LockCrypt ransomware virus is an immensely alarming infection that commences the process of file-encryption, supported by an AES cipher. Virus suggests that the exact ransom depends on the fact whether victims are quick enough to contact the indicated email addresses. D_dukens@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org are the addresses, belonging to hackers of this sample. There are a few theories that speculative who the creators might be. One assumption is that hackers are from Iran since crypto-virus contacts a host with an IP address, leading to the latter country. On the other hand, there was been some predictions that hackers could be from Ukraine.
While this is a new variant, LockCrypt virus has already managed to infect a few people. Victims explain that all of their digital data is unrecognizable as the crypto-infection modifies filenames so they no longer resemble their original form. Additionally, the virus also adds an .lock extension to each encoded executable.
Security researchers have determined which executables can regarded as the payloads of this ransomware. A d4d3f.exe and locker.exe are both plausible. After such files ends up in an operating system, they will initiate a number of malicious processes, leading up to the display of the ransom note, named readme.txt. In this executable, we mostly detect regular threats and demands. One of the more peculiar things is that the hackers are promising to decrypt 3 files, as long as the encoded data does not violate limitations of size (10MB) and content (not important information).
Therefore, it might be beneficial to contact hackers and require them to decrypt three of your selected files. After they provide you with recovered versions, you are recommended to send the encoded and decoded versions to security researchers. This could help them find ways how to restore corrupted digital data. However, even if they do inform you of the fee for decryption for all of the data, you should not even consider paying it. You will waste your finances on a no-good cause. Even though hackers prove to have a functional key for decryption, this does not necessarily mean that they will provide victims with it.
Decryption, removal and distribution of crypto-viruses
Crooks are not the people to trust. There are additional techniques that could help you restore files. One of them is the fact that the virus might not touch Shadow Volume Copies. If these versions are left undeleted, then you could have a chance of restoring them. If this option is out of the question, you can check whether any universal file recovery tools would work. It is a long shot, but worth a try.
The best way to avoid having to deal with ransomware is to store files in backup storages. If you do not want to utilize an online facility, you can simply insert your valuable information in an USB flash drive. However, remember not to keep it plugged into your device. If a ransomware strikes, it might be capable of corrupting data which is found in connected devices.
Before figuring out the best way how the files can be decrypted, you should pursue another very important task. The infection should be removed from an affected operating system before any of the file-recovery options are put in motion. You can either do this manually (this option is more recommended to people that have experience in removing malware), or automatically (with anti-malware tools like Reimage, Spyhunter or Hitman).
On the last note, we should mention the strategies that ransomware employs to reach computer devices. It is possible that malicious spam campaigns will be sent around for the sake of transmitting the malicious payloads. They might be indicated as completely different executables or pretend to originate from respectable facilities. For instance, a rogue letter could indicate to have sent you some information about tax-returns. However, always check whether the senders’ email addresses are identical to the legitimate ones.
- Decryption, removal and distribution of crypto-viruses
- Automatic LockCrypt virus removal tools
- How to recover LockCrypt virus encrypted files and remove the virus
- Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore
- Step 2. Complete removal of LockCrypt virus
- Step 3. Restore LockCrypt virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies
- Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover LockCrypt virus encrypted files
Automatic LockCrypt virus removal tools
How to recover LockCrypt 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 → 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 LockCrypt virus has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”.
- To start System restore click “Yes”.
Step 2. Complete removal of LockCrypt 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 LockCrypt virus. You can check other tools here.
Step 3. Restore LockCrypt 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 LockCrypt 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 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 LockCrypt 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.
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.