What is WINKILLER Ransomware

WINKILLER is a disruptive ransomware infection recently reported by MalwareHunterTeam. Instead of encrypting specific types of data, WINKILLER blocks access to the entire computer making users unable to use it. After successful penetration, the virus starts displaying a console window with instructions on what should be done to restore access:

WINKILLER message

YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY ME!
Do not attempt to shut down or restart your computer.
Your data will be lost unless you pay a ransom.
And you can't start PE because the hard disk already has a logical lock.
I've put your code in the "Code.Key" file under this path.
Ransom: 100RMB.Email:diskkiller@winkiller.cf.

Cybercriminals say performing manual shut down or restart will deliver permanent damage to the Master Boot Record (MBR), which is a sector responsible for loading the system. After this, users will no longer be able to load their system and will most likely lose their entire data stored on a PC. To avoid this and successfully recover the compromised system, developers demand victims to pay a monetary ransom of 100 Renminbi (about 15$). Payment instructions can be obtained by contacting the diskkiller@winkiller.cf e-mail address. Unfortunately, recovering access to the PC might be almost impossible without paying the ransom. The infection makes it difficult due to limited room for action as any misstep can lead to irreversible loss of data. Although paying the ransom is usually not recommended, it could be considered in this case to avoid the above-mentioned effects. Be aware to not give your debit/credit card details on websites you are not familiar with. If cybercriminals ask you to do it, this is likely a scam designed to steal more money than needed. We recommend to always set transaction limits to avoid it. WINKILLER Ransomware is definitely quite an unusual case baffling experts on how to approach it correctly. We recommend you read our guide below to get more information on possible removal options and data recovery methods should something go wrong with paying the ransom.

winkiller ransomware

How WINKILLER Ransomware infected your computer

WINKILLER Ransomware has not been entitled to any single distribution channel. Just as with other infections falling under the same category, the penetration may happen through various vectors – trojans, e-mail spam letters, fake software updates/installers, backdoors, keyloggers, unprotected RDP configuration, NAS (Network Attached Storage) vulnerabilities, and other compromised channels. E-mail spam is one of those to elaborate on from this list. It is versatile in terms of infection alternatives. Cybercriminals may use it to distribute ransomware directly and via trojan infections. They usually disguise e-mail messages as free prize announcements, marketing offers, parcel tracking services, payment invoices and ask users to open some attached files or links. Once opened and acted upon further requests, such files or links may lead to the installation of malware. Thus, it is strictly advised to avoid interacting with letters of such. Surf and download content only from official and legitimate resources. Double-check domains to identify fake or intentionally phishing pages. We encourage you to follow our guide below for more useful and working tips on protecting yourself against such threats in the future.

  1. Download WINKILLER Ransomware Removal Tool
  2. Get decryption tool for your files
  3. Recover encrypted files with Stellar Data Recovery Professional
  4. Restore encrypted files with Windows Previous Versions
  5. Restore files with Shadow Explorer
  6. How to protect from threats like WINKILLER Ransomware

Download Removal Tool

Download Removal Tool

To remove WINKILLER Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use Combo Cleaner from RCS LT. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of WINKILLER Ransomware and prevents future infections by similar viruses.

Alternative Removal Tool

Download SpyHunter 5

To remove WINKILLER Ransomware completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 from EnigmaSoft Limited. It detects and removes all files, folders, and registry keys of WINKILLER Ransomware. The trial version of SpyHunter 5 offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

WINKILLER Ransomware files:


WARNING.txt
systemd-timed
polaris
{randomfilename}.exe

WINKILLER Ransomware registry keys:

no information

How to decrypt and restore your files

Use automated decryptors

Download Kaspersky RakhniDecryptor

kaspersky ransomware decryptor

Use the following tool from Kaspersky called Rakhni Decryptor, which can decrypt your files. Download it here:

Download RakhniDecryptor

There is no purpose to pay the ransom because there is no guarantee you will receive the key, but you will put your bank credentials at risk.

Dr.Web Rescue Pack

Famous antivirus vendor Dr. Web provides free decryption service for the owners of its products: Dr.Web Security Space or Dr.Web Enterprise Security Suite. Other users can ask for help in the decryption of your files by uploading samples to Dr. Web Ransomware Decryption Service. Analyzing files will be performed free of charge and if files are decryptable, all you need to do is purchase a 2-year license of Dr.Web Security Space worth $120 or less. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay.

If you are infected with WINKILLER Ransomware and removed from your computer you can try to decrypt your files. Antivirus vendors and individuals create free decryptors for some crypto-lockers. To attempt to decrypt them manually you can do the following:

Use Stellar Data Recovery Professional to restore your files

stellar data recovery professional

  1. Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional.
  2. Click Recover Data button.
  3. Select type of files you want to restore and click Next button.
  4. Choose location where you would like to restore files from and click Scan button.
  5. Preview found files, choose ones you will restore and click Recover.
Download Stellar Data Recovery Professional

Using Windows Previous Versions option:

  1. Right-click on infected file and choose Properties.
  2. Select Previous Versions tab.
  3. Choose particular version of the file and click Copy.
  4. To restore the selected file and replace the existing one, click on the Restore button.
  5. In case there is no items in the list choose alternative method.

Using Shadow Explorer:

  1. Download Shadow Explorer program.
  2. Run it and you will see screen listing of all the drives and the dates that shadow copy was created.
  3. Select the drive and date that you want to restore from.
  4. Right-click on a folder name and select Export.
  5. In case there are no other dates in the list, choose alternative method.

If you are using Dropbox:

  1. Login to the DropBox website and go to the folder that contains encrypted files.
  2. Right-click on the encrypted file and select Previous Versions.
  3. Select the version of the file you wish to restore and click on the Restore button.

How to protect computer from viruses, like WINKILLER Ransomware, in future

1. Get special anti-ransomware software

Use ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware

Famous antivirus brand ZoneAlarm by Check Point released a comprehensive tool, that will help you with active anti-ransomware protection, as an additional shield to your current protection. The tool provides Zero-Day protection against ransomware and allows you to recover files. ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware is compatible with all other antiviruses, firewalls, and security software except ZoneAlarm Extreme (already shipped with ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware) or Check Point Endpoint products. The killer features of this application are: automatic file recovery, overwrite protection that instantly and automatically recovers any encrypted files, file protection that detects and blocks even unknown encryptors.

Download ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware

2. Back up your files

idrive backup

As an additional way to save your files, we recommend online backup. Local storage, such as hard drives, SSDs, flash drives, or remote network storage can be instantly infected by the virus once plugged in or connected to. WINKILLER Ransomware uses some techniques to exploit this. One of the best services and programs for easy automatic online backup is iDrive. It has the most profitable terms and a simple interface. You can read more about iDrive cloud backup and storage here.

3. Do not open spam e-mails and protect your mailbox

mailwasher pro

Malicious attachments to spam or phishing e-mails are the most popular method of ransomware distribution. Using spam filters and creating anti-spam rules is good practice. One of the world leaders in anti-spam protection is MailWasher Pro. It works with various desktop applications and provides a very high level of anti-spam protection.

Download MailWasher Pro
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