I wrote this article to help you remove Kraken Ransomware. This Kraken Ransomware removal guide works for all Windows versions.
Kraken is one of the newest members of the huge ransomware family and, as such, it is incredibly dangerous. Like all ransomware pieces, this one will also make your life a nightmare. These infections totally deserve the title “most dangerous cyber threat”. If you have fallen victim to Kraken, we suggest you keep reading. If you haven`t already figured it out, its goal is money. Unfortunately, the ransomware industry has proven itself quite lucrative. This ransomware follows a standard pattern of three steps: Invade, Encrypt, Extort. Let`s get into details.
First, the invasion. Kraken sneaks into your system completely undetected and then proceeds to the locking process. But how does it enter? Did you intentionally download a file-encrypting parasite on board? Of course not and yet, here it is. Kraken didn’t appear as if by magic. You didn’t download it but you did let it get in without realizing. How? Because you were careless and infections pray for that. They are bound to seek your approval on their entering so they use tricks to get it.
For instance, a ransomware can hide behind freeware. It can also hitch a ride with spam email messages. Or, pretend to be a program update. It can even use the help of a Trojan horse to enter. The tactics are many but none of them would work without your haste, distraction, and negligence. Be more careful what you agree to, what you click on, what emails you open and what programs you install. Always read the Terms and Conditions and don’t rush the process. Opt for the Advanced settings in the Setup Wizard instead of the Basic ones. Stay away from shady sources and don’t blindly click on every ad/link/page you come across. Don’t forget that a little extra attention could help you avoid a myriad of issues.
Once in, Kraken doesn’t waste time. It proceeds to the second step immediately. The ransomware performs a quick scan of your PC searching for your private files. And it does finds them all. All of your pictures, music, videos, files, documents, presentations, work-related data, etc. get encrypted with a strong encryption algorithm thus becoming inaccessible to you. You can no longer open them or watch them or do anything with the in that matter. Kraken turned them in unusable gibberish. Moreover, to solidify its hold it adds the malicious “.kraken” extension to each locked file. Seeing this add-on means that the encryption process is over. There is nothing you can do about it. Your files are being kept hostage. You see their icon but you cannot use any of them.
Also, renaming and moving them into another folder does nothing as well. This is the moment where you can easily panic. You probably have some very important data on your PC. Most people do. Well, this is what the hackers are hoping for and this is when they move to the final step – the extortion. Kraken drops a “_help_your_files.html” file on your desktop as well as in every folder, containing encrypted data. This file is the ransom note. It explains your situation and offers you a way out. Ironic, isn’t it? The same people who locked your files are now trying to help you. Of course, they want money. According to the note, if you pay the ransom demanded you will receive a tool to free your data. What do you think about that? Dealing with cybercriminals won`t end well for you.
There are no guarantees that the crooks will keep their end of the bargain. All they care about is ripping you off. What happens if you pay but they don’t send you the decryptor? Or what if they send you a not-working one? You lose your money and your data is still locked. But even if they so send you the right decryption key and you free your files, nothing is stopping Kraken from re-encrypting them a day later. The thing is that the decryptor doesn’t delete the ransomware itself. It remains intact on your machine ready to strike again. There is no scenario in which you can win by paying. On the contrary. You are only helping crooks develop more malware with your money and infect more innocent users. Not to mention that by paying you are also giving the hacker access to your privacy.
Don’t make your situation worse. The only way of dealing with Kraken is to remove it from your machine for good and then decrypt your files. We can help with that. Follow our removal guide below and get rid of this ransomware as soon as possible. Also, we recommend getting a reliable anti-malware program to help you keep your PC infection-free as well as creating backups of your most important files in case you are even it such situation.
Kraken Ransomware Removal
Method 1: Restore your encrypted files using ShadowExplorer
Usually, Kraken 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 Kraken 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: