In case that your files have suddenly become inaccessible and a threatening ransom note has appeared on your screen, then most probably you have been attacked by file-encrypting Ransomware called Karmen. This new threat has been on the loose for a while, attacking online users all across the world, and here we decided to give a helping hand to all of its victims.
On this page, we have put some very important information about the way Karmen Ransomware functions and the criminal scheme it uses to blackmail people to pay ransom. We have also assembled a free removal guide, which aims to help anyone to find and remove this nasty Ransomware from their computer and try to restore some of their encrypted files. We believe the details that you are going to find here can help you deal with the infection in the best possible way, so stay with us until the end to find out more.
What is Karmen Ransomware?
Karmen is not just another Ransomware threat – it is one of the latest and most sophisticated ones. With this in mind, you need to have a very good understanding of it, to effectively handle it and minimize its harmful effects. This threat won’t spare any of your files and being a particularly nasty file-encrypting virus, it will lock them all with a very strong and secret encryption algorithm. With no doubt, this is the worst that could happen to your data, especially if you really keep some valuable and important stuff on your PC. But, this is not everything. Once all your work files, projects, documents, images, videos, and more are secretly encrypted, you will be asked to pay ransom for them. The criminal hackers, who stand behind Karmen, will have no shame to ruthlessly blackmail you for the access to your own data. They will flood your screen with threatening ransom messages, where they will ask you to pay a certain amount of money (usually in Bitcoins) to release a decryption key for your files. Should you fail that, you may not be able to access them ever again, since they will remain encrypted.
Sources of the Karmen infection:
The potential sources of Ransomware infections like Karmen could be numerous. The most common ones include:
- Trojan horses – these nasty threats are usually used to deliver Ransomware inside the compromised computer and help it remain undetected inside the system while it performs its encryption.
- Non reputed software sources – it is hard to say how safe all the free download platforms, shareware sites, and torrent pages are, so they could all be potential sources of threats like Karmen.
- Pirate content could also be used to transmit Ransomware infections and other malware, so stay away from that as much as possible.
- Compromised web pages – The hackers usually hide their malicious “baby” in illegal sites or already compromised web pages, where Karmen may get delivered to you the moment you visit such a site. This happens usually through drive-by downloads.
- Malvertisements and spam – fake ads, misleading links, too-good-to-be-true offers and different spam messages and email attachments are also effective distributors of the Ransomware infection.
What is specific about Karmen Ransomware is that it usually sneaks inside the victim’s system undetected. It infects the computer on its own, mostly automatically, which means that one wrong click on a malicious transmitter like the ones mentioned above is enough for the Ransomware to become active and perform the harmful file encryption it has been programmed for. Unfortunately, there will be no symptoms, which can give it away before all the files are locked, which is why it is very hard to stop the malware and prevent its dreadful consequences.
What solutions do you have in case of a Ransomware attack?
You are probably thinking about paying the ransom in order to save your files. However, this is something, which no security expert would recommend you to do. It is better to warn you now than being sorry later – in most of the Ransomware cases, the victims are not able to fully recover their data. Even when they pay the ransom, the crooks usually disappear with the money and no decryption key is given to the users to decrypt their files. This is typical criminal behavior and it will be too unrealistic if you are expecting something else from such unscrupulous hackers. So, taking the initiative in your hands is the better option. For that, you can use the free removal guide below. It will help you remove Karmen and eventually get some of your files back, though we can’t guarantee you a 100% success on that. Another tip we can give you is to restore your data from external backups. Of course, this should be done only after you clean your system completely. Or, you can contact a professional and ask for assistance in dealing with the infection.
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.