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PEC 2017 Virus – Remove It and Restore .Pec Files

This article will aid you in removing the PEC 2017 ransomware fully. Follow the ransomware removal instructions given at the bottom of the article.

The PEC 2017 ransomware targets Italian-speaking users with spam mail. An e-mail has a document attached which serves as the entry point for the ransomware. It will encrypt your files, while leaving the .pec extension to them. When a computer gets infected, the PEC 2017 virus will place a ransom note in a .html file on your Desktop written in Italian. Read on to see how you can potentially recover some of your files.

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Threat Summary

Threat Summary

Name PEC 2017
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware virus will encrypt your files and leave a ransom note written in Italian with payment instructions on your Desktop.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files while appending the .pec extension to them.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss PEC 2017.
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.

PEC 2017 Ransomware – Spread

The PEC 2017 ransomware has been discovered by malware researchers to spread its infection mainly through spam e-mails. Inside those emails, a file that serves as a payload dropper exploits the CVE-2017-0199 vulnerability in Windows. Samples of the ransomware have been found and put for analysis on the Payload Security and VirusTotal services. You can see the detections of some security vendors for a payload file called “stylesheet.rtf” by viewing the screenshot of the VirusTotal site below:

The payload script for PEC 2017 ransomware is launched from a document file attached to a spam e-mail, and more precisely a Rich Text Format document. You could see the content of that document in the below image:

The document looks like a CV (Curriculum Vitae) of an Italian, looking for a job.

Beware as the PEC 2017 cryptovirus might be spread with the help of social media or file-sharing networks. Freeware applications that are bundled could seem helpful but contain a script for that Windows exploit as well. Don’t open files you downloaded before scanning them with a security tool. Also, you should read the ransomware prevention tips in our forum.

PEC 2017 Virus – More Information

PEC 2017 is the name given to a new string of ransomware virus, which evidently targets Italian users, and more specifically, Italian businesses. Its payload is inside a document file that is concealed as a CV of a person looking for work. If your PC is infected, your files get encrypted and all of them receive the .pec extension.

The PEC 2017 ransomware could make entries in the Windows Registry aiming to achieve a higher level of persistence. Those registry entries are typically designed in a way that will start the virus automatically with each launch of the Windows Operating System. An example of such an entry is the following:


The ransom note will be dropped after the encryption process is finished. The note provides instructions on how you could get your files restored. The note of PEC 2017 is placed on your Desktop inside a file called “AIUTO_COME_DECIFRARE_FILE.html”. You can preview the contents from the screenshot down here:

The ransom message from that .html file reads the following:

PEC 2017
Informazioni su come decifrare i file
I tuoi file sono stati cifrati dal sistema PEC 2017 con crittografia AES 256.
PEC non è decifrabile da nessun software e da nessun antivirus.
Come recuperare i dati criptati
Unico modo per recuperare i dati danneggiati è acquistare il software di recupero PEC CLEANER.
Quando hai ottenuto il software potrai procedere al recupero ed il ripristino dei file danneggiati.
Con lo stesso software potrai decriptare tutti i file danneggiati anche quelli nei dischi esterni o di rete.
Non utilizzare alcun software antivirus o di decrypt in quanto non solo non efficaci, ma potrebbero compromettere per sempre il recupero dei dati.
Con PEC Cleaner potrai recuperare tutti i tuoi dati perfettamente funzionanti e senza attese.
Come acquistare PEC CLEANER
contatta il produttore del software di decrypt per acquisto della licenza e download del programma:
pec.clean@protonmail com
La tua chiave di sblocco è
Il software verrà reso disponibile al download entro 24 ore dal pagamento e ti consentirà il ripristino immediato dei dati.

A rough machine translation in English of that text is:

PEC 2017
Learn how to decrypt files
Your files have been encrypted by the PEC 2017 system with AES 256 encryption.
PEC is not decipherable by any software and no antivirus.
How to recover encrypted data
The only way to recover corrupted data is to purchase PEC CLEANER Recovery Software.
Once you have obtained the software, you will be able to recover and restore the corrupted files.
With the same software you can decrypt all damaged files even those on external or network disks.
Do not use any antivirus software or decrypt as not only ineffective, but may compromise data retention forever.
With PEC Cleaner, you can retrieve all your perfectly working and unexpected data.
Contact the decrypt software manufacturer to purchase the license and download the program:
Your unlock key is
The software will be available for download within 24 hours of your payment and will allow you to restore your data immediately.

