Security expert Tomas Meskauskas was the person who originally recognized the Po virus, which belongs to the Dharma ransomware family. Malware of this type encrypts all the data on your computer (photos, documents, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its specific extension to every file.
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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Po virus: what is known so far?
☝️ A strictly correct description for the Po is “a Dharma family ransomware-type malicious agent”.
The renaming will be executed by the following scheme: .Po. In the course of encryption, a file entitled, for example, “report.docx” will be changed to “report.docx.id-9ECFA84E.[firstname.lastname@example.org].Po”.
The ransom note usually contains instructions on how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can obtain this decrypting software after contacting email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org through email. That is pretty much the scheme of the malefaction.
|Ransomware family1||Dharma ransomware|
|Detection2||Python/Filecoder.AC, BAT/KillAV.NBD, Ransom:MSIL/Filecoder.ABL!MTB|
|Symptoms||Your files (photos, videos, documents) have a .Po extension and you can’t open them.|
|Fix Tool||See If Your System Has Been Affected by Po virus|
The note accompanying the Po malware states the following:
YOUR FILES ARE ENCRYPTED 1024 Don\'t worry, you can return all your files! If you want to restore them, write to the mail: email@example.com YOUR ID - If you have not answered by mail within 12 hours, write to us by another mail:firstname.lastname@example.org ATTENTION! We recommend you contact us directly to avoid overpaying agents Do not rename encrypted files. Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss. 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.
In the image below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Po looks like. Each filename has the “.Po” extension appended to it.
How did my computer get infected with Po ransomware?
There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.
There are currently three most popular methods for malefactors to have ransomware acting in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer-to-peer file transfer.
If you access your inbox and see letters that look just like notifications from utility services companies, postal agencies like FedEx, Internet providers, and whatnot, but whose “from” field is unknown to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a viral item attached to 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 horse scheme3. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something else. For example, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some service. However, what is unpacked turns out to be a harmful agent that encrypts your data. Since the update wizard can have any title and any icon, you have to make sure that you can trust the resource of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to trust the software developers’ official websites.
As for the peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent 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. 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 complete.
How to remove the Po virus?
It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your files, the Po virus will probably deploy the Azorult Spyware on your PC to seize your credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That spyware4 can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.
Often criminals would unblock some of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption tool. As Po virus is a relatively new ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a way to undo its work. However, the anti-ransomware tools are frequently updated, so the effective countermeasure may soon arrive.
Sure thing, if the criminals do the job of encoding someone’s critical files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your data back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining 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 bothering to reply.
The best 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 drive. Of course, that might be insufficient. Your most crucial thing could be that file you were working on when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also reasonable to scan your PC for viruses with the anti-malware utility after the system is rolled back.
Po is not the only ransomware of its kind, since there are other specimens of ransomware out there that act in the same manner. For instance, Vvew, Vvwq, Oori, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Po are the ransom amount and the encoding method. The rest is the same: documents become encoded, their extensions altered, ransom notes are created in each folder containing encoded files.
Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the help of the free software provided by anti-malware specialists. Sometimes the hackers accidentally send the decryption key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an extraordinary fail allows the user to restore the files. But obviously, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ technology to lay their hands on the money of their victims.
How to avoid ransomware attack?
Po ransomware doesn’t have a superpower, so as any similar malware.
You can armour your computer from its infiltration within three easy steps:
- Ignore any letters from unknown mailboxes with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with 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 expecting, scrutinize all elements of the questionable email with caution. A fake email will always have mistakes.
- Do not use cracked or unknown software. Trojan viruses are often shared as an element of cracked products, most likely under the guise of “patch” which prevents the license check. But untrusted programs are difficult to tell from reliable software, as trojans sometimes have the functionality you seek. You can try searching for information about this software product on the anti-malware forums, but the optimal solution is not to use such software.
- And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a powerful shield for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft5
There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft6.
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 computer.
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 Po 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 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
🤔 Can I somehow access “.Po” files?
There’s no way to do it, unless the files “.Po” files are decrypted.
🤔 What should I do to make my files accessible as fast as possible?
It’s good if you have fаr-sightedly saved copies of these important files elsewhere. 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.
🤔 If GridinSoft deletes the Po malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?
No way! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.
GridinSoft Anti-Malware will delete active infections from your system. The virus that has infected your PC is must be still functional and it scans your system periodically to encrypt any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Po 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 after some time.
🤔 What to do if the Po malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.
If that happened, you need to have a memory stick with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to perform the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or imported into your PC. To block this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital programs to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.
🤔 What could help the situation right now?
Many of the blocked files might still be within your reach
- If you sent or received your critical files through email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
- You might have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to post those pictures back to you.
- If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try downloading them again.
- Your messengers, social media pages, and cloud disks might have all those files too.
- It might be that you still have the needed files on your old computer, a notebook, cellphone, external storage, etc.
HINT: You can employ data recovery programs7 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the authentic ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you kill the virus with an anti-malware program.
Also, you can contact the following governmental 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;
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How to Remove PO Ransomware & Recover PC
Name: PO Virus
Description: PO Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .Po extension. So, you can't use them at all.
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Virus
User Review( votes)
- My files are encrypted by ransomware, what should I do now?
- 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 top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.