Security vendor Anvisoft has released Anvi Rescue Disk 1.0, a free bootable Linux-based environment with tools to help detect and remove ransomware from an infected PC.
And while this isn’t exactly a new idea, the system does have a few welcome touches which make it little more appealing than some of the competition.
Unzip the 106MB RescueDisk.zip download, for instance, and you don’t just get the standard ISO file. There’s also a BootUSB.exe tool which will use the image to create a bootable environment on any convenient USB key.
If you’re later infected by ransomware which demands payment before it’ll allow your PC to boot, open documents or something similar, then booting from Anvi Rescue Disk instead launches an extremely simple environment to assist in recovering the situation. In a click or two you can set the program scanning your PC, looking for and removing any threats.
Anvisoft has also included a “Repair” option, which apparently aims to fix Registry problems which might have been caused by malware. (We’re not entirely sure what these might be, but there are lots of possibilities which might cause boot issues, so presumably it’ll check the usual candidates and fix anything which looks corrupted or otherwise problematic.)
And even if these options don’t work – or, perhaps, your boot problems aren’t malware-related at all – then there may still be hope. The disc is based around CDlinux and Xfce, so includes plenty of other potentially useful tools. You might launch GPartEd or TestDisk to resolve partition problems, for instance; there are programs to browse your file system, and recover burn key documents to disc; and you get a copy of Firefox to assist in researching your problems online.
Everything didn’t go entirely to plan, for us, with scans failing on one system as the program couldn’t connect to its cloud server. The extra tools do make Anvi Rescue Disk a little more useful, though, so while we wouldn’t rely on it alone, it could still be a good idea to keep a copy around, just as additional protection against some future data disaster.