If you have been attacked by Thunder Crypt File Virus and have therefore landed on this page, don’t go away. We have created the following article with the intention of helping users like yourself, who have fallen victim to this terrible cyber threat. Thunder Crypt File Virus is one of the latest ransomware variants to be unleashed onto the public, which encrypts valuable data and then tries to extort money from its owners, in order for them to be able to access it again.
It presents itself with a ransom note called “we have encrypted all your personal files”.
Ransomware is currently the most problematic threats to deal with for a number of reasons, but mainly because the encryption these viruses tends to use is very often extremely sophisticated, which, unfortunately, leaves the encrypted data locked forever without any chance of recovery. However, we’re not trying to scare you by saying that. We just want to have you prepared for the worst case scenario. Below is a detailed removal guide, designed specifically for the purpose of deleting Thunder Crypt File Virus from your machine. In it you will also find instructions that may help you recover some or perhaps even all of your encrypted files.
How ransomware works
One of the essential components of this malware category’s success is their stealth, which allows them to complete their evil actions undisturbed by anyone. Usually they enter the victim’s machine with the help of some social engineering tactic, after which is gets straight to work and begins to search your disks and drives for targeted file types. Following this, Thunder Crypt File Virus will begin to create identical copies of the data in question, only with an encryption placed on them, which makes them inaccessible to anyone. Once this process is complete, the originals of the files are deleted and a ransom not is posted on the desktop of the computer for the victim to find. It typically contains information related to the attack and a ransom demand, usually with a deadline before which it is to be paid. Otherwise, the hackers threaten to delete the files or deny you access to them once and for all.
Now, the major issue is that most of the time this process will go completely unnoticed, even by your antivirus program, because the process of encryption is not a malicious one, but rather a very common means of data protection. However, on rare occasions users might be able to intercept the process if they know what signs to look out for. For example, on older and/or slower machines, the data encryption process may take some time and may cause a significant slowdown in the computer’s performance. In addition, unreasonable CPU and RAM spikes can be noted in the Task Manager, which ought to alert you that there may be something terribly wrong happening. Should this ever be the case and should you suspect that there may be ransomware at work, you should immediately shut down your PC and contact a professional.
Whether to pay the ransom and how to protect yourself in the future
We never recommend initiating a ransom payment, as this will not necessarily guarantee that you will receive the decryption key, needed to restore your files. It’s often the case that the victims pay the demanded money and then get nothing in return. Furthermore, you will only be additionally encouraging the criminals to continue with their harmful and illegal practice. Not to mention that you will have little to no chances of ever recovering the paid amount, as hackers tend to request payments in bitcoins, which is an untraceable cyber currency. Of course, whether or not to pay is solely up to you, but do consider your other options well before opting for yielding before the hackers.
As far as protection measure go, you should start by avoiding the most common sources of viruses like Thunder Crypt File Virus. If you’re aware of the exact instant, in which you contracted Thunder Crypt File Virus, then you will now know to stay away from that particular source. But if you aren’t sure how it happened, we can suggest a few of the most common sources, which include spam emails and malvertisements. If you happen to receive a suspicious looking email or other message, especially if it includes a link or attachment, it’s best to delete the message without downloading anything from it. Malvertisements are basically fake ads that can infect you with a virus when clicked upon, so avoid doing so as well. And last but not least, keep backups of all your most valuable data on a separate drive.
The removal guide below was created using for basis howtoremove.guide’s Thunder Crypt Virus removal instructions.
Thunder Crypt 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.