PINGS Virus ๐Ÿ” (.PINGS Files) โ€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith

The Pings virus falls under the ransomware type of infection. Ransomware of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (images, text files, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file, leaving the FILE RECOVERY.txt text files in every folder containing encrypted files.

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What is Pings virus?

Pings appends its specific .pings extension to the name of each encoded file. For example, a file entitled “photo.jpg” will be changed to “photo.jpg.pings”. Just like the Excel file with the name “table.xlsx” will become “table.xlsx.pings”, and so forth.

In each directory that contains the encoded files, a FILE RECOVERY.txt text document will be found. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information about the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the tamperers. You can get this decoding tool after contacting new_pings@tutanota.com by email. That is basically the scheme of the felony.

Pings Overview:

NamePings Virus
Extension.pings
Ransomware noteFILE RECOVERY.txt
Contactnew_pings@tutanota.com
DetectionMSIL/Spy.Agent.DTP, Trojan:MSIL/Lokibot.ABXX!MTB, Trojan:Win32/Smokeloader.AMBI!MTB
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .pings extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Pings virus

The FILE RECOVERY.txt document coming in package with the Pings ransomware states the following:

YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED !!!

TO DECRYPT, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS:

You have to pay for decryption in Bitcoins. The price depends on how fast you write to us. After payment we will send you the decryption tool that will decrypt all your files.
Free decryption as guarantee
Before paying you can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)

Attention!
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
If you delete a file with an extension (_TMP) This will cause this file to permanently damage!!!!!


Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

If you want to restore them, write us to the e-mail
new_pings@tutanota.com
Write this ID in the title of your message
ID:-

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

Pings Virus - encrypted .pings files

That is how encrypted “.pings” files look.

How did my computer get infected with Pings ransomware?

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

There are currently three most exploited methods for hackers to have the Pings virus planted in your system. 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, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a harmful file enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even more dangerous to download any attachments that come with emails like these.
  • Another option for ransom hunters is a Trojan virus scheme. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your machine pretending to be something legal. For instance, you download an installer of some program you need or an update for some program. But what is unboxed turns out to be a harmful program that encrypts your data. Since the installation package can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the source of the files you’re downloading. The best way is to use the software companies’ official websites.
  • As for the peer networks like torrent trackers 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. So you’d better be using trustworthy websites. Also, it is a good idea to scan the directory containing the downloaded files with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is done.

How to remove ransomware?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your files, the Pings virus will probably deploy Vidar Stealer on your PC to get access to credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Remove Pings with Gridinsoft Anti-Malware

We have also been using this software on our systems ever since, and it has always been successful in detecting viruses. It has blocked the most common Ransomware as shown from our tests with the software, and we assure you that it can remove Pings as well as other malware hiding on your computer.

Gridinsoft Anti-Malware - Main Screen

To use Gridinsoft for remove malicious threats, follow the steps below:

1. Begin by downloading Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, accessible via the blue button below or directly from the official website gridinsoft.com.

2.Once the Gridinsoft setup file (setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe) is downloaded, execute it by clicking on the file.

setup-gridinsoft-fix.exe

3.Follow the installation setup wizard's instructions diligently.

Gridinsoft Setup Wizard

4. Access the "Scan Tab" on the application's start screen and launch a comprehensive "Full Scan" to examine your entire computer. This inclusive scan encompasses the memory, startup items, the registry, services, drivers, and all files, ensuring that it detects malware hidden in all possible locations.

Scan for Pings Ransomware

Be patient, as the scan duration depends on the number of files and your computer's hardware capabilities. Use this time to relax or attend to other tasks.

5. Upon completion, Anti-Malware will present a detailed report containing all the detected malicious items and threats on your PC.

The Pings was Found

6. Select all the identified items from the report and confidently click the "Clean Now" button. This action will safely remove the malicious files from your computer, transferring them to the secure quarantine zone of the anti-malware program to prevent any further harmful actions.

The Pings has been removed

8. If prompted, restart your computer to finalize the full system scan procedure. This step is crucial to ensure thorough removal of any remaining threats. After the restart, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware will open and display a message confirming the completion of the scan.

Remember Gridinsoft offers a 6-day free trial. This means you can take advantage of the trial period at no cost to experience the full benefits of the software and prevent any future malware infections on your system. Embrace this opportunity to fortify your computer's security without any financial commitment.

Trojan Killer for “Pings” removal on locked PC

In situations where it becomes impossible to download antivirus applications directly onto the infected computer due to malware blocking access to websites, an alternative solution is to utilize the Trojan Killer application.

Trojan Killer - Main View

There is a really little number of security tools that are able to be set up on the USB drives, and antiviruses that can do so in most cases require to obtain quite an expensive license. For this instance, I can recommend you to use another solution of GridinSoft - Trojan Killer Portable. It has a 14-days cost-free trial mode that offers the entire features of the paid version. This term will definitely be 100% enough to wipe malware out.

