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Danger level 8
Type: Trojans
Common infection symptoms:
  • Slow Computer
  • System crashes
  • Normal system programs crash immediatelly
  • Connects to the internet without permission
  • Installs itself without permissions
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel

Karl Ransomware

Users who notice .karl extension on their files should learn all about Karl Ransomware. It is a malicious file-encrypting program that comes from the Stop Ransomware family, which means there are lots of similar threats out there. If you happened to encounter such a malicious application, you should know that the files it encrypts cannot be restored without special decryption tools. Hackers behind this malware offer their decryptor for which they want to be paid at least 490 US dollars. Even if you can afford spending such a sum, you should decide whether your data is worth it. The truth is you might not receive the promised decryption tools even if you pay a ransom as no one can tell whether the hackers will hold on to their end of the bargain or not. If you do not think such people can be trusted, we advise not to tolerate any demands. Whatever your choice is, we recommend erasing Karl Ransomware from your system. If you want to know why you should continue reading our article. Below this text, you can find instructions showing how to delete the threat manually.

The first thing you ought to know after encountering any kind of malicious application is how it ended up on your system and what to do to avoid similar threats in the future. Karl Ransomware is likely to be spread with email attachments, software installers, updates, and similar content found on the Internet. Of course, infected files usually come from unreliable or malicious sources, such as Spam emails, messages from unknown senders, or people who claim to represent reputable companies, questionable file-sharing websites, and so on. Thus, to protect your computer and your files, you have to be careful with the sites you visit and the data you choose to download/launch. The safest option is never to open or download files that could be possibly dangerous. For example, if you know a file comes from a website that could contain malware or from a person you do not know. In such cases, we advise not to open files or at least scan them with a reliable antimalware tool first.

Same as most of the malicious applications from the Stop Ransomware family, Karl Ransomware should encrypt various private files, for example, text and other types of documents. The reason why such malware often avoids encrypting program data is to avoid making an infected device unbootable. Also, to make it easier to see which files are no longer readable, the threat appends a particular second extension at the end of all encrypted files' titles. In this case, the second extension is called .karl, for example, flowers.jpg.karl. The next step for the malware is creating a ransom note called _readme.txt in the user’s C: disk. Also, it is possible the note could be placed in other directories containing enciphered data. All ransom notes from threats belonging to the Stop Ransomware family are almost identical. In the beginning, they say: “Don't worry, you can return all your files!” and then continue with an explanation on how to get a decryption tool that could restore all encrypted files.

The note shown by Karl Ransomware ought to ask to write a message to and pay 490 US dollars in 72 hours. If a user does not pay in the given time frame, cybercriminals demand to pay 980 US dollars instead. To convince victims to comply, they provide a video showing the promised decryption tool and offer to send one unimportant file for free decryption. However, even with such “guarantees,” there is a risk the hackers may not keep up with their promises. Thus, paying a ransom is not what we recommend for users who do not want to risk losing their money in vain.

Lastly, we would like to explain why we advise removing Karl Ransomware as soon as you can if it enters your system. Our researchers learned that the malware might be able to restart with the operating system. This ability may allow it to relaunch at each restart and start encrypting the user’s files once again. It is likely the malicious application could encrypt data that have not been affected yet, such as newly created or downloaded files. If you do not want to take any chances and risk your future files, we recommend erasing Karl Ransomware with the instructions available below or a chosen antimalware tool that could deal with the malicious application for you.

Remove Karl Ransomware

  1. Click Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
  2. Choose Task Manager and select Processes.
  3. Find a process belonging to the threat.
  4. Mark it and click End Task.
  5. Exit Task Manager.
  6. Click Win+E.
  7. Find these paths:
  8. Find the malicious application’s launcher (suspicious file downloaded before your computer became infected).
  9. Right-click it and select Delete.
  10. Navigate to: %LOCALAPPDATA%
  11. Look for a folder with a long name from random characters that should contain a malicious .exe file, for example, 0115174b-bd55-4caf-a89a-d8ff8132151f.
  12. Right-click the malicious folder and press Delete.
  13. Go to C: disk and find a file called _readme.txt, right-click it and select Delete.
  14. Check this location: C:\SystemID
  15. Find a file named PersonalID.txt and remove it too.
  16. Exit File Explorer.
  17. Empty Recycle Bin.
  18. Restart the computer.
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