Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a notorious ransomware infection designed to encrypted data on targeted PC. It demands ransom for the decryption of files after encrypting them. This dubious virus append “.clay” extension to file names during the encryption process. For example, file name “photo.jpg” will get converted into “photo.jpg.clay”, which can only be accessed after decryption. It also leaves ransom notes with the name of “___RECOVER__FILES__.clay.txt” into compromised folders on infected PC.
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware Description
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a very violent and nasty computer malware. It is a disastrous PC threat that belongs to Ransomware family. It can intrude any Windows machine including XP, Vista, 7, 8 and the latest 10. Once inside your computer, Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware can conduct endless malignant activities that will downgrade your system performance. This notorious malware virus can easily alter your computer settings and disable your security related programs.
This Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware can encrypt all your data using a powerful encryption algorithm and make them inaccessible. It will also add its own extension to the end of all your files names to mark them encrypted. Upon successful encoding of your data, it will also leave ransom note on your computer to explain the decryption method and demand ransom money. Whenever you will try to open your files, Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware will show error message and ask you to pay the ransom to get decryption code.
When you will open the ransom note left by Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware, you will find out that your data is encrypted to cheat money from you. Hackers behind this infection will ask you that your files are encrypted through a powerful algorithm and can only be unlocked through a private decryption key generated for your system. You will be asked to contact the hackers about the ransom amount and proof of decryption code. They may offer to decrypt some of your files for free to show that your files can get recovered once your pay the extortion fee and buy decryption code.
Creators of this dubious Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware will ask you to pay ransom fees in BitCoin because it could not be traced and they will also give you some time for transferring the money and threatens to delete your decryption key if you don’t pay money within given time period. It is all an elaborate plan of hackers to scare them and force them into paying ransom money without looking for any other option to recover their data. Makers of Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware do not care about your files and they might not even reply you after getting the money.
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware spread through different tricks
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a dangerous malware that mostly spread through spam emails with malicious attachments. Your system could also get infected by this virus when you download freeware programs, cracked software or illegal patches from low quality websites. This dubious threat could also slip into your machine when you visit porn or torrent websites on regular basis. Misleading ads that redirect your browser on shady websites could also result into download of Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware on your computer because hackers often use those phishing sites to spread malware.
You should always by careful while using Internet, because it is full of crooks who are looking violate other people privacy and making illegal profit by any means necessary. This Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a dangerous threat which is designed to force users into paying money for getting access to their own files. It is very cruel and illegal process which is why you should not compromise with hackers, so that they will not think of doing this again.
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware : Threat Analysis
Is Data Recovery possible?
Recovering files encrypted by Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware could be very tricky but you don’t need to pay hefty ransom money to hackers. You can use you recent backup files to restore your data but for that you will need to remove this infection or it will keep encrypting your files. If you don’t have any backup then you can use data recovery software which is also a very good option.
You can also store your Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware encrypted files on any cloud server and wait for any free decryptor to released so that you can recover your files without paying ransom fees. Reinstalling the Windows or formatting your computer will eliminate any chances of recovering your files, so don’t do it instead use a powerful anti-malware application to remove this infection completely from your system. You are advised to follow the below guide to permanently remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware and recover your files safely.
Ransom note (“___RECOVER__FILES__.clay.txt”) contains following message:
All of your files have been encrypted. To unlock them, please send 0.01 bitcoin(s) to BTC address: bc1q6dkqnmj3ynetnk3asypm5malwd3se0ylcld5gh Afterwards, please email your transaction ID to: Clay_whoami_1@protonmail.ch Thank you and have a nice day!
Removal Tips for Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware infection
Now, first thing you need to know is to remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware from your computer. It is not an easy task to delete the file encrypting malware from infected PC. This kind of threats normally tends to create several malicious files copies at different location. It can also modify windows registry entries and host files to get back automatically on the system. You should combine Manual and Automatic Removal process to get rid of this infection completely. We have create a detailed guide for you which can help you in the removal process. Using Anti-Malware Software is the best and safest way to easily remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware and ensure that it will not get back on your PC.
How To Remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware
Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a harmful and notorious threat. It will keep creating new problems in your PC, so it very important to delete this malware permanently. When this kind of malware invades your system, it may also bring other threats to the victimized system. It can do major damage to your computer in a very quick time. It may have already spread its copies at different locations on your system. Files related to this infection can have different names, so it will make it harder to detect.
