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Remove Ryuk Virus — Delete Active Infections and Restore Data

Ryuk Virus image ransomware note Encrypted extension

The Ryuk virus is a newly discovered threat that is a descendant of the Hermes ransomware family. Its modular framework allows the criminals behind it to make custom versions against specific targets. Our article provides an overview of the virus operations and it also may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.

Threat Summary

Name Ryuk virus
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description The ransomware encrypts sensitive information on your computer system and demands a ransom to be paid to allegedly recover them.
Symptoms The ransomware will encrypt your files with a strong encryption algorithm.
Distribution Method Spam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware


Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Ryuk virus.
Data Recovery Tool Windows 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.

Ryuk Virus – Update December 2018

December 2018 brings a new variant of this cryptovirus, that keeps calling itself [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/remove-ryuk-ransomware-ryk-extension/”] Ryuk Ransomware and has .RYK extension placed to encrypted files. The ransom note is changed a bit, two files can be decrypted for free. Other changes include lower detection ratio due to the cybercriminals working on ways to decrease detections to a minimum and the wallet address could be given via a PM instead of including it in the note as previous variants.

Ryuk Virus – Distribution Ways

The Ryuk virus is a newly created threat that appears to be an offspring of the Hermes ransomware family. The collected samples appear to be very limited which shows that the ongoing detected attack is merely a test release. The low number of live infiltration attempts signal that the hackers cannot effectively judge which is the preferred method of delivery.

We anticipate that the main methods are going to be used for maximum impact. A preferred way is to take advantage of email phishing messages — customized SPAM messages sent in bulk that feature web elements of famous web companies or services. The usual forms are either password reset reminders, software updates or another common message type. The accompanying Ryuk virus samples can be either attached directly or sent as hyperlinks.

The hackers can also create fake download sites showing that the same strategy can be used in the form of sites. The criminals craft fake download portals or vendor sites which utilize similar sounding names, domains and credentials to the original vendors.

These two methods are also the main ones for spreading infected payloads:

  • Documents — Ryuk virus samples can infect target files via manipulated documents. They can be of different types: rich text documents, presentations, spreadsheets or databases. Once the files are opened a notification prompt appears which will ask the victim users to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the infection will follow.
  • Software Installers — Software setup files can be created by the criminals in an attempt to coerce the users into thinking that that they are installing a legitimate file. The way they are done is by taking the real files from the vendor download sites and bundling the Ryuk virus code into them. In most cases there is no way of knowing that the setup files carry a malicious threat. The most well-known targets are system utilities, creativity suites and productivity software.

The threat can also be delivered via file sharing networks such as BitTorrent which are primarily used to spread pirate and illegal content.

Advanced infection campaigns can utilize browser hijackers — malicious plugins made for the most popular web browsers. They are frequently uploaded to the relevant software repositories using fake developer credentials and user reviews. The description reads that the plugins offers new functionality and features which are not available in the standard set. The name “hijacker” comes from the fact that once the threats are installed on the victim computers a complex infection pattern will be started. The malicious code will modify the default settings (search engine, new tabs page and home page) to redirect to a hacker-controlled page. Following this the threat will proceed with the Ryuk virus infection.

Ryuk Virus – In-Depth Analysis

The Ryuk virus threat appears to be a new sample belonging to the Hermes ransomware family. The security analysis shows that the hacker or criminal collective behind it have taken the source code of the original threat and modified it to their specifications. Another possibility is that the operators have contacted a criminal developer to create a custom solution.

Like other similar threats the Ryuk virus is based on the modular framework of the main Hermes ransomware enigne. The malicious behavior can begin with the start of a data hijacking module. It is programmed to automatically collect information both about the users and the machines. There are two main types that are usually categorized by the experts:

  • Private User Information — The Ryuk virus can collect data about the user which can be used to expose their identity. The information consists of their name, address, phone number, interests, location and any stored password strings and account credentials.
  • Campaign Optimization Data — The engine can scan the infected host for information that can be used to optimize the attacks — certain user-set settings, operating system values and a report on the installed hardware components.

Following the completion of this module the harvested information can be used by a module called stealth protection. It is used to scan for the availability of security software and operating system services that can interfere with the virus execution or block it. The list of applications include anti-virus programs, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments.

When the virus infection has access to all system information and protected areas it can proceed with the necessary modifications. A list of the common actions includes the following:

  • Windows Registry — The made modifications can impact the Registry values which in turn can cause certain applications to stop working properly. When the operating system values are compromised overall system performance can suffer.
  • Persistent Installation — The virus infection can be installed as a persistent threat. This means that it will run every time the computer is powered on and it can disable access to the recovery boot menu.
  • Trojan Infection — The Ryuk virus can be programmed into installing a Trojan module which establishes a secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. This action allows the criminal operators to spy on the victims in real time, take over control of their machines and deploy additional threats.

