Unfortunately, not enough users have sufficient knowledge regarding viruses of the Ransomware type. This particular type of malware is currently one of the most dangerous software threats and everyone should have at least some level of awareness when it comes down to how Ransomware works and how it gets distributed. Here, we will try to give you all the essentials so that you can provide your system and files with better protection. As of late, a new entry to the list of Ransomware viruses has been released, which makes the issue even bigger. The name of the new virus is Onion.to Ransomware and the number of computers infected by it is only getting bigger with each passing day. The malicious Ransomware is able to encrypt the user’s personal files once it gets inside the computer rendering them inaccessible. The only way to open them is via a special key that only the creator of the virus has. Obviously, after the files get locked by Onion.to Ransomware, the hacker blackmails their victim demanding a ransom payment if the user wants the access to their files restored. If this has already happened to you and you are currently in search for help, we strongly advise you not to opt for the ransom payment. Here, we have a guide that can aid you in removing the virus and potentially restoring your files. Though we cannot give any guarantees as to how successful our guide will be in your particular situation, it certainly is a better option in comparison to sending money to online-criminals that are in no way obliged to actually send you the decryption key that you need.
Different kinds of Ransomware viruses
There are in fact two different main types of Ransomware. The first type does not go for your files. Instead, it takes a more simplistic approach and covers your whole PC screen with a huge banner that you cannot remove. Since the banner covers everything (even the Start Menu and the Task Manager!) the user is unable to do anything on their PC. Again, a ransom is demanded for the banner to be removed. Usually, this type of Ransomware is considered less advanced and if a user is attacked by such a virus, there’s higher chance for dealing with the issue. The other type of Ransomware viruses (also known as crypto-viruses) are the ones that actually lock the user’s files, one by one, using the so called encryption method that we already mentioned. Those viruses are more advanced and more difficult to deal with. With crypto-viruses, even if the infection gets removed, if the files have been locked, the encryption on them will remain. This means that usually, getting rid of the virus would not be enough. Onion.to does fall under this category of Ransomware which means that if your machine has been invaded by it, apart from eliminating the malware itself, you’d also need to decrypt your files afterwards.
Ransomware is notorious for its ability to remain under the radar of most users and antivirus programs. No matter how good your security software is or how vigilant you are, there’s still a high chance that malware of this type would be able to invade your machine without getting detected whatsoever. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Onion.to and other similar viruses do not actually try to cause any direct harm either to your system or your files (encrypting the files does not cause any damage to them, just makes them inaccessible). Additionally, encryption processes are not inherently malicious which is why most security programs are unable to spot a Ransomware virus. As far as the potential symptoms are concerned, you should know that even though there are certain potential signs of an infection by Onion.to, they are usually very difficult to notice. The most typical symptoms caused by a Ransomware virus are increase in the amounts of used CPU time, virtual memory and HDD space. If you manage to notice any of these and there seems to be no obvious reason for them, then your machine might indeed be under a Ransomware attack.
We need not explain to you just how important it is that you keep your computer safe from Ransomware viruses and other forms of malware. Obviously, it is much easier to avoid landing some noxious virus infection than it is to remove it and deal with what it has done to your system and files afterwards. To help you provide your PC with better protection, we have devoted this final paragraph of our article to the different precautions that you can take in order to fend off any potential Ransomware attacks.
- Ensure that both your antivirus and your OS have their latest updates installed at all times. Note that Trojan Horses are commonly employed for Ransomware distribution and a good way to stop Trojans is to have reliable antivirus protection on your machine.
- Do not trust e-mails that look shady and come from unknown senders since they are very likely to be malicious spam that could carry some malware virus like Onion.to.
- Keep away from sites that have a lot of banners and pop-ups throughout their pages.
- Do not trust browser notifications that tell you, you’ve won some big amount of money or an iPhone – such notifications are nothing but a shady ruse made to trick the users into clicking on them.
- Back-up your valuable data, ensuring that you always have a safe copy of each important file stored on at least one more place and not only on your PC’s hard drive.
Onion.to File Virus 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.