THREAT REMOVAL

Ako Virus Ransomware (ako-readme.txt) Removal Guide

Ako virus is a ransomware infection whose primary purpose is to encrypt files on your computer shortly after which add a random extension and its ransom note. The virus aims to extort you into paying BitCoin to get the files to work again. Read this article to learn how to remove Ako virus and try to restore your files.

Ako Virus Ransomware

The Ako ransomware is a part of dangeorus ransomware strain, which was discovered only recently. The virus aims to slip past your computer’s firewall and antivirus using sophisticated tactics of evasion and then encrypt them, using a powerful encryption algorithm. The main idea for this virus is to get you to read its ransom note (ako-readme.txt) and then get you to pay a hefty ransom fee to the cyber-criminals who are behind this infection.

Threat Summary

Name Ako ransomware
File Extension Random A-Z 1-9.
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
What Is It A cryptovirus that can encode your files and hold them hostage in exchange for ransom payoff.
Symptoms The files cannot be opened and the ransom note of the virus starts appearing.
Ransom Demanding Note ako-readme.txt
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable Files, Hacked Websites
Removal To effectively remove active Ako ransomware virus infections, we recommend that you use an advanced anti-malware tool.

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Ako 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.

Ako Virus Ransomware March 2020 Updates

In March 2020 virus infections carrying the Ako ransomware continue to infect users worldwide. This shows that the criminals continue on and on with direct attacks and various infection campaigns with the aim of compromising as many computers as possible. Due to the recent rise in popularity of the ransomware we assume that it may be possible that several hacking groups are attempting to use the Ako ransomware samples in their intrusion attempts. Popular strategies will be used in order to manipulate the intended victims into infecting themselves with the threat.

A recently captured sample shows that the main virus is distributed as an executable file (.EXE). A detailed analysis reveals that it includes a lot of feature similarities and potentially even code snippets from some of the most advanced ransomware strains. This might mean that the latest version is producded by an experienced hacking group that is able to construct such an elaborate threat.

There are several very dangerous components which are integrated in the ransomware. One of the is the ability to remove Windows backups and also modify key operating system files. This makes file recovery very difficult and the victims will need to use a professional-grade data recovery solution in order to correct the problems.

The hackers have added an advanced security bypass function — it is able to resolve system APIs and evade static detection from security systems. This means that the ransomware can shut down program such as anti-virus programs, firewalls, debug environments and etc. The main engine can also hide the virus files and create multiple processes so that the virus code cannot be traced to a single file running on the system.

A specific feature of this new Ako virus ransomware of March 2020 shows that the engine will call a system data gathering module — we have confirmed that the ransomware can harvest remote session data. This can be used in the future if a Trojan module is integrated in the Ako ransomware.

When all modules have finished running the actual file encryption will start. The threat will run as intended and encrypt target user data with a strong cipher. The victims will have their valuable files renamed with a certain extension. They will be blackmailed into paying a decryption fee to access their files.

Ako Ransomware February 2020 Distribution

The Ako virus ransomware campaigns continue to grow as more and more victims continue to be affected by this threat. The latest attacks are set to attempt file encryption of not only the local computer, but also all network-connected hosts. There are several ways that such attacks can be organized:

  • Personalized Campaign — The hackers can tweak the attack campaign so that it can affect certain types of users. This means that a careful pre-selection of potential candidates will be made and phishing strategies will be planned accordingly.
  • Large-Scale Infections — The hackers can plan out large-scale attacks which can use several attack methods at once.

The hackers behind the current versions of the Ako ransomwaare are using mainly phishing email messages which will include a short title, description and an attached file. It is usually an archive ZIP file that will open a virus-infected file. There are several common types of data that are easy to include the ransomware — they can be macro-infected documents or setup bundles of popular applications. When the infection is done the common malware steps will continue.

Ako ransomware zip archive

In the end of January 2020 new information about the Ako ransomware became available. A sample analysis of the sent virus threats has revealed that the hacking group behind the ongoing infections is using a SPAM email messages distribution technique to infect the end targets. The email messages will mask as important business correspondence by looking like an important document or agreement that needs to be signed. The users will be manipulated into downloading and opening a password-protected ZIP archive which is described as having an important file in it. Everything will appear normal as the archive password will be quoted in the contents of the email. The file inside the ZIP archive will be called agreement.scr and when it is clicked on the Ako ransomware infection will start.

Ako Ransomware Description

Similar to .WannaScream virus , Ako ransomware can enter your computer via different forms of spreading techniques. One of them is If the virus files are uploaded on websites, whose main idea is to be downloaded onto your computer and ran. To get you to do this, those sites could mask the infection file of the Ako ransomware by make it seem as if it is a legitimate type of file, like a program, movie or any other torrent file. Often such files tend to end up being activators, patches, cracks and other types of files.

Another mehtod of infection via this nasty ransomware virus is if it enters your computer by posing as a document, like an invoice or some other type of file. The main difference here is that those files are sent to victims via e-mail and can pretend to be some important file that they must download and open, like a receipt for a purchase they made or a revoked plane ticket information, for example.

Either way, once the Ako ransomware has infiltrated your computer, it may begin to encrypt yor files leaving them with a radnom file extenison. The virus may encrypt your files using an advanced algorithm that makes them no longer able to be used. The outcome of this is that the files cannot be opened with any type of program and you end up stuck. After encryption, a unique decryption key is generated. This key could end up being sent to the cyber-criminals making them the only ones in power to decrypt your files. The main idea behind this is that you have to pay the crooks in order to use your files as it is written in the ako-readme.txt ransom note:

The ransom note is accompanied by a page that appears like the following:

The ransomware even goes as far as to restrict the victims access to most web pages besides the ransom extortionsts’ page.

The main purpose of this ransomware virus is to convince you into paying $3000 in the anonymous cryptocurrency BitCoin, which is very difficult to track by authorities. Be advised that it is not generally a good practice to pay the criminals and you should not do it, because there might be a decryptor for free later on.

Remove Ako Ransomware and Try to Get Back Files

If you want to get rid of Ako Ransomware from your computer, we recommend that you follow the instructions as they are written undeneath. They contain the necessary removal steps designed to help you take care of this nasty threat all at once. For maximum effectiveness, we strongly recommend that you use an advanced anti-malware software to take care of the removal for you. These programs have the necessary technology to remove such complicated threats thoroughly from your computer and make sure to protect your PC in the future as well.

If you are wondering how to get back your files, do not despair. You can still use some alternative methods to try and repair them, and you can stilll try to backup the files until researchers develop a decrypter or the hackers releaase the decryptor after their ransom campaign.

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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.


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 Ako ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Ako 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 Ako ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Ako ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Ako 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.


Ako ransomware FAQ

What is Ako ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Ako 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 Ako ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Ako 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 Ako 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 .Ako ransomware files?

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

One way to restore files, encrypted by Ako 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 ".Ako 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 .Ako 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 Ako 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 Ako ransomware ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Ako ransomware files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Ako 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.

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