One of the nastiest forms of malware that you can get your computer infected with is the infamous Ransomware. It is a type of computer virus that aims to lock your personal data files or even stop you from using your PC by blocking the access to it. Dealing with Ransomware is no easy task and fully overcoming such an infection might not always be possible. Here, we will put our emphasis on one particular, newly released virus that belongs to this category. Its name is .arrow and in the paragraphs down below, we will attempt to supply you with all the necessary information about its main characteristics. Also, we have prepared for you a removal guide for this virus that might help you manually deal with it in case you have had your computer system infected by it.
There is a type of Ransomware programs that are known as cryptoviruses and .arrow belongs to this group. A cryptovirus uses a process called encryption to make sure that its victim is made unable to access their personal files. Once the data has been locked by the virus’ encryption code, the targeted user is given the “opportunity” to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for a decryption key that can unseal the locked-up documents. The details about the ransom payment normally get provided within a ransom that gets generated on the user’s desktop or in some other directory after the encryption has been finished. There are a couple of important things that we ought to point out regarding this process.
First of all, encryption processes aren’t harmful or malicious when used by non-malware programs. In fact, the whole point of encryption is to protect the files on which it has been used by restricting the access to them. Unfortunately, hackers have found a way to turn around this process and use it for blackmailing purposes. The problem, however, is that, since encryption isn’t inherently harmful, a lot of antiviruses are incapable of detecting it as a potential threat. This makes it very difficult to stop a Ransomware like .arrow in time as you might not have the means to detect it even if your PC is equipped with an otherwise good antivirus.
The second important thing about Ransomware encryption is that it will stay on your files even if you succeed in getting rid of the malware virus. In order to unlock your documents, you will need to take additional measures and not only eliminate the Ransomware that has encrypted them. However, note that it is still essential that the virus gets removed first, before any of the files get unlocked or else it might re-encrypt them once again if it is still on the PC.
Even the stealthiest and sneakiest of viruses can trigger certain symptoms that could give away the ongoing infection. Ransomware is no exception to this rule. However, note that the possible symptoms that might get caused by a virus such as .arrow are often really difficult to notice. One of the most common signs that there is a Ransomware on your computer that’s currently encrypting your files is an increase in the amounts of RAM and processor power that your computer is using. This could lead to slow-downs on weaker PCs which might help the user notice that something’s off about their system. Another possible sign is a decrease in the hard-disk space without you having downloaded anything onto it . This taken storage space is required for the encryption process and is only temporal – once all targeted files have been locked, it would get freed again.
It is up to each individual to decide if it is a wise decision to make the ransom payment if their data has already been taken hostage by .arrow. However, note that even if you do transfer the money, you can’t be certain that the hacker would actually send you the decryption key. The real-life examples of this happening are numerous.
Because of this, we believe that it is preferable to first assess what other options you might have. For one, you can make use of your guide and see if it works for you. Sadly, we cannot promise you anything – Ransomware viruses are evolving way to rapidly, yet it is still worth the try. Just remember that the payment option should more or less be seen as a last resort option for when nothing else has worked and you still really need the files that the virus has locked-up.
The Internet is full of Ransomware!
Not being careful online is a one-way ticket to getting your computer infected by some nasty malware program like, for example, .arrow. You must always be on your guard when exploring the net – this means that you should avoid any web content with questionable reliability. This includes but is not limited to fishy, potentially illegal websites, e-mails or other forms of web messages that look like spam, sketchy looking online ads and fake Internet offers, etc.
One other thing that can help you in the battle against malware is a dependable antivirus. It might not be able to stop all Ransomware but it could stop malware viruses that are used to distribute it such as Trojan Horse for example.
Thirdly, never forget to backup files that are important to you. You can use anything from a simple flash drive or a external HDD if you need more space to a cloud service that you can access from other devices.
The bottom line is: stay safe on the Internet, keep your system properly secured by high-quality software and backup whatever data might be important to you. Now, if you need help handling .arrow, feel free to use our guide down below.
Removal guide thanks to howtoremove.guide and their .Arrow Ransomware Removal instructions.
.Arrow Ransomware Removal
Prior to starting to execute the steps from the guide, we advise you to either bookmark this page or open it on a separate device since throughout the process of completing the guide, you might need to exit your browser.
1: Using Safe Mode
Before beginning to troubleshoot the issue, you are advised to enter Safe Mode on your PC. If you do not know how to do that, use this guide on how to enter Safe Mode.
2: Spotting the process
Open your Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination. Next, go to the processes tab and carefully look through the list for any shady entries. Usually, malicious processes will be consuming large amounts of CPU and RAM and will either have no description or will have a suspicious-looking one.
Once you identify the virus’ process, right-click on it and select Open File Location. Delete everything in the folder that opens if you are sure that the process was malicious. If you are not sure, contact us in the comments.
Go back to the Task Manager and end the potentially harmful process.
3: Hosts file IP’s
Go to your start menu and in the search field, paste the following address: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Select the first result and look at the bottom of the newly opened notepad file. See if there are any IP’s below “Localhost” and tell us in the comments if there were any IP addresses.
4: System Configuration Startup Programs
Type System Configuration in the Windows search bar and open the first result. Go to the Startup tab and take a look at the list of startup programs (on Windows 10, the Startup programs can be seen in the Startup Section of the Task Manager). If any of them look shady or have unknown manufacturer or a manufacturer with a sketchy name, uncheck those entries and click on OK.
Open the Run window (WinKey + R), type regedit and press Enter. Once the Registry Editor opens, press Ctrl + F and type the name of the virus. Select Find Next and delete whatever gets found that has the virus’ name. Do that with all search results.
6: Deleting potential virus files
Open the Start Menu and separately type each of the following locations: %AppData% %LocalAppData% %ProgramData% %WinDir% %Temp% . Open each of those folders and sort their contents by date. Delete the most recent files and folders. When you open the Temp folder, delete everything in it.