.PICO Ransomware v1.0 – How to Remove and Restore Files

This article has been created in order to explain what is the Pico Ransomware virus and how to remove it plus how to restore files, encrypted with the added .PICO file extension.

A new ransomware virus, going by the name Pico Ransomware was recently detected by security researchers S!Ri. The malware is likely a variant of Thanatos ransomware and it’s main goal is to encrypt the files on your computer and then add the .PICO file extension to the files, encrypted by it. The virus then drops a ransom note file, called README.txt. The virus aims to ask victims to pay 100$ in BitCoin or Ethereum. If your PC has been infected by this ransomware, we strongly suggest that you read this article as it aims to help you to remove this virus and possibly restore your data.

Threat Summary

Name .PICO Ransomware v1.0
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description Aims to encrypt the files and then ask victims to pay $100 in Ethereum or BitCoin to get them to work.
Symptoms Files are appended the .PICO file extension. The virus drops a ransom note, called README.txt
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss .PICO Ransomware v1.0.
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.

.PICO Ransomware – How Does It Spread

The primary method of propagation used by the .PICO fles virus is believed to be infection by spammed e-mail attachments. These may come as the following fake documents:

  • Invoices.
  • Receipts.
  • Order invoices.
  • Some type of important statements from banks.
  • Suspicious account activity reports.

In addition to this, the e-mail also aims to convince victims that the file is of utmost importance so that they open it. The file itself may range from an executable to a Microsoft Word file that infects computers via malicious macros in the same chronology as the infection activities shown below:

In addition to via e-mail, the .PICO ransomware virus may also infect computers via other methods as well, like being uploaded on websites and pretend to be a file that the user is looking to download. Most often, viruses, like .PICO ransomware may pretend to be:

  • Patches.
  • Cracks.
  • Keygens.
  • Setups.
  • Suspicious account activity reports.
  • Activators.
  • Hack tools.

.PICO Ransomware – Malicious Activity

Once it has been installed on your computer, the .PICO virus creates the following folders and file directly on the Desktop:

→ %Desktop%\Ransomware\ThanatosSouce\Release\Ransomware.pdb

This does suggest that the virus has taken the source code of Thanatos ransomware, which came out back in February this year. The virus also drops the README.txt ransom note, which looks like the following:

Your files was encrypted. To decrypt your files,
follow next steps:

Pico Ransomware v1.0
1. Send $100 to one of these wallets:

2. Send your TXID and your MachineID to mail
Machine ID: {ID HERE}

Do not waste your time, files can only be
decrypted by our decode tool.

Another activity which is performed by the .PICO ransomware virus on the victim’s computer is that it may modify the Windows Registry Editor so that it runs the “Microsoft Update System Web-Helper” and “README.txt” automatically. The registry keys are located in the following sub-keys:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Microsoft Update System Web-Helper” = “C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe %UserProfile%\Desktop\README.txt”

Judging by the similarities in the ransom notes, the .PICO ransomware is likely a variant made by a skid who likely purchased it in the deep web.

In addition to those activities, the .PICO ransomware may also delete the backed up files in Windows by executing the following commands as an administrator in Command Prompt:

→ sc stop VVS
sc stop wscsvc
sc stop WinDefend
sc stop wuauserv
sc stop BITS
sc stop ERSvc
sc stop WerSvc
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No
cmd.exe /C bcdedit /set {default} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

Furthermore, the .PICO ransomware may also have the same information stealing modules in it that it uses to steal data from the infected computers, such as:

  • Passwords and logins.
  • IP addresses and System Language and region.
  • Antivirus programs installed on your PC.

The main goal of .PICO is to encrypt the files on your computer, leaving them no longer able to be opened. But we did not manage to locate any decryption key that is encrypted on a victim machine, so paying the ransom may not get your files back.

.PICO Ransomware – Encryption Process

To encrypt the files on your PC, PICO ransomware may look for them based on their file extensions. The virus may scan for the following types of files:

  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Archives.
  • Documents.
  • Audio files.
  • Backup files.
  • Database files.

Once the malware has detected the files, they are immediately encrypted, containing the .PICO file extension:

Remove .PICO Ransomware and Restore Files

In order to remove this ransomware virus from your computer, we strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been divided in manual and automatic removal methods. The most effective method of removing the .PICO file ransomware from your computer is to do it automatically with an advanced anti-malware program, as most experts would recommend to you. Such tool is fully capable of automatically getting rid of the .PICO ransomware’s malicious files and then ensure that your PC remains protected against possible infections in the future as well.

If you want to restore files, encrypted by this variant of .PICO ransowmare, we would recommend that you try out the alternative methods for file recovery down below. They may not be 100% effective to recover all your files, but with their aid you may be able to restore some of them.


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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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.


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

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove .PICO Ransomware v1.0 from Windows.

Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove .PICO Ransomware v1.0


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

2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.

3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
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.

5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.

Step 2: Uninstall .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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. To do that:

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

2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.

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"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.

Step 3: Clean any registries, created by .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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.
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: Scan for .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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.


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.


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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .PICO Ransomware v1.0.

Ransomware infections and .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of .PICO Ransomware v1.0 from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall .PICO Ransomware v1.0 and remove related files and objects

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0. 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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0. 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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for .PICO Ransomware v1.0:


SpyHunter for Mac

Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by .PICO Ransomware v1.0.

Ransomware infections and .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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 reccomended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

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

.PICO Ransomware v1.0 FAQ

What is .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware and how does it work?

.PICO Ransomware v1.0 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 algorithm how 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.

How does .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways..PICO Ransomware v1.0 Ransomware infects computers by being sent via phishing e-mails, 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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0 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 ..PICO Ransomware v1.0 files?

You can't. At this point the ..PICO Ransomware v1.0 files are encrypted. You can only open them once they are decrypted.

Decryptor did not decrypt my data. What now?

Do not panic and backup the files. If a decryptor did not decrypt your ..PICO Ransomware v1.0 files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware is to use a decryptor for it. But since it's a new virus, 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.

How Do I restore "..PICO Ransomware v1.0" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore ..PICO Ransomware v1.0 files.

These methods are in no way 100% guarantee 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 .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware virus?

The safest way and the most efficient one for the removal of this ransomware infection is the use a professional anti malware software. It will scan for and locate .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important ..PICO Ransomware v1.0 files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like .PICO Ransomware v1.0 ransomware also install Trojans and keyloggers that can steal your passwords and accounts. Scanning your computer with an 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 nothing works?

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.

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