Remove Pauq ransomware and recover encrypted files

Take a trial with free scanner to check if your system is infected by Pauq 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 tips for Pauq ransomware removal and files retrieval

Pauq ransomware is a file-locking virus belonging to Dharma ransomware group. The malware is designed to encrypt stored files and then demand ransom payment for the decryption. In other word, it simply renders files inaccessible to make ransom demands from the novice users.

During the process of the files encryption, Pauq ransomware appends the original filenames of each of the encrypted files with .pauq extension (plus victims associated ID and email address belongs to the crook). For example, a file “1.jpg” would appear as something similar to “1.jpg.id-C279F237.[[email protected]].pauq”.

Once the file locking process is done, the ransom demanding message is created. This message appears in FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file. However, this file simply contains the email addresses belong to the crooks and ask users to contact them to get the files in originally accessible condition. Here is the full text presented in this .txt file:

all your data has been locked us

You want to return?

Write email [email protected] or [email protected]

The ransomware provides much more detailed information about the alleged data recovery through ransom payment in pop-up window that reads as:

All your files have been encrypted!

All your files have been encrypted due to a security problem with your PC. If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail [email protected]

Write this ID in the title of your message –

In case of no answer in 24 hours write us to theese e-mails:[email protected]

You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.

Free decryption as guarantee

Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)

How to obtain Bitcoins

The easiest way to buy bitcoins is LocalBitcoins site. You have to register, click ‘Buy bitcoins’, and select the seller by payment method and price.

hxxps://localbitcoins.com/buy_bitcoins

Also you can find other places to buy Bitcoins and beginners guide here:

hxxp://www.coindesk.com/information/how-can-i-buy-bitcoins/

Attention!

Do not rename encrypted files.

Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.

Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

 As you see, it confirms about the files encryption and instructs that if the users want to get the files back, they need to e-mail the crooks behind it via [email protected] It states the secondary email address [email protected] should be used when no response is received as a reply from the first one after the 24 hours of the email being sent.

 As per the pop-up window, the crooks have the right decryption tool. People will get the information about how much this decryption tool costs, payment details and so on after reaching them via the provided email address. As a guarantee, the crooks are asked to test the capability of the decryption tool before the payment by sending up to 1 encrypted file.

At the end, the pop-up warns the users not to use any third party software or try to rename the filenames of the encrypted files – this may cause permanent data loss. Also, it states that decrypting the files using third parties may cause increase in the demanded sum. While it is true that the crooks are the only people who have the right decryption, you are suggested not to contact them and follow the ransom demand.

It often sees that victims who pay/contact to crooks get scammed – they receive no decryption tool even if they all the demands. In such a case, you should always rely on some existing backups. However, before using this, make sure that the malware is not running on the system otherwise it will interfere during the process and will not make you successfully complete the files recovery operation.

Below the post, you will find complete step-by-step guide on how to perform Pauq ransomware removal from the system.  Follow the instruction so that you can perform the removal process. After doing that, use the backups you have and restore the encrypted files. If there is no backup option available, refer below the article- there you will also find other data recovery alternatives such as Volume Shadow Copies and data recovery tools with complete step-by-step instruction.

How did Pauq ransomware infiltrate my computer?

Ransomware and other malicious malware are often distributed via dubious downloading channels such as unofficial and freeware websites, p2p networks, and other third-party download sources. Malicious files are disguised as or bundled with regular software. The prime examples of such are illegal activation tools and fake software updaters. Software crackers can infect systems instead of activating licensed products. Fake updaters lead into system infection by exploiting bugs/ flaws of outdated software or by installing malicious software instead of updates.

Scam campaigns are other commonly used malware proliferation techniques in the wild. Malicious authors use the scam campaigns as large scale operations to send spam emails by thousands. These letters usually contain official, important, urgent, priority and similar. Such emails have virulent files attached and/or links of such files inside them. These files can be in any formats include malicious Microsoft Office and PDF documents, Archives, executables, JavaScript and so on. When such malicious files are executed, run or otherwise opened- the infection chain is installed.

How to prevent ransomware infection?

It is recommended you to use only official websites and direct links for any software download. All programs must be updated and activated using the tools/ functions from legitimate developers. To prevent the system infection through spam emails, avoid opening any suspect and/or irrelevant emails – especially any attachments or links present in them. And finally, it is paramount to have a reputable antivirus tool installed and kept updated. This software should be used for regular system scan and to remove any detected threats.

Delete Pauq ransomware and restore locked files

Below the post, both Pauq ransomware removal (manual and automatic) and files recovery guides are provided. Complete the steps so that you ensure the malware is no longer running on the system and affected files will become accessible once again.

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

One thing is clear now that ransomware virus like Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware from System manually

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

Procedure 3: How to restore files encrypted by Pauq ransomware

It is possible to delete Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware from System manually

Method 1: Restart the PC in Safe Mode

Method 2: Remove Pauq ransomware related process from Task Manager

Method 3: Delete Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware.

Step 3: Right click on it and end the process

Method 3: Delete Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware and all the related components from computer automatically

We have already discussed about manual method of Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware and related infections.

Procedure 3: How to restore files encrypted by Pauq ransomware

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

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

Method 1: Recovery of files encrypted by Pauq 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 Pauq ransomware using powerful data recovery software

You should make sure that your System is free from ransomware attack and all the files associated with Pauq 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 Pauq 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.