Remove .etols Ransomware Virus – Restore Files

This is a guide on how to remove .etols ransomware virus and how to restore .etols files.

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What is .etols ransomware virus? It is a data locker ransomware that belongs to the infamous STOP threat family. Infection with this virus leads to the corruption of valuable files. All corrupted files could be recognized by the extension .etols appended to their original names. For their decryption is required a ransom fee. The extortion is realized with the help of a file that contains a ransom message.

The open of an infected file attachment could have activated .etols ransomware on your device. Since the virus could be also uploaded on various hosts, a visit of a corrupted website could also activate the attack.

Manual Removal Guide
Files Recovery Approaches
Skip all steps and download anti-malware tool that will safely scan and clean all harmful files it detects on your PC.

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Note for Mac users!
In case that your Mac has been affected by .etols or you suspect that other threats are running on it you can follow detailed instructions on how to detect and remove Mac viruses so you can keep the device clean and secure.

Distribution of .etols Ransomware Virus

.etols virus is a new data locker ransomware that has been released in active attack campaigns against computer users worldwide. The threat could be utilizing common tactics of distribution to infect computer systems.

One of the easiest ways for the criminals to spread the payload of .etols ransomware is by attaching it to email messages that are later released in active attack campaigns. The method allows hackers to send the virus to large lists of potential victims. The attachments to malicious email spam messages usually have Word documents or other types of files which users open without hesitation. Once opened on a target host these compromised files trigger the ransomware payload and infect the device with .etols crypto virus. Another infection tactic related to emails is hyperlink inserted in the content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest.

Computer criminals behind this new ransomware can be using malicious sites or download portals to distribute malware of different kinds, including .etols virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind .etols virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious add-ons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of .etols Ransomware Virus

The attack begins the moment .etols’ payload loads on the system. When this event occurs the ransomware becomes able to elevate its rights to administrative which in turn enables it to disrupt system security without being detected.

After a long sequence of malicious operations, .etols ransomware virus activates specific module that is designed to corrupt target files by utilizing two sophisticated cipher algorithms (AES and RSA). At the end of the encryption process, the ransomware appends an extension of the same name – .etols

Unfortunately, since all of the following types of files are often used for the storage of important data, they are likely to be corrupted by .etols STOP ransomware:

  • Documents
  • Archives
  • Backups
  • Databases
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music

At the end of the attack, .etols ransomware drops ransom note file (_readme.txt) to extort a ransom fee for files recovery. That file contains the following message:

ATTENTION!

Don’t worry my friend, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
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Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.

To get this software you need write on our e-mail:
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Reserve e-mail address to contact us:
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Your personal ID:
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The good news for all of you who need to recover .etols files is that security researchers have managed to crack some STOP ransomware versions and released a free decryption tool. So once you ensure that all malicious files and objects created by the threat are removed from the infected system you could download the decryption tool and try if it works for .etols files.

Beware that you should first back up all encrypted files to an external drive. Otherwise, you risk their irreversible loss. Furthermore, you should know that this strain of STOP ransomware may be designed to act differently than its predecessors. So it is possible that the free decrypter may not be able to decode corrupted files.

Remove .etols Ransomware Virus and Restore PC

Please note that paying the requested ransom fee to cybercriminals does not really solve your problem with .etols crypto virus. In fact, you only encourage hackers to continue spreading ransomware of this kind. Instead, you must remove the threat immediately, and only then look for optional ways to recover your data.

WARNING! Manual removal of .etols ransomware virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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.etols Ransomware Virus – Manual Removal Steps

Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps below are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

2. A Run window will appear. In it, write msconfig and then press Enter

3. A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named Boot

4. Mark Safe Boot option and then go to Network under it to tick it too

5. Apply -> OK

Show Hidden Files

Some ransomware threats are designed to hide their malicious files in the Windows so all files stored on the system should be visible.

1. Open My Computer/This PC

2. Windows 7

    – Click on Organize button
    – Select Folder and search options
    – Select the View tab
    – Go under Hidden files and folders and mark Show hidden files and folders option

3. Windows 8/ 10

    – Open View tab
    – Mark Hidden items option

how to make hidden files visible in Windows 8 10 bestsecuritysearch instructions

4. Click Apply and then OK button

Enter Windows Task Manager and Stop Malicious Processes

1. Hit the following key combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC

2. Get over to Processes

3. When you find suspicious process right click on it and select Open File Location

4. Go back to Task Manager and end the malicious process. Right click on it again and choose End Process

5. Next, you should go folder where the malicious file is located and delete it

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit and hit Enter

3. Type the CTRL+ F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable

4. In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Recover Encrypted Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with .etols ransomware virus should be removed from the infected PC before any data recovery attempts. Otherwise the virus may encrypt restored files. Furthermore, a backup of all encrypted files stored on external media is highly recommendable.

DOWNLOAD SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

 
SpyHunter is a Windows application designed to scan for, identify, remove and block malware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and other objects. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove detected malware instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

1. Use present backups

2. Use professional data recovery software

Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery – a specialist tool that can restore partitions, data, documents, photos, and 300 more file types lost during various types of incidents and corruption.

3. Using System Restore Point

    – Hit WIN Key
    – Select “Open System Restore” and follow the steps

restore-files-using-windows-system-restore-point

4. Restore your personal files using File History

    – Hit WIN Key
    – Type restore your files in the search box
    – Select Restore your files with File History
    – Choose a folder or type the name of the file in the search bar
    – Hit the “Restore” button

How to Prevent Future Malware Instrusions?

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • How disturbing is this problem?

    Gergana Ivanova

    Author : Gergana Ivanova

    Gergana Ivanova is computer security enthusiast who enjoys presenting the latest issues related to cyber security.


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