As always the hackers behind the Ryuk virus can implement other customizations and release updates to the initial release.

UPDATE! Malware researchers reported that the August campaign has accumulated over $640 000 in income. Its behavior patterns have been linked to the APT Lazarus group and earlier versions of the Hermes ransomware family. Some of the samples associated with the ongoing attacks have been found to feature non-standard processes. As well as deleting the Shadow snapshots the main infection module will resize the storage space of the associated drive, this will lead to the inability to resort to any restore activities.

Some of the popular professional-grade backup applications will also be affected by it, the installations will be disabled and any attempts at running them will be blocked.

Ryuk Virus — Encryption

The Ryuk virus follows the common mechanism of utilizing a built-in list of target file type extensions. The ransomware module scans the local system and when such a file is accessed it will be encrypted with a strong cipher. A typical example can affect the following data:

  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Music
  • Images
  • Videos

Wen this process is complete a ransomware note with the name RyukReadMe.txt will be crafted. The collected samples feature the following contents:

All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.
Backups were either encrypted or deleted or backup disks were formatted.
Shadow copies also removed, so F8 or any other methods may damage encrypted data but not recover.
We exclusively have decryption software for your situation
No decryption software is available in the public.
DO NOT RESET OR SHUTDOWN – files may be damaged.
DO NOT RENAME OR MOVE the encrypted and readme files.
DO NOT DELETE readme files.
This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of the certain files.
To get info (decrypt your files) contact us at
BTC wallet:
No system is safe

Remove Ryuk Ransomware Virus and Restore Encrypted Files

If your computer got infected with the Ryuk ransomware virus, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this ransomware as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the ransomware and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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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.


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

About the Ryuk virus Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Ryuk virus how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific malware and restore your encrypted files.

How did we conduct the research on this ransomware?

Our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, and as such, we receive daily updates on the latest malware and ransomware definitions.

Furthermore, the research behind the Ryuk virus ransomware threat is backed with VirusTotal and the NoMoreRansom project.

To better understand the ransomware threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.


1. How to Recognize Spam Emails with Ransomware
2. How Does Ransomware Encryption Work?
3. How to Decrypt Ransomware Files
4. Ransomware Getting Greedier and Bigger, Attacks Increase by 40%
5. 1 in 5 Americans Victim of Ransomware

Windows Mac OS X

How to Remove Ryuk virus from Windows.

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


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 Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus 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.

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 Ryuk virus 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.


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.


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.


If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.

Video Guide for Automatic and Fast Removal

Step 5 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Ryuk virus.

Ransomware infections and Ryuk virus 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 recommended Data Recovery software by clicking on the link underneath:

Simply click on the link and on the website menus on the top, choose Data Recovery - Data Recovery Wizard for Windows or Mac (depending on your OS), and then download and run the tool.

Step 6: How to Restore Files Encrypted by Ransomware (Video Guide)

Windows Mac OS X

Get rid of Ryuk virus from Mac OS X.

Step 1: Uninstall Ryuk virus and remove related files and objects

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 Ryuk virus:

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 Ryuk virus. 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 Ryuk virus. 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 Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus. 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

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.

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


SpyHunter for Mac

Step 3 (Optional): Try to Restore Files Encrypted by Ryuk virus.

Ransomware infections and Ryuk virus 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 recommended 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.

Ryuk virus FAQ

What is Ryuk virus ransomware and how does it work?

Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus ransomware infect my computer?

Via several ways.Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus 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 .Ryuk virus files?

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

One way to restore files, encrypted by Ryuk virus 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 ".Ryuk virus" files (Other Methods)?

Yes, sometimes files can be restored. We have suggested several file recovery methods that could work if you want to restore .Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus 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 Ryuk virus ransomware and then remove it without causing any additional harm to your important .Ryuk virus files.

Also, keep in mind that viruses like Ryuk virus 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.

How to Report Ransomware to Authorities?

In case your computer got infected with a ransomware infection, you can report it to the local Police departments. It can help authorities worldwide track and determine the perpetrators behind the virus that has infected your computer. Below, we have prepared a list with government websites, where you can file a report in case you are a victim of a cybercrime:

Cyber-security authorities, responsible for handling ransomware attack reports in different regions all over the world:

Reports may be responded to in different timeframes, depending on your local authorities.

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