.pr0tect File Virus (Remove and Restore Files) - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com

.pr0tect File Virus (Remove and Restore Files)

This material is created to help you on how to remove the Pr0tector ransomware virus and restore files encrypted with the .pr0tect file extension.

“READ ME ABOUT DECRYPTION.txt” is the ransom note used by the .pr0tect file virus also known as Pr0tector ransomware. The malware’s only goal is to infect the computers of unsuspecting users and encrypt the files on them. The encrypted files on the compromised computers contain the .pr0tect file extension, lack an icon and cannot be opened. In the ransom note, the virus demands users to contact one of the two emails – pr0tector@india.com and pr0tector@tutanota.com. In case you have been infected by this virus, it is advisable to not pay the ransom and read this article thoroughly instead.

Threat Summary


.pr0tect File Virus

Short DescriptionThe malware encrypts users files using a strong encryption algorithm, making direct decryption possible only via a unique decryption key available to the cyber-criminals.
SymptomsThe user may witness ransom notes and “instructions”, called “READ ME ABOUT DECRYPTION.txt” linking to the contacts of the cyber-criminals. Changed file names and the file-extension .pr0tect has been used.
Distribution MethodVia 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 .pr0tect File Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin our forum to Discuss .pr0tect File Virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows 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.

.pr0tect File Virus – Infection Methods

The Pr0tector ransomware is no different than any other threat out there. The virus uses different malicious loaders which cause the infection by running obfuscated scripts which latter connect to the c2 servers of the cyber-criminals. These intermediary infection files are usually used in multiple different ways to deceive you into opening them:

  • In spam e-mails that are focused on tricking users with deceptive messages to open them as attachments.
  • As fake setups of programs posted on suspicious websites.
  • As files that pose as game cracks or program patches on torrent websites.
  • As fake updates.
  • Via other malware that may have already infected your computer.

Via potentially unwanted programs that may in some scenarios cause an infection by causing browser redirects or different types of third-party malvertising, which if clicked on executes a script.

.pr0tect File Ransomware – Infection Activity

After the infection happens, the malicious files of this ransomware infection are dropped on the infected computer, and they may reside in the following Windows folders:

  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Local%
  • %LocalRow%
  • %Common%

After the files are dropped, multiple processes of the compromised machine may be used to make sure that several settings on it are modified. One of those may be the deletion of shadow volume copies by executing a set of commands:

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

The virus may also create String Values with custom data which leads to the location of the malicious executables of this ransomware infection. These executables may be set to run on startup. The same may be done to change the wallpaper on the infected computer. The usually targeted registry keys that may be used by the .pr0tect file virus are the following:

→ HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\

After this has happened, the .pr0tect virus may cause an error message to appear on the compromised computer and then either perform the encryption directly or force restart the machine and do the encryption process on system boot.

.pr0tect Ransomware – Encryption Process Explained

Regarding encryption, this particular ransomware may attack widely used file types. Such are file types associated with:

  • Documents.
  • Pictures.
  • Videos.
  • Audio files.
  • Image files.

Once this ransomware virus has already performed the encryption process, it may change the file extensions on the encrypted files. The extension changed is .pr0tect, and the files appear like the following image:

The files encrypted by the .pr0tect virus can no longer be opened, and the virus opens a ransom note to make sure the user is aware of it’s presence on the computer – READ ME ABOUT DECRYPTION.txt:

Your files were encrypted.
Your personal ID is: {Unique ID Tag}
To buy private key for unlocking files please contact us:
Please include the ID above.

After this, the user may receive instructions on how to pay a hefty ransom fee to get his/hers files back.

Remove .pr0tect Ransomware and Try Getting Back Files

For the removal of this ransomware infection, multiple different things should be done. One is to completely isolate the threat first, and the other is to back up the encrypted files, just in case. To do this, we recommend you to follow the removal instructions below. They are carefully created to help you delete the files encrypted by this ransomware infection. If you are experiencing difficulty in removing the files yourself, experts outline advanced anti-malware tool as the best automatic removal option. It will not only eliminate all files associated with this ransomware infection but will also ensure protection in the future.

For the file recovery process, unfortunately, there is no direct decryptor for this ransomware infection as this virus is still in early stages. However, you can try using copies of the encrypted files in other methods of file recovery and decryption. We have posted several suggestions below in step “2. Restore files encrypted by pr0tect” and you should try them, even though they are not 100% guarantee to get all your files back.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatarmakoyski

    hi, can you share hash or samples?


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