An orange cat making a funny face this is what victims of El Gato (cat) ransomware see when their Android phones have been infected by this virus. McAfee labs researchers from its mobile division have seen that this virus’ is controlled remotely and it aims to make an android device no longer to be useful unless the victim pays a provided ransom payment. In addition to this El Gato has also been reported to have an infostealing ability allowing it to steal text messages and other information. In case you have been infected by El Gato ransomware, we strongly advise you to read this article thoroughly and learn how to clear your device from El Gato ransomware and try to get your files back.
|Type||Android Malware/ Lockscreen/Ransowmare|
|Short Description||The El Gato Android ransomware locks the files of Android devices, displays a lockscreen, steals information and may send SMS from it.|
|Symptoms||Locked screen displaying a cat.|
|Distribution Method||Malicious third-party apps or malicious URLs.|
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|User Experience||Join our forum to Discuss El Gato Ransowmare.|
|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.|
El Gato – How Does It Spread
So far, El Gato is in early stages of development and researchers have spotted it, which means that it is less likely to spread massively yet. However, if it is to be widespread, this may happen via several different methods:
- Malicious URLs opened on the device’s web browser.
- Malicious apps installed from a third-party app provider other than Google Play store.
El Gato Ransomware – More Information
Upon infection, El Gato ransomware, may perforom several malicious activities on the device. For starters, the virus connects remotely to the cyber-criminals’ C&C servers. From there, they assume a remote-control like access enabling them to use the many features of the El Gato virus.
One of its “extras” is primarily associated with locking the screen of users and possibly displaying an image of a funny and cute cat. However, there is nothing cute about this virus. The access can be blocked by adding a lockscreen to the device which can be done by modifying the screensaver.
Not only this, but the creators of El Gato ransomware also have the ability to steal information from the infected device. They can obtain text messages, system information, contact information.
Besides stealing such I formation, DigitalTrends researchers report that El Gato virus also has the capability of sending text messages from it’s victims phones.
Besides those, probably the worst feature of the phone is that it may eventually pose a grave threat to your data as well. The El Gato virus has the ability to encrypt user files as well, making decryption that is direct almost impossible.
After encryption, the El Gato virus may generate a randomly made password, different for every infection and the attacker may demand a different payment and methods of payment, for example 1 BTC via Tor networking or payment via SMS to a remotely operated and automated short messaging service.
Remove El Gato Ransowmare from Your Android Device
Removing this virus may be a tricky thing, especially if it has encrypted your files. This is why we advise you to try and enter the safe mode of your phone, connect it to a computer and copy the files onto it. In case the files on your phone are encrypted and important to you, you should first determine the type of encryption algorithm used. Then use the appropriate decryptor.
We have prepared the instructions below that will surely help you to get rid of this ransomware from your device. We strongly advise you to try and access your files and copy them somewhere else before attempting this removal.
- Guide 1: How to Remove El Gato from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of El Gato on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove El Gato in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase El Gato from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall El Gato from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove El Gato from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate El Gato from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable El Gato Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove El Gato from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove El Gato
Step 2: Uninstall El Gato 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by El Gato on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by El Gato there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of El Gato from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall El Gato and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 El Gato 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove El Gato files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as El Gato, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove El Gato from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase El Gato from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall El Gato from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove El Gato from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the El Gato will be removed.
Eliminate El Gato from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by El Gato from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".