APT ransomware encrypts files, changes the file names, adds the .APT file extension to the files, and demands a ransom to decrypt files.
- Targets computer files that match certain file extensions and encrypts with AES encryption rendering them inaccessible
- Appends the .APT file extension and file type to encrypted files
- Downloads a ransom note in every folder it encrypts files in
- Can change Windows desktop background and display a lock-screen that restricts access to the computer
- The ransom note explains the situation and demands a payment in order to obtain a special decryption key
What is APT ransomware?
APT ransomware is a computer virus that encrypts files and holds them for ransom. Once the ransomware has encrypted files on a computer it will download a ransom note in each folder it encrypted files in. The ransom note explains what happened to the encrypted files and describes the malware author’s method to pay a ransom in order to obtain a decryption key. The ransomware may also display a lock-screen that restricts access to the infected machine and change the background of Windows desktop to an image of the ransom note.
It is not recommended to pay ransomware authors to decrypt your files unless you have no other choice. Instead of supporting cyber criminals by paying the ransom you can use programs like Shadow Explorer, PhotoRec, or Recuva to restore corrupted files.
How did APT ransomware get on my computer?
APT virus is usually distributed via malicious spam email attachments, exploit kits, and instant message spam. The ransomware usually employs social engineering in order to trick unsuspecting victims into downloading a file under the guise that it is something it is not. Once the file is manually executed by the user ransomware will begin to advance on the computer system and carry through it’s various functions.
How to remove APT ransomware and recover your files
This APT ransomware removal guide will help you remove APT virus from your computer and recover your encrypted files.
2. Run the program and start the Recuva Wizard.
3. Select All Files and click Next.
4. Select a file location. Click I’m not sure to search everywhere on your computer.
5. Click Start.
6. Select All Files with your mouse and click the Recover button. If you cannot restore your files with Recuva we recommend to try using Shadow Explorer to restore your files.
7. Download and Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to detect and remove malicious files from your computer.
8. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.
9. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.
10. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.
11. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan.
12. 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.
13. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.
14. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
15. Click the Reboot button.
16. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to cleanup junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
- 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