CODE Ransomware 🔐 (.CODE File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Code virus falls under the ransomware type of infection. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all the data on your PC (images, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its extra extension to every file, creating the !!!HOW_TO_DECRYPT!!!.txt text files in every folder containing encrypted files.
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Code virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically accurate denomination for the Code is “a ransomware-type malicious agent”.

Code will add its specific .code extension to the name of each encoded file. For example, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.code”. In the same manner, the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.code”, and so on.

In each directory containing the encoded files, a !!!HOW_TO_DECRYPT!!!.txt text document will be found. It is a ransom money memo. It contains information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains a description of how to buy the decryption tool from the tamperers. That is it.

Code abstract:
Name Code Virus
Extension .code
Ransomware note !!!HOW_TO_DECRYPT!!!.txt
Detection MSIL/GenKryptik.GGWL, Doina.48214, Win32:Teerac-BX [Trj]
Symptoms Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .code extension and you can’t open them.
Fix Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Code virus

In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Code looks like. Each filename has the “.code” extension appended to it.

Code Virus - encrypted .code files

An example of encrypted .code files.

How did Code ransomware end up on my PC?

There is a huge number of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most popular ways for evil-doers to have the Code virus planted in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer networks.

If you open your mailbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose mailer is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a ransomware item enclosed in them. Thus it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan file model1. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer disguised as something else. For instance, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some software. But what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encodes your data. Since the update file can have any name and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best thing is to use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer file transfer protocols like BitTorrent or eMule, the threat is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. 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 directory containing the downloaded items with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Code virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Code virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your PC to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Sometimes tamperers would decode several of your files so you know that they really have the decryption tool. As Code virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the decoding tools are constantly upgraded, so the solution may soon arrive.

Understandably, if the malefactors succeed in encoding victim’s essential files, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. Nevertheless, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still risky. After receiving the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports about ransomware developers simply disappearing after getting the ransom without even bothering to reply.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external drive. Obviously, that might be not enough. The most crucial thing could be that one you were working upon when it all went down. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Code, that work similarly. Examples of those are Goaq, Qotr, Coaq, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Code are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is almost identical: documents become inaccessible, their extensions altered, ransom notes emerge in every directory containing encoded files.

Some lucky victims were able to decrypt the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-ransomware experts. Sometimes the racketeers mistakenly send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But of course, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How do I avoid ransomware injection?

Code ransomware has no superpower, so as any similar malware.

You can protect your PC from its injection within three easy steps:

  • Never open any emails from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with something you are expecting (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are expecting, check all elements of the suspicious email with caution. A fake letter will surely contain a mistake.
  • Do not use cracked or unknown programs. Trojans are often distributed as an element of cracked products, possibly under the guise of “patch” preventing the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try to find information about this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your PC.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft2

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft3.

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 PC.

Run Setup.exe

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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Setup

Press “Install” button.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Install

Once installed, Anti-Malware will automatically run.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Splash-Screen

Wait for the Anti-Malware scan to complete.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will automatically start scanning your PC for Code 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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scanning

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.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

🤔 How can I open “.code” files?Is it possible to open“.code” files?

There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.code” files are decrypted.

🤔 I really need to decrypt those “.code” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the “.code” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. If not, there is still a function of System Restore but it needs a Restore Point to be previously saved. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 You have advised using GridinSoft Anti-Malware to get rid of the Code virus. Does it mean that all my files, currently encrypted, will be removed too?

Of course not. Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete actual viruses from your system. The virus that has infiltrated your computer is probably still functional and running scans every so often to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has already been said, the Code virus comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide criminals with easy access to your computer in the future.

🤔 What should I do if the Code ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to prepare a flash memory card with a pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware starts automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your system. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. 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 within your reach

  • If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Just ask them to post those images back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try to do it again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old computer, a portable device, phone, flash memory, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can employ data recovery utilities4 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a recovery, but be advised: you can do it only after you remove the virus with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following governmental fraud and scam sites to report this attack:

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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Brendan Smith
How to Remove CODE Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: CODE Virus

Description: CODE Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .code extension. So, you can't use them at all.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  2. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  3. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  4. Here are Top 10 Data Recovery Software Of 2023.

About the author

Brendan Smith

I'm Brendan Smith, a passionate journalist, researcher, and web content developer. With a keen interest in computer technology and security, I specialize in delivering high-quality content that educates and empowers readers in navigating the digital landscape.

With a focus on computer technology and security, I am committed to sharing my knowledge and insights to help individuals and organizations protect themselves in the digital age. My expertise in cybersecurity principles, data privacy, and best practices allows me to provide practical tips and advice that readers can implement to enhance their online security.

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