How to remove EduCrypt (Virus Removal Guide)

EduCrypt

EduCrypt is a very unusual version of open source Hidden Tear ransomware. Most ransomware infections will encrypt the files on your computer, restrict access to your machine, and demand a payment in order to recover your files; However, this ransomware does not demand a payment and instead tries to teach victims a lesson on being safe and aware online.

educrypt
Source: https://twitter.com/JakubKroustek

Once EduCrypt ransomware is installed it will encrypt a limited amount of files on your computer and add an .isis extension to the file name of files that it encrypts (example: test.png would become test.png.isis). The ransomware has a limited set of folders that it encrypts, it targets a small amount of different file extensions, and it does not communicate with a Command & Control server like most ransomware does.

Folders encrypted

%UserProfile%\Desktop
%UserProfile%\Downloads
%UserProfile%\Documents
%UserProfile%\Pictures
%UserProfile%\Music
%UserProfile%\Videos

Files encrypted

.txt, .exe, .doc, .docx, .xls, .index, .pdf, .zip, .rar, .css, .lnk, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .odt, .jpg, .bmp, .png, .csv, .sql, .mdb, .sln, .php, .asp, .aspx, .html, .xml, .psd, .bk, .bat, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, .wma, .avi, .divx, .mkv, .mpeg, .wmv, .mov, .ogg

When the ransomware has finished encrypting files, it will add a note file called README.txt on your desktop. The note contains a link to a decryptor and information on what happened to the encrypted files. The hidden file that it references is located at %UserProfile%\Documents\DecryptPassword.txt and contains the password that can be used to decrypt your files.

Decryption

The universal password that can be used to decrypt your files is HDJ7D-HF54D-8DN7D. This password is the same for everyone affected by EduCrypt ransomware.

How to remove EduCrypt

1. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to remove malicious files from your computer.

2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button.

3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.

4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.

5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan and remove remaining traces.

6. Open HitmanPro and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.

7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.

8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.

9. Click the Reboot button.

10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to clean your registry, remove left-over files, and repair settings.

11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.

12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.

13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.


How to stay protected against future infections

The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow common online guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.

Real-time security software

Security software like Malwarebytes and Norton Security have real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals.

Common Online Guidelines
  • Backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
  • Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
  • Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
  • If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
  • Avoid torrents and P2P clients
  • Do not open email messages from senders you do not know