.KKK File Virus Removal Guide. How To Restore Your PC and Files

.KKK File Virus Featured Image

The .KKK File Virus is a new iteration of the Hidden Tear family of malware that encrypts user data and renames it with the .KKK extension. Our complete removal guide shows how victims can restore their computers and recover all affected files.
Manual Removal Guide
Recover .KKK File Virus Files
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How Does .KKK File Virus Infiltrate the System?

.KKK file virus can be distributed using all methods associated with Hidden Tear viruses identified so far. Most of them use spam email messages via hacked servers and false identities. Social engineering tricks are employed that persuade the victims into downloading attachments or clicking on links that lead to the .KKK file virus encryption. Different templates that imitate legitimate companies or government institutions are created to fool the recipients.

Direct hacker attacks are another possible source of .KKK file virus intrusions. The hackers seek out outdated software installations and exploit the found weaknesses. They may install other malware as well on the compromised machines – browser hijackers, trojans and viruses.

Hacker-operated malicious web script redirects, ad engines and sites can also lead to a virus infection. All computer users should be careful when browsing sites that have names resembling legitimate download sources. Such download portals can host the .KKK file virus binary files under counterfeit names. The hackers can also bundle the .KKK ransomware in software installers or office documents. In such cases the infection is done by the user via interaction with the dangerous file.

Browser hijackers are another possible source of infections. They are malicious web browse addons that pose as useful functionality improvements and are built for the most popular applications: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Upon infection with them they change the default search engine, new tabs page and home page to point to a hacker-specified address. Other malicious actions include the gathering of personal data: browsing history, cookies, stored passwords and account credentials, settings and bookmarks.

Exploit kits such as RIG and Sundown are also used by the criminals to spread the .KKK file virus.

Related: Kee Ransomware, XYZware Ransomware

Infection Flow of .KKK File Virus

Security researchers identified a new iteration of the Hidden Tear malware family known as the .KKK file virus. It has received its name due to the .kkk extension that is used to mark the encrypted files.

The .KKK file virus is a standard ransomware that launches its processing module after the infection has been complete. The collected .KKK file virus samples process only files located on the user’s desktop. This is done according to a predefined list of file type extensions. Further versions can be modified to include all connected removable storage devices, networks shares and all mounted drives. Once the process is complete the .kkk file extension is used to mark all processed files. Future versions can specify specific file type extensions based on a predefined list. In most cases the hackers behind the malware threats, including other Hidden Tear variants like the .KKK file virus, seek to encrypt commonly used data. Examples include: documents, backups, archives, music, photos, videos, databases, backups and etc.

The current version of the .KKK file virus opens an application frame that displays the ransomware mesage. The main body displays several text columns:

Please click on the Payment to restore files

Click on Information to see what happend

You are infected by KKK Ransomware.

The “Information” button shows a text frame that reads the following message:

You are infected with Ransomware. Ransomware steals your files and holds them for ransom. You can decrypt your files by refering to the Payment tab on the main form.

The “Payment” tab features the requested ransomware sum of 0.05 Bitcoins which is the equivalent of 140 US Dollars.

The displayed message is the following:

Pay 0.05 bitcoins to the address below.


Check Payment

A countdown timer has also been found on some of the .KKK file virus instances.

Remove .KKK File Virus and Restore Data

WARNING! Manual removal of .KKK File 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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.KKK File 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 bellow 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 .KKK File Virus Files

WARNING! All files and objects associated with .KKK File 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.


SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats 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


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

Preventive Security Measures

  • 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.
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    Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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