It takes one careless step for the malicious Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware to find its way into your operating system. According to our research, this threat might hide itself behind an inconspicuous document attached to a spam email. The rule is simple: If you get an email from an unfamiliar sender and if you were not supposed to get the attachment (e.g., a flight itinerary), you should not engage. Cyber criminals are smart when it comes to tricking unsuspecting users, and so you have to be vigilant and cautious at all times. Once the threat slithers in, you will not know that it exists or that it is performing in a malicious way. Unfortunately, it is likely that you will discover this threat only after it reveals itself, and it will do that after it encrypts all of your personal files. Do you think that you will get your files back as soon as you delete Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware? Unfortunately, that is not how the things work. In fact, it is possible that this ransomware will remove itself.
Our researchers immediately linked Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware to Fantom Ransomware. It appears that this previously reported threat is almost identical to the ransomware we are discussing in this report. The truth is that is just a new variant of the malicious Fantom Ransomware. Both of these infections are primarily spread via spam email attachments and both of them forge a Windows Update service screen to make the lockdown of your operating system appear valid and harmless. Once the screen appears, you see a notification indicating that critical Windows updates are being configured and warning that you should not turn off your computer. If you ignore this, your files will be encrypted, most likely, using the RSA-2048 encryption key. Once the “updating” is complete, you will find your files corrupted, and the Desktop wallpaper will display a message by cyber criminals. According to this message, you need to write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get your files restored. Bitmsg.me is offered as an alternative method of contact in case no response is provided within 2 hours.
The malicious Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware is executed using the stub.exe file, which you are most likely to find in the %APPDATA% folder. This is the file that is responsible for initiating the encryption of your personal files, and it was found that all kinds of files are encrypted (1,296 different extensions, to be exact). Though this threat does not encrypt system files, executables, DLLs, temp files, and other similar components, it can encrypt all of the files that are considered irreplaceable, such as photos and documents. Obviously, if you have these files backed up, you do not need to fear of losing them. As soon as you remove Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware, you will be able to transfer healthy copies back to your operating system. Unfortunately, it might be difficult to figure out which files are encrypted because this ransomware renames all files using base64. It is also notable that “.locked” is the extension that is attached to every single one of them. Alongside the file encrypted, you will find the READ_ME!.hta file, and it informs that you need to purchase a decryption key.
Does the decryption key exist? That is unknown. Will cyber criminals provide you with the key if you pay the ransom? That is unknown as well. Overall, Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware was created by cyber crooks, and trusting them is not the best idea. Hopefully, all your files are backed up, and you can remove Restore@protonmail.ch Ransomware in good conscience. If you are thinking about contacting cyber criminals and possibly even paying the requested ransom fee, think if the files are really worth taking the risk for and are worth the money asked from you. As mentioned previously, this devious ransomware might delete itself upon installation. If that does not happen, you need to erase the malicious executable, which you can do using the instructions below. We also recommend erasing the READ_ME!.hta file. Afterward, it is crucial to examine your Windows operating system with a legitimate malware scanner to see if it is malware-free. Do not forget to install trusted anti-malware software to keep it that way.