How to remove Karen ransomware and recover locked files

Take a trial with free scanner to check if your system is infected by Karen ransomware

For more information, read SpyHunter’s EULA, Threat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy. The scanner you download here is free version and is able to scan your system for possible threat’s presence. however, it requires a 48 hour period to remove detected threats without any charge. if you want not to wait for that period, you will have to purchase its licensed version.

Easy methods to delete Karen ransomware

Karen ransomware is a data locking virus designed to encrypt all stored files of the compromised PC and provides contact information. Upon files being encrypted, it renames all files by appending “.karen” extension to the end of each file names and makes them completely inaccessible. Once this process is completed, it drops a ransom note named “README.txt” in each folder that contains affected files.

Unlike most ransom notes generated by ransomware, Karen’s ransom note does not provide any contact or payment information. In other words, you could not contact the cyber criminals and pay any money to them for purchasing a decryption tool/key. Further, this malware opens a website which asks victims to enter unique identifier. However, no UID is provided as well.

As mentioned above that cyber criminals behind this ransomware does not provide any information which means that their ransomware is still in development. Once they finished developing their ransomware, they may provide contact information and other similar details. Due to this users cannot access their files. Thus, there is no any third-party software/tool available that can decrypt files encrypted by Karen ransomware.

However, the only possible way available to recover files for free is to restore them from a backup. This option can be used only by victims who created a data backup before having their computer infected by this ransomware. But before using data recovery option it is important to find and remove Karen ransomware soon from the system using reliable antivirus/anti-malware tool/software.

Distribution methods of Karen ransomware:

Ransomware and other malware primarily spread into your system by using the most common method named spam email campaigns. Cyber criminals often send emails to lots of people that contain a malicious file or a website link. These files are presented as it looks like official letters from legitimate companies. Once those file downloaded or executed, causes installation of malicious programs. Other sources used to distribute ransomware are unreliable sources such as freeware download pages, peer to peer networks, questionable pages and other similar sources. However, scammers disguise malicious files as legitimate in order to trick users into downloading them.

How to protect PC from ransomware infections?

It is highly advised not to open any attachments or links presented in emails, especially if such emails are sent from suspicious addresses as it could be used to deliver malware. Additionally, installed software must be updated with implemented tools provided by their official developers. Further, applications, files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links not by using the aforementioned sources. If your system is already infected with Karen ransomware, then we recommend running a scan using reliable antivirus tool that has the ability to eliminate this ransomware soon from the machine.

Text presented in Karen ransomware’s text file (“README.txt”):

Can I speak to your manager??
Tell him that Karen was here. Look at your damn mails!

To restore encrypted files on your machine, you can take a trial with a suggested data recovery tool to check if it can help achieving your files back.

[Tips & Tricks]

  • How to remove Karen ransomware and related components?
  • How to recover files encrypted by ransomware?

One thing is clear now that ransomware virus like Karen ransomware is capable encrypting all types of files stored in your machine and makes them inaccessible. After complete encryption process, it attempt to generate monetary profit by offering bogus data recovery service. It is not good to pay demanded extortion money to cybercriminals for data recovery. You don’t waste your money and time on their fake service related to file recovery. We recommended you to avoid their bogus service and stop paying any amount of extortion money to them. Before you execute the various steps as solution, you have to take certain steps like backup the files, make sure this instruction page always open so that you can easily execute the steps as mentioned below and be patient with each step.

Procedure 1: Remove Karen ransomware from System manually

Procedure 2: Remove Karen ransomware and all the related components from computer automatically

Procedure 3: How to restore files encrypted by Karen ransomware

It is possible to delete Karen ransomware related components from computer with our easy solution. To do this, you have two methods of ransomware removal i.e., manual and automatic method. When we talk about manual method, the process includes various removal steps and requires technical expertise. Manual method of malware removal is time consuming process and if any mistake done in implementation of steps, resultant in several other damages in your computer. So, you should follow manual process carefully and if not possible you to complete the process, then you can go for automatic solution. Once the ransomware removed using these methods, you can go for third procedure i.e., data recovery procedure.

Procedure 1: Remove Karen ransomware from System manually

Method 1: Restart the PC in Safe Mode

Method 2: Remove Karen ransomware related process from Task Manager

Method 3: Delete Karen ransomware malicious registries

Method 1: Restart the PC in Safe Mode

Step 1: Press “Windows + R” key from keyboard to open “Run” Window

Step 2: In the “Run” Window, you need to type “msconfig” and then press “Enter” key

Step 3: Now, select “Boot” tab and “Safe Boot

Step 4: Click on “Apply” and “OK

Method 2: Remove Karen ransomware related process from Task Manager

Step 1: Press “CTRL + ESC + SHIFT” altogether to open “Task Manager

Step 2: In the “Task Manager” Window, locate “Details” tab and search for all the malicious process related to Karen ransomware.

Step 3: Right click on it and end the process

Method 3: Delete Karen ransomware malicious registries

Step 1: Press “Windows + R” key from keyboard to open “Run” dialog box

Step 2: Type “regedit” command in text box and press “enter” key

Step 3: Now, press “CTRL + F” keys and type Karen ransomware or the file name of malicious executable associated with malware. Usually, such suspicious files are located in “%AppData%, %Temp%, %Local%, %Roaming%, %SystemDrive% and so on.

Step 4: You should check the malicious files data by right click on the value. Detect all such suspicious registry objects in “Run” or “RunOnce” sub keys and delete them.

