Reports of cyber attacks are coming in heavy and fast. From individual systems to large networks, no one is spared.
Hackers are using ransomware to encrypt all data and files within the systems they choose to infect. And if you need to decrypt them, there is a ransom to be paid.
The demand for ransom is usually in Bitcoins, and can vary from small to large amounts. Each virus is assigned a name, which becomes universally recognized as such.
The latest ransomware campaign to cause widespread damage is one called GoldenEye. It’s usually sent in the form of a mail attachment to wreak havoc. Fortunately, there are ways to remove GoldenEye and restore your files.
Cybersecurity experts have come up with a step-by-step guide to remove GoldenEye. But before you begin dealing with the situation, you must first know how the virus affects your system.
The Virus May Not Show Up Immediately
Before you start on the tutorial and remove GoldenEye from your infected system, you should know how the virus affects it in the first place, and what message you get.
In many cases, the user may not immediately realize that his or her system has been hit by the GoldenEye ransomware. It might be working in the background trying to copy all your files first before actually encrypting the copies. This not only takes time, but also consumes a lot of energy and space from the CPU.
You might therefore receive some warning signs. If the infection has already taken place, you will get a terse message that your system has been encrypted and that you cannot access your files. The notification will try to guide you through the steps to make the payment and then wait for the decryption of the files.
This is if you succumb to the bait. The attempt here is to get around the situation and remove GoldenEye from your system.
Step 1: Go to the Root
It is generally understood that the way ransomware operates is to first reach the Windows boot registry and start making changes from there. Hence, your first step to remove GoldenEye ransomware would be to reach the booting sequence by opting to start the system in the “safe mode.”
You have now gained entry into your system. Don’t forget to tick the “network” button simultaneously.
Step 2: Isolate and Bring out the Hidden Files
Once inside, follow the commands to view the files and instruct the system to show the hidden files. The command sequence may change according to the OS in your system. This operation will expose the files currently being accessed and you will then be able to find their activity status.
Step 3: Use the Task Manager Before You Remove GoldenEye
In the next step to remove GoldenEye, you can use the Task Manager to stop any malicious activity the ransomware has initiated on its tracks.
Accessing the Task Manager is through the usual combination of the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys.
The Task Manager will clearly show the offending processes, and you can then put an end to the activity. This will bring the copying or encrypting process to a halt.
Now, you can easily access the folder where the malicious files are sitting and just delete. Empty the Recycle Bin to make sure the files are completely removed from the hardware.
Step 4: Now Remove GoldenEye
This is the stage where you will be able to deal a body blow to the ransomware. Once you have gotten rid of the malicious files and folders, you need to go back to the Windows Registry to repair and begin the restoration work.
You will require some basic knowledge of these techniques to successfully execute these steps in removing the GoldenEye ransomware. Amateurs may find it a little difficult, and even a small error or a wrong command could put your whole system at jeopardy.
In this particular step, for example, you need to do the “regedit” and then mention the correct name of the malicious files left by the ransomware to inflict the damage, and then delete them. If you find registry keys, make sure you remove them as well.
Step 5: The Last Stage – Recover the Files and Data
The last step to remove GoldenEye ransomware is to regain your files and data residing on the system which were attempted to be encrypted by the malware.
You can do this by restoring the file history and then using the system restore point to regain status quo.
Now you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief, since you’ve successfully managed to deal with a malicious ransomware without having to pay a ransom to decrypt your files.
It Does Not Stop Here – Be Secure for Future
More than going through all the trouble of suffering a virus attack and then spending time having to remove it from the system, it is critical to initiate steps to protect your system from any form of ransomware attack in the future.
A series of steps can be taken to achieve this, including setting up a formidable firewall in your system, educating and training your staff to remain vigilant, avoiding opening emails indiscriminately, and so on.
The training should focus on instilling the habit of using multiple levels of passwords in the systems staff members have access to. Creating and maintaining difficult passwords is a lesson in safeguarding your virtual assets.
With files at risk, the process of researching and finding the steps to remove GoldenEye ransomware is mentally challenging for anyone who has to deal with a sudden security crisis situation.
That’s why it’s important to be safe and ensure you have reliable software that can detect malware and warn you in time to isolate and remove dangerous program before they inflict any damage.
It may also require you to periodically back up and save crucial data and maintain it offline in any digital format, so that even in a worst-case scenario, your losses will be limited and you will not be under any stress to pay ransom.
The tutorial to remove GoldenEye need not be the generic answer to all ransomware, though it does work in most cases.