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Remove PayCrypt Ransomware and Restore Id Encrypted Files

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A new ransomware from the “@” variants has been spotted and reported out in the wild. It carries the name PayCrypt and locks user files appending a random identification file extension with the paycrypt@aol e-mail address. The encrypted files are rendered corrupt, and affected users’ only viable choice seems to be following the ransom instructions which the virus sets as wallpaper. They include contacting the e-mail address and negotiating the ransom payment. We strongly advise affected users not to pay the ransom and to seek alternative file decryption methods.

Short DescriptionEncrypts your files demanding ransom payment for their decryption.
SymptomsThe user may witness the wallpaper changed to the one posted below and his files to have a custom extension and become DOS type of files.
Distribution MethodVia malicious files, Exploit Kits or malicious URLs.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by PayCrypt
User Experience Join our forum to discuss PayCrypt.
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.

PayCrypt Ransomware – Spread

To be redistributed over the web, the crypto-malware may use various methods. Since the infected file dropped on the victim computers is an executable with a random alpha numerical name, experts would suggest that it was copied to the computer via several different distribution methods:

  • As an attachment via a spam email message.
  • As a file that has been dropped via an exploit kit.
  • A drive-by download of a Dropper caused by visiting a malicious link.

Users are strongly advised always to check unfamiliar files and links using their antivirus or services such as VirusTotal.

PayCrypt Ransomware In Detail

Once the “@” ransomware has been activated on the user’s PC, it may create files several files in key folders:

  • %AppData%
  • %AppData%
  • %Temp%
  • %Windows%
  • %UserProfile%
  • %Roaming%

After doing so, the ransomware may seek to encrypt files that are commonly used ( on the user PC. An encrypted file looks like the following example:

  • New Text

The files are encrypted with a randomly generated numerical number after which the address. After encrypting the user’s data, this particular ransomware also uses a ransom message which points out the PayCrypt e-mail address. The ransom message may be the following:


Some users who contacted ransomware such as this one have reported establishing contact with the cyber-criminals and even lower down the ransom money. However, we at SensorsTechForum strongly advise against paying any ransom money at all for several different reasons:

  • You fund the cyber-criminals to improve their malware and spread it even more.
  • There is no guarantee you will get your files decrypted by them.

The bottom line for this crypto-malware is that it is most likely sold as a service. This is known as RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) and is very widespread on the deep web markets. Some users have even reported that such malware is being sold in the range 500 to 1000 USD. Just like any other software you may encounter, it may contain instructions on how to be used and ability to set the extension, encryption algorithm (RSA, AES, DH, etc.) and not only this, but the ransomware may also let the user customize the amount of money they will demand.

Remove PayCrypt Ransomware and Restore the Encrypted Files

To remove this crypto-malware, users are strongly advised to follow the step-by-step removal instructions below. They should ensure that you effectively detect and remove the files and other objects like registry entries that are associated with this malware.

After removing the malware, all that is left is for you to get back what is yours – the files. To do this, we have suggested several removal methods in step “4. Restore Files Encrypted by PayCrypt” below. One of those methods is Kaspersky’s Rakhni decryptor which has been reported to work with other “@” ransomware variants such as the PayCrypt@aol one. But you should know that the decryption process may take some time, and this is why we recommend setting your computer to stay awake and not hibernate automatically (laptops).

Here is an instruction video on how to remove the malware and try and decrypt your data:

(Viable)Remove “@” Ramsomware and Decrypt Your Files Instruction Video

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PayCrypt

Boot Your PC Into Safe Mode

1. For Windows 7,XP and Vista. 2. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

For Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
2. Select one of the two options provided below:

For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.


For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.


3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.

4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account


While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu


Step 2: Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.
Step 3: After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.


Step 4: You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.


Step 5: After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.


Step 6: Click on Restart.

Step 7: A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart.

2. Remove PayCrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove PayCrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove PayCrypt.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PayCrypt.
Step 1:Click on the “Download” button to proceed to SpyHunter’s download page.

It is highly 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.

Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.


Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any PayCrypt files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

3. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by PayCrypt in the future

Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

To back up your files via Windows and prevent any future intrusions, follow these instructions:

1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

1-Click on Windows Start Menu
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by PayCrypt.

1-Press Windows button + R
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from PayCrypt.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from PayCrypt is on.
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by PayCrypt should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by PayCrypt

Restore Files Encrypted by PayCrypt

Security engineers strongly advise users NOT to pay the ransom money and attempt restoring the files using other methods. Here are several suggestions:

To restore your data, your first bet is to check again for shadow copies in Windows using this software:

Shadow Explorer

If this method does not work, Kaspersky have provided a decryptor for PayCrypt ransomware. It is called Rakhni and you may find it if you visit Kaspersky’s utilities page below:

Kaspersky Rakhni Decryptor

Another method of restoring your files is by trying to bring back your files via data recovery software. Here are some examples of data recovery programs:

Video tutorial on how to recover your data using data recovery software and find hidden files on your computer:

Recover Your Data and Find Hidden Files

There is also the technical option to use a network sniffer:

Another way to decrypt the files is by using a Network Sniffer to get the encryption key, while files are encrypted on your system. A Network Sniffer is a program and/or device monitoring data traveling over a network, such as its internet traffic and internet packets. If you have a sniffer set before the attack happened you might get information about the decryption key.

Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Remove PayCrypt Using Other Alternative Tools

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove PayCrypt.
Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all PayCrypt associated files completely.
Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the PayCrypt threat: Manual removal of PayCrypt requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

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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