Malware may reinstall itself multiple times if you don't delete its core files. This may require tracking down dozens of files in different locations.
We recommend downloading Advanced System Repair to eradicate Malware for you (it should cut down the time to about 15 minutes).
What is Guarded ransomware? And how does it implement its attack?
Guarded ransomware is a dangerous crypto-malware infection that can corrupt important data in a computer. According to security experts, it is a new and improved version of Sguard ransomware. This new malware strain appears to still follow the same pattern in implementing its attack. It uses a “.Guarded” extension to mark all the files it has managed to encrypt.
It starts to implement its attack by connecting to a remote server where it downloads its other components and places them on several system folders. These components allows the crypto-virus to launch or repress system processes. Using these components, it also employs a data harvesting module which gathers information from the system. The obtained information is processed and used for the stealth protection module which allows the crypto-virus to bypass security programs, virtual hosts, antivirus programs and sandbox environment that may interrupt the attack. To make its removal difficult, Guarded ransomware also alters some entries in the Windows Registry, allowing it to carry out its attack automatically in every system boot. Once it achieved in modifying essential system settings, Guarded ransomware will begin scanning the system for files with the following extensions:
.3dm, .3g2, .3gp, .7zip, .aaf, .accdb, .aep, .aepx, .aet, .ai, .aif, .as, .as.txt, .as3, .asf, .asp, .asx, .avi, .bmp, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .doc, .docb, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dwg, .dxf, .dxf.c, .efx, .eps, .fla, .flv, .gif, .h, .idml, .iff, .indb, .indd, .indl, .indt, .inx, .jar, .java, .jpeg, .jpg, .js, .m3u, .m3u8, .m4u, .max, .mdb, .mid, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpa, .mpeg, .mpg, .msg, .pdb, .pdf, .php, .plb, .pmd, .png, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppam, .ppj, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prel, .prproj, .ps, .psd, .py, .ra, .rar, .raw, .rb, .rtf, .sdf, .ses, .sldm, .sldx, .sql, .svg, .swf, .tif, .txt, .vcf, .vob, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .xla, .xlam, .xll, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xqx, .zip
The instant Guarded ransomware locates these files, it encrypts them using the AES cipher. Following its encryption of the files, it appends .Guarded extension in every compromised file. You will then see a text file named “GUARDED-README.txt” which contains the following content:
“! STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE NON-ORIGIN DECRYPTION TOOLS OR MODIFYING ENCRYPTED FILES – DATA WILL BE LOST !
Your server have been attacked by an Unathorized user.
All your files have been encrypted with RSA Private Key to safe them from unathorized 3rd party access.
To RESTORE all your files back, please follow this few steps:
- PP-EUS service charges a payment for file decryption;
- After payment being processed, provide us your server id-key;
- Receive your unique decryption tool;
- Run the decryption tool and successfully restore all your files back to normal state.
100% Successful restoring of all files
100% Satisfaction guarantee
100% Safe and secure service
As a proof of our trusted decryption service, you can send us 1 file and get it decrypted for free.
! STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO USE NON-ORIGIN DECRYPTION TOOLS OR MODIFYING ENCRYPTED FILES – DATA WILL BE LOST !
! ONLY OUR DECRYPTION TOOL CAN RESTORE YOUR FILES !
Contact us: email@example.com
Payment type: Bitcoin
Our wallet: 19k8MNYRjVvkcozePZLnBhftrvGPfeugmN
Your server ID-KEY:
For any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
ProtonProject EUS © 2019”
How does Guarded ransomware spread online?
Guarded ransomware could spread online in various ways. It may spread via a payload dropper that initiates the malicious script used for the crypto-virus to run in the system. It might also spread by hacking into unprotected RDP configuration, exploit kits and fake software update which is why you must always keep your computer protected by constantly updating the system and all the antivirus and security programs installed in it.
Make sure to follow the removal guide laid out below for successful termination of Guarded ransomware and its corresponding malicious processes.
Step 1: First, you have to stop the malicious process of Guarded ransomware by opening the Task Manager. To do that, simply tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
Step 2: Under the Task Manager, switch to the Processes tab and find a process named Guarded5.exe as well as any suspicious-looking process that takes up most of your CPU’s resources and is most likely related to Guarded ransomware.
Step 3: After that, close the Task Manager.
Step 4: Tap Win + R, type in appwiz.cpl and click OK or tap Enter to open Programs and Features under Control Panel.
Step 5: Under the list of installed programs, look for Guarded ransomware or anything similar and then uninstall it.
Step 6: Next, close Control Panel and tap Win + E keys to launch File Explorer.
Step 7: Navigate to the following locations below and look for Guarded ransomware’s malicious components such as GUARDED-README.txt, [random].exe and other suspicious files, then delete all of them.
Step 8: Close the File Explorer.
Before you proceed to the next steps below, make sure that you are tech savvy enough to the point where you know exactly how to use and navigate your computer’s Registry. Keep in mind that any changes you make will highly impact your computer. To save you the trouble and time, you can just use Advanced System Repair, this system tool is proven to be safe and excellent enough that hackers won’t be able to hack into it. But if you can manage Windows Registry well, then by all means go on to the next steps.
Step 9: Tap Win + R to open Run and then type in regedit in the field and tap enter to pull up Windows Registry.
Step 10: Navigate to the following path:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\
- HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\
Step 11: Delete the registry keys and sub-keys created by Guarded ransomware.
Step 12: Close the Registry Editor and empty the Recycle Bin.
Try to recover your encrypted files using the Shadow Volume copies
Restoring your encrypted files using Windows’ Previous Versions feature will only be effective if Guarded ransomware hasn’t deleted the shadow copies of your files. But still, this is one of the best and free methods there is, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
To restore the encrypted file, right-click on it and select Properties, a new window will pop-up, then proceed to Previous Versions. It will load the file’s previous version before it was modified. After it loads, select any of the previous versions displayed on the list like the one in the illustration below. And then click the Restore button.
Complete the removal process of Guarded ransomware by using a trusted and reliable program like Advanced System Repair. Refer to the following guidelines on how to use it.
Perform a full system scan using asr. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, https://www.fixmypcfree.com/download.php?asr in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run asr to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.