitcoins.com/country/kr

www.youtube.com/watch?v=erVehAHDuel

howtobuybitcoin.info/kr.html

https://bitcoin-printing.com/trade

You dont need install bitcoin software – you need only use one of this exchangers or other exchanger that you can find in www.google.com for your country.

Please use english language in your letters. If you don’t speak english then use https://translate.google.com to translate your letter on english language.

The ransom note also contains versions on other languages as well.

Remove NK_ Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

Before removing NK_ ransomware, recommendations are to focus on making a backup of the encrypted files just in case.

For the removal process of NK_ ransomware to succeed, we advise isolating the virus first and then look for the files in a safer environment. This is why we recommend you to follow the steps in the instructions below carefully. For maximum effectiveness during the removal process malware researchers always advise using an advanced anti-malware software which will make sure that proper and automatic removal is guaranteed.

For the file restoration, at the moment there is no free decryption, but we will continue to follow the situation and update this article on any development with this situation. In the meantime, we recommend following the alternative methods for recovery of files encrypted by NK_ ransomware below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by NK_ virus”.

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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OFFER

REMOVE IT NOW (PC)
with Anti-Malware
We recommend you to download SpyHunter and run free scan to remove all virus files on your PC. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
SpyHunter 5 free remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove NK_ Virus

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows Key + R.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 1


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 2


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
remove ransomware in safe mode step 3
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 4


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
remove ransomware in safe mode step 5


Step 2: Uninstall NK_ Virus and related malware 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.
delete ransomware from windows step 1


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.
delete ransomware from windows step 2


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
delete ransomware from windows step 3Follow the instructions above and you will successfully delete most unwanted and malicious programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by NK_ Virus on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by NK_ Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
delete ransomware virus registries step 1


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.
delete ransomware virus registries step 2


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
delete ransomware virus registries step 3 Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for NK_ Virus with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 2


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 3


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.

scan for and delete ransomware virus step 4

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Ransomware Automatic Removal - Video Guide

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by NK_ Virus.

Ransomware infections and NK_ Virus aim to encrypt your files using an encryption algorithm which may be very difficult to decrypt. This is why we have suggested a data recovery method that may help you go around direct decryption and try to restore your files. Bear in mind that this method may not be 100% effective but may also help you a little or a lot in different situations.

1. Download the recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.


NK_ Virus FAQ

    

What is NK_ Virus Ransomware?

NK_ Virus is a ransomware infection - the malicious software that enters your computer silently and blocks either access to the computer itself or encrypt your files. 

Many ransomware viruses use sophisticated encryption algorithms to make your files inaccessible. The goal of ransomware infections is to demand that you pay a ransom payment to get access to your files back.

Can NK_ Virus Ransomware Damage My Computer?

Yes, ransomware can damage your computer. Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid. It can encrypt your files and make them inaccessible, preventing you from using your computer or accessing your data. Ransomware can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

Should I Ignore Ransomware, like NK_ Virus?

No, you should never ignore ransomware. Ransomware can encrypt your data and block access to your computer, making it impossible to access your files until you pay a ransom. Ignoring ransomware could lead to the permanent loss of your data, as well as the potential for the ransomware to spread to other computers on your network. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that your data will be recovered. The best way to protect yourself is to invest in robust cyber security measures, such as backup solutions and anti-malware software.

How Does NK_ Virus Ransomware Infect My Computer?

Via several ways.NK_ Virus Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing emails, containing virus attachment

This attachment is usually masked as an important document, like an invoice, bank document or even a plane ticket and it looks very convincing to users. 

After you download and execute this attachment, a drive-by download occurs and your computer is infected with the ransomware virus.

Another way you may become a victim of NK_ Virus is if you download a fake installer, crack or patch from a low reputation website or if you click on a virus link. Many users report getting a ransomware infection by downloading torrents.

How to Open .NK_ Virus files?

You can't. At this point, the .NK_ Virus files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

         

What to Do If Ransomware Decryptor Does Not Work?

Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .NK_ Virus files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by NK_ Virus ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, be advised that the decryption keys for it may not be out yet and available to the public. We will update this article and keep you posted as soon as this decryptor is released.

Can I Restore ".NK_ Virus" Files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .NK_ Virus files. 

These methods are in no way 100% guaranteed that you will be able to get your files back. But if you have a backup, your chances of success are much greater.