The ransom note is written in a way to scare people, and try to persuade them in paying a ransom. The developer of the PEC 2017 virus wants you to contact them while they are using the encrypted mail service ProtonMail.

However, you should NOT under any circumstances pay anything to the cybercriminals, nor contact them. Nobody can give you a guarantee that you will get your files decrypted if you pay up, plus you might further motivate them to do more criminal acts, like developing more ransomware if they see they can profit from it.

PEC 2017 Virus – Encryption Process

PEC 2017 ransomware will probably search and encrypt files which are from the most commonly used file types in Microsoft Windows. Those file types carry the following extensions:

→.7z, .bmp, .doc, .docm, .docx, .html, .jpeg, .jpg, .mp3, .mp4, .pdf, .php, .ppt, .pptx, .rar, .rtf, .sql, .tiff, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .zip

The algorithm which is used for the encryption of your files is AES 256-bit or at least that is stated in the ransom message.

The PEC 2017 cryptovirus is likely to be set to erase the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows Operating System by initiating the following command:

→vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /Quiet

The execution of that command can make the encryption process more viable, since it eliminates one of the prominent ways for the recovering of your files.

Remove PEC 2017 Virus and Restore .Pec Files

If your computer got infected with the PEC 2017 ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Step 1: Scan for PEC 2017 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 2: Uninstall PEC 2017 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 PEC 2017 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 PEC 2017 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.

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: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PEC 2017


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 5: Try to Restore Files Encrypted by PEC 2017.

Method 1: Use STOP Decrypter by Emsisoft.

Not all variants of this ransomware can be decrypted for free, but we have added the decryptor used by researchers that is often updated with the variants which become eventually decrypted. You can try and decrypt your files using the instructions below, but if they do not work, then unfortunately your variant of the ransomware virus is not decryptable.

Follow the instructions below to use the Emsisoft decrypter and decrypt your files for free. You can download the Emsisoft decryption tool linked here and then follow the steps provided below:

1 Right-click on the decrypter and click on Run as Administrator as shown below:

stop ransomware decryptor step 1

2. Agree with the license terms:

stop ransomware decryptor step 2

3. Click on "Add Folder" and then add the folders where you want files decrypted as shown underneath:

stop ransomware decryptor step 3

4. Click on "Decrypt" and wait for your files to be decoded.

stop ransomware decryptor step 4

Note: Credit for the decryptor goes to Emsisoft researchers who have made the breakthrough with this virus.

Method 2: Use data recovery software

Ransomware infections and PEC 2017 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.

PEC 2017-FAQ

What is PEC 2017 Ransomware?

PEC 2017 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.

What Does PEC 2017 Ransomware Do?

Ransomware in general is a malicious software that is designed to block access to your computer or files until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware viruses can also damage your system, corrupt data and delete files, resulting in the permanent loss of important files.

How Does PEC 2017 Infect?

Via several ways.PEC 2017 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.

Another way you may become a victim of PEC 2017 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 .PEC 2017 files?

You can't without a decryptor. At this point, the .PEC 2017 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted using a specific decryption key for the particular algorithm.

What to Do If a Decryptor Does Not Work?

Do not panic, and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your .PEC 2017 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

Can I Restore ".PEC 2017" Files?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .PEC 2017 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 To Get Rid of PEC 2017 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 PEC 2017 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .PEC 2017 files.

Can I 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 Stop 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.

Can PEC 2017 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.

Can Ransomware Infect WiFi?

Yes, ransomware can infect 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 use them to commit cybercrimes. In some cases, they may even continue to demand additional ransom payments.

Can a Ransomware Attack 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, Interpol and others 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 PEC 2017 Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this PEC 2017 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 PEC 2017 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.

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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