Iiss is a malicious program that breaks user files by encrypting them. It then demands money in exchange for fixing the files. You could say that it holds files for ransom.
Iiss is no joke – it uses unique encryption keys, so you can’t just get a code from someone else and unlock your files. Also, it comes with other malware infections, causing a lot of additional problems. Overall, it’s a very destructive infection.
Iiss Ransomware quicklinks
- How Iiss ransomware works
- Main problems
- How it was downloaded
- Can you get your files back?
- How to remove Iiss ransomware
- Important -- edit the hosts file to unblock security websites
- Find and edit the hosts file
- Download and run the antivirus program
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How to recover Iiss 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:
- 2.Restore System files and settings.
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Iiss Ransomware encrypted files
Iiss in short:
|How Iiss infects PCs||Downloaded from the internet,
installed together with other malware,
makes changes to various settings to make recovery more difficult.
|Effects of the infection||Files can’t be opened anymore and have a new extension “.iiss”,
antivirus programs don’t work properly,
some websites are blocked,
ransom notes called _readme.txt can be found in many folders.
|How to remove Iiss||Fix the settings that Iiss changed,
find and delete all malware with an antivirus tool (Spyhunter, others),
protect your private information.
How Iiss ransomware works
Iiss malware disables the Task Manager, deletes essential antivirus files, deletes backup files, and installs an adware virus and a spyware (password-stealing) infection.
Then, Iiss goes through your folders and encrypts what it finds. It marks the encrypted files by appending “.iiss” to their names (e.g. “document.doc.iiss”). Most of these files aren’t able to be opened.
It ends by placing _readme.txt notes in every folder. These notes demand that you pay a ransom of up to $980 to the criminals in exchange for having your files fixed. Iiss uses a unique encryption key for each victim, which means that each victim has to get a unique decryption key.
Of course, as the creators of Iiss are criminals, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that they scam people fairly often. Sometimes they take the money and do provide the tools for fixing the files. But other times, they take the ransom and then ignore the person, or ask for more money.
Iiss is part of the Djvu family of malware, together with Efji, Foqe, and hundreds of others.
How it was downloaded
You likely got Iiss from a pirated file or a “free” program that you recently downloaded.
When you’re downloading files from unreliable websites, you have to be very careful. Scan what you download. Don’t run the file unless you are prepared for an infection.
Backing up your computer regularly is a good way to prepare for Iiss and similar ransomware infections.
Can you get your files back?
Iiss uses encryption on your files. This changes them to become unreadable, basically corrupted. Iiss adds a “.iiss” extension to the broken files as a label.
Iiss may have missed some of your folders (did you review all of them?), but other than that, the files are broken. Assuming you don’t have backups, what can you do?
- Reversing the encryption – decrypting your files. You need to buy the decryption key from the criminals, which is not advised, as there’s no guarantee that they won’t just scam you.
In extremely limited circumstances, you can use shared decryption keys – read more on Emsisoft.com.
- Restore deleted files with the help of a data recovery program (such as Data Recovery Pro). But be very careful and make sure you’re prepared.
- Repair the files as if they were corrupted. The trick to Iiss being fast is that it only encrypts portions of files. The bigger a file is, the more unencrypted content there is inside it. You may even be able to open some files, such as archives.
Just, before deleting Iiss, make a backup of all the encrypted files that you wish to repair. Always have a backup copy.
How to remove Iiss ransomware
You can use an antivirus tool, such as Spyhunter, to find and remove Iiss and other malware. Here’s an example of Iiss being detected, shared by its discoverer: Virustotal.com. Antivirus programs should be able to recognize the problem.
Knowing that Iiss deletes various backup and update files, though, you may need to update your antivirus tools. To do this, you may need to get around the website block that Iiss created by making changes to your hosts.txt file.
You can also reset the computer, but as this process doesn’t necessarily delete all of your files, you should still scan your PC for malware.
Once your PC is clean, change your passwords and keep a close eye on your online accounts, as well as your bank accounts. In case the spyware that Iiss came with took any valuable information, don’t let it be abused by cybercriminals.
Important -- edit the hosts file to unblock security websitesTL DR : The hosts file is edited to block security sites Before the virus can be removed, it's necessary to fix the hosts file (the file which controls which addresses connect to which IPs). That is the reason the majority of security websites is inaccessible when infected with this particular parasite. This infection edits this file to stop certain websites, including anti-malware download sites, from being accessed from the infected computer, making browsers return the "This site can't be reached" error. Luckily, it's trivial to fix the file and remove the edits that were made to it.
Find and edit the hosts fileThe hosts file can be found on C:/Windows/System32/Drivers/etc/hosts. If you don't see it, change the settings to see hidden files.
- In the Start Menu, search for Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel, find Appearance and Personalization.
- Select Folder Options.
- Open the View tab.
- Open Advanced settings.
- Select "Show hidden files...".
- Select OK.
- Open the Start Menu and enter "notepad".
- When Notepad shows up in the result, right-click on it.
- In the menu, choose "Run as administrator"
- File->Open and browse for the hosts file.
Download and run the antivirus programAfter that, download antivirus programs and use them to remove the ransomware, the trojan, and other malware. Spyhunter (https://www.2-viruses.com/reviews/spyhunter/dwnld/).
Automatic Malware removal tools
How to recover Iiss 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 Iiss Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Iiss RansomwareAfter restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Iiss Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Iiss Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume CopiesIf 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 Iiss 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 Iiss Ransomware encrypted filesThere 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.