Anyone, who has ever had anything to do with ransomware, is well aware of how horrible this virus group can be and what awful consequences it can have for any given user. We have dedicated the following article to all those, who have been affected by or would simply like to learn more about s particular ransomware variant called .Pec File Virus.
.Pec File Virus is one of the latest viruses of this type and it is known to encrypt certain file types on victim machines, after which it proceeds to blackmail the users into paying ransom for a decryption key, which will essentially grant them back access to their files. This is a very lucrative and, unfortunately, also a very popular extortion scheme, but we will try to provide you with the necessary knowledge and tools in order for you to successfully remove .Pec File Virus from your system and potentially even restore your encrypted files. For further instructions on this, please refer to our removal guide below, but before that we would still recommend spending another couple of minutes to read through the following article.
What makes ransomware such a dangerous threat?
There are two main factors that contribute to ransomware’s near-invincibility: its stealth and the strong encryption it places, which makes the damage it causes irreversible. To understand what we mean by that, allow us to illustrate:
Once inside your machine, the ransomware will not give you any indication of its presence, as it immediately gets to work and scans all your disks and drives for targeted file types. After this, it proceeds to create identical copies of the files it finds, only with the difference that these copies will have a strong encryption algorithm placed on them. Now, the process of encryption is actually an essential data-protection method, which nearly any business you can think of uses to ensure the safety of certain data. Therefore, most antivirus programs will not identify it as malicious activity and will do nothing to stop it from happening. Once the encryption process is over, the originals are deleted and you will receive a note informing you of the same and saying that the only way you can regain access to your files would be by paying a certain amount of money.
Distribution techniques and possible courses of action
For the most part, ransomware viruses rely on social engineering tactics to infect users. Studies have shown that malvertisements appear to be among the most successful means of distribution. Malvertisements or malicious ads can be found literally anywhere on the internet, but you’re more likely to come across them on various shady, obscure websites that typically distribute illegal or pirated content. They look just like any regular popup or banner advertising some product or service, only with one fatal difference: they are injected with a virus. As soon as you click on a fake ad like that, you will most likely immediately end up downloading the virus. Alternatively, you can be redirected to a website that is full of different kinds of malware, but the end result will still be the same.
Another very common method of getting infected is via spam emails. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it still seems to be working better than ever before. The hackers behind the ransomware like .Pec File Virus will typically embed it within a file (any file, it can even be a Word or PDF document, so don’t let that fool you) and attach it to an email. The email is then sent to various people, organizations, etc. The reason why many victims fall for the trap is often because it’s made to closely resemble a message from an online vendor, a utility company or something else. The enclosed file could be presented as a bill, purchase overview or similar and will thus prompt the user to open it and have a look.
As far as your next step goes, you can either pay the ransom and hope for the best or try and solve matters by different means. We would recommend using the removal guide below to delete .Pec File Virus from your PC and then implement the instruction within it to try and restore your encrypted data. While this won’t guarantee their full recovery neither will the ransom payment and this is a much better alternative to sending criminals money.
.Pec 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.