2k19cry File-locker - How to remove

2k19cry ([email protected]) is the type of computer malware that is very fast and very destructive. It can make your files inaccessible by using encryption on them. Once your own files have been locked away from you, the 2k19cry virus displays ransom notes telling you to urgently contact the responsible criminals so that you can pay the extortion money. However, experts advise you to never contact the criminals and remove the virus as soon as possible.

After you’ve found yourself infected with 2k19cry, there is a bit more to do than just fixing the locked files:

  • Remove the virus and any other malware.
  • Find out how you got infected.
  • Secure your computer to avoid any more infections.
  • Consider your options for restoring the files.

People who have backups of their data don’t really need to worry about restoring their 2k19cry-encrypted files, but most ransomware victims can experience some devastating losses: their childhood photos, personal projects, work files, business downtime are important and, in some cases, very expensive. This makes 2k19cry an extremely and tangibly harmful infection.

What is 2k19cry ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that denies the victim access to their data and demands money in exchange for fixing the situation. Cyber extortionists are notoriously unreliable about actually restoring the locked data, but their “business is still successful enough for new types of ransomware to emerge every week.

Most ransomware works very similarly: like 2k19cry, they use encryption to make your files inaccessible to you. The content of the files then becomes gibberish but can be completely fixed if you have the decryption key — a long number or an alphanumeric string. But 2k19cry’s and other ransomware developers usually hide the decryption keys form the victims. There is no way to know the decryption keys used by well-implemented ransomware, and even if someone successfully gets decryption from the extortionists, their keys don’t apply to any of the other victims: the large numbers involved in cryptographic keys make it impossible to compute or guess them.

2k19cry is Paradise, which is said to be based on Dharma, another crypto-extortion virus. The ransom note created by Paradise is very similar to Dharma’s, too. This can make it a bit confusing to research 2k19cry. Sometimes, cryptoextortionists intentionally try to mislead people about which country they’re from, what method their ransomware uses, and what ransomware theirs is based on. The various versions of Paradise include 2k19sys, Junior, and others.

The ransom note displayed after 2k19cry’s successful encryption, -=###_INFO_you_FILE_###=-.txt, gives you the email of the criminals ([email protected]), your unique id which allows the criminals to know how to decrypt your files, and urging to contact them as quickly as possible. The big, colorful 2k19cry ransom note expands by saying that you will need to use Bitcoins to pay, which many criminals often use for the freedom that cryptocurrencies offer.

The string that 2k19cry appends to your file names also includes the email and your id: [original name]_[id]_{[email protected]}.2k19cry.

2k19cry ransom note, {hannacry@p-security.li}.2k19cry

How to avoid ransomware infections?

2k19cry is a part of the Paradise family of cryptoviruses, a relatively new example. Paradise is known to be distributed as RaaS, which means that though there is a single development team, the virus is given out for multiple teams to distribute autonomously. They keep a part of the ransom money and pay a part to 2k19cry’s developers. This “business” model makes it difficult to know how 2k19cry is spread online — there are many possibilities. We can cover not just the ones that 2k19cry uses, but the ones that other malware uses, preparing for potential attacks.

The most common ways that ransomware and other malware is distributed include:

  • Malicious infected websites. These sites can automatically download to your computer if it has vulnerabilities which can be exploited.
  • Attachments to emails and messages that carry the virus. These distribute the virus on social networks and through email, and opening the attached file can run 2k19cry and start the encryption process.
  • 2k19cry is hidden inside desired software and shared for free online. The victim starts the virus unknowingly, thinking that it’s a safe program.
  • 2k19cry is installed by the extortionists manually by hacking the RDP. Getting access to the victim’s computer gives the criminals incredible power and installing malware is not even the worst they can do.

Update all of your software because exploit kits that are used to infect computers with malware online rely on known weaknesses in outdated software. Like Paradise malware, exploit kits are developed and then sold to independent teams of online criminals. Ultimately, criminals use them to make money somehow.

Passwords should be complex on all your accounts. A hacked email or social media account could be used to spread malware to your contacts, and a weak RDP account password can make it easy for 2k19cry to infect your computer. And if 2k19cry is spread together with spyware, make sure to change your passwords later to something strong and unique.

Be careful when looking for free programs to download and always scan the downloaded files with an antivirus tool. Hopefully, you can avoid the infection if you don’t start a suspicious file, at least not on your main computer.

At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to avoid 2k19cry and you should prepare fo ransomware by setting up a backup for your files. Keep copies of your most important files, or even complete images of your disks on separate storage so that, if an infection gets on your computer or network, there is no way for the virus to make it on your backups.

How to remove 2k19cry and restore the files

2k19cry is a virus obvious to many anti-malware tools, so a program like Spyhunter would be able to detect and remove it, as well as other malware: sometimes malware is spread in a bundle with other malware, making it even more dangerous.

And now that there is no chance of your data being suddenly re-encrypted, you can restore your files from your backups. Deleting 2k19cry does not fix the encrypted files, but if you can restore them, feel free to delete the encrypted ones.

If case you don’t have backups, unfortunately, there is no free decrypter for Paradise or 2k19cry. There is a small hope that one could be decrypted, but that’s tremendously unlikely. Instead, check out the guide below this article and see if anything works for you: you might successfully get back some of your data.

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How to recover 2k19cry File-locker 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 RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

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.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before 2k19cry Virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of 2k19cry File-locker

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to 2k19cry Virus. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore 2k19cry File-locker 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 2k19cry Virus 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 PropertiesPrevious 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.
Previous version
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.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover 2k19cry File-locker 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 a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
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.

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