PGP Ransomware 🔐 (.PGP File) — Removal Guide

Written by Brendan Smith
The Pgp virus falls within the Dharma ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (images, documents, excel tables, music, videos, etc) and adds its own extension to every file, creating the FILES ENCRYPTED.txt text files in each folder containing encrypted files.
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What is Pgp virus?

☝️ A scientifically correct denomination for the Pgp is “a Dharma family ransomware-type infection”.

The renaming will be done by this scheme: id-xxxxx.[contact_email].pgp. In the process of encryption, a file entitled, for instance, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id-1E857D00.[[email protected]].pgp”.

In each folder that contains the encrypted files, a FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file will be created. It is a ransom money note. It contains information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other remarks. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decoding tool after contacting [email protected] by email. That is how they do it.

Pgp summary:
NamePgp Virus
Ransomware family1Dharma ransomware
Extension.pgp
Ransomware noteFILES ENCRYPTED.txt
Contact[email protected]
DetectionCrytex.Virus.FileInfector.DDS, Win32/Filecoder.OLC, Malware-Cryptor.InstallCore.5
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .pgp extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Pgp virus

The FILES ENCRYPTED.txt file coming in package with the Pgp malware provides the following discouraging information:

all your data has been locked us
You want to return?
Write email [email protected] 

In the image below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Pgp looks like. Each filename has the “.pgp” extension added to it.

Pgp Virus - encrypted .pgp files

An example of encrypted .pgp files.

How did my computer get infected with Pgp ransomware?

There are plenty of possible ways of ransomware injection.

Nowadays, there are three most exploited ways for tamperers to have ransomware settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.

If you open your inbox and see letters that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are very likely to have a viral file attached to them. So it is even more dangerous to open any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme2. A Trojan is a program that gets into your computer pretending to be something else. For instance, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some service. But what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful agent that corrupts your data. Since the installation package can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software companies’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent or eMule, the danger is that they are even more trust-based than the rest of the Web. You can never know 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 items with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Pgp virus?

It is important to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Pgp virus will probably install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can derive your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often tamperers would unblock several of your files to prove that they really have the decryption program. As Pgp virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software engineers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the decoding instruments are frequently updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.

Sure thing, if the evildoers succeed in encrypting victim’s essential data, the hopeless person will most likely fulfill their demands. However, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your blocked information back. It is still dangerous. After getting the money, the racketeers may deliver a wrong decryption code to the victim. There were reports of hackers just vanishing after getting the money without even writing back.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external drive. Of course, that might be not enough. The most important thing could be that file you were working upon when it all happened. But at least it is something. It is also wise to scan your PC for viruses with the antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Pgp, that work similarly. For instance, Mzqw, Bpsm, Poqw, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Pgp are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: documents become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes appear in every folder containing encoded files.

Some lucky users were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free tools provided by anti-ransomware developers. Sometimes the criminals accidentally send the decryption code to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the victim to restore the files. But naturally, one should never expect such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a bandits’ tool to pull the money out of their victims.

How to avoid ransomware infection?

Pgp ransomware has no endless power, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour your system from ransomware attack within several easy steps:

  • Ignore any letters from unknown senders with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (how can you win in a money prize draw without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is more or less something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable letter carefully. A fake letter will always have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or unknown programs. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as a part of cracked software, possibly under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, dubious programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy ones, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best solution is not to use such software.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the objects you downloaded, use GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful defense for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft3

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft4.

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 computer for Pgp 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 completed, 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

Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Can I somehow access “.pgp” files?

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

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

If the “.pgp” files contain some really important information, then you probably have them backed up. In case you haven’t, there is still a chance that you do have a Restore Point from some time ago to roll back the whole system to the moment when it had no virus yet, but already had your files. The rest of the methods require patience.

🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Pgp malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your system off the actual threats. The ransomware that has infiltrated your computer is must be still active and it scans your system every so often to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the attack. As it has been mentioned above, the Pgp virus does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide hackers with easy access to your PC after some time.

🤔 What should I do if the Pgp ransomware 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 pre-installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the cleaning. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Many of the encoded files might still be at your disposal

  • If you sent or received your important files by email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Simply ask them to give those images 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 disks might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, cellphone, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery utilities5 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware arrests the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can learn how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but be advised: you won’t be able to do it before you eradicate the virus with an anti-malware program.

Also, you can contact the following official 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 PGP Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: PGP Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
  2. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  3. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  4. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/comparison
  5. Here’s the list of Best 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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