Pedcont ransomware malware
Ransomware | 06/06/2018

Pedcont ransomware – Users blamed for illegal surfing! Files Copied!

About: Pedcont Ransomware is malicious entity that infiltrates the system through spam mail attachments, unwanted pop-up links, torrents and software bundling. It falsly accuses the user of browsing and downloading illicit content from the dark web. Then it...  Read More  

| Ransomware | Pedcont ransomware – Users blamed for illegal surfing! Files Copied!

Pedcont Ransomware – A malicious entity that demands ransom based on a false accusation!

What is Pedcont Ransomware?

Pedcont ransomware is a dangerous computer malware that infects systems silently and demands ransom without even encrypting the files on the user’s system! It hoaxes the user into believing that they have committed a crime by browsing for illicit content on the dark web. This is just a false accusation to scare the user.

The pedcont ransomware then demands 50$ to keep this false allegation a secret from the authorities. It provides 72 hours to the user to pay the money.

Pedcont Ransomware Ransom note

Pedcont Ransomware – Threat Behavior

The pedcont ransomware infiltrates the system containing the SFX file extension. Once these files are opened, they automatically download the virus files without needing another program to download the virus files.

The primary mode of infiltration is via user downloads of the SFX extension file containing the Pedcont Ransomware. Since the virus file hides behind the guise of a general screensaver or a video file, the user accidently downloads the ransomware file on their system.

It can also propagate its presence on the user systems through spam email attachments, unsecured links through pop-ups displayed in the web browser, torrents and through software bundling.

This threat has been found to delete display drivers of the system. It causes the monitor to show a black screen and turn unresponsive. This ransomware affected the Virtual machines of the researchers and caused a black screen. This led the threat testers to believe that the pedcont ransomware can be very dangerous and destructive.

After its successful infiltration on the system, this ransomware affects the Local directory and changes the registry to evade detection. Each time the user reboots the system, it copies itself in the directory to display the ransom message demanding 50$ as ransom.

The Pedcont ransomware ransom note tells the user that their files have been copied to a remote server and will be used to notify the authorities. This will lead to legal prosecution which in turn will affect your standing in the society, if you wish to be safe from all these technicalities; you should pay the demanded ransom.

It is advised to never trust these cyber criminals because they spread these malicious ransomware and this in itself is an act which is breaking the user’s trust. The money should never be paid as there is no guarantee that the cyber criminals will provide the decryption key. In the case of pedcont ransomware, we don’t even know if they have copied the files to remote servers or if they are just bluffing. So it is better not to pay them and look for methods to remove the pedcont ransomware from the PC.

Threat Summary

Name – Pedcont ransomware

Targeted operating systems – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.0/8.1, Windows 10

Category – Ransomware

Symptoms – Displays Ransom note demanding 50$, Deletes display drivers making the screen black and unresponsive.

How to remove Pedcont Ransomware from the system?

It is necessary that the user deletes the pedcont ransomware from their system as it can cause corrupt and damage the files. Although it does not behave like a typical ransomware and encrypt files or change the file extensions, it is still a threat that can mess up your system. It is important that you follow the pedcont ransomware removal steps in perfect order to remove this threat from the PC. Otherwise this threat may still persist in your PC and cause harm.

STEP A – Uninstall the Pedcont Ransomware From Control Panel.

Note: Before we begin, try to remember how the extension got downloaded  on your computer system. Generally, these programs come bundled with free applications that we download off the internet. It is a good practice to locate and uninstall such programs while removing the Browser Hijacker/ Extensions.

