KEYHolder - How to remove

KEYHolder is listed as a ransomware because it enters users’ computers illegally and encrypts their files. If this happens to you, you will not be able to reach some of your files or use your computer at all. In order to retrieve your files, you will be forced to purchase the file decrypter which costs 1.5 bitcoins. KEYHolder ransomware use AES encryption system and at the moment there are no ways to decrypt your files manually or using any other software than using their suggested decrypter.

It’s still not clear how this malicious application is distributed, so anyone connected to the world wide web possibly can be affected. Once inside, this ransomware will scan your system and encrypt all detected files. It will also clear all Shadow Volume Copies. This way you will not be able to perform a System Restore or restore your system using Shadow Explorer.

KEYHolder can also infiltrate other malware to your system, so even if you pay that ransom or remove it from your computer, you should scan your PC with a trustworthy anti-malware to make sure that your machine is safe. We recommend you to use Spyhunter, Malwarebytes or StopZilla anti-malware program.

keyholder ransomware

After this ransomware encrypts your files, you will be provided with a two files HOW_DECRYPT.gif and HOW_DECRYPT.html. You can find them both in every folder of encrypted files. Inside those files you will find instructions how to access a ransom payment site. 1.5 of bit coins equals about $505 (please notice that this rate can vary). After a confirmation of the payment, you will be provided with a link for the decrypter download.

Since there are no other ways to retrieve your files, you should pay attention to your computer’s security and avoid ransomware like this. Always keep installed reliable anti-malware applications as listed above and avoid both: unreliable websites and downloads.

How to recover KEYHolder 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 KEYHolder 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 KEYHolder

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 KEYHolder. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore KEYHolder 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 KEYHolder 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 KEYHolder 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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