Protected ransomware is a newly detected virtual threat trying to earn the name of the most devastating virus, that is ransomware. In fact, it has, already. Little is known about Protected file encryptor. Just its strange feature to add ‘‘.protected’’ extension to the corrupted files. Wherefrom it takes its name. Ironic, though. ‘‘.damaged’’ would be a better choice, at least the most accurate one.
About Protected Ransomware
Like many ransomware viruses (e.g. TeslaCrypt), Protected ransomware uses asymmetric encryption algorithm. During encryption two keys are generated: the public (RSA-2048) and the private (AES CBC-256) keys. The private key is stored on the C&C (Command and Control) servers controlled by the hackers. This cryptomalware appends ‘‘.protected’’ extension to every encrypted filename. For instance, Invoice.xls is turned into Invoice.xls.protected. How_to_restore_your_data.txt file is dropped in every folder of encrypted files, how_to_restore_your_data.png replaces the desktop wallpaper. These files contain the ransom note with further instructions. The size of the ransom is 0.5 BTC which equals to 585.51 USD at the present moment. In this respect, Protected encoder bears resemblance to such ransomwares as Locky, CryptorBit, CryptoLocker, NanoLocker, etc. The payment must be transferred using bitcoins.
How is Protected Ransomware Distributed?
Usually, spam e-mails are responsible for the distribution of Protected ransomware trojan. They contain links to infected websites. But even more often the attachments of spam e-mails carry the malicious codes which are executed once the attachments have been opened. Typically, these e-mails disguise themselves as being official, they may even have logos of official institutions or companies to trick you into opening them. In other cases, exploit kits such as Angler EK, Nuclear EK and others exploit the system vulnerabilities and leave the backdoor open for such destructive threats as is Protected ransomware.
How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Protected Ransomware?
Unfortunately, there are not any decryption tool found that could restore the files encrypted by Protected cryptomalware at the moment. At this point in time, you can apply data recovery tools such as PhotoRec, R-studio or the products of Kaspersky Lab. However, it is paramount to remove the ransomware from your computer’s system. For this purpose use powerful malware removal utilities: Reimage, SpyHunter, Hitman or Malwarebytes. The manual instructions for experienced users are supplied just below this article.
We would like to give some pieces of advice for your malware-free future. Always have reliable security software (like mentioned above) on your computer’s system and update it regularly. Additionally, back up your data in some external storage services such as Cloud service or on some external hard drive.
- About Protected Ransomware
- How is Protected Ransomware Distributed?
- How to Decrypt Files Encrypted by Protected Ransomware?
- Automatic Protected Ransomware removal tools
- How to recover Protected Ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of Protected Ransomware
- Step 3. Restore Protected Ransomware affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover Protected Ransomware encrypted files
Automatic Protected Ransomware removal tools
How to recover Protected 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 Protected Ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of Protected 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 Protected Ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore Protected 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 Protected 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 Protected 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.
Important Note: Although it is possible to manually remove Protected Ransomware, such activity can permanently damage your system if any mistakes are made in the process, as advanced spyware parasites are able to automatically repair themselves if not completely removed. Thus, manual spyware removal is recommended for experienced users only, such as IT specialists or highly qualified system administrators. For other users, we recommend using Reimage or other tools found on 2-viruses.com.