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Remove Serp File Virus (Restore Files)

How to Remove Serp Ransomware?

Serp is a recently-discovered ransomware threat. It’s believed it derives from the Serpent infection. It plagued users way back, and Serp seems to be a new version of that original menace. There’s nothing particularly outstanding about Serp. It follows standard programming. Once the infection sneaks into your system, it doesn’t take long before it strikes. It uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm to lock your data. And, all of a sudden, you find your data is beyond your reach. You cannot open documents, pictures, music, anything. Every file you have on your computer got encrypted. The ransomware attached the ‘serp’ extension at the end of each file. Thus, solidified its hold over them. Once you see the extension, that’s it. Your data is inaccessible. You can try to move or rename your files, but that accomplishes nothing. The only way to release them from the tool’s clutches is via key. A special decryption key, which you have to pay to get. The infection makes that abundantly clear in the ransom note, it leaves you. In a nutshell, if you wish to free your files, you’ll comply. And, pay up. If you choose not to, you lose them. So, you face a conundrum. To pay or not to pay? Heed experts advice, and do NOT pay these people a dime. Even if that’s what they are asking from you, don’t. It’s not about the amount of the ransom. Monetary value is not the issue when it comes to ransomware. It’s privacy. To pay the ransom, these people demand, is to put your privacy on the line. Don’t do it. Don’t transfer the requested sum. Don’t even contact them. Forsake your files in the name of your private life. It’s a tough call to make, but it’s one you have to.

How did I get infected with?

The Serp infection primarily uses spam email attachments to slither into your PC. It disguises itself as an email from someone you know. It could be a relative, friend, or a verified company. Like, PayPal or even Facebook. These corrupted emails usually contain some sort of attachment. It could a picture, a document, anything really. The message urges you to download said attached file, and if you do, you’ll regret it. It doesn’t take long for the infection’s programming to kick in. Pretty soon after you download and open the attachment, you face the repercussions. You see your data locked, the ransom note, and realize the colossal mistake, you’d made. Don’t allow that scenario to unfold. Don’t give into naivety, distraction, and haste. Be thorough enough NOT to allow dangerous threats into your system. Always do your due diligence, and take everything with a grain of salt. The Internet can be quite the dangerous place. Apply caution every time you’re installing tools or updates. They’re among the preferred means of infiltration, ransomware tools often use. Attention goes a long way. And, it can save you a ton of troubles and headaches.

remove Serp

Why is Serp dangerous?

After Serp completes the encryption process, it leaves you a ransom note. It’s called “README_TO_RESTORE_FILES{random}.txt.” And, it provides clarity. The note explains your predicament, and gives further instructions. It states that your PC got attacked by a ransomware. And, elaborates on what the tool expects you to do if you wish to see your files again. To make it clear, though, your files are exactly where you left them. The infection doesn’t move them. It locks them via the encryption algorithm. So, they are there. But, they’re still beyond your reach. Say, you had a photo called ‘May.jpg.’ Once the ransomware gets done with it, you find it as ‘May.jpg.serp.’ And, you cannot access it. That’s where the decryption key comes in handy. The ransomware promises that after payment, it sends you the key, you need. After you apply it, your data gets decrypted. It all seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. First of all, ask yourself the following. Can you trust cyber criminals to keep their end of the deal? These are strangers, who invaded your system. Corrupted it. Encrypted your data. Then, demanded you give them money for their release. They are hardly trustworthy and reliable individuals. What if you send the money, but they fail to send you a key? Or, send the wrong one? And, even if they provide the proper one, and it works, what next? You still have a ransomware infection on your system. The decryption key removes the encryption. Not the ransomware. Nothing stops the tool from acting you once more, and putting you back to square one. Only this time, you have less money. And, what’s worse, an exposed private life. Yes, by paying the ransom, you expose yourself. You leave your personal and financial details, where the extortionists can find them. Do you think anything good comes from cyber criminals having access to your privacy? Don’t fool yourself. Do what’s best for you, and don’t play the ransomware’s game. You cannot win. The entire game is rigged in the infection’s favor. Forsake your files. They’re replaceable. Can you say the same about your privacy?

Serp Removal Instructions

STEP 1: Kill the Malicious Process

STEP 2: Reveal Hidden Files

STEP 3: Locate Startup Location

STEP 4: Recover Serp Encrypted Files

STEP 1: Stop the malicious process using Windows Task Manager

  • Open your task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously
  • Locate the process of the ransomware. Have in mind that this is usually a random generated file.
  • Before you kill the process, type the name on a text document for later reference.

end-malicious-process

  • Locate any suspicious processes associated with Serp encryption Virus.
  • Right click on the process
  • Open File Location
  • End Process
  • Delete the directories with the suspicious files.
  • Have in mind that the process can be hiding and very difficult to detect

STEP 2: Reveal Hidden Files

  • Open any folder
  • Click on “Organize” button
  • Choose “Folder and Search Options”
  • Select the “View” tab
  • Select “Show hidden files and folders” option
  • Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
  • Click “Apply” and “OK” button

STEP 3: Locate Serp encryption Virus startup location

  • Once the operating system loads press simultaneously the Windows Logo Button and the R key.

win-plus-r

Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run] or
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]

  • and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]

delete backgroundcontainer

  • Then open your explorer and navigate to:

Navigate to your %appdata% folder and delete the executable.

You can alternatively use your msconfig windows program to double check the execution point of the virus. Please, have in mind that the names in your machine might be different as they might be generated randomly, that’s why you should run any professional scanner to identify malicious files.

STEP 4: How to recover encrypted files?

  • Method 1: The first and best method is to restore your data from a recent backup, in case that you have one.

windows system restore

  • Method 2: File Recovery Software – Usually when the ransomware encrypts a file it first makes a copy of it, encrypts the copy, and then deletes the original. Due to this you may try to use file recovery software to recover some of your original files.
  • Method 3: Shadow Volume Copies – As a last resort, you can try to restore your files via Shadow Volume Copies. Open the Shadow Explorer part of the package and choose the Drive you want to recover. Right click on any file you want to restore and click Export on it.
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