Remove Covm Ransomware (Recover .covm Files)

By Chona Esjay | Posted on May 22, 2020 |

Covm ransomware is a crypto-virus with primary goal of swindling money from victims by locking their files with complex algorithmic method. Files that are usually in the target range of Covm are normal user’s files like documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, archives, web format, databases, and similar items stored on the hard drive. Completely denying user’s access to their own data requires an advanced encryption technology and attackers are skilled in accomplishing this task. Running synchronous to data encryption is the renaming of infected files to append them with .covm extension. To give an example, resume.doc will transform into resume.doc.covm after it was fully encrypted.

To let victim’s know of the situation, Covm ransomware generates a ransom note stating the active infection as well as giving full instructions on the only way to recover .covm encrypted files. Here is an excerpt from the ransom note:

ATTENTION!
Don’t worry, you can return all your files!
All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key.
The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you.
This software will decrypt all your encrypted files.
What guarantees you have?
You can send one of your encrypted file from your PC and we decrypt it for free.
But we can decrypt only 1 file for free. File must not contain valuable information…
Price of private key and decrypt software is $980.
Discount 50% available if you contact us first 72 hours, that’s price for you is $490.
Please note that you’ll never restore your data without payment.
Check your e-mail “Spam” or “Junk” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.

Covm Ransomware

It is very obvious that the ransom note is the same document produced by older variants as Sqpc, Koti. Qewe, and many more. Actually, these ransomware virus are member of the notorious malware family called STOP or DJVU. There are over 200 editions of this threat and have infected over millions of computers globally.

As mentioned, it appears that the only solution to recover .covm encrypted files is by paying the ransom demand. Even if this is the only way out of this trouble, computer security analyst advises not to pay the ransom money. Settling the payment and acquiring the decryption tool and personal key do not guarantee the recovery of entire encrypted files. Their suggestion is to back up all the affected data and wait for the official recovery tool. Focusing on the removal of Covm ransomware should be the focus of users to prevent new files from getting infected.

How to Remove Covm Ransomware

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

Though affected files may be impossible to decrypt due to complexity of the encryption, you can still try recovery method like alternative tool, Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.

Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Anti-Malware Tool

1. Download free anti-malware scanner called MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (this will open a new window)

2. After downloading, install the program. It may run automatically or you have to double-click on the downloaded file MBSetup.exe.

3. Carry out the installation with default setup process.

4. After the installation process, click the Get Started button to launch the program.

5. Continue with the prompts until the main program opens.

6. On the main console, click on Scan to run most complete detection method to find hidden objects associated to Covm ransomware.

7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.

MBAM-threatscan

8. Once the scan has completed, the tool will display the list of detected threats. Remove all identified malicious items and restart the computer if necessary.

Stage 2: Double-check for Covm’s leftover with Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool

1. Download the free scanner called Malicious Software Removal Tool.
Malicious Software Removal Tool Download Link (this will open a new window)

download-msrt

2. The tool automatically checks the operating system and suggest appropriate download version. Click on Download button to begin. Save the file to a convenient location, preferably on Desktop.

3. After downloading the file, Windows will prompt that download has completed. Click Run to start scanning for Covm ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.

msrt-icon

4. The tool will display Welcome screen, click Next. Please note the message “This tool is not a replacement for an antivirus product.” You must understand that this program is made specifically to find and remove malware, viruses, Trojans, and other harmful elements on the computer. It was not designed to protect the computer.

msrt1

5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Covm ransom virus entities and other harmful files left on the computer will be found and removed. For advanced computer user, you can opt for Customized Scan, if there are other drives or folders you wanted to include in this scan.

msrt2

6. Full scan may take a while, please wait for Malicious Software Removal Tool to complete the tasks. However, you may cancel the scan anytime by clicking on the Cancel button.

msrt3

7. After scanning, the tool will reveal all identified threats. There may be other threats that our first scan fails to detect. Please remove/delete all detected items.

8. When removal procedure is complete, you may now close Malicious Software Removal Tool. We hope that Covm ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Covm Decryption Tool

Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Covm ransomware uses the alternate Offline Keys during encryption if there is a problem encountered while communicating to a remote command-and-control server. Follow the guide to start recovering .covm encrypted files.

1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .covm encrypted files first on a separate media (USB Drive, Flash Drive, DVD Discs, etc…).

2. Download Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu from this archive page.

3. Right-click on decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe and click “Run as Administrator“. Windows may prompt “Do you want to allow this app…” just click Yes to continue.

4. By default, the tool will pre-populate the locations where encrypted files were identified. To include other directories, simply click Add Folder button.

5. To start recovering files infected by Covm ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.

decrypt_STOPDjvu.exe

We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below if the above procedure is not not effective.

Option 1: Windows Previous Version Tool

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a feature called Previous Versions. However, this tool is only usable if restore point was made prior to Covm ransomware infection. To use this tool and recover files affected by the virus, please follow these steps:

1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.

2. Right-click on the affected files or folders. From the drop-down list, please click on Restore previous versions.

3. New window will open display all backup copy of files and folders you wanted to recover. Choose the appropriate file and click on Open, Copy, or Restore. Restoring selected files overwrites the current encrypted files on the computer.

Option 2: Use ShadowExplorer to restore files encrypted by Covm Ransomware

Just like Previous Version tool, ShadowExplorer is taking advantage of shadow copy created by Windows. This tool allows you to retrieve older version of files before it was encrypted by Covm ransomware.

1. Download ShadowExplorer from the official web site.

2. Install the program with the default settings.

3. The program should run automatically after installation. If not, double-click on ShadowExplorer icon.

4. You can see the drop-down list on top of the console. Please select proper drive and the most recent point-in-time shadow copies of files you wish to restore prior to Covm ransomware infection.

shadow3

5. Right-click on the Drive, Folder, or File you wish to restore and click Export…

6. Lastly, ShadowExplorer will prompt for location where you want to save the copy of recovered files.

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