We are going to discuss two possible ways to remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware infection 1. Automatic Removal, 2. Manual Removal method. It’s better to have a complete diagnosis on the infected PC so that all the potential infections can easily be found and removed at once. You must clean your system properly and remove all the core files related to Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware. The Automatic Removal process is fast, precise, and error free whereas the Manual Removal process is time-consuming and a slight mistake can corrupt the entire operating system. We advised you to take the help of both methods to completely eliminate the virus from your PC.
Automatic Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware Removal Guide
As you already know that, Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware is a notorious and cunning malware that is not hard to remove easily by any user through manual means. This virus can keep coming back on the infected computer through files and shortcuts or settings that it has already created on your machine. Removing all those at once is the only way to get rid of this infection and stop it from getting on your system ever again.
So the best way to remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware effectively is to use a powerful Automatic Removal Tool and save your time and efforts. This software is a well-trusted and very powerful anti-malware program that can detect all hidden threats like Trojan, Ransomware, Worms, Spyware, Rootkits, and many others. It also provides 24X7 customer support and one-on-one Spyware HelpDesk support for Custom Malware removal. Advanced System Guard feature detects and removes threats in real-time. It has a very User-Friendly Interface and regular Malware updates make it most effective against the latest malware attacks.
How SpyHunter 5 Anti-Malware Works
- First, you need to click on the below download button to get the software.
Some time threats like Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware keeps getting back on the machine if all associated files are not removed. So you are advised to use a powerful Malware Removal Tool to run a thorough scan of your PC and delete all threats at once.
- Then double-click on the installer you downloaded to install the program.
- Launch Anti-Malware application and Start Scan Now of your PC.
- The software will scan your PC for all hidden threats and viruses on your system.
- Click on the Next button to see results and delete Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware and other threats.
How To Recover Your Encrypted Files
Now all your files got encrypted by the Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware then you need to recover your data without paying ransom money to hackers. If your files are important then you must have created a backup and you can use that backup to recover your files. If you don’t have a backup or this virus has encrypted your backup files, then you are left to seek professional help.
We recommend you use powerful data recovery software to restore your files encrypted .Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware. It is a risk-free and smart way. You can just download the free version and scan your PC for files. There is a high probability that it can recover most of your files in a fraction of the amount that hackers are demanding. It is also needless to say that paying hackers will only motivate hackers to carry out more attacks.
- First, you need to download Data Recovery software on your PC.
- Install the program, launch it then select the Data type to recover, and click the Next button.
- Select the location from where you want to recover data and click the Scan button.
- After the scan, software will list all files, select them and click the Recover button.
Manual Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware Removal Guide
Start PC in safe mode with networking
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type msconfig in the Run Box then click the OK button.
- Click on the Boot tab then the System configuration window will appear.
- Choose Safe Boot, check the network box, Click Apply, and press the OK button.
Kill Malicious Process From Task Manager
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type taskmgr in Run Box and then click the OK button.
- Find Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware related or any malicious process.
- Now right-click on it then click End process.
How To Uninstall Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware from Windows PC
- First of all Press Windows Key + R buttons together.
- Type appwiz.cpl in the Run box and then click the OK button.
- Now Programs and Features windows will appear on the screen.
- Find and remove all Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware related or malicious programs.
Remove Virus related Windows Registry entries
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type regedit in Run Box and then click the OK button.
- Registry Editor will open, then press CTRL +F buttons together.
- Now type Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware and then click on Find Next button.
- Find all the related entries and delete them one by one
Delete Virus related files from your PC
When a threat gets on to a PC, it most likely creates some files at different locations on the system. These files are used to perform a specific action and also help malware in getting back to the computer once it’s removed. So you just need to find also delete all those files associated with this .Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware. For that follow the below instruction :
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard
- Type each of the following in Run Box and press the OK button
For the first four options, look for any recent folder related to the .Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware and remove them. For the Temp folder, you can delete all the files.
Remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware via system restore
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type cmd in Run Box and then click the OK button.
- Type cd restore and press Enter, then type rstrui.exe and press Enter.
- When the System Restore window opens on your computer screen click the Next button, then choose a System Restore point you have created in the past and click the Next button.
- Finally, click on the Yes button to start the system restoration process.
Note: This will only work if you have a restore point set on your PC or it will give an error message. Restoring the computer to a previous version may or may not remove .Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware. Most of the time, viruses just delete all the restore points. If this trick does not work for you then don’t get disappointed.
