PooleZoor Ransomware - How to remove

PooleZoor ransomware virus was first noticed and posted On Twitter by MalwareHunterTeam early August, 2018. This virus presented typical features as many other Hidden Tear project based ransomware, with the only difference that it’s ransom note is written in Persian because the developers are Iranian. In a nutshell, PooleZoor virus enters the system using cunning methods, scans the files and locks the personal ones using difficult mathematical algorithms and asks for 10 million Iranian Ryals (around US $237,50) in exchange for the decryptor.

While the amount of the demanded ransom is not the worst, compared to MauriGo for example, which asks for 0.7 BTC (US $6444), yet it is definitely not worth paying, because there is no guarantee that hackers will decrypt the files. If you want to figure out the best ways how to solve the annoying PooleZoor infection or learn about it in order to prevent it in the future (since there are no borders in the virtual world and it can spread to any region of the world), then please take a minute to read our article or jump right away to the removal and recovery instructions.

How does PooleZoor ransomware work

The most important thing you need to know is that PooleZoor is a modified Hidden Tear virus version. This means that the developers of PooleZoor took the sample of ransomware virus from the open-source platform Github (where the scientist shared an above-mentioned example of the ransomware) and after altering it a little bit, started distributing it as the PooleZoor virus. There is plenty of other ransomware who did the same thing, for example, Donut, SorryHorrosKryptonLanRan and etc.

Basically PooleZoor ransomware sneaks into Windows with the help of Socially engineered email scam, disables current user’s antivirus, modifies the registry to survive system restart and starts identifying personal documents and files with certain extensions like .pdf, .jpg., .mp3, .mp4 , .doc and etc, later running the encryption cipher AES to lock them. Locked files are marked with .poolezoor extension (‘birthdayplans.doc’ become ‘birthdayplans.doc.poolezoor’). Since only the crooks know what is the decryption key for the locked files, they have a chance to blackmail the victim and demand for the ransom. Since most locked files are personal people are motivated to save them and give hackers what they want.

poolezoor ransomware iranian  virus ransom note

PooleZoor is known to add the ransom note called READ_me_for_encrypted_Files.txt, explaining what they need, but poorly because the message does not contain much information, missing the hackers’ email, preferred cryptocurrency and wallet address and more directions. Mind you the message is written in Persian language:

Files has been encrypted with PooleZoor

Ba pardakht 10,000,000 Riyal File hay khod ra bazgardanid
(Pay 10,000,000 rials to return your files)
In Pool sarf omre kheyriye khahad shod
(This money will go to a good cause)

Andrew Ivanov shared on his Ransomware blog the discovery of crook’s page with more directions for the PooleZoor virus victims.

برای اینکه مارو حمایت بکنید مبلغ یک میلیون تومان به ما پرداخت و برای ما ارسال کنید و در جواب ایمیل شما ما Decryptor را در اختیار شما قرار می دهیم.
نحوه پرداخت:
ورود به لینک: http://sep.shapaarak. cf/
تصویر پرداخت خود را در زیر این پست به همراه ادرس ایمیل خود برای ما ارسال نمائید.

To support us, pay us $ 1 million and send us a response with your email address and we will provide you with a decryptor. 
How to pay
Follow the link: http://sep.shapaarak. cf/ 
Send us a screenshot of your payment below this message together with your email address.

The PooleZoor malware developers made some mistakes themselves asking for 10,000,000 Iranian rials (US $237,50) in the first ransom note and then only for 1,000,000 (US $23,75) on their website. Such a website is a pretty unusual occurrence for the ransomware viruses to have and most likely it was made by hackers to fix the ransom note, which was lacking any contact information, so even these victims who were willing to pay couldn’t do it.  Moreover, the files that are known to be causing PooleZoor ransomware infection are named Peyment.exe (more detailed VirusTotal analysis) and Hidden-tear.exe, which shows that crooks were too lazy to even change one of the names of the primary virus sample. 

How can PooleZoore virus spread

Since this PooleZoore ransomware was build using Hidden Tear sample, this gives an idea that the crooks may not have a lot of technical skills to develop their own unique virus, therefore the spreading methods might be simple and easy as well. Most probably developers distribute PooleZoore through email (aka Phishing) because it only requires a believable message and a hyperlink to the virus download page or attached virus executable file. (Read this article on how to prevent getting a PooleZoore ransomware infection)

So far we know that PooleZoore is targeting Iranian users, therefore this virus is more prevalent in the Middle East region. Additionally, it attacks simple home pc users rather than institutions like Banks or hospitals, government, which is usual for ransomware threats, because official places are more willing to pay ransom for their files. Of course, there are many other Distribution techniques.

How to remove PooleZoor virus quickly

In order to get the encrypted files back, the first thing you have to do is to delete the PooleZoor virus from your computer. This is necessary so that if you unlock your personal data virus leftovers would not lock it again and you could successfully recover your system’s protection. There are two methods on how to get rid of PooleZoor ransomware: automatic and manual removal. While automatic virus removal is the preferred technique for many reasons, manual elimination can be helpful in various complicated situations, when the anti-malware tool does not work on the compromised computer.

Anti-spyware programs like Spyhunter are the easiest, fastest and one of the most reliable virtual parasite cleaning tools. Their advantages are that they can detect the newest threats no matter how well they are camouflaged, they have sophisticated virus deleting techniques, and can access even the most remote and unusual places in the system. Furthermore are easy to use and does the job for you. The only drawback would be that if the PooleZoor virus variant is very persistent and makes too many modifications, some users won’t be able to install the anti-malware or any software at all.

Automatic Malware removal tools

Download Spyhunter for Malware detection

Note: Spyhunter trial provides detection of parasites and assists in their removal for free. limited trial available, Terms of use, Privacy Policy, Uninstall Instructions,

Download Combo Cleaner for Malware detection

Note: Combo Cleaner trial provides detection of parasites and assists in their removal for free. limited trial available, Terms of use, Privacy Policy, Uninstall Instructions, Refund Policy ,

How to delete PooleZoor ransomware with no program and recover the files

PooleZoor ransomware can be deleted without any software if necessary as well, just follow the step-by-step guide we have designed below. Later if you may want to invest in a good anti-spyware take a look at our review page to pick the most suitable product for you and to avoid the Fake antivirus scams. After you know that there is no more PooleZoor virus left you can try recovering your locked files by restoring Shadow Copies or special file restoring software mentioned below as well. If you cannot recover files with our suggested ways, we advise to keep them in your system and wait until the decryption tool will be made for PooleZoor specifically or try one of many HiddenTear virus Decryptors.

How to recover PooleZoor 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 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 PooleZoor 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 PooleZoor Ransomware

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 PooleZoor. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore PooleZoor 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 PooleZoor 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 PooleZoor 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 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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