Remove PISCOSTRUI Ransomware

A malware called PISCOSTRUI encrypts specific files on a targeted computer. As soon as this virus has been activated on the system, it starts to infect data and add the PISCOSTRUI file extension to them. Here’s an illustration: Spreadsheet data will be mysheet.xlsx.PISCOSTRUI and an encrypted document file will look like mydocument.docx.PISCOSTRUI.

When there are encrypted files, PISCOSTRUI will also add a text file to every folder to further alert the user about the attack. The message specifies that in order to acquire the decryption key, the user must spend a specified sum in Bitcoin. Additionally, victims are advised to get in touch with piscostrui@onionmail.org for more information. Here are some quotes from the text file from PISCOSTRUI:

Hello, My Dear Friend !!!

ALL YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED DUE TO A SECURITY PROBLEM WITH YOUR PC.

If you want to restore them :
1) Send your unique id [alpha-numeric ID] and max 3 files for test decryption..

In subject line please write your decryption ID: [alpha-numeric ID]
You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us.
After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.

FREE DECRYPTION AS A GUARANTEE!
Before paying you can send us up to 5 files for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 10Mb (non archived),
and files should not contain valuable information. (databases, backups, large excel sheets, etc.)

ATTENTION!!!
Do not rename encrypted files!
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss!
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our)
or you may become a victim of a scam!

Screenshot of PISCOSTRUI Files

As you can see, this attack was launched exclusively with the intention of collecting money by rendering your important data useless. Before you can restore the files to their original state, you must pay the attacker. It is clear from recent comparable attacks that cybercriminals are asking very high sums of money. The ransom demand in the case of PISCOSTRUI is unknown. Depending on how quickly the victim contacts them, the attackers’ demands will change.

Technical Details
Threat Name PISCOSTRUI Ransomware, N3ww4v3/Mimic
Threat Type Crypto-virus, File Locker, Encryption Virus
File Extension .PISCOSTRUI
Attacker’s email piscostrui@onionmail.org

Backup your files

One important step before proceeding with the procedures below is to backup your files. Ransomware attacks are not the same. Each has its own unique set of payloads, aside from encrypting the files with a complex method. Others tend to delete the infected files after a certain period, while others keep them concealed in hidden places. In addition, ransomware decryption tools are not guaranteed to be perfect, and there are instances where files suffer from damages during the decryption process.

So, it is better to create a backup copy of your entire PISCOSTRUI-encrypted files right now.

PISCOSTRUI Ransomware Removal Guide

The first thing to do is remove the PISCOSTRUI virus before attempting the decryption. Remember that as long as the ransomware is active, it will repeatedly encrypt the files on the compromised computer.

Infection with the PISCOSTRUI ransomware virus is dangerous to the system because it can inject files that run each time Windows starts. To prevent malicious files from loading, the Windows operating system must run with minimal processes, and this can be done through SafeMode With Networking.

Step 1 : Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of adware like PISCOSTRUI through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the database file; please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like PISCOSTRUI, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

Screenshot of Combo Cleaner PC

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete PISCOSTRUI hijacker, including all malicious objects from the computer.

To fully optimize the features of antivirus and privacy scanners, users may have to upgrade to the premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the threat and malicious items linked to it.

Step 2 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

The method of running Windows in Safe Mode before running a virus scan is effective in getting rid of PISCOSTRUI. This process can prevent most viruses and malware from loading, making it easier to detect and remove them.

1. On the Windows Search bar, please type msconfig.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

2. Select and open System Configutation on the list of found results.

3. Once you are in the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab.

Screenshot of Msconfig Win 11

4. Under the Boot Options area, please check Safe Boot so that it starts in Safe Mode after restarting.

5. Next, select Network. This will allow Windows to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

6. Lastly, click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

7. Please restart Windows.

Do not forget to restore the normal boot process of Windows after running the virus scan. Simply repeat the method above, and this time, uncheck the Safe Boot option to run Windows normally.

Step 3 : Scan the Computer with Sophos Home Antivirus

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove PISCOSTRUI virus. Aside from our suggested tool, you may also run your own security program.

To remove PISCOSTRUI ransomware automatically, scanning the computer with this efficient antivirus tool is suggested. This scanner does not just uncover known threats like viruses or malware, it is also effective in discovering hazardous ransomware like PISCOSTRUI.

1. Please click on the link below to download the program.

2. After downloading, locate the file SophosInstall.exe in the Downloads folder.

3. Install by double-clicking on the file.

4. If it prompts "Do you want to allow this app to make changes on your device?" please click Yes.

5. Next, it will display the Terms and Conditions page. Click the Install button to begin.

Screenshot of Terms by Sophos Home

6. Run the installation with the default settings. Please note that an internet connection is required in order to download important updates.

7. After finishing the installation, you must login to the dashboard. If you already have a Sophos account, please login. Otherwise, please enter your details and click on the Create Account button.

8. Once you are in the Sophos Home console, click the Scan button to start checking the computer for PISCOSTRUI components.

Screenshot of Sophos Home

9. Scanning may take a while; please wait for this process to finish.

10. After scanning the computer, Sophos Home will start cleaning or deleting files infected with PISCOSTRUI.

11. You may now close Sophos Home. The computer is now free from PISCOSTRUI, as well as associated malware and viruses.

The above procedures should have totally eliminated PISCOSTRUI ransomware. However, if you find that there are still remnants of the virus, please proceed to the next steps below.

