THREAT REMOVAL

In this article, you will find more information about Protomolecule ransomware as well as a step-by-step guide on how to remove malicious files from an infected system. The guide contains how to potentially recover files encrypted by this ransomware as well.

Protomolecule ransomware virus protonmolecule@gmx.us files removal guide

Protomolecule Ransomware

The so-called Protomolecule ransomware is another threat that has been reported to infect computer operating systems with the primary goal to corrupt personal files. This data locker virus is identified to be a strain of the Scarab ransomware. Once Protomolecule manages to run its malicious files on a PC, it alters essential system settings and becomes able to encode valuable files without being detected by active security measures. Following encryption, corrupted files appear with completely changes names and remain inaccessible. Protomolecule ransomware is set to append the extension .protonmolecule@gmx.us to files it encrypts. At last, the ransomware drops a specific file that contains ransom demanding message. Paying hackers is highly inadvisable as there is no guarantee that they will act as promised. Check out more details about Protomolecule ransomware and find out how to remove it completely from the infected PC.

Protomolecule Ransomware Summary

NameProtomolecule
TypeRansomware, Cryptovirus
Short DescriptionA data locker ransomware that encodes valuable files with sophisticated cipher algorithm and demands a ransom fee for their decryption.
SymptomsImportant files are locked and renamed with .protonmolecule@gmx.us extension. Hackers attempt to blackmail you into paying a ransom for a decryption tool.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments, Infected Software Installers
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Protomolecule Ransomware.
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.

Protomolecule Virus (.protonmolecule@gmx.us Files)

Protomolecule ransomware is believed to be mainly spread via spam emails with malicious attachments. The ransomware payload may be injected into a website as well. The URL address of this website may be again presented in an email or shared on various social media channels. Cracks, keys, and various free programs may deliver nasty cryptovirus infections like Protomolecule as well.

A variety of common file types such as documents, PDFs, images, and archives could be attached to emails that are distributing Protomolecule ransomware payload. These files are often presented as:

  • Invoices coming from reputable sites, like PayPal, eBay, etc.
  • Documents from that appear to be sent from your bank.
  • Online order confirmation notes.
  • Receipts for purchases.
  • Others.

As a strain of the vicious Scarab ransomware family, Protomolecule aims to scan system drives for target files and encode them by using strong encryption algorithm. The ransomware is lilely to corrupt:

  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • Document files
  • Image files
  • Backup files
  • Banking credentials, etc

The encryption process changes files code and makes them inaccessible. To make corrupted files more recognizable, Protomolecule ransomware changes their names as well. So all corrupted files will appear with names of random alphanumeric combinations and the extension .protonmolecule@gmx.us. Such an unpleasant consequence is misused by vicious hackers who want to earn money by participating in illegal cyber attacks. That’s why their nasty threat is designed to drop a file with a ransom message in it.

The file is named HOW TO RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES and the text in it reads:

Your personal ID

Your documents, photos, databases, save games and other important data has been encrypted.
All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. Data recovery is required decryptor.
If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail : protomolecule@gmx.us . In a letter to indicate your personal identifier(look at the beginning of this message).
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send to us up to 3 files for free decryption. Please note that files must NOT contain valuable information and their total size must be less than 1Mb.
If you have no Bitcoin
Create a Bitcoin wallet: hxxps://blockchain.info/wallet/#/
Get cryptocurrency Bitcoin:
hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins (Visa/MasterCard, Skrill …)
hxxps://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page
hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/
(instruction for beginners)

Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

This message attempts to trick you into transferring a ransom fee to hackers. Although they promise to send back an efficient decryption tool for Protomolecule files, we recommend you to avoid paying them the ransom. There is no guarantee if their tool will be able to decrypt encoded files or leave them broken. Furthermore, even if you pay the ransom you could never receive any answer from them.

By passing through different attack stages Protomolecule ransomware ensures that it will stay unnoticed on the system for as long as possible. The threat is likely to affect the Windows Registry as it is a hierarchical database that stores low-level settings for the proper operating system performance. By adding malicious values under specific registry keys such as Run and RunOnce, Protomolecule virus becomes able to load automatically on each system start.

Remove Protomolecule Ransomware Virus

Protomolecule ransomware is a threat with highly complex code designed to corrupt both system settings and valuable data. So the only way to use your infected system in a secure manner again is to remove all malicious files and objects created by the ransomware. For the purpose, you could use our removal guide that reveals how to clean and secure your system step by step. In addition, the steps below will present you with several alternative data recovery approaches that may be helpful in attempting to restore files encrypted by Scarab Protomolecule ransomware. We remind you to back up all encrypted files to an external drive before the recovery process.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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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 Protomolecule Ransomware from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule Ransomware from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule Ransomware:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Protomolecule Ransomware.

Ransomware infections and Protomolecule 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.


Protomolecule Ransomware FAQ

What is Protomolecule Ransomware ransomware and how does it work?

Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule Ransomware ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Protomolecule 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 Protomolecule 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 .Protomolecule Ransomware files?

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

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

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Protomolecule 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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