How Do I Get Rid of NK_ Virus Ransomware Virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti-malware program. It will scan for and locate NK_ Virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .NK_ Virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like NK_ Virus ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with anti-malware software will make sure that all of these virus components are removed and your computer is protected in the future.

What to Do If I Cannot Recover Ransomware Encrypted Files?

There is still a lot you can do. If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then try these methods:

-Try to find a safe computer from where you can can login on your own line accounts like One Drive, iDrive, Google Drive and so on.
 
-Try to contact your friends, relatives and other people so that they can check if they have some of your important photos or documents just in case you sent them.

-Also, check if some of the files that were encrypted it can be re-downloaded from the web.

-Another clever way to get back some of your files is to find another old computer, a flash drive or even a CD or a DVD where you may have saved your older documents. You might be surprised what will turn up.

-You can also go to your email account to check if you can send any attachments to other people. Usually what is sent the email is saved on your account and you can re-download it. But most importantly, make sure that this is done from a safe computer and make sure to remove the virus first.

More tips you can find on our forums, where you can also asks any questions about your ransomware problem.

 

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Germany - Offizielles Portal der deutschen Polizei

United States - IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Centre

United Kingdom - Action Fraud Police

France - Ministère de l'Intérieur

Italy - Polizia Di Stato

Spain - Policía Nacional

Netherlands - Politie

Poland - Policja

Portugal - Polícia Judiciária

Greece - Cyber Crime Unit (Hellenic Police)

India - Mumbai Police - CyberCrime Investigation Cell

Australia - Australian High Tech Crime Center

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

Can You Prevent NK_ Virus Ransomware from Encrypting Your Files?

Yes, you can prevent ransomware. The best way to do this is to ensure your computer system is updated with the latest security patches, use a reputable anti-malware program and firewall, backup your important files frequently, and avoid clicking on malicious links or downloading unknown files. In addition, it is also important to keep your passwords secure and to avoid visiting websites or downloading applications from untrusted sources. Finally, ensure you have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place to restore your system to its pre-attack state, should a ransomware attack occur.

Can NK_ Virus Ransomware Steal Your Data?

Yes, in most cases ransomware will steal your information. It is a form of malware that steals data from a user's computer, encrypts it, and then demands a ransom in order to decrypt it. In many cases, the malware authors or attackers will threaten to delete the data or publish it online unless the ransom is paid. This means that if a user is infected with ransomware, their data can be stolen and held for ransom. It is important to be aware of this threat and take precautions to protect yourself and your data.

Can Ransomware Affect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can affect WiFi networks, as malicious actors can use it to gain control of the network, steal confidential data, and lock out users. If a ransomware attack is successful, it could lead to a loss of service and/or data, and in some cases, financial losses.

Should I Pay Ransomware?

No, you should not pay ransomware extortionists. Paying them only encourages criminals and does not guarantee that the files or data will be restored. The better approach is to have a secure backup of important data and be vigilant about security in the first place.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Ransom?

If you don't pay the ransom, the hackers may still have access to your computer, data, or files and may continue to threaten to expose or delete them, or even to use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Why Is the Ransom Paid in Crypto?

Cryptocurrency is a secure and untraceable form of payment, making it the ideal choice for ransom payments. It is difficult to trace, and the transactions are almost instantaneous. This means it is nearly impossible for authorities to track the payment and recover the money.

Can Ransomware Be Detected?

Yes, ransomware can be detected. Anti-malware software and other advanced security tools can detect ransomware and alert the user when it is present on a machine. It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and to keep security software updated to ensure ransomware can be detected and prevented.

Do Ransomware Criminals Get Caught?

Yes, ransomware criminals do get caught. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, have been successful in tracking down and prosecuting ransomware criminals in the US and other countries. As ransomware threats continue to increase, so does the enforcement activity.

       

 

About the NK_ Virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this NK_ Virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the NK_ Virus ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

References

1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware


Attention! SensorsTechForum strongly recommends that all malware victims should look for assistance only by reputable sources. Many guides out there claim to offer free recovery and decryption for files encrypted by ransomware viruses. Be advised that some of them may only be after your money.

As a site that has been dedicated to providing free removal instructions for ransomware and malware since 2014, SensorsTechForum’s recommendation is to only pay attention to trustworthy sources.

How to recognize trustworthy sources:

  • Always check "About Us" web page.
  • Profile of the content creator.
  • Make sure that real people are behind the site and not fake names and profiles.
  • Verify Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personal profiles.

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