Ransomware: Don’t Pay the Criminals to Remove their Software

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Restart in Safe Mode to remove the malware yourself. Image by Masaru Kamikura

How to Remove Ransomware

First, you will need to go into Safe Mode. To do this, restart your computer and press F8 while it is starting, just make sure that you press the F8 key before the Windows logo appears.

If you got there in time, you’ll see a black screen appear with a number of options available. (If you didn’t get there in time, just restart again and start hitting F8 until the menu comes up – don’t worry, you won’t hurt the computer by pressing F8 too many times.)

Now, use the arrow keys to select the “Safe Mode with Command Prompt” option and click Enter.

When the command prompt shows up, (It’ll start with C:/) you need to type in “cd restore” and then press enter.

This will move down to the next line on the command prompt, where you need to type in “rstrui.exe”. This will open the System Restore window. Select a point on the system before the infection got into your computer – this will restore your system to that date, effectively removing the virus’ ability to affect your computer.

Once you complete the system restore, start up the computer normally and use an anti-virus or anti-malware software program to remove the ransomware from the computer.

Moving to the Cloud and Smartphones

So far, the ransomware attacks are limited to computers, but IT security company  Symantec predicts that there will be a move to start attacking the cloud – online storage – and smartphones. Hackers generally adapt with the times so it is important to keep your technology devices safe. Always make sure that any computer, tablet or smartphone that connects to the internet is installed with the latest anti-virus and anti-malware program to help to limit your vulnerability to attacks. Also, look out for anything suspicious before downloading it from the Internet – even though it’s relatively simple to remove ransomware,

Resources:

Millman, R. Symantec: Cybercriminals Make £3m from Ransomware. (2012). IT Pro. Accessed November 9, 2012.

Stevenson, A. Scammers Rake in $33,000 a Day Through Ransomware. (2012). V3. Accessed November 9, 2012.

Keizer, G. Ransomware Crooks Make Millions from Porn-Shaming Scams. (2012). Computerworld. Accessed November 9, 2012.

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