Step 4 : Double Check with Windows Security Apps

Microsoft Windows has a built-in security application that you can use to double-check if your computer is still infected with PISCOSTRUI. For Windows 10/11 users, please run Windows Security.

Windows 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove PISCOSTRUI, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 10/11 systems. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the tool:

1. Tap or click the Search charm and search for Windows Security

2. Click Open to run the program.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

3. On the Dashboard, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

Screenshot of Win 11 Virus Protection

4. On the right panel, click on Scan Options to see different levels of checking the computer.

5. Next, please select Full Scan button.

Screenshot of Full Scan Win 11

6. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of PISCOSTRUI. The process may take a while to complete.

7. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to PISCOSTRUI or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

For Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, you can scan the computer for free with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT 64-Bit). It is a stand-alone virus scanner tool that targets prevalent malware groups.

Recover Files from PISCOSTRUI Ransomware Infection

In this section, we will provide ways to decrypt files infected with PISCOSTRUI ransomware. Aside from dedicated decryption software and common tools, other options for file recovery are provided. As much as we can, we will update this area whenever a new and more suitable decryption tool becomes available.

Find a suitable PISCOSTRUI decryption tool from Emsisoft

This service from Emsisoft is helpful in unlocking encrypted files without paying a ransom. The page provides a list of ransomware decryption tools. All you have to do is look for the specific tool and start recovering the PISCOSTRUI-encrypted file.

How to protect the computer from PISCOSTRUI ransomware?

After the ransomware is removed, it is important to prevent similar incidents from happening again. To effectively protect the computer, the user must know how PISCOSTRUI ransomware was able to infect it. To minimize the possibility of infection, staying away from the common sources of this virus is crucial.

How does ransomware infect your computer?

The method of infecting the computers was found to be similar to that of other common viruses. Ransomware like PISCOSTRUI is seen to have efficient deployment via spam email messages, web injectors, malicious software installers, misleading online advertisements, and Trojan Downloaders.

Once the virus is executed, it immediately infects the system. Then, PISCOSTRUI ransomware communicates with a remote server so that a unique key can be generated for a specific computer. After acquiring the key, it starts to decrypt target files using a complex method that is almost unbreakable. In the final stage of the attack, PISCOSTRUI ransomware demands ransom money in exchange for the decryption tool. To further understand the attack scheme, we have included an infographic below.

Infographic image of ransomware attack stages
You can print, download, or share the infographic by clicking the image.

What are the essential things to do?

Do a Regular File Back-up - Always backup your data on a separate storage devices such as external hard drives, optical discs, or online backup services.

Keep Your Software Updated - Make sure that you have the latest software updates especially on the operating system. Recent updates often contain vital security patches to help protect the computer against all forms of threats.

Install a Security Program - Protect the computer with effective anti-virus application using efficient real-time scanning. Regularly run a complete scan to check the computer for presence of malware.

Protect your files with Controlled Folder Access (Windows 10/11)

For Windows 10/11 users, aside from protecting the computer using anti-virus or anti-malware programs, one way to protect against ransomware attacks is by using Controlled Folder Access. This feature of Windows Defender Security Center may not prevent the PISCOSTRUI ransomware infection, but it can protect folders and files in general. Follow the steps to enable Controlled Folder Access in Windows 10/11.

1. Go to Windows Search and type Windows Security.

Screenshot of Win 11 Search

2. Open Windows Security to see all the options.

3. Click Virus and Threat Protection, either on the sidebar or on the main panel.

Screenshot of Ransomware Protection

4. Scroll down to the "Ransomware Protection" area, and click on Manage Ransomware Protection.

5. In the "Controlled Folder Access" section, turn the slider to On. This will enable the feature and protect the folder against PISCOSTRUI virus or any type of ransomware.

Screenshot of Controlled Folder

6. Click on Protected Folders to see the list of included folders. If Windows displays a message, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Protected Folder

7. Click on the Add a Protected Folders button to include additional folders. Make sure that folders with important files are included in the list.

Troubleshooting Guide

Certain programs may be blocked by the Controlled Folder Access feature. To fix the issue, simply have the specific program whitelisted.

1. Under the "Controlled Folder Access" section, click Allow an app through Controlled folder access.

2. If Windows displays the message "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?" click Yes to continue.

3. Next, click the Add an allowed app button.

Screenshot of Allowing App

4. Lastly, click on the Recently blocked app and remove the program from the list of blocked applications.

This Controlled Folder Access feature is one way to protect files against PISCOSTRUI ransomware. Other important things to do to keep files safe against ransomware are early prevention, like keeping programs updated, installing an efficient security program, and doing regular file backups on a separate media drive.

About the author

2 thoughts on “Remove PISCOSTRUI Ransomware”

  1. Bom dia!
    Essa(s) ferramenta(s), elas irão proteger a maquina pra nao acontecer mais ou elas conseguem descriptografar os arquivos tambem?

    Obrigado!

  2. Hola, el programa de seguridad de este sitio web solo protegerá la computadora contra virus. No es una herramienta que pueda recuperar sus archivos.

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