Introduction to Ransomware
If you aren’t being careful with what you do online, you risk landing on your computer all sorts of harmful malware programs such as Trojans, Spyware, Worms, etc. However, in the next lines, we will be focusing on one unique type of PC virus that is quite different and unique. The kind of malware we are will be talking about is Ransomware. In fact, you have probably come to this article because you are trying to find some useful information regarding one particular virus program known as .Master Ransomware. If that is you case, then you should know that .Master Ransomware is one of the newest Ransomware cryptoviruses. What’s important to know about them is that they have the ability to encrypt the data files on the user’s PC in order to later blackmail their victim into paying a ransom in return for the key that can be used to decrypt the locked files. Below, you will be able to learn more about how the virus operates and what techniques are used to infect computers with it. We can also offer you a number of steps and methods combined in a removal guide for .Master Ransomware that you can use in order to get rid of the malicious software and potentially unlock the files without making the ransom payment to the hacker.
More about Ransomware
You might have heard about the huge recent outbreak of Ransomware that happened a few days ago. The PC networks of whole airports, hospitals and even governments have gotten encrypted by Ransomware. This only comes to show just how malicious, harmful and difficult to handle this type of malware is. Such cryptoviruses like .Master Ransomware are truly some of the worst possible software threats that one can get their PC infected with and there are a couple of reasons for that.
- Firstly, typical Ransomware can oftentimes remain totally undetected by the antivirus program that the user might have. The main cause for that has to do with the fact that viruses like .Master Ransomware do not cause any data corruption or system damage when they infect the computer. The encryption process they use doesn’t trigger most antivirus programs since it isn’t inherently harmful. Because of this, many users realize that their machines have been infected when it is already way too late to do anything about it.
- Next thing that needs to be mentioned is the fact that most Ransomware viruses lack any visible signs of infection. Because of the encryption, sometimes users of less powerful computers might notice certain system slow-down and RAM and CPU spikes but this is mostly situational or the encryption gets completed before the customer can react to it in an adequate manner.
- Thirdly, readers of this article must understand that when talking about cryptoviruses the likes of .Master Ransomware, removing the harmful program isn’t going to unlock any files that have already been encrypted. There are separate steps that one needs to undertake in order to decrypt the sealed data and we have covered that within our guide. However, no Ransomware decryption method works universally, therefore we cannot guarantee that even if you complete the whole guide your files will get unlocked. Still, we believe that it is worth going for and giving it a try instead of directly paying the requested money.
You must protect your PC
When it comes to preventing potential Ransomware infections in future, there are several crucial risk factors that one needs to consider. Some of them are many Internet malvertising techniques that can be used to spread the malware, various form of online spam that you can encounter as well as shady websites which can be potentially illegal and used as for Ransomware distribution. All in all, one needs to be extremely cautious and considerate when going on the Internet or else, the security of their machine and data might get compromised. We strongly advise you to stay away from anything online that seems like it could be a potential safety hazard and only visit addresses that have been confirmed as safe and reliable. Also, when checking your e-mail for new letters, be sure not to open anything that might be spam. The same applies for any suspicious messages that might get sent to your Skype or Facebook accounts. Regardless of who the sender is, you should not open them if they look like spam. Another thing that you should not forget about is backing-up your important and valuable files on another device that isn’t connected to the internet. This is likely one of the best precautions against potential Ransomware infections.
.Master Virus File 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.