Knowing how to remove Ransomware without paying money is one of the most sought knowledge these days. Well imagine one day you start your PC and are welcomed by a surprised message which says “ Pay $500 in 24 hours to decrypt your files”. If you have backed up you data, you just chuckle over it but if you have confidential files with no data backed up you start sweltering and end up paying money. This is how most of the Ransomware situations look like. Ransomware has emerged as a new age menace and now supported by the availability of Bitcoins, it has emerged as the favorite of cyber criminals. With the emergence of Crimeware-as-a-Service (CaaS), Ransomwares are also available for a price on the internet. A ransomware kit costs (estimated figures) about $5,900 and the buyer can make up to $90,000 within a month of operation. As such a lot of criminals are getting these tools easily leading to rise in cybercrime.
How to remove Ransomware without paying a single penny.
How vulnerable are you?
Your vulnerability will depend on the kind of operating system you are using. Most of the Ransomwares target Microsoft Windows, but there are few exclusively made to target Mac, Linux and Android Smartphones as well. Amongst Windows the previous editions like Windows 7, Vista and Xp are more vulnerable. These editions of Windows are more susceptible to malware infection to their Master Boot Record. The new versions of Windows from edition 8 onwards are less vulnerable because of UEFI startup sequences and SecureBoot.
What type of Ransomware has infected my PC?
It is very important to understand what kind of Ransomware has infected your PC. Well, there are certain kinds of Ransomwares which are easy to crack like “Scareware”. Infact these are not Ransomwares but browser screens which aim to scare the gullible users with messages like “You PC has been locked by FBI”. You can use Windows task Manager or Force Quit on Mac to stop them followed by an anti-virus scan to remove them.
There are different number of Ransomwares like Crowti, Petya, FakeBsod, Reveton and Tescrpt but it is not possible for a general user or for that matter any professional to remember all of them and their identification traits. In fact just go to No More Ransom!; a website backed by European Cybercrime center. There are images available for different ransomwares. If you don’t find the one you are looking for you can do an image search on google.
How do I remove the Ransomware?
Once you have identified the type of Ransomware which has locked your PC, you can proceed for removal. If it’s a simple Scareware then use task manager (Windows) or Forced Quit (Mac) to stop it and run an antivirus scan to remove it. The problem comes with those Ransomwares which encrypt your Master File Table or individual files or whole hard drive. If Master File Table which keeps track of all sectors on the hard drive and also which bits of which files are stored in those sectors is encrypted, then you can decrypt files using an undelete program like EaseUs’s Undelete or Piriform’s Recuva.
There are certain ransomwares which encrypt hard drives or individual files with military strength encryption. In that case it becomes extremely difficult to decrypt files. You can find around two dozen programs which are specially designed to decrypt these files from leading brands like AVG, Kaspersky Lab and Emissoft. You can also browse this list for free Ransomware Decryptor Tools. However, if your files have been encrypted by stubborn Ransomwares like Rokku, then these steps might not probably help you because Rokku encrypts each files individually and it is very difficult for any program to decrypt all files having military strength encryption. In this case you can save your money by being proactive i.e. offline and offsite backups.