Remove Skymap Ransomware (.skymap Decryption)

By | Posted on May 25, 2019 | Updated on June 26, 2019

Skymap ransomware is another variant of STOP/DJVU virus that was first seen active in December of 2017. It spread mainly via spam email messages pretending to be from trusted contacts or prominent organization. The email with intention to deliver malicious code often persuades victim to open attached file claiming to be highly important.

Once executed, Skymap virus drops random files on the computer with distinct functionality. One executable file meant to disable security applications on the infected system to avoid detection. Another one is intended to make modification on Windows HOSTS file to block internet browsers access to lists of security websites and anti-virus vendors. Lastly, it executes pdatewin.exe to display fake status interface to pretend that cause of system slowdown is due to installation of important Windows Updates. Unfortunately, Skymap is processing the encryption of valuable files on infected computer at this stage.

Skymap Encryption

The moment Skymap finalizes the main infection stage, which is data encryption. Affected files will reveal an appended .skymap extension. For example, photo1.jpg will become photo1.jpg.skymap after the encryption. Sad to say, the ransom virus applies a combination of sophisticated cipher encryption method to encode target files and restrict associated programs from accessing them.

.Skymap Files

Skymap virus will leave an instruction on how victims can restore the .skymap files using a combination of unique keys and decryption tool. The downside is, restoring the infected .skymap files through cyber crooks scheme may cost victims huge amount of money. Here is the excerpt from ransom notes:

ATTENTION!
Don’t worry my friend, 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.
You can get and look video overview decrypt tool:
(website URL here)
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” folder if you don’t get answer more than 6 hours.
To get this software you need write on our e-mail…

How to Remove Skymap Ransomware

Ransomware files are placed deeply into the system and on various locations, thus, thorough scanning is vital to totally remove Skymap 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 Shadow Explorer or Previous Version as described below.

Stage 1: Scan the Computer with ESET Rogue Application Remover (ERAR)

1. Download the free scanner called ESET Rogue Application Remover.
Download Link for ERAR (this will open a new window)

2. Choose appropriate version for your Windows System. 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 the program. Another option is to browse the location folder and double click on the file ERARemover_.exe.

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4. On ESET Rogue Application Remover SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS, click Accept to continue.

5. The tool will start scanning the computer. It will prompt when it finds Skymap virus and other malicious entities. Follow the prompt to proceed with the removal.

ERAR

Stage 2: Double-check for Skymap’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 Skymap. 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 Skymap 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 Skymap have been completely deleted from the computer. Please restart Windows to proceed with the normal operation.

Stage 3 : Unlocking files with Skymap Decryption Tool

So far, this Skymap decryption tool works only for files that were encrypted using offline keys. This happens sometimes if the virus is unable to communicate to remote server to obtain unique keys; instead, it will use offline keys when encrypting files. However, there is a little chance of recovering files using this tool due to limited available offline keys that were integrated with this decryption tool.

For additional information (download link, supported versions, instructions) about StopDecrypter, please proceed to ransomware decryption tool archive page.

If you received a message stating that “No keys were found for the following IDs (.skymap)”, please copy and submit the information to the official download page to include your information (log file) and have it archive in case decryption software becomes available.

StopDecrypter Information

We will update this section once the full decryption tool is on hand. In the meantime, please try other options below.

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 Skymap virus 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 Skymap

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 Skymap.

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 Skymap 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.

One thought on “Remove Skymap Ransomware (.skymap Decryption)

  1. Shomjit sinha roy

    Thanks for the procedure and it really works and my laptop is bug out, I appreciate it.

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