Trojan Killer is a valuable tool in your cybersecurity arsenal, helping you to effectively remove malware from infected computers. Now, we will walk you through the process of using Trojan Killer from a USB flash drive to scan and remove malware on an infected PC. Remember, always obtain permission to scan and remove malware from a computer that you do not own.

Step 1: Download & Install Trojan Killer on a Clean Computer:

1. Go to the official GridinSoft website (gridinsoft.com) and download Trojan Killer to a computer that is not infected.

Download Trojan Killer

2. Insert a USB flash drive into this computer.

3. Install Trojan Killer to the "removable drive" following the on-screen instructions.

Install Trojan Killer to Removable Drive

4. Once the installation is complete, launch Trojan Killer.

Step 2: Update Signature Databases:

5. After launching Trojan Killer, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet.

6. Click "Update" icon to download the latest signature databases, which will ensure the tool can detect the most recent threats.

Click Update Button

Step 3: Scan the Infected PC:

7. Safely eject the USB flash drive from the clean computer.

8. Boot the infected computer to the Safe Mode.

9. Insert the USB flash drive.

10. Run tk.exe

11. Once the program is open, click on "Full Scan" to begin the malware scanning process.

Searching Pings Virus

Step 4: Remove Found Threats:

12. After the scan is complete, Trojan Killer will display a list of detected threats.

Searching Pings Finished

13. Click on "Cure PC!" to remove the identified malware from the infected PC.

14. Follow any additional on-screen prompts to complete the removal process.

Restart needed

Step 5: Restart Your Computer:

15. Once the threats are removed, click on "Restart PC" to reboot your computer.

16. Remove the USB flash drive from the infected computer.

Congratulations on effectively removing Pings and the concealed threats from your computer! You can now have peace of mind, knowing that they won't resurface again. Thanks to Gridinsoft's capabilities and commitment to cybersecurity, your system is now protected.

Sometimes tamperers would unblock several of your files so you know that they indeed have the decryption program. As Pings virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software developers have not yet found a method to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware tools are constantly upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the criminals do the job of encrypting someone’s critical data, the desperate person will most likely fulfill their demands. However, paying a ransom gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still risky. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the victim. There were reports of malefactors simply disappearing after getting the money without even bothering to reply.

The optimal safety measure against ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud drive or at least on an external disk. Obviously, that might be insufficient. The most important thing could be that one you were working on when it all started. But at least it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your drives with the antivirus program after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Pings, that work similarly. Examples of those are Cdpo, Cdtt, 2700, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Pings are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become blocked, their extensions altered, ransom notes are found in each directory containing encoded files.

Some fortunate victims were able to decode the arrested files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-malware experts. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decoding key to the victims in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a tamperers’ instrument to pull the money out of their victims.

How do I avert ransomware attack?

Pings ransomware has no superpower, neither does any similar malware.

You can armour your computer from its infiltration within several easy steps:

  • Never open any letters from unknown mailers with unknown addresses, or with content that has likely no connection to something you are waiting for (can you win in a lottery without even taking part in it?). If the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email with caution. A hoax letter will surely contain a mistake.
  • Never use cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as a part of cracked products, possibly as a โ€œpatchโ€ which prevents the license check. But dubious programs are difficult to tell from trustworthy ones, as trojans may also have the functionality you need. Try to find information on this software product on the anti-malware message boards, 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 perfect defense for your system.

Frequently Asked Questions

๐Ÿค” How can I open “.pings” files?Are the “.pings” files accessible?

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

๐Ÿค” I really need to decrypt those โ€œ.pingsโ€ files ASAP. How can I do that?

It’s good if you have fะฐr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. 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.

๐Ÿค” If GridinSoft deletes the Pings malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

No way! Unlike the ransomware program itself, the encrypted files do not jeopardize your system.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware only deals with active viruses. The ransomware that has infected your PC is probably still functional and running scans every so often to arrest any new files you might create on your computer after the attack. As it has been said above, the Pings malware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can take your account passwords by trespass and provide malefactors with easy access to your PC after some time.

๐Ÿค” What to do if the Pings malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

In such an unfortunate situation, 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 runs automatically as the system boots and encodes any new files created or imported into your machine. To block this process – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run automatically. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

๐Ÿค” What could help the situation 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 may have shared images or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to give those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially downloaded any of your files from the Web, you can try downloading them again.
  • Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud storage might have all those files as well.
  • It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a laptop, cellphone, memory stick, etc.

HINT: You can employ file recovery utilities1 to get your lost data back since ransomware blocks the copies of your files, removing the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but remember: you can do it only after you remove the ransomware itself with an anti-malware program.

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Brendan Smith
How to Remove PINGS Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: PINGS Virus

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

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Virus

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References

  1. 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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