Ransomware is a nasty Trojan virus that hacks into your computer and it presents a screen that advertises itself to be from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland security or even from the FBI. The ransomware accuses you of hoarding child pornography, sharing malicious files and have copies of copyrighted material without a license. The ransomware demands a payment in the amount of $100 – 300 dollars via a money card within 48 hours. If you do not comply then it will report you to the government, destroy all of the content on your computer and you will be arrested. I know this ransomware is a scam because after being infected with it, I discovered that every time I restarted my computer the countdown clock would restart itself. Don’t comply with their demands; you are not in trouble with the law. If you do comply and send them the ransom money, there’s no guarantee that your computer will be freed anyway.
After some careful preplanning I discovered a way to hack back into my own computer, save myself the ransom money and also rescue my documents and save time. I am not a computer hacker by any standards, but someone whose computer got infected and I found out myself how to cure it. Some of the current walk-through cures out on the web advise that the simple act of rebooting your computer in either safe mode or safe mode with networking can defeat the ransomware program. However, with some of the latest ransomware out there this isn’t the case anymore. So far, the only way I’ve been able to hack back into my computer is to use the Safe Mode with Command prompt.
To rescue your computer you will need an anti-malware program or even an anti-virus and if you really want to cover your bases then have both. If you don’t have one now, get one as soon as possible. There are many to choose from and there are quite a few that are for free as well. The two antimalware programs I have on my computer are Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy. Both are free, and they may also be available for Macs as well. For this article, the program that will be used is Spybot Search and Destroy with Windows Vista simply because it’s what I’m working with and I’ve discovered how to work it successfully.
The next step to do is to log onto the web and go to your favorite search engine and type in ‘how to start (the name of your anti-virus or anti-malware) from command prompt’. Write down the steps that you see from the links provided and keep the steps in a safe place. You might want to visit more than one site incase someone missed a step or if it’s outdated. Keep the steps handy on a piece of paper because these are the steps to hack back into your computer.
To check to see if it worked while running a computer with Windows Vista and to boot Spybot Search and Destroy from command prompt is done like this:
Step 1: Restart your computer and as it is booting up, press the F8 key. If the computer starts to beep at you, that’s okay. It’s not being hurt.
The next thing you should see are a list of choices in a white font against a black screen. They would be:
Start Windows in:
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Start Windows Normally
Step 2: Select the Safe Mode with Command Prompt and when you’re able to type, type the following (without the quotation marks).
“cdProgram Files” and press enter
“cd spybot~1” and press enter
“spybotSD” and press enter
At this point Spybot Search and Destroy should boot up and you can run a full system scan. During one scan my computer discovered over 200 malicious files on my computer.
Sometimes the scan will find files that don’t want to be removed. The computer will suggest that if it restarts, it will start Spybot before other programs. This allows the computer to do a full check on your system. Even after it does this, scan your system again to make sure it got everything. One time I didn’t do the final third scan and the ransomware still infected my computer. The cleaning takes about two hours but it is a lot cheaper than forking out $300. It’s worked for me and I do hope that it works for you. After following these steps, you should have your computer back.