PROFESSOR Ransomware (.professor Files) — How to remove virus?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Professor virus belongs under the VoidCrypt ransomware family. Harmful software of this type encrypts all the data on your PC (images, text files, excel sheets, audio files, videos, etc) and adds its extra extension to every file, leaving the !INFO.HTA text files in every directory with the encrypted files.
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What is known about the Professorvirus?

☝️ A strictly correct designation for the Professor is “a VoidCrypt family ransomware malicious agent”.

The renaming will be executed according to this pattern: id-*******.[email address].professor. After the encryption, a file named, for instance, “report.docx” will be turned into “report.docx.id-3018FBL138F.[profes0r@tutanota.com]”.

In each folder with the encoded files, a !INFO.HTA file will be created. It is a ransom money memo. Therein you can find information on the ways of paying the ransom and some other information. The ransom note usually contains a description of how to purchase the decryption tool from the racketeers. You can get this tool after contacting profes0r@tutanota.com through email. That is how they do it.

Professor outline:
NameProfessor Virus
Ransomware family1VoidCrypt ransomware
Extension.id-*******.[email address].professor
Ransomware note!INFO.HTA
Contactprofes0r@tutanota.com
Detection2Ransom:Win32/StopCrypt.PAT!MTB, Win32/Injector.AAQK, Win32/TrojanDownloader.Vespula.AY
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) have a .id-*******.[email address].professor extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Professor virus

In the picture below, you can see what a folder with files encrypted by the Professor looks like. Each filename has the “.id-*******.[email address].professor” extension added to it.

Professor Virus - encrypted .id-*******.[email address].professor files

That is how encrypted “.id-*******.[email address].professor” files look.

How did my machine catch Professor ransomware?

There are many possible ways of ransomware infiltration.

There are currently three most popular methods for hackers to have the Professor virus planted in your system. These are email spam, Trojan introduction and peer file transfer.

If you access your mailbox and see emails that look like familiar notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose addresser is strange to you, beware of opening those letters. They are most likely to have a malware file enclosed in them. Therefore, it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with letters like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan virus scheme3. A Trojan is an object that gets into your computer pretending to be something else. Imagine, you download an installer for some program you need or an update for some service. However, what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful agent that encrypts your data. Since the installation file can have any title and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the resource of the files you’re downloading. The optimal thing is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrents or eMule, the danger 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 a good idea to scan the folder containing the downloaded objects with the anti-malware utility as soon as the downloading is complete.

How to remove the Professor virus?

It is crucial to inform you that besides encrypting your data, the Professor virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your PC to get access to credentials to various accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). The mentioned spyware4 can derive your credentials from your browser’s auto-filling data.

Often tamperers would decrypt few of your files to prove that they indeed have the decryption program. As Professor virus is a relatively recent ransomware, safety measures designers have not yet found a method to reverse its work. Nevertheless, the decryption instruments are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Of course, if the hackers succeed in encrypting victim’s essential files, the desperate person will most likely comply with their demands. However, paying to criminals does not necessarily mean that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the money, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption code to the injured party. There were reports of ransomware developers just disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The optimal solution against ransomware is to have aan OS restore point or the copies of your critical files in the cloud disk or at least on an external disk. Surely, that might be not enough. Your most important thing could be that file you were working on when it all went down. Nevertheless, it is something. It is also wise to scan your drives with the anti-malware utility after the OS is rolled back.

There are other ransomware products, besides Professor, that work similarly. For instance, Bbbw, Maiv, Cuag, and some others. The two major differences between them and the Professor are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is the same: documents become inaccessible, their extensions changed, ransom notes emerge in every directory containing encrypted files.

Some fortunate users were able to decode the blocked files with the aid of the free software provided by anti-ransomware specialists. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decoding key to the wronged in the ransom readme. Such an epic fail allows the victim to restore the files. But obviously, one should never expect such a chance. Remember, ransomware is a bandits’ instrument to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avoid ransomware infiltration?

Professor ransomware doesn’t have a endless power, neither does any similar malware.

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

  • Never open any emails from unknown senders with strange addresses, or with content that has nothing to do with 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 likely something you are expecting, scrutinize all elements of the suspicious letter carefully. A fake email will surely have a mistake.
  • Avoid using cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as a part of cracked products, most likely as a “patch” preventing the license check. But dubious programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information on this program on the anti-malware forums, but the best way is not to use such programs at all.
  • And to be sure about the safety of the files you downloaded, scan them with GridinSoft Anti-Malware. This software will be a perfect 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.

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 Professor 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

🤔 Is it possible to open “.id-*******.[email address].professor” files?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.id-*******.[email address].professor” files you will not be able to access them.

🤔 The encrypted files are very important to me. How can I decrypt them quickly?

Hopefully, you have made a copy of those important files. Otherwise, you might try to employ System Restore. The only question is whether you have saved any Restore Points that would be helpful now. There are other ways to beat ransomware, but they take time.

🤔 Will GridinSoft Anti-Malware remove all the encrypted files alongside the Professor virus?

Of course not. 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 device is probably still functional and launching checks periodically to arrest any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been mentioned above, the Professor ransomware does not come alone. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide criminals with easy access to your system after some time.

🤔 What to do if the Professor ransomware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation key.

If that happened, you need to prepare a flash memory drive with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. You see, the ransomware runs automatically as the system boots and encrypts any new files created or imported into your system. To suppress this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the essential applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on booting Windows in Safe Mode.

🤔 What can I do right now?

Some of the encrypted files can be found elsewhere.

  • If you exchanged your important files through email, you could still download them from your online mail server.
  • You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or family members. Simply ask them to send those pictures back to you.
  • If you have initially got any of your files from the Internet, you can try doing it again.
  • Your messengers, social networks 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, mobile, external storage, etc.

HINT: You can use file recovery utilities7 to retrieve your lost information since ransomware encrypts the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the video below, you can learn how to recover your files with PhotoRec, but be advised: you can do it only after you eradicate the ransomware itself 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 PROFESSOR Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: PROFESSOR Virus

Description: PROFESSOR Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .professor 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. Encyclopedia of threats.
  3. You can read more on Trojans, their use and types in the Trojan-dedicated section of GridinSoft official website.
  4. You can read more on spyware variants and nature in the respective section of GridinSoft official website.
  5. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  6. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products/
  7. Here are the top 10 file recovery tools of 2021.

About the author

Brendan Smith

Journalist, researcher, web content developer, grant proposal editor. Efficient and proficient on multiple platforms and in diverse media. Computer technology and security are my specialties.

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