The Auto virus belongs to the ransomware type of infection. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the PC (photos, documents, excel sheets, music, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, leaving the RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt text files in every folder containing encrypted files.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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What is known about the Autovirus?
☝️ A scientifically correct designation for the Auto is “a ransomware malicious agent”.
Auto will append its extra .auto extension to every file’s title. For example, a file named “photo.jpg” will be turned into “photo.jpg.auto”. In the same manner, the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.auto”, and so forth.
In each directory that contains the encrypted files, a RESTORE_FILES_INFO.txt file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. That is pretty much the scheme of the felony.
|Detection1||Crytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .auto extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Auto virus|
In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Auto looks like. Each filename has the “.auto” extension added to it.
How did my machine catch Auto ransomware?
There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
There are currently three most popular ways for tamperers to have the Auto virus settled in your system. These are email spam, Trojan infiltration and peer file transfer.
If you open your inbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services providers, postal agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a ransomware file enclosed in them. Thus it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan horse scheme2. A Trojan is a program that infiltrates into your PC pretending to be something else. For example, you download an installer for some program you want or an update for some program. However, what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. As the update package can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the stuff you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software developers’ official websites.
As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrents or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Internet. You can never guess what you download until you get it. Our suggestion is that you use trustworthy websites. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.
How to remove the Auto virus?
It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Auto virus will most likely deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware3 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Often racketeers would unblock some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption program. As Auto virus is a relatively recent ransomware, anti-malware engineers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the decryption tools are constantly updated, so the solution may soon arrive.
Sure thing, if the hackers do the job of encoding victim’s critical data, the hopeless person will most likely comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports about racketeers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.
The best solution against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud drive or at least on an external storage. Surely, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the system restoration.
There are other ransomware products, besides Auto, that work similarly. Examples of those are Mzop, Poqw, Pouu, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Auto are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: files become encrypted, their extensions altered, ransom notes are found in every directory containing encrypted files.
Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free tools provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the criminals mistakenly send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom note. Such an extraordinary fail allows the injured part to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How do I avert ransomware attack?
Auto ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, neither does any similar malware.
You can defend your system from its attack in three easy steps:
- Ignore any emails from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the dubious email with caution. A hoax letter will surely have a mistake.
- Never use cracked or untrusted programs. Trojan viruses are often shared as an element of cracked products, possibly as a “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are difficult to tell from reliable software, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware message boards, but the optimal way is not to use such programs at all.
- And finally, to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This program will be a perfect defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.
Download Removal Tool.
You can download GridinSoft Anti-Malware by clicking the button below:
Run the setup file.
When setup file has finished downloading, double-click on the setup-antimalware-fix.exe file to install GridinSoft Anti-Malware on your system.
An User Account Control asking you about to allow GridinSoft Anti-Malware to make changes to your device. So, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Press “Install” button.
Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.
Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your system for Auto infections and other malicious programs. This process can take a 20-30 minutes, so I suggest you periodically check on the status of the scan process.
Click on “Clean Now”.
When the scan has finished, you will see the list of infections that GridinSoft Anti-Malware has detected. To remove them click on the “Clean Now” button in right corner.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 How can I open “.auto” files?Is it possible to open“.auto” files?
Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.auto” files you will not be able to access them.
🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.auto” files ASAP. How can I do that?
If the “.auto” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. All other solutions require time.
🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Auto virus?
No way! Your encrypted files are no threat to your PC.
With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual threats. The virus that has infected your device is probably still functional and running scans from time to time to encrypt any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Auto virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide malefactors with easy access to your system after some time.
🤔 What should I do if the Auto malware has blocked my computer and I can’t get the activation key.
In such an unfortunate situation, you need to have a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or brought into your machine. To stop this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential programs to run upon system start. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What could help the situation right now?
Many of the encoded files might still be at your disposal
- If you exchanged your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
- You might have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try to do it again.
- Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files as well.
- Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, mobile, external storage, etc.
USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities6 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the video below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the virus with an anti-malware program.
Also, you can contact the following official fraud and scam sites to report this attack:
- In the United States: On Guard Online;
- In Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre;
- In the United Kingdom: Action Fraud;
- In Australia: SCAMwatch;
- In New Zealand: Consumer Affairs Scams;
- In France: Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information;
- In Germany: Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik;
- In Ireland: An Garda Síochána;
To report the attack, you can contact local executive boards. For instance, if you live in USA, you can have a talk with FBI Local field office, IC3 or Secret Service.
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How to Remove AUTO Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: AUTO Virus
Description: AUTO Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .auto extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- Encyclopedia of threats.
- You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
- You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
- GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
- More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
- Here’s the list of the best 10 file recovery tools of 2021.