Home > Ransomware > Popcorn Time Ransomware – Remove It and Restore .filock Files
THREAT REMOVAL

Popcorn Time Ransomware – Remove It and Restore .filock Files

This article contains instructions on how to remove PopCorn Time ransomware and restore the .filock encrypted files.

Ransomware, offering free decryption key to victims if they infect two other people has been reported to have increased infection rate on unsuspecting victims. The virus demands 1 BTC from it’s victims and it has a screen pretending to be downloading and installing Windows updates, while in fact, the virus encrypts the files on the affected computers. Popcorn Time Ransomware is a virus that somehow has the name of a legitimate p2p program named Popcorn Time which aims to give users the ability to watch their favorite TV-shows for free with a click of a button and using torrent mechanisms. It has nothing to do with the ransomware Popcorn Time. In case you have become a victim of this virus, we strongly advise you to read the following article and hence learn how to remove this malware from your computer and try to restore your files without having to pay the ransom.

Image Source: Flickr

Threat Summary

Name

Popcorn Time Ransomware

Type Ransomware
Short Description Virus that has the same name as the legitimate program Popcorn Time. Encrypts files and ask a sum for decryption. Also offers to infect two other users to decrypt the files for free/
Symptoms The user may witness ransom notes and “instructions” linking to an e-mail for contact. Changed file-extension has been used to .filock.
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

Download

Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss Popcorn Time Ransomware.
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.

How Does Popcorn Time Infect

To cause a massive infection, PopCorn Time may take a different approach than the typical ransomware virus. The malware begins with infecting users via spam e-mails that may resemble legitimate e-mails from services like Amazon, PayPal, and others. These e-mails may have attachments on them along with a convincing body of the e-mail to open those attachments. As soon as the user opens such attachments, he becomes immediately infected by Popcorn Time ransomware, and the files are encrypted.

What is interesting in this particular case is that the ransom note of the virus aims to convince the victim to infect two other victims to get their computer decrypted for free:

This new method of infection is outsourcing the spread of the ransomware on a user level, which is free and may prove to be very widespread with time and taken by many other ransomware makers.

Popcorn Time – Post-Infection Activity

As soon as this virus infects your computer it may immediately drop it’s malicious modules on several folders of Windows, like:

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

In addition to this, the virus may also modify several registries for those malicious files to run at Windows startup. For this to happen the Run and RunOnce registry keys may be used. After the malicious files have ran, the Popcorn Time virus begins to exhibit a behavior; that resembles Windows Update screen:

During this screen, the Popcorn Time virus begins to encrypt videos, pictures, databases, virtual drives and documents as well as files associated with often used software. After encryption, the files’ code is replaced with symbols generated by an advanced encryption cipher which releases a decryption key. This key may either be stored in an encrypted format on the compromised computer or be sent via POST UDP or TCP traffic to the command and control (C2) servers, belonging to the cyber-criminals. The encrypted files by Popcorn Time ransomware have the .filock file extension added to them and in they may look like the following:

After the encryption the virus leaves it’s conventional ransom note which has instructions on how to pay the sum of 1.0 BitCoin and change to it from actual money.

However, this virus also makes you turn on your buddies, offering to infect others instead of paying the ransom yourself. This nasty type of technique may have just worked for the cyber-criminals behind Popcorn Time ransomware because more and more infections are reported by this virus since the begging of December.

Popcorn Time Ransomware – Conclusion, Removal and File Restoration Suggestions

To successfully get rid of Popcorn Time ransomware, users are advised to be extremely careful and use a professional malware removal software to successfully and fully remove the Popcorn Time ransomware from the infected computer. We have prepared instructions below to help users cope with this situation.

To decrypt your files, dummy computers or virtual drives may be used to cause an infection by this ransomware and get your files decrypted by fooling the cyber-criminals you have succeeded. However, if this does not work, then we suggest to attempt out the alternative file recovery methods we have provided in step “2. Restore files encrypted by Popcorn Time Ransomware” below. Bear in mind that they are not fully tested, so you should backup your encrypted files before giving them a try.

Avatar

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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter


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.


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


Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Popcorn Time Ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Popcorn Time Ransomware

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


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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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.

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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Popcorn Time Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Popcorn Time Ransomware and remove related files and objects

OFFER
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 Popcorn Time Ransomware:

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 Popcorn Time Ransomware. 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware. 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware. 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
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Popcorn Time Ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Popcorn Time Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Popcorn Time Ransomware 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.


Popcorn Time Ransomware FAQ

What is Popcorn Time Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 .Popcorn Time Ransomware files?

You can't. At this point the .Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 .Popcorn Time Ransomware files successfully, then do not despair, because this virus is still new.

One way to restore files, encrypted by Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 ".Popcorn Time Ransomware" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware 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 Popcorn Time Ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Popcorn Time Ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Popcorn Time Ransomware 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay tuned
Subscribe for our newsletter regarding the latest cybersecurity and tech-related news.