Procedure 2: Remove Karen ransomware and all the related components from computer automatically

We have already discussed about manual method of Karen ransomware removal using several methods. You can choose any methods as per your technical skills and PC requirements. If you are non-technical users, then it can be difficult to implements these steps completely so you can go for automatic solution. To remove Karen ransomware and all the related components, you can use automatic method of malware removal. You should have powerful tool that has the ability to remove all components related to Karen ransomware, unwanted registry entries and others.

Here, we are discussing about “SpyHunter” antivirus software that is designed to detect and delete all types of malware including Adware, potentially unwanted program (PUP), rootkits, browser hijacker, Trojan horse virus, backdoor, ransomware and others. “SpyHunter” security application is powerful anti-malware software that works on advance scanning mechanism to identify viruses quickly. It is inbuilt with enhanced multi-layer process that helps you search for all types of malware. If you searching for solution to remove Karen ransomware and other related viruses during scanning process, then it is recommended to remove it soon.

How to download/ install and use “SpyHunter” security software?

Step 1: At first, you need to click on “Download” button to go to “SpyHunter” page

Take a trial with free scanner to check if your system is infected by Karen ransomware

For more information, read SpyHunter’s EULA, Threat Assessment Criteria, and Privacy Policy. The scanner you download here is free version and is able to scan your system for possible threat’s presence. however, it requires a 48 hour period to remove detected threats without any charge. if you want not to wait for that period, you will have to purchase its licensed version.

Step 2: After downloading, double click on “Installer” file to install this program on your System

Step 3: After complete installation process, open SpyHunter application and click on “Start Scan Now” button to start scanning process. For the first time, you should select “Full Scan” option

Step 4: Now, click on “View Scan Results” to see the list of detected threats or infections

Step 5: Click on “Next” button to register the software and remove permanently if you find Karen ransomware and related infections.

Procedure 3: How to restore files encrypted by Karen ransomware

Method 1: Recovery of files encrypted by Karen ransomware using “Shadow Explorer”

Method 2: Recovery of files encrypted by Karen ransomware using powerful data recovery software

Method 1: Recovery of files encrypted by Karen ransomware using “Shadow Explorer”

Shadow Volume Copies” are temporary backup files created by the OS for short span of time for all files and data that has been deleted or damaged recently. If there is “File history” enabled in PC, then you can use “Shadow Explorer” to retrieve the data. When we talk about advanced Ransowmare virus, it deletes the “Shadow Volume Copies” as well as prevents you from recovering the files and data with help of administrative commands.

Step 1: At first, you need to click on link given below to download “Shadow Explorer” on your computer

https://www.shadowexplorer.com/uploads/ShadowExplorer-0.9-portable.zip

Step 2: Browse the location where the files has been downloaded.

Step 3: Double click on the ZIP files to extract the folder

Step 4: Click to open “ShadowExplorerPortable” folder and double click on the file.

Step 5: In order to select the time and data as per your requirement, a drop down menu appears on the screen. Select the files that you want to restore and click on “Export” button.

Method 2: Recovery of files encrypted by Karen ransomware using powerful data recovery software

You should make sure that your System is free from ransomware attack and all the files associated with Karen ransomware have been removed successfully. Once done, you should to go for data recovery solution. After complete ransomware related files removed, you can use “Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software” to retrieve the files. To restore encrypted files, you can follow the steps given below.

How to download/install and use “Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software”?

Step 1: At first, you need to click on download button to download Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software in your computer

To restore encrypted files on your machine, you can take a trial with a suggested data recovery tool to check if it can help achieving your files back.

Step 2: Once downloaded, double click on “installer file” to install

Step 3: Now, click on “I accept the agreement” in “License Agreement page” and click on “Next”

Step 4: After complete installation process, run the application.

Step 5: On the new interface, select the file types that you want to retrieve and then select “Next” button

Step 6: Now, select the “Drive” where you want the software to do scanning. Click on the “Scan” button

Step 7: Wait for the complete the process. It may take some times to complete process depending on the size of selected drives. After complete scanning process, you would notice a file explorer with the preview of data that can be recovered. You have to choose the files that you want to restore.

Step 8: Finally, choose the location where you want to save the restored files.

Prevention tips to protect your System from Karen ransomware related attacks in future

  • You should have strong backup of all files and data stored in your computer because some ransomware is designed to look for network shares and encrypt all files stored in your machine. You would do well to store data backups on secure cloud server with high-level encryption and multiple-factor authentication.
  • Ransomware type virus often relies on exploit kits to gain illicit access to a System or network. If you run outdated or obsolete software on your computer, then you are in risk of ransomware because the software developers are not putting out security updates anymore. To remove abandonware and replace it with software still being supported by manufacturer.
  • The cybercriminals behind ransomware attack are using former banking Trojan as delivery vehicle for ransomware. It relies on malspam to infect your System and get foothold on your network. Once it gain access to your network, it shows worm like behaviour spreading from System to System using list of common passwords.
  • You should be alert while surfing online and avoid installing freeware from unknown sources, stop opening attachments coming from unknown emails and click on ads or popup messages after double reading.
  • Don’t pay extortion money in case of attack. We recommended you to stop paying ransom and FBI agrees. Cybercriminals don’t have scruples and there is no guarantee you will get files back. By paying extortion money, you are showing cybercriminals that ransomware attack work.