What is Guarded ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Guarded ransomware is a dangerous crypto-malware infection that can corrupt important data in a computer. According to security experts, it is a new and improved version of Sguard ransomware. This new malware strain appears to still follow the same pattern in implementing its attack. It uses a “.Guarded” extension to mark all the files it has managed to encrypt.
It starts to implement its attack by connecting to a remote server where it downloads its other components and places them on several system folders. These components allow the crypto-virus to launch or repress system processes. Using these components, it also employs a data harvesting module that gathers information from the system. The obtained information is processed and used for the stealth protection module which allows the crypto-virus to bypass security programs, virtual hosts, antivirus programs, and sandbox environments that may interrupt the attack.
To make its removal difficult, Guarded ransomware also alters some entries in the Windows Registry, allowing it to carry out its attack automatically in every system boot. Once it achieved in modifying essential system settings, Guarded ransomware will begin scanning the system for files with the following extensions:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as.txt, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxf.c, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .zip
The instant Guarded ransomware locates these files, it encrypts them using the AES cipher. Following its encryption of the files, it appends .Guarded extension in every compromised file. You will then see a text file named “GUARDED-README.txt” which contains the following content:
“! STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE NON-ORIGIN DECRYPTION TOOLS OR MODIFYING ENCRYPTED FILES – DATA WILL BE LOST!
Your server has been attacked by an Unauthorized user.
All your files have been encrypted with RSA Private Key to save them from unauthorized 3rd party access.
To RESTORE all your files back, please follow these few steps:
- PP-EUS service charges a payment for file decryption;
- After payment being processed, provide us your server id-key;
- Receive your unique decryption tool;
- Run the decryption tool and successfully restore all your files back to their normal state.
100% Successful restoring of all files
100% Satisfaction guarantee
100% Safe and secure service
As proof of our trusted decryption service, you can send us 1 file and get it decrypted for free.
! STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE NON-ORIGIN DECRYPTION TOOLS OR MODIFYING ENCRYPTED FILES – DATA WILL BE LOST!
! ONLY OUR DECRYPTION TOOL CAN RESTORE YOUR FILES!
Contact us: [email protected]
Payment type: Bitcoin
Our wallet: 19k8MNYRjVvkcozePZLnBhftrvGPfeugmN
Your server ID-KEY:
For any questions: [email protected]
ProtonProject EUS © 2019”
How does Guarded ransomware spread online?
Guarded ransomware could spread online in various ways. It may spread via a payload dropper that initiates the malicious script used for the crypto-virus to run in the system. It might also spread by hacking into unprotected RDP configuration, exploit kits and fake software updates which is why you must always keep your computer protected by constantly updating the system and all the antivirus and security programs installed in it.
Make sure to follow the removal guide laid out below for successful termination of Guarded ransomware and its corresponding malicious processes.
Step_1: First, you have to stop the malicious process of Guarded ransomware by opening the Task Manager. To do that, simply tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
Step_2: Under the Task Manager, switch to the Processes tab and find a process named Guarded5.exe as well as any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Guarded ransomware.
Step_3: After that, close the Task Manager.
Step_4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.
Step_5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Guarded ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step_6: Next, close the Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step_7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for Guarded ransomware’s malicious components such as GUARDED-README.txt, [random].exe, and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.
Step_8: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech-savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you trouble and time, you can just use Restoro, this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.
Step_9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in Regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step_10: Navigate to the following path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step_11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Guarded ransomware.
Step_12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Guarded ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
Congratulations, you have just removed Guarded Ransomware Crypto in Windows 10 all by yourself. If you would like to read more helpful articles and tips about various software and hardware visit fixmypcfree.com daily.
Now that’s how you remove Guarded Ransomware Crypto in Windows 10 on a computer. On the other hand, if your computer is going through some system-related issues that have to get fixed, there is a one-click solution known as Restoro you could check out to resolve them.
This program is a useful tool that could repair corrupted registries and optimize your PC’s overall performance. Aside from that, it also cleans out your computer for any junk or corrupted files that help you eliminate any unwanted files from your system. This is basically a solution that’s within your grasp with just a click. It’s easy to use as it is user-friendly. For a complete set of instructions in downloading and using it, refer to the steps below
Perform a full system scan using Restoro. To do so, follow the instructions below.