Remove TaroCrypt Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum |

Remove TaroCrypt Ransomware and Restore Encrypted Files

New ransomware infection has been discovered by security researchers. The crypto-malware possibly originates from Russia and demands money from infected users. The ransomware is believed to spread via other malware such as a Trojan or a malicious JavaScript. Everyone who has had their files encrypted by the TaroCrypt crypto-virus should not pay any ransom money and try to remove it and decrypt their files manually, instructions for which are illustrated below.

Short DescriptionThe malware may encode the user’s data with a strong AES-256 encryption algorithm and ask users for funds in return for the decryption password.
Distribution MethodTaroCrypt may be distributed via other malware.
Detection ToolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by TaroCrypt
User ExperienceJoin our forum to follow the discussion about TaroCrypt.
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.

anonywallpaper-sensorstechforum-TaroCryptSource: Microsoft

TaroCrypt Ransomware – How Is It Spread

This particular malware is believed to spread via a Trojan activated on the user PC. Such Trojans may come as e-mail attachments or malicious URLs featured in spam messages posted online. Users are strongly advised to beware of any suspicious web links that may cause unwanted software to download onto the system.

TaroCrypt Ransomware In Detail

Once activated, the ransomware uses the following modules which are dropped in the %AppData% folder:

  • api.dll
  • encryptor.exe
  • encrypter.ico
  • ticket.exe
  • tickethelper.dll

TaroCrypt also creates registry entries for the module “encrypter.exe”:

In the key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run the value “EncrypterEpta” “%APPDATA%\\encrypter.exe”

According to Microsoft researchers this ransomware has several variants and they may search for the following file extensions to encrypt:

.-1 .1cd .3gp .7z .7zip .7-zip .aac .accdb .ace .ape .arj .avi .b5t .b6t .bin .bmp .bwt .bz .bz2 .ccd .cdi .cdr .cdx .cf .cpp .cs .css .csv .cue .dbf .dbk .djv .djvu .dmg .dng .doc .docm .docx .dot .dotx .dt .dwg .dxb .epf .eps .erf .flac .flv .geo .gho .ghs .gif .grs .gzip .h .hdd .htm .html .img .ini .iso .isz .jar .jnt .jpe .jpg .js .lhz .md .mdb .mdf .mds .mdx .mkv .mov .mp3 .mp4 .mpeg .mpg .mrh .nrg .odb .odt .ogg .pdf .php .pl .png .pot .potm .potx .pps .ppsm .ppsx .ppt .pptx .pqi .psb .psd .pst .pub .qcow .qcow2 .qt .rar .raw .rtf .shtm .shtml .smk .sql .tar .td .tga .tif .tiff .tst .txt .uue .vdf .vdi .vhd .vmdk .vob .vrp .wav .wma .wmv .wps .xls .xlsb .xlsm .xlsx .xlt .xlw .yml .zip

Also, TaroCrypt may be pre-programmed to scan external drives as well as files in the following folders:

  • Documents and Settings
  • Users/{all folders}

What is more, it may connect to a third-party host that may be to command and control center (C&C). This may provide the several permissions to the cyber-crooks:

  • Check whether or not you are connected.
  • Download other files such as obfuscators, for example.
  • Report whether or not there are new infections.
  • Receive system information.
  • Follow commands from a hacker.
  • Location information.
  • Read and Write permissions as well as file transfer to foreign hosts.

The crypto-malware also changes the user’s wallpaper to a ransom note, the picture of which copies the famous “Anonymous” ideology.
When the ransom note is translated from Russian, it demands the following:

“Welcome, all of your files are encrypted, contact us for their recovery.
To do this, open the shortcut ‘Online consultant’, which is on the desktop or double-click the left mouse button on any encrypted file.
If for some reason you can not reach us via the ‘Live Chat’ contact us through offline contacts:
1)Load the “Tor Browser for Windows, you can download it here:
{web link for Tor’s download page}
2)Install and run the ‘Tor browser.”

The ransomware also features a unique identification number for the computer it infects that also includes a Hash identifier. It also has in-depth instructions on how to open a file and type a password you should receive after making the payment:

Souce-microsoft-instructions-tarocryptSource: Microsoft Malware Protection

Remove TaroCrypt Ransomware and Restore the Encrypted Files

We strongly advise affected users NOT to pay the ransom money since there may be alternatives to decrypt the data by discovering holes in the malware itself or using a special software to remove the ransomware and restore your files. Also, the ransomware is not reported to delete Windows’s shadow volume copies, which means that if you have a backup, you might restore your files via it. For further information, it is advisable to refer to the removal manual below.

N.B. In case you wish to remove this malware, you should disconnect from the internet and backup the encrypted files to an external drive before attempting any removal. This is because removing the crypto-malware from your computer may affect them.

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

1. 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 TaroCrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

2. Remove TaroCrypt with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove TaroCrypt.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove TaroCrypt.
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 TaroCrypt 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 TaroCrypt in the future

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

Security engineers recommend that you back up your files immediately, preferably on an external memory carrier in order to be able to restore them. In order to protect yourself from TaroCrypt (For Windows Users) please follow these simple steps:

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 TaroCrypt.

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 TaroCrypt.

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 TaroCrypt 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 TaroCrypt should be restored.

4. Restore files encrypted by TaroCrypt

4.Restore Files Encrypted by TaroCrypt

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:

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 TaroCrypt Using Other Alternative Tools

Malwarebytes Anti-MalwareSTOPZilla Anti Malware
1. Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan for and remove TaroCrypt.
Step 1: Download Malwarebytes 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 ‘Next’ on the following 4 steps that will appear afterwards and after that click on the ‘Install’ button.
Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button and check the ‘Launch MalwareBytes AntiMalware’ check box.

2. Scan your PC with MalwareBytes to remove all TaroCrypt associated files automatically.

Step 1: Launch MalwareBytes if you havent launched it after install.
Step 2: Wait for the software to update and then click on the blue ‘Scan Now’ button. If it doesnt start updating automatically, click on the blue ‘Update Now’ highlighted text.
Step 3: At this point, after clicking the ‘Scan Now’ button, the system should start scanning your PC. It may take a while but be patient – it is worth it.
Step 4: After the scan has been complete and all of the threats have been identified, click on the ‘Remove Selected’ button to delete them permanently.
Step 5: Once the scan has completed, MalwareBytes will prompt you to restart your computer. It is recommended to save all your data you are working on before restarting.

1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove TaroCrypt.
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 TaroCrypt 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 TaroCrypt threat: Manual removal of TaroCrypt 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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