ThunderCrypt File Virus is one of the latest ransomware variants to be released and we have been receiving numerous complaints from users, who have had their files encrypted by this dreadful virus. If you have found yourself among them, please stick around and see what we can offer you as a solution to your problem.
This article aims to educate users about the way ransomware operates, how you can get infected and what you can do to protect yourself from potential future infections. Furthermore, we have included a very detailed removal guide just below this article, which you can use to locate and delete ThunderCrypt File Virus from your machine. This is an essential step prior to taking any other action. Finally, in the same guide you will also find instructions that may help you restore some of your encrypted data. Though we cannot promise you that you will necessarily be able to regain access to all your files, it’s still worth giving a try and it won’t cost you a thing.
What ransomware viruses do and how you may have landed ThunderCrypt File Virus
Ransomware is notoriously difficult to deal with, because it’s very stealthy and the damage it causes tends to be irreversible. Over the past couple of years the popularity of this particular malware category has skyrocketed, affecting ever more users and leaving security experts struggling to come with working solutions for the problem. When a virus like ThunderCrypt File Virus enters the victim’s machine, it starts scanning it for certain file types, after which it creates copies of the enlisted files. The only thing is – those copies have a strong encryption placed on them, which makes them impossible to access, unless you have a special decryption key, which only the hackers possess. In the meantime, the virus also deletes the originals, using the victim user with only the locked copies. Now, because most antivirus software doesn’t recognize the encryption process as something malicious, it will usually run undisturbed and without notice, until it’s finished. After this, a ransomware is displayed on the user’s screen, to notify them of the malicious actions that have taken place and extort money in exchange for the decryption key.
For most people the ransom note comes as a complete shock and users rarely even know how and at what point they got infected by the malicious piece of software. The truth is there are several likely possible ways for you to get infected and for the most part it’s either via malvertisements of spam emails. In the case of the former, hackers tend to inject ordinary-looking online ads, such as popups and banners, with the harmful scripts of viruses such as ThunderCrypt File Virus or similar. As a result, you have a carrier that is masked to look like something completely commonplace, only once you click on a malicious ad like that – you immediately activate the infection. Spam emails, on the other hand, are also a very common way of spreading malware of all sorts, not just ransomware. In fact, they sometimes come bearing a Trojan horse, which, when downloaded by the user, then proceeds to let the ransomware in.
Possible prevention methods
Now that you know how you are most likely to get infected with ThunderCrypt File Virus or one of its many sibling programs, it’s up to you to avoid those sources. For example, though malvertisements can be placed pretty much anywhere on the web, they are most common on various shady websites, especially those that distribute illegal and pirated content. With that in mind, it’s best to stay away from suspicious locations like that and to carefully mind your download sources from now on. As for spam emails, be careful with any incoming chat or email correspondence. You don’t necessarily need to receive an infected message via email, other messaging platforms work just as well, such as Skype and social media platforms. Look out for anything fishy that could give away the malicious intent of the email. Do not blindly download any attachments or follow any links, unless you are absolutely sure that you can trust them. And finally, the only sure way to make sure that ransomware doesn’t pose a threat to you, even if it does somehow end up in your system again, is to regularly create backups of your most important files and keep them on a separate drive.
ThunderCrypt File Virus 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.