After restoring your computer, we recommend you run a thorough scan of the PC using a Powerful Anti-Malware program to detect and remove any hidden threats. In most cases, viruses may spread through any files outside of the C drive because system restoring only affect the C drive. There may be some Virus related files hiding your PC, and it never hurts to double-check.
Sometimes, system restore doesn’t work or viruses can just remove the restore points. As such you will probably have no other choice than to choose the Automatic Removal Process. It is the best and error-free method to find and remove threats from your computer. Additionally, you should also check some important malware prevention tips provided here in this guide to avoid similar virus attacks in the future.
Remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware From MacOS
If you are a mac user, and your machine got infected by this nasty file-encrypting malware then you need to remove it as soon as possible. Although Mac systems are quite safe they still do get infected. So you can delete this infection using the below steps:
Stop Malicious Program From Activity Monitor
- First, you need to open Utilities folder on your Mac system.
- Find the Activity Monitor icon and double-click on it to open it.
- Find Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware related process, click the cross button from the upper left side corner to end task.
- A pop-up dialogue box will appear on the screen, click on the Force Quit button.
Remove Virus From Application Folder
- First, go to the Dock option (bottom of your screen) then click on Finder App.
- Now you have to open the Applications Folders to see all the programs.
- Find Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware or any other unwanted program then move it to Trash.
Remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware Related Files From Mac
When any program is installed on your Mac, it creates several files on your system that support the functioning of that application. If you need to remove any virus from your Mac, then you need to delete all related files completely. These files could be found at :
- Application Support
Follow below steps to remove virus related files from these locations:
- First of all press the Command+Shift+G buttons together on your keyboard.
- Now you can see Go To Folder option on your Mac screen.
- Type in /Library/LaunchAgents in the text field and click on Go button.
- Find and remove any Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware related or malicious file.
Now follow the same process for Application Support and LaunchDaemons folders. But be careful, don’t delete any important files or you can break down your entire system.
Attention: If you are not tech-savvy, then it could be quite difficult to remove Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware manually from your Mac. The best way is to download SpyHunter Mac Anti-Malware and see if it can detect all hidden threats and viruses on your computer. It’s really super easy and you should give it a try.
How SpyHunter Mac Anti-Malware Works
- First, download the SpyHunter for Mac by clicking on the below button.
Some time threats like Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware keep getting back on the machine if all associated files are not removed. So you are advised to use a powerful Malware Removal Tool to run a thorough scan of your Mac and delete all threats at once.
- Now go to the Download Folder from the Docs and Install the SpyHunter Anti-Malware For Mac.
- Launch the Program, and click on Start Scan Now button.
- Software will start running a a full scan of your mac instantly to look for any malware, virus, threats, malicious programs or security risk and so on.
- Finally you will see a list of malwares detected on your mac, now click on Next button to start the removal process.
Tips To Prevent Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware in Future
- Use a good anti-virus, be it a free version but don’t use cracked security programs.
- Make sure that your Windows firewall is active, so it can block upcoming threats.
- Keep your Windows/Mac OS and other programs updated to avoid vulnerabilities.
- Download updates only from official websites, don’t use suspicious sites.
- Never download and install pirated software, games, or illegal patches on your PC.
- Do not open spam emails from an unknown sender and scan all attachments before opening.
- Never download freeware third-party programs from unreliable sources or websites.
- Avoid connecting your PC to unsafe public Wi-Fi to protect your privacy.
- You can also use a VPN to spoof your connection and avoid malicious sites.
- Create a system restore point on your system for security purposes.
- Keep backup of all your important files to avoid data loss.
Report cyber attack to Authorities
If you are also a Victim of Clay (Gray Hat) Ransomware then you should report this cybercrime incident to legal authorities in your county. Here is the list of some of the official government websites for reporting fraud and scam activities:
- United States – Guard Online
- Australia – SCAMwatch
- United Kingdom – Action Fraud
- New Zealand – Consumer Affairs Scams
- Canada – Canadian Anti-Fraud
- Ireland – An Garda Síochána
- India – National Cybercrime Reporting Portal
You can also search to find the Internet Crime Authority in your country. Meanwhile, it will not help you remove or restore your files in any way but it’s merely information to authorities. Once you register your complaint, authorities might look into and take preventive measures to stop further attacks. However, don’t get lured by third-party criminal reporting sites or fake technical support websites. They are more like to cheat you instead of helping you.