ApolloLocker Ransomware Virus - How To Remove?

 

ApolloLocker ransomware virus is a new Turkish variant which is created in Visual Studio 2010 environment. This malware appends a very popular extension of .locked which is also exploited by many other crypto-viruses. BitPaymer, May and Amnesia samples are a few examples that add the same mark to the corrupted digital data.

ApolloLocker computer virus: things you need to know

Payload of this Turkish ransomware version is Cc.exe file which is labeled as Trojan.Filecoder. Cryptolockerservice.com link leads to a domain, registered in Panama, that presents an explicit ransom note. In this domain, only Turkish-speaking users will be able to understand its content. Therefore, it could be that mostly Turkish countries are threatened by this variant. However, there could also be some exceptions when people from other countries are also compromised. Somehow, people from Turkey are frequently targeted by hackers: Turkish FileEncryptor, Kripto64 and Uyari ransomware are targeting Turkish-speaking users as well.

Apollolocker virus

Technical analysis of the ApolloLocker crypto-virus has proven its cc.exe file as very malicious. First of all, it initiates modifications to Windows Registry and makes sure that the payload will be auto-executed after every reboot. 1.exe files (VirusTotal) could also be the source of this ransomware infection.

Furthermore, to prevent malware from crashing or not doing anything at all, payloads exploit anti-VM tricks (Hybrid-analysis). These methods can guarantee the proper functionality of malware and allow it to stay undetected longer (Sentinealone). Also, these files have been noticed to modify files or console tracing settings. On the other hand, it is rather bizarre that ransomware creators give a few weeks for victims to pay fees for decryption.

Speaking of fees, 0.1090691 BTC is required to be paid by the victims of ApolloLocker crypto-virus. This equals approximately 491.46 US dollar. Besides the website that contains most of the important information about this virus, ransomware also appends a few files on victims’ desktops. DOSYALARI-KURTAR %num%.txt and DOSYALARI-KURTAR %num%.url files present different texts: they urge people to visit the Cryptolockerservice.com website. Knowing that separate victims will have individual ID numbers, requested ransoms could differ according to the amount of encrypted data.

Apollolocker ransomware

Furthermore, ApolloLocker crypto-virus will extract many additional files that will be working on different objectives. For example, it could be that one of them will be adjusted to delete Shadow Volume Copies. It would be no surprise as many ransomware infections are known to remove these backup versions, like the variant called Arena ransomware.

Some security experts have speculated that maybe payloads of this ransomware are bound to self-destruct if they enter operating systems of people that are not from Turkey. However, there is no evidence that the payloads check language preferences or physical location via IP addresses.

How to restore files? Protect yourself from ransomware?

One of the best options is to simply store your files in backup storages. Placing your files in USB flash drives or other locations also works. If can retrieve your files from an additional source anytime, then encryption that crypto-viruses inflict will not be a bother. Additionally, you could protect your operating system with strong security software, like Reimage, which can help prevent many malware infections from occurring. Also, it is very important to remove the ransomware infection before attempting to decrypt files.

Sadly, security researchers have not produced a respectable decryptor for Apollolocker. This means that the only way to restore files is to use universal file-recovery tools. However, this might not work in your favor as well as not all encoded files can be easily recovered to their original forms. However, do not stress out and never agree to pay the demanded ransoms. This means that you are playing along with hackers and encouraging them to generate more ransomware samples. To be safe, never respond to unknown email letters. Nor should follow URLs or download attachments from bizarre email letters.

How to recover ApolloLocker ransomware virus encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:


for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again. CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before ApolloLocker ransomware virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of ApolloLocker ransomware virus

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Reimage and remove all malicious files related to ApolloLocker ransomware virus. You can check other tools here.


Step 3. Restore ApolloLocker ransomware virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually ApolloLocker ransomware virus tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so.

Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer.

a) Native Windows Previous Versions

Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.


Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer

It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover ApolloLocker ransomware virus encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:

  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download Data Recovery Pro (commercial)
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro

Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.

     
 

About the author

 - Virus researcher
I’m a virus researcher and my field of specialization involves but is not limited to the newly-developed ransomware variants. In my opinion, crypto-viruses are highly-underestimated and some Internet users have very few opportunities to learn about their symptoms before it is too late. Our goal here in 2-viruses.com is to make sure that crucial information about the most relevant malware samples would be available for everyone.
 
September 7, 2017 03:58, October 12, 2017 03:57
 
   
 

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