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Remove HolyCrypt Ransomware and Restore (encrypted) Files

alert-ransom-note-sensorstechforumRansomware virus makes have no breaks, even during summer seasons. A perfect example for that is the lately active 64-bit HolyCrypt ransomware which adds the (encrypted) name prefix at the beginning of the file names of the objects it encrypts. The ransomware virus then drops a ransom not asking users to send 3 files to the e-mail address HolyCrypt@aol.com. The ransomware also adds a picture and changes it as a wallpaper on the infected machine with a further notification message. Users who have had their computers infected by HolyCrypt ransomware are strongly advised to not pay any ransom money to cyber-criminals and instead to read this article to see how to remove it and what options are available for the moment.

Threat Summary

Name

HolyCrypt

Type Ransomware
Short Description HolyCrypt enciphers users’ files and drops a ransom note as a picture file, named “alert.jpg”
Symptoms The user may witness ransom message as his wallpaper with a skull image.
Distribution Method Via an spam e-mail campaigns carrying malicious attachments, Exploit Kits or malicious URLs.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join our forum to Discuss HolyCrypt Ransomware.

HolyCrypt Ransomware – Distribution Information

The funny name carrying virus may infect user PCs via different spam e-mail campaigns. One of those may be the distribution of spam messages across a preset list of e-mail addresses. Such lists are collected via cookies on shady websites as well as via adware and browser hijackers which have tracking technologies and collect different information from users. Sometimes, such information may be collected from compromised websites’. The cyber-criminals may steal the list of registered accounts if they conduct a data breach attack and may sell the information on the deep web or use it themselves to conduct spam campaigns that may spread malware like HolyCrypt Ransomware. Such spam messages may include HolyCrypt’s payload dropper as an attachment or a malicious URL leading to it.

HolyCrypt Ransomware – More Information About It

As soon as HolyCrypt Ransomware has been activated on the computer of the victim, it may immediately drop its payload in one of the key Windows folders where ransomware usually resides:

  • %User’s Profile%
  • %Local%
  • %Temp%
  • %AppData%
  • %SystemDrive%
  • %SystemRoot%
  • %LocalAppData%
  • %ProgramData%
  • %WinDir%

As soon as it has been dropped HolyCrypt ransomware may start the modification of keys in the Windows Registry entry to change certain settings that suit its needs. Some of those settings may be adding values in the “Run” key which will allow for its encryption process to start when you boot Windows:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

As soon as it encryptor runs on your computer, the virus targets files of the following types:

  • Videos.
  • Documents.
  • Audio files.
  • Databases.
  • Microsoft Office files.
  • Files compatible with widely used software.

The HolyCrypt virus also skips encrypting files in key Windows folders that may damage the operating process of the OS. After encryption, the virus adds “(encrypted)” prefix at the start of the name of the encoded files, for example:

(encrypted)filename.jpg

The encoded files are ciphered via using an immensely strong cipher, and they can no longer be opened by any software. After encryption, HolyCrypt Ransomware drops the following file on the infected machine:

  • Alert.jpg

The virus also may tamper with the following registry key because it immediately changes the wallpaper of the user:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

The wallpaper is changed to an image with a skull and the below-stated ransom note:

“YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED!
alert-ransom-note-sensorstechforum-fileYour documents, photos, databases and other important files have been locked with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer. Private decryption key is stored on a secret Internet server and nobody can decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.
The server will eliminate the key after 24h.
Open https://test_ransonware.onion.link and follow the instruction for the payment”

This virus generates a private decryption key which suggests that either an RSA or an AES ciphers have been used in this attack. Since malware researchers believe that this virus may have been written in Python, it may even be distributed in GitHub, for free. We have researched it and discovered a related file encryptor also written in Python, carrying the name Holy-Crypt. This may be a possible indicator that the criminals behind HolyCrypt ransomware may have taken this open source code to modify it and include it in the HolyCrypt ransomware attacks.

Remove HolyCrypt Ransomware and Restore Encoded Files

To delete this file-encryption virus, we strongly advise you to follow the instructions which we have provided below. They are methodologically arranged for maximum effectiveness to help you remove HolyCrypt files. In case you have difficulties in manually removing HolyCrypt’s files and registry entries from your computer, experts advise using an advanced anti-malware program. It will ensure that all objects associated with HolyCrypt ransomware are permanently deleted from your computer, and it will stop future threats on their tracks as well.

In case you are looking forward to exploring methods to restore your files, we have provided several alternative suggestions in step “3. Restore files encrypted by HolyCrypt” below. They may not be 100 percent effective, but some of our readers have managed to restore their files with them. Bear In mind that you should research these methods before attempting them as there is no guarantee whether or not they will work successfully and safely.

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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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups

About the HolyCrypt Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this HolyCrypt how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.

How did we conduct the research on HolyCrypt?

Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the HolyCrypt threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

References

1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates

How to Remove HolyCrypt from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove HolyCrypt

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 HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt 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.


Video Removal Guide for HolyCrypt (Windows).


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups

Get rid of HolyCrypt from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt:

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 HolyCrypt. 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 HolyCrypt. 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 HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt. 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.


Step 2: Scan for and remove HolyCrypt files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as HolyCrypt, 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for HolyCrypt:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac


Video Removal Guide for HolyCrypt (Mac)


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Remove HolyCrypt 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Erase HolyCrypt 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Uninstall HolyCrypt 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Remove HolyCrypt 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the HolyCrypt will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Eliminate HolyCrypt 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 HolyCrypt 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.

settings

Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:

advanced settings

Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:

Content Settings

Step 4: Open “Notifications”:

notifications

Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:

Block, Edit or Remove

Remove Push Notifications on Firefox

Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.

options

Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":

Settings

Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”

remove push notifications firefox

Stop Push Notifications on Opera

Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.

opera

Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.

content settings

Step 3: Open Notifications:

notifications

Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):

three dots

Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari

Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.

preferences

Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".



HolyCrypt FAQ

What is HolyCrypt?

The HolyCrypt threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.

The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.

What are the symptoms of HolyCrypt?

There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:

Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and has poor performance in general.

Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.

Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.

Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.

Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.

If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your computer for viruses.

What types of Unwanted Programs are there?

According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:

  • Rogue Antivirus programs.
  • Adware.
  • Browser hijackers.
  • Clickers.
  • Fake optimizers.

What to do if I have a "virus" like HolyCrypt?

Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted program threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the reccomended anti-malware apps, that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.

How to secure my passwords and other data from HolyCrypt?

With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:

Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.

Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.

Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.

Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.

Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.

Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.

Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.

Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.

Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.

If you follow these reccomendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.

More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.

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