Remove Protected Ransomware and Restore .protected Files - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com

Remove Protected Ransomware and Restore .protected Files

SensorsTechForum-ransom-note-html-cryptowall-3-copycat-message

Computer systems have been infected with a virus that tries to imitate the CryptoWall 3.0 ransomware. The virus is also a ransomware type as it locks files and leaves a ransom message demanding 0.5 BitCoins to be paid for a decryption tool. To see how to remove it and what you could try to recover your files, you should read this article carefully.

Threat Summary

NameProtected
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files and demands a ransom to be paid for decryption. It asks the sum of 0.5 BitCoins.
SymptomsThe ransomware will encrypt files and place the extension .protected. An image will show up with a message describing the payment method for getting a decryptor.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Executable Files
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Protected

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Protected.

Protected Ransomware – Distribution

Protected ransomware has a couple of distribution methods. Similar to many other ransomware viruses this one uses spam emails as a common distribution way as well. These emails have file attachments which contain the malware code inside. Sometimes, opening the body of the email is enough to inject the malicious code inside your computer.

Another probability of a computer getting infected with the ransomware is through networks as social media and file-sharing sites. Those services might also happen to spread malware with executable files disguised as helpful applications. A great tip for preventing any ransomware infection from happening is to be careful about what you download, open or click around the Internet.

Protected Ransomware – In Detail

Protected is the name given to a new ransomware virus encrypting files with an extension of the same name. Interestingly enough, the virus tries to mimic the CryptoWall 3.0 ransomware.

The ransomware note mentions that your files are encrypted by CryptoWall, and the note is a copy of CryptoWall’s note. However, that is just another copycat ransomware. When the encryption process completes, you will see the ransom message appear in the file HOW_TO_RESTORE_YOUR_DATA.html. The image displays instructions on how to pay the ransom. This is a screenshot of that image:

SensorsTechForum-ransom-note-html-cryptowall-3-copycat-message

The ransom note reads the following:

What happened to your files ?
All of your data has been encrypted with CryptoWall 3.0
What does this mean ?
The data within your files has been irrevocably changed, you will not be able to work with them, read them or see them,
it is the same thing as losing them forever, but with our help, you can restore them.
Decrypting of your files is only possible with the help of the private key and the decription tool, which is available for a small fee.
What do I do?
If you really value your data, then we suggest you do not waste valuable time searching for other solutions because they do not exist.
If you remove this program your data will NOT be decrypted, additionally you will loose the opportunity to ever decrypt your files.
How do I decrypt my files?
To receive the decryption tool and the associated decryption key, you will have to pay a fee of 0.5 BTC (Bitcoin) which is equivalent to around $200.
The fee has to be paid within 7 days. If you fail to pay the fee in time, the decyption key will be destroyed and you will loose your files forever!
How do I get Bitcoin?
There’s several ways to buy Bitcoin, please have a read through one or multiple of the following guides:
https://localbitcoins(.)com/guides/how-to-buy-bitcoins
https://en.bitcoin(.)it/wiki/Buying_Bitcoins_%28the_newbie_version%29
Please note: Most of these guides will tell you to create a Bitcoin wallet. You can skip this step and use the provided Bitcoin wallet address below.
You can copy and paste these links into your browser to open the sites.
The fastest way to buy Bitcoin is to use an Bitcoin ATM, Bitcoin ATM’s can be found all over the world, a list / map of Bitcoin ATM’s can be found here:
http://www.coindesk(.)com/bitcoin-atm-map/
On some systems this page may take a while to load, please be patient.
When using a Bitcoin ATM we will receive the payment instantly and thus, your files can be decrypted as soon as today!
Where to send the payment to?
Your personal Bitcoin wallet address:
Please use only this wallet address when making the payment of 0.5 BTC
What happens after the payment?
After you have made the payment, please click the check payment button below. After successful receipt of payment you will receive the decryption tool and associated decryption key.

Check Payment

Thanks, have a lovely day.

The Protected ransomware copies CryptoWall’s ransom note but only up to some point. After that, it demands nearly 300 US dollars for decryption (what 0.5 costs at the time this article is being written). The message accentuates on that, if you don’t pay within a seven day period, your files will be gone forever. There is also the claim that other methods for recovering files don’t exist, which is a simple, yet effective scare tactic. If you read the article to the end, you will find out about alternative ways to try and restore your files.

Do NOT pay, nor contact the ransomware creator. Funding cyber criminals is the same as helping them do the same to other people. They might get inspired to up their game and make stronger ransomware viruses. No guarantee is there that you will get your files back if you pay.

The Protected ransomware encrypts files, but for now it is unknown which ones. The goal of encryption for ransomware is usually to get to pictures and documents as these are precious to users. The fact is that such files still preserve important information for people to this day. The Protected ransomware ransomware will put the .protected extension to locked files.

Protected ransomware probably deletes the Shadow Volume Copies from the Windows Operating System. If you stop the ransomware on time you might have intact copies of the Shadow Explorer process.

Remove Protected Ransomware and Restore .protected Files

If your computer got infected with the Protected ransomware, you should have experience with removing viruses. Getting rid of this ransomware as quickly as you can is recommended. That is because it could spread deeper into your network and infect more machines and their files. You should remove this ransomware now and follow the step-by-step instructions guide below.

Manually delete Protected from your computer

Note! Substantial notification about the Protected threat: Manual removal of Protected 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.

1. Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Protected files and objects.
2. Find malicious files created by Protected on your PC.
3. Fix registry entries created by Protected on your PC.

Automatically remove Protected by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Protected with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against infections and file encryption by Protected in the future
3. Restore files encrypted by Protected
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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