READNET Virus πŸ” (.READNET7 Files) β€” How to Remove?

Written by Brendan Smith
The Readnet virus falls within the MedusaLocker ransomware family. Harmful software of such sort encrypts all user’s data on the computer (photos, documents, excel tables, audio files, videos, etc) and appends its specific extension to every file, leaving the HOW_TO_RECOVER_DATA.html files in every folder with the encrypted files.
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Readnet virus: what is known so far?

☝️ A scientifically correct designation for the Readnet would be “a MedusaLocker family ransomware-type malicious agent”.

Readnet will append its own .Readnet7 extension to every file’s name. For example, a file named “photo.jpg” will be altered to “photo.jpg.Readnet7”. Just like the Excel file named “table.xlsx” will be renamed to “table.xlsx.Readnet7”, and so on.

In each directory containing the encoded files, a HOW_TO_RECOVER_DATA.html text document will appear. It is a ransom money note. Therein you can find information on the ways of contacting the racketeers and some other information. The ransom note most probably contains instructions on how to buy the decryption tool from the tamperers. That is how they do it.

Readnet overview:
NameReadnet Virus
Ransomware family1MedusaLocker ransomware
Extension.Readnet7
Ransomware noteHOW_TO_RECOVER_DATA.html
Detection2Win32/Injector.ASWI, MSIL/Filecoder.YN, Trojan:MSIL/Autorun.J!ibt
SymptomsYour files (photos, videos, documents) get a .Readnet7 extension and you can’t open them.
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by Readnet virus

In the screenshot below, you can see what a directory with files encrypted by the Readnet looks like. Each filename has the “.Readnet7” extension appended to it.

Readnet Virus - encrypted .Readnet7 files

That is how encrypted “.Readnet7” files look.

How did Readnet ransomware end up on my PC?

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

There are currently three most popular ways for criminals to have the Readnet virus settled in your digital environment. These are email spam, Trojan injection and peer networks.

If you access your mailbox and see emails that look just like notifications from utility services companies, delivery agencies like FedEx, web-access providers, and whatnot, but whose sender is strange to you, be wary of opening those emails. They are most likely to have a malware file attached to them. Thus it is even riskier to download any attachments that come with emails like these.

Another thing the hackers might try is a Trojan horse model3. A Trojan is an object that infiltrates into your computer disguised as something legal. Imagine, you download an installer of some program you want or an update for some program. But what is unboxed reveals itself a harmful agent that encrypts your data. Since the update wizard can have any name and any icon, you’d better be sure that you can trust the source of the things you’re downloading. The optimal way is to use the software developers’ official websites.

As for the peer-to-peer networks like torrent trackers 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 resources. Also, it is reasonable to scan the folder containing the downloaded files with the antivirus as soon as the downloading is done.

How do I get rid of the Readnet virus?

It is crucial to note that besides encrypting your data, the Readnet virus will most likely install the Azorult Spyware on your machine to seize your credentials to different accounts (including cryptocurrency wallets). That program can extract your logins and passwords from your browser’s auto-filling cardfile.

Often racketeers would decrypt some of your files so you know that they really have the decryption program. As Readnet virus is a relatively recent ransomware, security software engineers have not yet found a way to undo its work. Nevertheless, the anti-ransomware instruments are frequently upgraded, so the effective countermeasure may soon be available.

Sure thing, if the evildoers succeed in encrypting victim’s critical files, the hopeless person will probably comply with their demands. Despite that, paying to criminals gives no guarantee that you’re getting your files back. It is still dangerous. After obtaining the ransom, the racketeers may send a wrong decryption key to the injured party. There were reports of malefactors just disappearing after getting the ransom without even writing back.

The optimal countermeasure to ransomware is to have a system restore point or the copies of your essential files in the cloud drive or at least on an external storage. Obviously, that might be not enough. The most crucial 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 anti-malware utility after the OS restoration.

There are other ransomware products, besides Readnet, that work similarly. Examples of those are Hhwq, Vvwq, Oori, and some others. The two basic differences between them and the Readnet are the ransom amount and the method of encryption. The rest is almost identical: documents become encrypted, their extensions changed, 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 tools provided by anti-malware developers. Sometimes the racketeers accidentally send the decryption code to the victims in the ransom note. Such an epic fail allows the user to restore the files. But of course, one should never rely on such a chance. Make no mistake, ransomware is a tamperers’ tool to lay their hands on the money of their victims.

How сan I avert ransomware infection?

Readnet ransomware has no endless power, so as any similar malware.

You can armour your PC from ransomware infiltration taking 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 lottery without even taking part in it?). In case the email subject is likely something you are waiting for, check all elements of the questionable letter with caution. A hoax letter will surely have mistakes.
  • Avoid using cracked or untrusted software. Trojan viruses are often spreaded as an element of cracked software, most likely under the guise of β€œpatch” which prevents the license check. Understandably, potentially dangerous programs are very hard to tell from trustworthy ones, because trojans may also have the functionality you need. You can try searching for information about this program on the anti-malware message boards, 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 shield for your system.
Reasons why I would recommend GridinSoft4

There is no better way to recognize, remove and prevent ransomware than to use an anti-malware software from GridinSoft5.

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 β€œYes” 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 Readnet 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 β€œClean Now” button in right corner.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware Scan Result

FAQ

πŸ€” How can I open “.Readnet7” files?Are the “.Readnet7” files accessible?

Negative. That is why ransomware is so frustrating. Until you decode the “.Readnet7” files you will not be able to access them.

πŸ€” I really need to decrypt those β€œ.Readnet7” files ASAP. How can I do that?

If the β€œ.Readnet7” 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.

πŸ€” If GridinSoft deletes the Readnet malware, will it also delete my files that were encrypted?

Absolutely not! The encrypted files are not harmful, so they won’t be deleted.

With the help of GridinSoft Anti-Malware, you can clean your PC off the actual viruses. The malware that has infiltrated your computer is must be still functional and running scans periodically to encode any new files you might create on your PC after the infection. As it has been said above, the Readnet malware comes with the company. It installs backdoors and keyloggers that can steal your account credentials and provide malefactors with easy access to your PC after some time.

πŸ€” What actions should I take if the Readnet malware has blocked my PC and I can’t get the activation code.

In such a case, you need to have a flash memory card with a previously installed Trojan Killer. Use Safe Mode to execute the procedure. The point is that the ransomware runs automatically as the system launches and encrypts any new files created or imported into your machine. To stop this function – use Safe Mode, which allows only the vital applications to run upon system boot. Consider reading our manual on running Windows in Safe Mode.

πŸ€” 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 via email, you could still download them from your online mailbox.
  • You may have shared photographs or videos with your friends or relatives. Just ask them to send 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 networks pages, and cloud drives might have all those files too.
  • Maybe you still have the needed files on your old PC, a laptop, mobile, external storage, etc.

USEFUL TIP: You can use file recovery programs6 to get your lost data back since ransomware encodes the copies of your files, deleting the original ones. In the tutorial below, you can see how to use PhotoRec for such a restoration, but remember: you won’t be able to do it before you remove the virus with an antivirus 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 READNET Ransomware & Recover PC

Name: READNET Virus

Description: READNET Virus is a ransomware-type infections. This virus encrypts important personal files (video, photos, documents). The encrypted files can be tracked by a specific .Readnet7 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. GridinSoft Anti-Malware Review from HowToFix site: https://howtofix.guide/gridinsoft-anti-malware/
  5. More information about GridinSoft products: https://gridinsoft.com/products
  6. 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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