FileLocker crypto-virus, by some security researchers referred to as ENCR infection, is a brand-new sample. It surfaced as a variant, targeting people from Czech Republic or any other country that is recognized to understand the Czech-language, for this reason, users from Slovakia or Poland are potential victims of FileLocker virus. If this virus invades a device, it will surely launch a unique executable to initiate further processes. Based on the ransom note that victims get introduced to soon after the encryption is completed, creators of FileLocker virus made a decision to strengthen encoding by exploiting a combination of RSA and AES ciphers. To put it simply, AES algorithm for encryption is utilized to create a public key for encoding and a private key for decryption. Thanks to this cipher, all of the files that FileLocker selects are no longer available for usage. However, the purpose of RSA is to encrypt the generated private key to reduce the possibility of a free decryption. We have already written articles about variants that target Czech users: Czech ransomware, SkyName ransomware.
FileLocker nightmare: what are the main features?
It is possible that this virus will originate from malicious spam letters. Since the audience of Czech-speaking users is targeted, we have a suspicion that the rogue letters might be written in this language as well. If an urgent email barges in your account, be certain of its reliability. Let’s say you do get infected with a payload of FileLocker: what are the symptoms?
The funny thing is that you might not notice the activity of FileLocker virus at all. Its process will run silently in the background, concealing the initiated procedures from the victim. FileLocker ransomware is expected to target these extensions: .asf, .avi, .cer, .div, .dll, .exe, .flv, .inf, .ini, .jpg, .mkv, .mng, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .ogg, .ogv, .pkg, .qt, .rm, .rmvb, .run, .sh, .txt, .webm, .wmw, .xvid, .yuv. So, before an AES algorithm can go ahead and encrypt files, the payload has to detected them first. It will choose from all of your data and corrupt those executables that have the extensions, mentioned above. Somewhere along the journey, FileLocker also contacts its C&C server to share the private key for decryption with the hackers and provide them with some technical information about the victim as well. All of the files that get influenced by AES cipher are appended with .ENCR extension.
FileLocker ransomware displays a table that further splits into 3 other sections. The primary one, “Informace” will provide victims with a summary of the main points. It will state that the only way to recover files is to admit defeat and send 0.8 BTC to the creators of FileLocker ransomware. If you are not familiar with this currency, it equals approximately 979.99 US dollars. This is a solid amount of money and you should NOT send it to the identified bitcoin wallet: 15DhutjaDrBigRwEbw4ZLmHXNeW9DYM2dT.
Allegedly, after the payment is send, victims are expected to make another transaction: they have to provide hackers with unique encryption keys and the amount of bitcoins they paid. Then, they are expected to send this information to firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Within 6 hours after that, creators of FileLocker virus are supposed to give away the necessary key for decryption. However, we do not advise you to actually act in accordance with these demands. Hackers can disappear or they can provide you with a key that does not work.
Decryption of files that have been ruined by FileLocker ransomware
Currently, security researchers have not created a free file-recovery tool which would be specifically for FileLocker ransomware. However, you could try to restore files in different ways, like using the already existing decryption tools that might be functional. In addition to that, you could try to check whether FileLocker virus deletes Shadow Volume Copies. Scroll down to find a tutorial how this method is done. In addition to that, if you have stored your data in backup storages, it is easy to simply retrieve it from those online services. We repeat: never give hackers what they want.
How is FileLocker ransomware distributed?
Ransomware infections can be transmitted in a number of ways. Hackers might send around infectious letters that feature a specific file. You should not download them if you are suspicious about the origin of the email. In addition to that, ransomware infections can reach you thanks to exploit kits or social networking sites. Be very cautious and try to bypass suspicious websites. In addition to that, do not download software from bizarre sources.
Reimage, Spyhunter and Malwarebytes are powerful anti-malware tools that have the capacities to detect all sorts of malware threats. To review instructions for a successful manual removal, scroll down below.
- FileLocker nightmare: what are the main features?
- Decryption of files that have been ruined by FileLocker ransomware
- How is FileLocker ransomware distributed?
- Automatic FileLocker ransomware removal tools
- How to recover FileLocker ransomware encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of FileLocker virus
- Step 3. Restore ENCR virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover FileLocker ransomware encrypted files
Automatic FileLocker ransomware removal tools
How to recover FileLocker ransomware 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 → Restart → OK.
- Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
- Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
for Windows 8 / 10
- Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart.
- Choose Troubleshoot → Advanced Options → Startup Settings and click Restart.
- When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings.
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.
- Click “Next” in the windows that appeared.
- Select one of the Restore Points that are available before FileLocker ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of FileLocker 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 ENCR ransomware. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore ENCR 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 FileLocker ransomware 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 Properties → Previous 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.
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.
Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover FileLocker ransomware 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.
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.