Most crypto malware ransomware is typically programmed to automatically remove itself
...the malicious files responsible for the infection...after the encrypting is done since they are no longer needed. The encrypted files do not contain malicious code so they are safe. Unfortunately, most victims do not realize they have been infected until the ransomware displays the ransom note and the files have already been encrypted. In some cases there may be no ransom note and discovery only occurs at a later time when attempting to open an encrypted file. As such, they don't know how long the malware was on the system before being alerted or if other malware was installed along with the ransomware. If other malware was involved it could still be present so be sure to perform full scans with your anti-virus.
If your antivirus did not detect and remove anything, additional scans should be performed with other security programs like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and Emsisoft Anti-Malware
. You can also supplement your anti-virus or get a second opinion by performing an Online Virus Scan
is one of the more effective online scanners.
When you discover that your computer is infected with ransomware you should immediately create a copy or image of the entire hard drive
. Doing that allows you to save the complete state of your system (and all encrypted data) in the event that a free decryption solution is developed in the future. In some cases, there may be decryption tools available but there is no guarantee
they will work properly since the malware writers keep releasing new variants in order to defeat the efforts of security researchers.Imaging the drive backs up everything related to the infection including encrypted files, ransom notes and registry entries containing possible information which may be needed if a solution is ever discovered
. The encrypted files do not contain malicious code so they are safe. Even if a decryption tool is available, they do not always work correctly so keeping a backup of the original encrypted files and related information is a good practice.