How to remove PrOtOnIs virus and restore encrypted files

This article is about ransomware called PrOtOnIs that penetrates users' systems around the world, and encrypts their files. Here you will see important info on PrOtOnIs's essence, and the deletion of PrOtOnIs from your computer. In addition, we'll explain how to restore the encrypted data and is it possible.

PrOtOnIs ransomware virus

PrOtOnIs is the unwanted program infecting workstations mainly via e-mail spam and Trojans. Also, hackers use zero-day vulnerabilities to penetrate the PC, but well-known software vendors promptly correct them. When infection is done, ransomware checks the PC memory, determines the quantity of files for encryption and their approximate value. At the moment, any modern ransomware can cypher image, audio, text and video information in all most used extensions. PrOtOnIs corrupts all files, but those that look like business records go first. All software on computer will be safe since criminals are interested only in information. Encryption is made via world-known RSA and AES algorithms, and its complexity is so high that decryption of information with no key is impossible. This is the root for unbelievable effectuality of ransomware in recent years: usual customer, even having a pretty good knowledge of the computer, will never recover the files, and will be forced to pay the price. The only manner to restore files is to find the scam site and obtain the encryption keys. Some experienced malware specialists can obtain encryption keys via defects in viruse's program code.

For any kinds of computer viruses, one statement is true: it is way simpler to dodge it than to get rid of its effects. Unfortunately, most people comprehend the significance of computer knowledge only when ransomware penetrates their machines. You easily can reduce the chances to get ransomware by following these principles:

    • Be careful with the e-mails which contain data. If the letter was sent from an unknown sender and it tells about winning some prize, a lost package or something like that, this is most likely a fraud letter. The second most popular type of these messages is a "business letters". It is natural to take an interest and read the letter even if it might be not for you, but remember that one click on the attached file may cost you lots of time, money and efforts.
    • Keep an eye on the performance of your computer. It consumes much of hardware resources to encrypt the information. In the first seconds after the infection, the CPU speed decreases, and the encrypting process appears in Process Manager. You can anticipate this moment and unplug the workstation before information will be totally lost. These measures, in case of penetration, will protect a lot of your information.
    • Don't accept any changes to your PC, originating from strange programs. The most effective method of data restoration is the recovery via Shadow Copies, and fraudsters have added the deletion of those copies into the primary features of malware. The deletion of shadow copies needs administrator rights and operator's confirmation. The moment of thought before verifying the checkbox can save your files and your money.

PrOtOnIs uninstalling is not the happy end - it's just a first step from many until the full file restoration. To decrypt the data you should familiarize with the advices in the next paragraph of this entry. To remove PrOtOnIs, you have to boot the machine at safe mode and run the scanning with AV-tool. We do not recommend anyone to eliminate ransomware manually, since it has various protection features that can counteract you. Many encrypting viruses can totally erase corrupted information, or part of it, when trying to uninstall the program. This is very undesirable, and the below part will assist you to cope with it.

Removal instruction

Step 1. Boot into Safe mode

Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe

Safe mode. Step 1

On the tab Boot select Safe boot

Safe mode. Step 2

Step 2. Check Startup folder

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable unknown programs in the Startup tab

Startup

Step 3. Check hosts file

Modify hosts file, that located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ .

Hosts file.Step 1

Open the file with Notepad and delete suspicious strings.

Hosts file.Step 2

It has to look like this:

Hosts file.Step 3

Step 4. Scan the system with antiviral scanner

 

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Step 5. Disable Safe mode

Start -> Msconfig.exe ->Disable Safe boot in the Boot tab

Deactivate Safe mode

After eliminating PrOtOnIs from the workstation, user has to restore the corrupted data. Actually, this is not literally decipherment, since the encrypting methods used by web-criminals are very complex. There are the few exceptions, but usually data restoration requires lots of time and efforts. If you can't linger and are going to get back the data in manual mode - here's the complete article on that topic.

To restore information, follow the article about files decryption.

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