I wrote this article to help you remove .726 Ransomware. This .726 Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
.726 Ransomware is one of the newest additions to the ransomware family. As a classic member, don’t expect any originality from this pest. It pretty much follows the standard pattern. It sneaks into your machine undetected, locates and locks your private files and then blackmails you for money. Money is the reason all infections of this type get created. The ransomware business has proven itself quite lucrative because most users would do anything to get their encrypted data back.
So, once the pest is on board, it doesn’t waste time. It scans your computer in search for your files and it doesn’t take long before it finds them all. Your pictures, videos, music, presentations, MS Office files, work-related files, etc. get locked with a strong encryption algorithm. The ransomware makes them completely inaccessible to you. You cannot open them, or read them, or view them. Nothing. They are turned into unusable gibberish. In addition, the ransomware changes their names with random characters and appends the “.726” extension at the end. Seeing your data renamed like that means that the encryption process is over and it is time for the extortion part. Once all your files are locked, the infection drops a message for you. This is the ransom note which explains your situation and provides detailed payment instructions.
According to the crooks, the only way of getting your files back is by purchasing a special decryption key. They claim that once you pay, they will send you the tool. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it is not. You cannot trust these people. Making deals with cybercriminals will not end well for you. Usually, when the crooks receive the payment, they disappear. We already said that their goal is money. They couldn’t care less about your files. That’s why we strongly recommend against payment.
You have zero guarantees that you will get what you paid for. Moreover, by using your PC to make the payments, you are giving crooks access to your personal and financial information. Do not do that. And do sponsor their illegitimate business. Every cent you give them they will use for nothing but more malware creation and the infections of more innocent users. It is not worth it. Not to mention that even if you do receive the key, you still lose. The decryptor only removes the encryption but the ransomware itself remains intact. This means that your data can get re-encrypted hours later.
Forget about paying and focus on removing the pest from your PC first. Luckily, we can help you with that. Follow our step-by-step removal guide at the end of this article and get rid of the parasite for good. Once it is gone, try to recover your files also using the guide. In the future, make sure to create backups of your most important data so that you know it is safe.
How did .726 Ransomware infect you? There are several methods which ransomware infections use to enter victims` machines. Some of the include malicious spam email messages and attachments, third-party ads, bogus program updates, fake system requests, bundles software, the help of Trojans, etc. Any of these methods will work if you are careless. You have to pay more attention and be more vigilant. Don’t let hacker fool you. For instance, when you receive an email from an unknown sender, don’t open it without thinking twice about it. Crooks are smart. They disguise the messages to look like legitimate ones. Like job applications or shipping invoices. Don’t fall for that. It is your job to keep your machine safe and being cautious is the way to do that.
.726 Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, .726 Ransomware deletes all shadow copies, stored in your computer. Luckily, the ransomware is not always able to delete the shadow copies. So your first try should be restoring the original files from shadow copies.
- Download ShadowExplorer from this link: http://www.shadowexplorer.com/downloads.html.
- Install ShadowExplorer
- Open ShadowExplorer and select C: drive on the left panel
- Choose at least a month ago date from the date field
- Navigate to the folder with encrypted files
- Right-click on the encrypted file
- Select “Export” and choose a destination for the original file
Method 2: Restore your encrypted files by using System Restore
- Go to Start –> All programs –> Accessories –> System tools –> System restore
- Click “Next“
- Choose a restore point, at least a month ago
- Click “Next“
- Choose Disk C: (should be selected by default)
- Click “Next“. Wait for a few minutes and the restore should be done.
Method 3: Restore your files using File Recovery Software
If none of the above method works, you should try to recover encrypted files by using File Recovery Software. Since .726 Ransomware first makes a copy of the original file, then encrypts it and deletes the original one, you can successfully restore the original, using a File Recovery Software. Here are a few free File Recovery Software programs: