U2K ransomware is a file-encrypting malware that will take your files hostage by encrypting them. It will encrypt all your personal files, including photos, videos, images, and documents. Once files have been encrypted, only after using a special decryptor will you be able to open them. However, obtaining that decryptor will be difficult because the only people who currently have it are the cybercriminals operating this ransomware. And they will not just give it to you. Instead, they will try to get you to pay them money in exchange for the decryptor. But even paying the requested ransom comes with risks.
U2K ransomware targets all personal data, just like all other ransomware, and immediately starts encrypting them after being initiated. All of your photos, documents, videos, and other personal files will be encrypted. Since all encrypted files have the .U2K extension attached to them, you will instantly know which files have been affected. For example, an image.jpg file would become image.jpg.U2K. The files will be unopenable unless you first decrypt them. The ransomware will drop a ReadMe.txt ransom note as well. The note explains that files have been encrypted, and contains instructions explaining how to acquire the decryptor. The note does not mention how much the decryptor costs but it does explain that users need to download the Tor browser in order to access a certain website to get the decryptor. Victims who choose to pay would need to create an account and then submit a ticket. Whatever the price for the decryptor is, we don’t recommend paying the ransom. There are no guarantees that you will actually be sent the decryptor after paying, considering you’re dealing with cybercriminals.
Unfortunately, there currently is no way to decrypt files for free if you do not have a backup. While it’s somewhat rare, malware researchers do create free decryptors to assist victims. But in this case, it may be difficult. Nonetheless, we recommend you back up your encrypted files and occasionally check NoMoreRansom for a decryptor. When looking for a free U2K ransomware decryptor, be very careful. There are many decryptors promoted on questionable websites/forums, and downloading the wrong one could lead to a serious malware infection.
As soon as the U2K ransomware has been removed from your computer, you can begin restoring your files from backup if you have it. It is recommended to use anti-virus software to remove U2K ransomware from your computer because it is a very sophisticated malware infection that requires specialized tools to remove.
Ransomware spread methods
Malware infections are typically the result of users’ poor online habits. Users significantly increase their chances of encountering malware if they click on ads while on dodgy websites, open unsolicited email attachments without double-checking, download pirated content via torrents, etc. Changing your browsing habits can help you avoid getting your computer infected with malware in the future.
It is well known that using torrents to download copyrighted content frequently leads to malware infections. Because torrent sites are often not properly moderated, malicious actors can easily post torrents for movies, TV series, video games, software, etc., with malware in them. When users open a malicious torrent they downloaded, they accidentally start the infection. Downloading paid copyrighted content for free is also essentially stealing so we strongly discourage you from pirating.
One of the most common ways for malicious actors to distribute malware is via email attachments. Using email addresses they purchase from various hacker forums, cybercriminals send emails that contain malware attachments. Anyone who is aware that malware can be delivered via emails should be able to recognize malicious emails right away. But because they don’t know what to look for, less tech-savvy users might download or open those attachments. Though in most cases, malicious emails are fairly easy to recognize. When emails supposedly sent by well-known companies contain spelling and grammar mistakes, it becomes quite obvious that the email could be malicious. Since mistakes make emails appear unprofessional, legitimate emails rarely have them. Another sign is you being addressed with generic phrases like “User”, “Member”, or “Customer”, etc. when the sender should know your name. Because they lack access to victims’ personal information, malicious actors are frequently forced to use ambiguous language. Finally, to ensure that all unsolicited email attachments are safe to open, we strongly advise screening them with anti-virus software or VirusTotal before opening.
U2K Ransomware removal
Because U2K ransomware is a sophisticated malware infection, using anti-malware software to remove it is highly recommended. You should not try to manually remove U2K ransomware from your computer because you could cause additional damage. Unfortunately, when the ransomware is deleted, files won’t automatically become decrypted; you need a special decryptor for that. If you have a backup, you can access it as soon as you remove U2K ransomware from your computer.
U2K Ransomware is detected as:
- Win32:CrypterX-gen [Trj] by AVG/Avast
- Gen:Trojan.Mardom.MN.10 by BitDefender
- Gen:Trojan.Mardom.MN.10 (B) by Emsisoft
- A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.ADNP by ESET
- Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml by Microsoft
- HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Bingoml.gen by Kaspersky
- Spyware.PasswordStealer.MSIL by Malwarebytes
- TROJ_GEN.R002C0WGE22 by TrendMicro