Expetr Virus Ransomware

If you’ve been infected by a malicious threat called Expetr Virus Ransomware and as a result of this you’ve found that a great deal of your personal and/or work files has become inaccessible to you – you’ve done the right thing coming here. Expetr Virus Ransomware is a ransomware virus which is designed to encrypt the files on its victims’ computers, after which it proceeds to shamelessly blackmail them for money on behalf of the hackers behind it. The hackers, in turn, promise to send you a decryption key that will unlock your files – but only under the condition that you transfer a fat amount of money to them, and most times also before a certain deadline. Ransomware is arguably the world’s top cyber threat at the moment, with millions of unique variants being released onto unsuspecting users every year. This article aims to explain how these viruses work, why the online community is almost helpless against them and how you may have gotten infected to begin with. But more importantly, you will also find out how you can remove Expetr Virus Ransomware from your computer on your own, as well as how you can potentially restore some or all of your locked files. We cannot guarantee everyone success with this particular ransomware variant, but we do encourage everyone to give the instructions below a shot.

Likely means of infection and what to do about it

You may not be fully aware of how you got infected and there’s no way for us to tell you how it happened in your particular case. However, we can mention some of the most common sources, so that you can keep them in mind henceforth and do your best to avoid them. You could have contracted Expetr Virus Ransomware from a malicious online ad or from a fake system notification. The latter usually appears in the form of a popups, either at the bottom or in the middle of your screen. And it usually says something about your OS or certain program needing to have updates installed immediately, whereas you are required to click ‘Ok’ or ‘Install’. At that point you will be automatically downloading the ransomware onto your PC and it will instantly get down to its dirty work, without so much as informing you of what has just come to pass. The same is true for the fake ads, better known as malvertisements. They can be found on literally any page, anywhere online. The only thing that separates them from the real ads is that clicking on them will essentially get you infected with a virus.

Another very common source, perhaps even the most common, are spam emails and other message types. For example, you can receive an email informing you about a recent purchase and containing an attached copy of the statement or bill. It could also be from someone pretending to be a utility company or similar – there are endless possibilities as to the lengths hackers will go to, so as to lure you into opening the attachment or following the enclosed link. Always be cautious with incoming emails or other messages and be sure to never interact with content you aren’t 100% sure you can trust. If more people were better aware of this very basic and very simple safety precaution, a large number of infections would have never occurred to begin with.

It doesn’t help that infections with viruses like Expetr Virus Ransomware are as stealthy as can be, so detecting an ongoing one is endless times more difficult than preventing an attack. But what about what to do now that the attack has already happened and you’re left locked out of some very precious and valuable files? Well, you have several options and opting for the ransom payment is not among the recommended ones. By the very least, there’s a quite hefty risk of not receiving anything in return for your money or receiving something that doesn’t work. Our first and most important suggestion is to remove Expetr Virus Ransomware from your system and only then proceed exploring other options. You can use the instructions provided below to do that, where you will also find steps that might succeed in recovering your data from system backups. We cannot promise that those steps will necessarily work for each and every ransomware victim, but they are certainly worth a try. You can also try one of the listed decryptor tools and see if one might do the job in your case.

Expetr Virus 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: Restoring basic Windows functionality

Before you are able to remove the Expetr Ransomware  Virus from your computer you need to be able to access it in the first place. Since the ransomware will prevent Windows from booting itself your first job is to repair the Master Boot Records (MBR) of your drive.
To do that you’ll need your original Windows OS DVD (or an USB bootable drive for advanced users)
  1. Insert the DVD (or the USB) into the computer, then run the computer and choose to boot the OS from the DVD/USB. You may have to change Windows boot priorities from the bios by pressing Del
  2. When Windows boots from the DVD/USB select Windows Repair
  3. Open the Command Prompt and write the following commands inside:     enter: bootrec / fixmbr, bootrec / fixboot and bootrec / rebuildbcd
  4. Your Windows OS should now be able to boot normally. You can proceed with the removal of the virus as usual.

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.

5: Registry

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.

About the author

Adrian Bitterson

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