Comrade Circle Ransomware - How To Remove?
Comrade Circle ransomware, first detected on the 8th of October, 2016, pretends to be a Windows update. And, thus, it is already compared with another ransomware threat under the name of Fantom. On the other hand, Comrade Circle trojan virus alludes to the Communist Russia. Its title refers to the soviet custom of addressing one another as comrades. On an interesting note, the hackers behind it promise to grant you with the icon of the comrade Stalin (if you pay them), which is supposed to protect you from the evil. Kind of a bizarre outlook.
About Comrade Circle Ransomware
When Comrade Circle malevolent file-encrypting program starts running on your computer’s system, your computer’s screen is taken over by the fake Windows update message, Configuring critical Windows Updates, while, in fact, the malign program code is encrypting your data files. Comrade Circle crypto malware targets the following multiple files:
.png, .psd, .pspimage, .tga, .thm, .tif, .tiff, .yuv, .ai, .eps, .ps, .svg, .indd, .pct, .pdf, .xlr, .xls, .xlsx, .accdb, .db, .dbf, .mdb, .pdb, .sql, .apk, .app, .bat, .cgi, .com, .exe, .gadget, .jar, .pif, .wsf, .dem, .gam, .nes, .rom, .sav, .cad, .dwg, .dxf, .gis, .gpx, .kml, .kmz, .asp, .aspx, .cer, .cfm, .csr, .css, .htm, .html, .js, .jsp, .php, .rss, .xhtml, .doc, .docx, .log, .msg, .odt, .pages, .rtf, .tex, .txt, .wpd, .wps, .csv, .dat, .ged, .key, .keychain, .pps, .ppt, .pptx, .ini, .prf, .hqx, .mim, .uue, .7z, .cbr, .deb, .gz, .pkg, .rar, .rpm, .sitx, .tar, .gz, .zip, .zipx, .bin, .cue, .dmg, .iso, .mdf, .toast, .vcd, .sdf, .tar, .tax2014, .tax2015, .vcf, .xml, .aif, .if,f .m3u, .m4a, .mid, .mp3 .mpa, .wav, .wma, .3g2, .3gp, .asf, .avi, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .rm, .srt, .swf, .vob, .wmv, .3d, .3dm, .3ds, .max, .obj, .bmp, .dds, .gif, .jpg, .crx, .plugin, .fnt, .fon, .otf, .ttf, .cab, .cpl, .cur, .deskthemepack, .dll, .dmp, .drv, .icns, .ico, .lnk, .sys, .cfg
.comrade extension is appended to the encrypted files as the additional filename extension, following the regular indicator of the file type. For example, the filename Document.docx is replaced with Document.docx.comrade, which is, of course, unreadable. RESTORE-FILES!_[ID]_.txt (ID here stands for the unique identification number of the infected computer) is the Notepad file, which contains the ransom note. These Notepad files are left in the folders of encrypted data. Once Comrade Circle file encrypter is done with the encryption, the bogus Windows update notification vanishes from your computer’s screen. Instead, the image file of the ransom message, including communist symbolism, is displayed, which encloses the following message, written in poor English, which, in turn, suggest the Russian origin of the hackers:
YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED!
For decryption your files write:
if not get answer in 4 hours use:
2 BTC (BitCoins) or about 1,259.28 USD is the ransom money which is supposed to be given in exchange of the stolen data. The contact e-mail is email@example.com. After the victim has made the payment using BitCoins, the payment ID is to be sent to the hackers so that they were sure that the transfer has actually happened. But do not do either of these things – do not transfer any payment and do not contact the hackers behind Comrade Circle ransomware, unless you want to have your computer’s system devastated, or, if this is not exactly what is going to happen, you will be living in constant fear of another attack.
How Has Your Computer Been Infected with Comrade Circle Ransomware?
It is the highest probability that Comrade Circle’s executable file, namely, 1.exe, has been downloaded on your computer’s system when you clicked some confirmation link provided in the spam e-mail or when you downloaded some fake software update from a shady website (e.g. torrents), such as a bogus update of Adobe Flash Player, for example. An instance of a phishing e-mail:
The aforesaid methods of distribution of Comrade Circle encoder can be categorized as the typical ways ransomware viruses spread. By this time, it is still not known whether the developers of Comrade Circle cryptomalware uses any other more specific means of spreading their creation.
How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Comrade Circle Ransomware?
Usually we provide the victims of ransomware attacks with the links to legitimate and free decryptors. Unfortunately, no one can provide you with a decryption tool, since none is developed yet. For the time being, you need to copy the infected folders or drives, depending on the scope of the infection, and remove Comrade Circle ransomware from your machine. Apply automatic tools such as Reimage or Spyhunter. This software is the best malware removal software you can find on the market at the moment. There are the free manual removal instructions at the end of the article. But we must warn you that you must be very careful when performing manual removal of such a complex threat as ransomwares are.
It would be best to use your own internal or external storage to get access to your data. The internal storage implies to the Shadow Volume Copies. The external storage indicates the portable drives and other portable devices you possess, if they were not plugged in during or after the infection has taken place, before the ransomware was removed. You can always try data recovery tools such as Recuva, R-Studio, PhotoRec, Kaspersky data recovery software, etc. to be able to use the data you have been robbed of.
- About Comrade Circle Ransomware
- How Has Your Computer Been Infected with Comrade Circle Ransomware?
- How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Comrade Circle Ransomware?
- Automatic Comrade Circle Ransomware removal tools
- How to recover Comrade Circle Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of Comrade Circle Ransomware
- Step 3. Restore Comrade Circle Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Comrade Circle Ransomware encrypted files
- Removal guides in other languages
Automatic Comrade Circle Ransomware removal tools
How to recover Comrade Circle Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:
for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
- Start → Shutdown → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
2.Restore System files and settings.
- When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
- Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Comrade Circle Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Comrade Circle Ransomware
After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Reimage and remove all malicious files related to Comrade Circle Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Comrade Circle Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Comrade Circle Ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.
Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.a) Native Windows Previous Versions
Right-click on an encrypted file and select Properties → Previous versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
b) Shadow Explorer
It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Comrade Circle Ransomware encrypted files
There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
- We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
- Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
- Install and scan for recently deleted files.
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.