Windows XP

  1. Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left corner of your screen. A Start menu will be displayed as shown below. From this menu select the option that reads “Control Panel”.Windows XP start menu image
  2. In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.Control panel switch to classic view
  3. This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.Windows XP add or remove a program
  4. Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.Uninstall a malicious program
  5. Select the programs related to Pedcont Ransomware and click on the Uninstall button.Windows XP confirmation window

Windows 7/Vista

  1. Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”.Windows 7 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a Program” option from the “Programs” category.Uninstall a program from windows 7
  3. The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
  4. Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to Pedcont Ransomware and then click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in Windows 7

Windows 8/10

  1. Right click on the “Windows logo” on the lower left side of the computer screen. From the drop down menu, select and click on “Control Panel”.Windows 10 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a program” option form the “Programs” category.Control panel
  3. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.select programs and features option
  4. Select the programs related to Pedcont Ransomware and click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in windows 8
  5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.

STEP B – Remove the Malicious Extensions installed in the Web Browser.

 

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Google chrome menu icon ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
  2. Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.google chrome menu options
  3. Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.enable chrome developer mode
  4. Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “Pedcont Ransomwarecopy the extension folder name in Chrome
  5. Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.delete the malicious extension from Chrome
  6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
  7. Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “Pedcont Ransomware”. Delete the folder if present.show hidden files and folder
  8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (Mozilla icon ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.Mozilla Firefox menu
  2. On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.FireFox manage Add-ons
  3. Find the extensions related to Pedcont Ransomware and click on the remove button.
  4. In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon (IE menu icon ) which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.
  2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.Internet explorer settings menu
  3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option will allow you to see all the browser extensions. Mozilla-manage add-ons toolbars and extensions page
  4. Select the Extension related to Pedcont Ransomware and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

Apple's Safari

  1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
  2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.Safari menu extension options
  3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.Safari extensions window
  4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.uninstall a program from Safari

STEP C – Check the system Configuration Settings through MSConfig.

  1. Type “Msconfig” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. Click on “Services” Tab and click on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  3. Select Pedcont Ransomware from the list of remaining services and disable it by removing the tick mark from the checkbox and click on Apply button.

Windows 7

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Pedcont ransomware mentioned and remove the check mark.
  3. Click on Apply button and then click on OK.

Windows 10

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Take the mouse cursor to ‘Open task Manager‘ link and click on it.  This opens the Task Manager window.
  3. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with Pedcont Ransomware mentioned and click on it.
  4. Then click on Disable button.

STEP D – Delete the Pedcont Ransomware from the registry.

  1. Type “Regedit” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. An authorization dialog box will appear, then you just have to click “Yes”. (The dialog box appearance may vary depending on OS used. For Windows 10 the the dialog box looks like the first screenshot and for windows 7 it appears like the second screenshot)
  3. In the registry editor, take the backup of the current registry settings before making any changes in case you want to revert to old settings later. For this, Click on File option in the menu and select Export. Save the entry at a known location.
  4. From the Menu, Click Edit and Select Find.
  5. Enter Pedcont Ransomware and click Ok in the search box.
  6. Select and delete suspicious  enteries.

STEP E – Restore the System Files and Settings through System Restore.

Restore your system files and settings

Method 1 using Control Panel

  1. Click on the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. This will open the Start menu.
  2. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ button in the Start menu. This will open the control panel window.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click on the ‘View by:’ button on the top right. Select the Large Icon option
  4. In the control Panel window click on the ‘Recovery Icon’. This will open a window that will ask ‘Restore the computer to an earlier point in time’.
  5. Click on the ‘Open system restore’ button. This will open the ‘system restore ’window where you need to click on the Next Button.
  6.  Select the restore point that is prior the infiltration of Pedcont Ransaomware, After doing that, click Next.
  7. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Pedcont Ransomware.

Method 2 using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box and click on the command prompt to open the Command Prompt window. box and clicking on it.
  2. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.(Ensure that you in the system32 directory of Windows folder in C Drive)
  3. Now type rstrui and press Enter again.
  4. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Pedcont Ransomware After doing that, click Next.
  5. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Pedcont Ransomware.

 

Method 3 : Directly type 'rstrui' in the search box

  1. Type ‘Rstrui’ in the search box present on the task bar. This will open the System restore dialog box.

Continue to follow steps 4 & 5 of Method 2 to restore the System Files and settings.

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –

  1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
  2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
  3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
  4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Sophos and Avira so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

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