Reco ransomware is another virus from STOP family of malware. One method in which the virus spreads quickly over the internet is through spam email messages. Attackers emails are normally in disguise of correspondence from prominent organization and present the attached file as valid document that needs urgent viewing by the recipient. Once opened, the included Reco ransomware virus will initiate several attack stages. The first would be to inflict unwanted changes on the computer that will cause substantial effect on its security features. Reco virus will deactivate anti-virus programs and prevent the computer from communicating to various security websites.
Next, Reco will search the drive for important files and apply a sophisticated encryption protocol to make it unusable. In addition, the ransom virus will get to append all encrypted files with .reco extension. As an example, testament.doc will transform into testament.doc.reco after it was encrypted by the virus.
All encrypted files will remain on inoperable state unless they are decrypted using the suitable combination of codes and keys. This is all documented on the _readme.txt file, which Reco generates on the same exact location as infected files. Here are the excerpts from the ransom note:
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…
Paying the online criminals for demanded ransom money is not recommended presumably because there is no guarantee that private key and decryption tool they are offering will restore .reco files to original format. In addition, it is risky to deal with people behind Reco especially that they are operating on underground environment where they can flee away after receiving the ransom money.
What malware researchers suggests is to archive all encrypted files and wait for the release of free Reco ransomware decryption tool. During on this type of attack, it is vital get rid of the virus immediately to avoid infecting other files.
How to Remove Reco Ransomware
Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Reco 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 Reco ransomware.
7. Scanning may take a while. Please wait until the anti-malware tool is done with the checking.
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 Reco’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)
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 Reco ransomware. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file to run.
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.
5. Next, you will see Scan Type. Please choose Full Scan to ensure that all Reco 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.
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.
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 Reco ransomware have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.
Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Reco Decryption Tool
Emsisoft Decryptor for STOP Djvu will work only if affected files were encrypted using Offline Keys. Reco 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 .reco encrypted files.
1. As precautionary measures, we suggest to BACKUP all your .reco 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 Reco ransomware, click on Decrypt button to start the procedure. The interface will display status of the current decryption process.
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 Reco 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 Reco 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 Reco 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 Reco ransomware infection.
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.