Danger level:  
  (98/100)

GoldenEye ransomware. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware
12

Getting to know GoldenEye ransomware virus

GoldenEye virus is the new version[1] of Petya ransomware which has been spotted in March 2016[2]. The original version of malware has been defeated, and soon hackers decided to launch an update – Mischa ransomware[3]. However, the developers are not willing to give up on their motives to swindle the money illegally. Therefore, they launched a brand new version of malware which is supposed to be stronger and more sophisticated.. Similarly to previous variants, GoldenEye ransomware spreads via malicious spam emails that mostly targets German computer users. When a victim clicks on infected email attachment and activates Macro commands, malware sneaks inside and starts data encryption process. It’s hard to notice the time when ransomware infiltrates the system because it starts acting silently. However, as soon as it is done, malware delivers a message and the ransom note where victims are asked to pay 1.3 Bitcoins in order to get their files back. However, instead of learning about Bitcoins and how to user Tor network, we recommend focusing on GoldenEye removal. Transferring demanded sum of money might lead to both – money and data loss.

On the affected computer GoldenEye virus starts encoding files just like a regular file-encrypting virus and appends a random 8-symbol file extension to each audio or video file, picture, photography or other encoded documents. It also displays a fake check disk screen, and while users see regular Windows message claiming repairing files, it encrypts files stored on the computer’s hard drive. GoldenEye ransomware also encrypts hard drive Master File Table (MFT)[4] and modifies Master Boot Record (MBR)[5]. Then this complicated process is over, victims receive the ransom message and see the YOUR_FILES_ARE_ENCRYPTED.TXT file. As you already know, the developers of the ransomware demand to pay the ransom. According to their message, victims have no other choice just to purchase the ‘special key’ because all the files are encrypted using military grade algorithm. However, it might not be an option. Take our advice and remove GoldenEye from your PC as soon as it starts asking for your money. You should run a full system scan with Reimage or other reputable malware removal program, and later restore lost files from backups or using alternative data recovery methods. You can find malware elimination and data recovery instructions at the end of this article.

GoldenEye virus is a new variant of Petya ransomware

How does ransomware spread?

GoldenEye malware spreads similarly to its predecessors – via malicious email attachments. Hackers send infected PDF and MS Excel files. As we already mentioned, the latest version of Petya ransomware might be mostly targeting German speaking computer users. This assumption is made because it sends a malicious email written in German and has subject ‘Bewerbung.’ It’s already known that malicious file has named as Wiebold-Bewerbung.xls, Meinel-Bewerbung.xls, Seidel-Bewerbung.xls, Wüst-Bewerbung.xls, Born-Bewerbung.xls, and Schlosser-Bewerbung.xls. Once the victim opens one of these files, he or she is asked to activate Macros by clicking ‘Enable Content’ button. If user does it, malware gets inside and starts data encryption procedure. Therefore, if you want to avoid GoldenEye hijack or other ransomware viruses that are actively spreading online, you should learn to double check the information about all received emails and discussed issue. Think if you are supposed to receive this kind of email; if not, do not open the attachment! Besides, you should avoid visiting suspicious websites, clicking on each ad or link, downloading questionable software, etc. Generally, you should watch your every step online.

Is it possible to remove GoldenEye and restore files without paying the ransom?

GoldenEye removal requires using an up-to-date anti-malware program. We recommend installing Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. However, malware might try to stop you from doing that. For this reason, we have prepared detailed and illustrated instructions how to deal with all obstacles that might encounter during the removal process. Furthermore, when you successfully remove GoldenEye from your PC, you can plug in the external device with data backups and copy them. However, if you don’t have them, take this ransomware attack as a lesson why data backups[6] are crucial nowadays. Fortunately, at the end of this article, you will find additional data recovery methods that might help you to retrieve at least some of your files. Keep in mind that malware researchers managed to defeat previous versions of the virus, so GoldenEye decryption tool might be released soon as well.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall GoldenEye ransomware. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.

You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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Press mentions on Reimage

Manual GoldenEye Virus Removal Instructions:

Eliminate GoldenEye using Safe Mode with Networking

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Safe Mode with Networking from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Networking' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking' option
  • Step 2: Remove GoldenEye

    Sign in to your account and launch any Internet browser. Download a legitimate anti-malware software, for instance, Reimage. Make sure you update it to the latest version and then run a full system scan with it to detect and eliminate all malicious components of the ransomware to remove GoldenEye completely.

If your ransomware does not allow you to access Safe Mode with Networking, please follow the instructions provided below.

Eliminate GoldenEye using System Restore

You can detect malware using Reimage.
You need to purchase a licensed version of it to remove threats.
More details about Reimage.

  • Step 1: Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Go to Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. As soon as your computer starts, start pressing F8 key repeatedly before the Windows logo shows up.
    3. Choose Command Prompt from the list Choose 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Click on the Power button at the Windows login screen, and then press and hold Shift key on your keyboard. Then click Restart.
    2. Then select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and click Restart.
    3. Once your computer starts, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of options in Startup Settings. Choose 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt' option
  • Step 2: Perform a system restore to recover files and settings
    1. When the Command Prompt window appears, type in cd restore and press Enter. Type 'cd restore' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    2. Then type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.. Type 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and hit 'Enter'
    3. In a new window that shows up, click the Next button and choose a restore point that was created before the infiltration of GoldenEye and then click on the Next button again. When 'System Restore' wizard comes up, click 'Next'. Choose a preferable restore point and click 'Next'
    4. To start system restore, click Yes. Hit 'Yes' and start system restore
    After restoring the computer system to an antecedent date, install and check your computer with Reimage to uncover any remains of GoldenEye.

Bonus: Restore your files

Using the tutorial provided above you should be able to eliminate GoldenEye from the infected device. novirus.uk team has also prepared an in-depth data recovery guide which you will also find above.

If you do not have data backups, we recommend you to try three additional data recovery methods that might help you to restore at least some of your files. Besides, if some encrypted files are left locked, you should back up them into external device and wait for the free decryption tool.

There are a couple of methods you can apply to recover data encrypted by GoldenEye:

Method 1: Data Recovery Pro

Data Recovery Pro is a professional tool that restores lost, damaged or encrypted files. However, it’s not a specific decryption tool for GoldenEye, it still might be useful. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro (https://novirus.uk/download/data-recovery-pro-setup.exe);
  • Install Data Recovery on your computer following the steps indicated in the software’s Setup;
  • Run the program to scan your device for the data encrypted by GoldenEye ransomware;
  • Recover the data.

Method 2: Windows Previous Version feature

If you have enabled System Restore function before GoldenEye attack, you should follow the steps below and restore individual files.

  • Right-click on the encrypted document you want to recover;
  • Click “Properties” and navigate to “Previous versions” tab;
  • In the “Folder versions” section look for the available file copies. Choose the desired version and press “Restore”.

Method 3: ShadowExplorer

This method allows restoring files from Shadow Volume Copies. However, GoldenEye ransomware might have deleted them. If you are the lucky one and malware failed to delete them, follow these steps:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Install Shadow Explorer on your computer following the instructions in the software’s Setup Wizard;
  • Run the program. Navigate to the menu on the top-left corner and select a disk containing your encrypted files. Look through the available folders;
  • When you find the folder you want to recover, right-click it and select “Export”. Also, choose where the recovered data will be stored.

It is strongly recommended to take precautions and secure your computer from malware attacks. To protect your PC from GoldenEye and other dangerous viruses, you should install and keep a powerful malware removal tool, for instance, Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters

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References

Source: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-goldeneye-ransomware-virus.html

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