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Remove RemindMe Ransomware and Restore .Remind Encrypted Files

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A new ransomware has been reported by affected users on security forums to encode the files on infected computers impenetrable encryption algorithm. This devastating malware is called RemindMe ransomware, and it uses the .remind extension which it appends on the encoded files. All users who have had their computers infected with the ransomware are strongly advised not to pay the 2BTC (around 800 USD) ransom money that the cyber-criminals demand in their ransom message and wait for an alternative or try the reserve instructions after this article.

NameRemindMe
TypeRansomware
Short DescriptionEncrypts the infected user PC’s files and asks for approximately 2 BTC to decrypt them.
SymptomsThe user may witness his files encrypted with the .remind file extension.
Distribution MethodVia malicious urls, exploit kits, trojans and malicious macros.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by RemindMe
User Experience Join our forum to discuss RemindMe.
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.

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RemindMe Ransomware – How Is It Spread

So far, little is known about how RemindMe ransomware spreads but, research experts believe that it takes advantage of the carelessness in some users. The ransomware may use malicious URLs or files which it may advertise via:

The infected documents are usually Microsoft Office or Adobe .pdf documents which contain malicious macros that have exploit kits or other scripts written to drop the malicious .exe of RemindMe onto the user PC.

RemindMe Ransomware In Detail

At its initial state, the RemindMe ransomware may drop one or more files of the following file formats:

→ .exe; .dll; .tmp; .vbs; .bat; .cmd

The dropped files may have different names, and they are usually located in the most frequently targeted Windows key folders:

commonly used file names and folders

After the malicious data has been dropped onto the infected computer, the ransomware may execute an elevated privilege command in the Windows command prompt which may erase the shadow volume copies and the backup of the infected computer. The command is as follows:

→ vssadmin delete shadows /for={DrivePartition} [/oldest | /all | /shadow={Identification of the shadow copies}] [/quiet]

The ransomware may perform other activities such as set its executable that encrypts files or its ransom note files to run every time you start Windows by adding values to the following registry subkey:

→ “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run”

After modifying the settings, the ransomware may execute a “call” script which could launch the executable which scans for the files to encrypted. The file types which RemindMe Ransomware is likely to encrypt are the most frequently used ones.(LINKKK)

The algorithms that may be used by this ransomware may vary, but the strongest and most often used ones are:

  • RSA cypher.
  • AES cypher.

After encrypting the files, RemindMe ransomware appends the .Remind file extension to the files, for example:

  • New Text Document.txt.remind

After encrypting the data, the ransomware leaves a ransom message, also known as a ransom note. The files that are reported by infected users are:

  • decypt_your_files.html
  • decypt_your_files

The ransom message by RemindMe is as follows:

→ “All your files have been encrypted with RemindMe Ransomware
Your unique GUID for decrypt:{custom identificator}
Send me some 2 bitcoin on addres: {cyberciminal’s payment account details}
After confirming the payment, all your files can be decrypted.
I you do not make payment within 5 days, you will lose the ability to decrypt them AND ALL YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN DELETED.
Make your Bitcoin Wallet on: {links to BitCoin wallet services}
How to buy/sell and send Bitcoin:
{links to support.coinbase.com instructions}
After the payment, send the wallet from which paid and your uniq ID to mail: unrasom@me.com {cyber criminals’ email}
After receiving the payment, we will contact and give you decryption tools and faq how to decrypt your files.”

By analyzing the ransom message, this malware is most likely similar to most ransomware variants with the only difference that it demands significantly more money to decrypt the data (2 BTC). The malware is also poorly written, which means that there is a possibility that it is being used as a part of a RaaS scheme (Ransomware as a Service). Such schemes sell ransomware variants to absolutely anyone for a couple of hundreds of dollars. They also allow the cyber-crooks to customize the ransom note, algorithm and extension.

Remove RemindMe Ransomware and Restore the Encrypted Files

To clean your computer from this devastating malware, we strongly advise you to consider several key factors:

  • Backing up the encrypted files before removing it.
  • Trying to negotiate for free decryption of 1 or more files via email with the cyber-criminals.
  • Removing the ransomware with an anti-malware tool without having to reinstall Windows and format the drive, so that you can try and use data recovery software or other alternatives to restore your files.

We have created removal instructions below to help you cope with the removal of RemindMe effectively, and it is recommended to follow them methodologically.

Regarding the decryption of the data, at this point, the is no successful solution since RemindMe is a relatively new ransomware strain and its encryption cypher has not yet been identified. We will post an update as soon as this malware has been spotted, so make sure to follow our forum for solutions. Otherwise, we also recommend following the alternative methods from step number “4. Restore Files Encrypted by RemindMe” to attempt recovering at least a portion of the data.

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

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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

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

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Step 6: Click on Restart.
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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 RemindMe with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Remove RemindMe with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

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

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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.

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Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
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Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any RemindMe files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
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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 RemindMe 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
backup-1
2-Type Backup And Restore
3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
w7-backup3
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.
backup-3
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.
backup-4
6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by RemindMe.
backup-5

1-Press Windows button + R
filehistory-1
2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
filehistory-2
3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
filehistory-3
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.
filehistory-4
5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from RemindMe.

1- Press Windows button + R keys.
sysdm
2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
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3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
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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 RemindMe is on.
windows-defense1
Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
file-restore1
2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
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3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by RemindMe should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by RemindMe

Restore Files Encrypted by RemindMe

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 decryptors for files encrypted with the this and other encryption algorithms:

Kaspersky Decryptors

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 RemindMe Using Other Alternative Tools

STOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove RemindMe.
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.
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Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
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Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
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Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
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Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all RemindMe 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.
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Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

NOTE! Substantial notification about the RemindMe threat: Manual removal of RemindMe 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.
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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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