Immediately after .726 Ransomware emerged, the media was overwhelmed by reports that a new notorious Ransomware infection is threatening the virtual community. In this article, we are going to discuss this new infection, its specifics, typical ways of distribution and infection and possible alternative solutions to counteracting it. The main purpose of .726 Ransomware is to encrypt the files that you keep on your computer (aka to render them inaccessible) and then to ask you to pay for a decryption key. If your system has been attacked, you have probably already been greeted by the ransom message that the cyber criminals place on the screen of their victims. They are probably threatening you that if you don’t fulfill their demands (which usually involve payment of ransom in Bitcoins) you will never be able to access any of the encrypted files again.
However, if you landed on this page, you are obviously looking for a way to avoid the ransom payment. And that’s a smart move! Never submit to the hackers without checking out all of your options first! In this page, we are going to provide you with a special removal guide, which is supposed to help you remove .726 Ransomware from your system and eventually help you get some of your data. In the lines below, we have described the exact steps that you need to follow if you want to eliminate the Ransomware and its traces from your computer. There are some specifics that you need to know, though, that’s why, before you scroll down to the instructions, we advise you to carefully read the information that follows.
How dangerous is .726 Ransomware and how does it spread?
You are probably eager to learn how to remove the nasty Ransomware that has blocked the access to your most frequently used documents, work files, images, videos, archives and more, but before you decide how to proceed, let us tell you exactly what you are dealing with. .726 Ransomware is a special type of a cryptovirus, which is programmed with a very nasty criminal purpose – to infect your system in a stealthy way and to silently turn your files into unreadable pieces of data, protected with an encryption. The main idea behind this action is to prevent your access and to blackmail you. The criminal scheme basically works by prompting the victims to fulfill certain ransom demands in exchange for a decryption key, which is supposed to return the encrypted files back to normal. If the victims do not fulfill the demands the way that the hackers have instructed them, they are threatened to never access the data on their machine again.
The distribution of .726 Ransomware is usually done through malicious spam, compromised email messages and their attachments, exploit kits, RDP attacks, and other traditional tools for distributing malware such as fake ads, misleading links, infected web pages and installers or Trojan horses. Unfortunately, as per the latest reports, most of the antivirus programs may fail to detect the Ransomware and its encryption process as a threat and may not notify you in time. For this reason, most of the victims usually come to know about the infection only after the ransom message from the crooks appears on their screen.
But how do I restore my encrypted files?
The first thing that may come to your mind in a case of a Ransomware attack like .726 Ransomware is to pay what the hackers want, get the decryption key and bring your data as it was before. However, such a course of action is not only risky (the crooks may vanish, you may not receive a decryption key, the decryptor may not work properly, etc.) but in fact, you may only lose your money by sponsoring a criminal blackmail practice. For this reason, most of the experts, experienced in dealing with Ransomware, including our “How to remove” team, would advise you not to go for the ransom payment. Instead, your priority should be to remove .726 Ransomware, clean your system from its traces and research some other alternatives to recover your files. Indeed, there are not many options for that, and the usual methods of uninstalling and removing malware may not work from the first attempt. Therefore, the instructions in the removal guide below may help you and we encourage you to use them.
If you manage to eliminate the Ransomware successfully, don’t get surprised if your files still remain encrypted – this is part of the consequences of the .726 Ransomware infection. If you have some external backup copies (from a cloud, external drive or other devices), we highly recommend you to use them as this is the best and safest way to get your data back. If you don’t have backups, you can try our file restoration options, but bear in mind that we cannot give you a guarantee how much of your data you will be able to save with them. Still, giving them a try won’t cost you a thing.
.726 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.